#1. Have you ever noticed that the smaller the boat, the bigger the dog? Nelson is a 14 pound Havaneese. He's big for his breed, but an easy dog to pick up and carry when necessary, compact enough to sit on laps when needed and doesn't need his own cabin to house his bed and kennel rations. During our stay in Nassau Yacht Haven, we met "Candy" a standard poodle living on a 40 foot sailboat. BIG. When space is limited, everyone and his dog stakes a territorial claim and gets cranky when borders are encroached upon. This summer, I met a gentleman and his dog in Camden, Maine. I have never in my life met a bigger dog. It was called a Russian Wire-Haired Terrier--a black wooly monster, a cross between a Newfoundland, a Great Dane and some terrier progenitor. Their boat? a 24 foot Grady White. Of course there are 70 footers whose mascot is a chiwawa (?sp), but this Russian Giant proves my therory.
#2. Dogs eat junk,garbage, shoes, poop (their own and other's) and their all time favorite: chicken bones. Being that the number one food staple of the islands is fried chicken, the ubicquitous bones are readily available to the alert canine, even aboard their own boats! Buz and I revelled in a delicious take-away lunch on Tuesday--lip-smacking good. Nelson spent time alone on Tuesday evening overturning the garbage bin and eliminating all eveidence of our earlier feast. Today is Friday. We are still waiting for him to eliminate his "elimination".
#3. The eternal quest for a safe and sure method for Fido to answer the call of nature without sailors having to launch the dingy and row to shore goes on unabated. Various attempts I have seen are: pee pads, boxes of living grass in real earth, carpets tacked to decking, astro turf and training the dog to do his doo while swimming. All aforementioned are "attempts" only and have limited success. Fido will ALWAYS prefer to go ashore, will HOLD IT for hours, or EXPLODE in places not of the boat owner's choosing.
#4. People and canines have co-habited since the cave man learned how to make fire and roast meat. It is a symbiotic relationship affording both parties fellowship and love. Also, after eating enough fried chicken, dog and man are company for each other while they take long walks and engage in ball sports to trim up.
#5. Yes! The sun is out, we're in our shorts and sleeveless tops, slathered in sun screen. We'll be enticing Nelson in for a swim any day now. Yes and yes again. I love the Bahamas.