Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dog Collar Relay

Having two water dogs on a boat is great. They love swimming, dinghy rides, and just watching the water. But sometimes they love the water too much. Both kids have taken unplanned entries into the water from the dinghy. As anyone who has tried can tell you, lifting a wet dog out of the water can be a challenge.

For years we've kept our canine crew in a harness whenever the boat is underway – be it the Whaler, the dinghy, or aCappella. That way we have a handle to grab should one go over. The problem is a harness is about the worst thing to use when walking a dog, especially big dogs. The strap across their powerful chests gives them too much pulling force.

So whenever we take the dogs to shore we have a routine – on the boat the harnesses go on, on shore the harnesses come off and the collars go on, before getting back in the dinghy the collars come off and the