Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hoover Dog

Labs have the reputation of loving their food. Having owned five, we can say it is a well deserved reputation. But among our babies, past and present, Dylan has always stood out in this regard. We nicknamed him Hoover Dog because, well, he eats like a Hoover vacuum cleaner. A meal never takes more than 30 seconds.

Earlier this summer I noticed that Dee Dee was finishing her meal ahead of Dylan. I put it off to maturing and not feeling the need to rush. He is quite the distinguished gentleman now at age nine.

Then he regurgitated some breakfast one morning. A few days later he did it again. I began to keep an eye on him and noticed he sometimes would cough food up and chew it (I can't say "re-chew it" because Hoover Dog always just swallows it).

Mom began to worry. We discovered thyroid cancer in Dyna, Dylan's grandmother, when she was nine and knew it can invade the esophagus. Off we went to Dr. Skinner. I explained about our Hoover Dog and what was happening, he took Dylan off for an x-ray. All came back fine. Dr. Skinner suggested feeding Dylan some food and taking another x-ray to see what was happening as he swallowed, "What food would he like?" I told him Dylan would eat rocks if you put them in a bowl. He smiled and said, "I think we can find something better than that."

Shortly, he came back into the room with eyes as big as saucers, "Wow, he really does like his food." I told you so! Why do we always feel so good whenever we have been vindicated? Dr. Skinner thought it was simply Dylan's aging throat muscles not keeping up with his robust eating.

He suggested one of those slow-feeding bowls. I chose a highly rated one on Amazon Prime which arrived on Thursday.

I filled the bowl, shaking the bits around the grooves and set it down for Dylan. He took one look, stepped back and gave me a "Are you kidding me?" look. Over the past few days he has been getting used to it but he makes sure to let me know he doesn't like it.

It now takes him a few minutes to finish eating with no issues. Well, other than the occasional look of disgust.

The packaging calls it a "Fun Feeder." Dylan says, "I don't think so..."

Monday, September 12, 2016

Now We're Talkin'

What's the point of having a new dinghy if you don't use it to go swimming?

This past weekend the crew helped throw off the lines on Red Head so we could spend a few days on the hook. Mom and Dad were looking forward to some much needed downtime. All Dylan and Dee Dee cared about was taking a dinghy ride to the beach for a swim.

In fact, we made several trips. Dylan and Dee Dee loved the ride and the swimming.

 Mom and Dad loved the peace and quiet afterwards...

Friday, September 9, 2016

Can't Get Enough...

Yesterday we secured Dylan and Dee Dee's dinghy onto the well deck. However, they decided they weren't done yet and hopped in to wait for another ride.

The plan is to throw the lines off this afternoon and anchor out for the weekend. Then we'll use the dinghy for it's intended purpose - to take the kids to a beach for a swim!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Kids Have a New Ride!

A couple of weeks ago we acquired a new dinghy for Red Head. She's been on the hard for a variety of reasons but today we had her launched and took Dylan and Dee Dee out for a spin.

The dinghy is quite a bit smaller than what the crew was used to on aCappella but we wanted her to safely fit on the well deck. It means the kids will have to learn about sharing space - which basically means, they take all the space they want and Mom has to find a spot to squeeze in...

They had a great time. We've always said that their favorite boat is the dinghy! Dylan and Dee Dee are looking forward to many, many, many more dinghy rides.

That's a great lookin' crew no matter what boat they're on!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

TS Hermine

Dee Dee has just about put her first real storm under her belt as Tropical Storm Hermine moves north. For Dylan it was no big whoop. He's been through numerous, including Hurricane Sandy.

The winds started in earnest about the time we went to bed Friday night. We were up several times during the night as the wind howled and the rain came and went. It was mainly winds with only intermittent down pours. The crew kept their watch in the master stateroom, lying down on the bed, asleep... But we're pretty sure they were ready to spring into action if we needed them.

Saturday was more of the same with the greatest injustice being that Dylan and Dee Dee had to miss their morning romp.

We watched as the fixed docks across the way went under water.

And the marina next door did the same. A few sails came loose at one point but were tended to by others.

We were snug on our floating dock as we watched the gangway rise above the level on land. It actually got much worse after dark but survived fine. Red Head proved her worth as we stayed safe and dry, listening to the wind and rain with only an occasional rock from an especially strong gust.

So how did the crew fare?

Pretty well, I'd say. They ain't afraid of no Hermine!

Monday, August 29, 2016

She Has a Name...

When we purchased Red Head as the kids new home, we decided to keep her name. It's such a fitting name, after all.

Before we picked her up she spent some time in an industrial yard being blasted with something they called "black Betty" or "black beauty" or some such thing. All we knew was that it left this horrible fine black dust that we are still finding months later. But we digress...

To do this process the name had to be removed from the transom. Since then she has been "nameless."

Fortunately, we have our good friend Jeryl who does, among other things, boat lettering. A few emails back and forth and a FedEx box arrives. But how to get them on? A few more emails with Jeryl telling Jeff, "It's easy," and we decided to give it a try. Hey, worst case, Jeryl could always FedEx a new set.

So this weekend, in celebration of Jeff's birthday, we decided to give it a go. It wasn't too bad. This is definitely a task where Jeff's ana... I mean, exacting personality comes in handy. Sunday, we laid down the red background for the name.

Monday morning, the hailing port.

Key Largo, FL is harking back to her roots. When she was built she was christened Key Largo.

Finally, Monday evening, the white overlay on the name and it was complete.

We think she came out pretty nice.

Where were Dylan and Dee Dee for all of this, you ask? We deemed it unwise to allow them on the cockpit, so they had to supervise from the salon. But as you can see it turned out just right

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Kangaroo Update

It's been about 3 weeks since we started Dee Dee on her new kangaroo based diet - you can buy it at We used the Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Formula Dry Dog Food:

It's not cheap but then our kids have been getting spoiled for quite some time now. Not only are they worth it, it's better than all those vet bills...

She gets kangaroo twice a day, breakfast and supper, and for treats we have been giving her small carrots. I had also purchased some fruit (no meat or grain) based treats but decided I wanted to keep things very clean in the beginning.

Even her daddy has been following the new diet rules despite Dee Dee's best efforts at wooing him. Could you resist that face?

Unfortunately, it means no plate scraps for Dylan either but Jeff has been putting some carrots on his plate so he can remain the world's most popular Dad - at least, in Dylan and Dee Dee's world.

So what has happen? We saw some results almost immediately. The paw licking reduced to where the sores have healed, her ears remain good, and her bottom scooting, well, that's almost stopped. We are continuing the diet and will switch Dylan over as soon as he empties that last bag of dog food. It just makes things easier. In another week or so, I will introduce one of the new treats and see what happens.

Overall, we are calling it a success. Thank you, Dr Skinner.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Morning Routine

One thing the kids on Red Head like is "the routine" - when they wake up (too early), when they have breakfast, when they have supper, and so on. They love a routine. It unsettles them when we are frequently moving. But as soon as we settle in for more than a day or two, they get right into a new routine.

We've been here at Zimmerman Marine for quite a spell now. Dylan and Dee Dee thought you might be interested in their Zimmerman routine.  As the temps here have risen above 100, their favorite part of the day is the morning and here is a sample of their morning routine.

After waking Mom and Dad soon after first light, 6:15-6:30, we all head out across the parking lot to a large field. Daddy is always sure to select a good throw toy.

Dylan and Dee Dee sit to have the leash removed and wait for the command.

Then it's a race into the tall grass looking for... well, we're not really sure because they typically just start eating grass. Although, one day Dylan spied a rabbit which caused much excitement all around.

Daddy tries to interest them in the throw toy which occasionally works but it's hard to compete with grass.

Unless it is an old, deflated beach ball.

Dee Dee captured that prize and quickly attracted Dylan's attention.

Then the fun began until tongues were hanging out and it was time to head back for breakfast.

On the dock they sit once again waiting for the command.

Then it's a mad dash for home where breakfast is consumed in a matter of seconds.

And there's more playing in the salon while Mom and Dad have their breakfast.

It's a hard life but they bear up well under the pressure.

Friday, August 5, 2016 is Here!

The box from arrived yesterday evening, unfortunately, too late for the kids' supper. We gotta keep to a schedule...

So this morning Dee Dee got her first helping of kangaroo. She liked it fine but then Labs really will eat pretty much anything. Since being at the vet's we've taken her off all treats, giving her carrots instead. She's already licking less, so we are hopeful this will work.

We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Kangaroo Anyone?

Since Dee Dee was a tiny pup we have had problems with ear infections. She visited half the vets along the Great Loop that first year. We've tried allergy medicine, ear washes, grain-free foods, fish only, even bison diets. Nothing worked over the long haul. Along with this she goes through periods of "nervous" paw chewing and bottom scooting.

It's a good thing she's so adorable...

Yesterday was August 1st. The first of every month is heartworm meds day. Dylan and Dee Dee each get a tasty chew that protects them from this deadly condition. They love their heartworm pills. But when I went to get two chews, I found only one. Aargh! That meant we had to find a vet.

Fortunately, the two terrific women in the Zimmerman Marine office, Dee and Trish, recommended Hartfield Animal Hospital and Dr. Skinner. He looked her over and said, "She has food allergies." We described what we had done. He asked, "Have you tried kangaroo?' Hmmmmm.... no.

It turned out Dr. Skinner is very much into treatment through nutrition. And he's a vegan. Needless to say, we hit it off. But where do we get kangaroo based dog food? "Are you familiar with" he asked. Were we familiar... We LOVE

So as soon as we emptied our pockets of all our money at the vet, Mom went right online and found the goods. Of course, she also had to order some treats - she found some banana ones, Dee Dee's favorite.

Dylan and Dee Dee don't mind the vet. To a Lab all attention is good attention. But they are happy to be back home. Keeping fingers crossed that Dee Dee's problems will soon be in the past.

Oh, and Dylan's check up was perfect, of course. He's such a good boy.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Let's get ready to ROOMBA...

This past week Mom posted the following on Facebook:

There are a lot of things I don't know. But one thing I do know is that a floor painted chocolate brown is not a good choice with two yellow labs. Jeff says we should get a Roomba but can you run those suckers 24/7....

We heard from several people who loved their Roombas, so an order was placed and today the Roomba arrived!

Daddy did the unpacking and setting up with a lot of help from the kids.

She had to go into her dock for a rest and charge before we could set her loose on the mountains of dog hair - I mean, those thousands of heavenly fibers of love and joy. The kids helped with that too.

We had to wait until the little "Clean" light turned green.

It took a while but finally she was ready. Would she pass the test?

We took her to the worst spot on the boat, the master stateroom floor. Mom has been laid up with a bad foot and the kids have been keeping her company. She's not able to easily vacuum and as is widely known, the male of the species has a deadly allergy to vacuum cleaners (and dishwashers and washing machines...).  We let her loose, wisely keeping the kids below.

She took off. So far so good.

After about a half hour of listening to her rumbling across the floor and one trip by Jeff to empty the dirt bin, Mom decided to hobble up to the stateroom to check things out. She was amazed. This is the same spot with the dog hair (I mean, thousands of heavenly fibers of love and joy) gone. At least, until the crew heads up for bed.

Tomorrow we unleash her on the salon and galley. We'll have to figure out where to keep the kids. Who says we don't know how to party on the weekends?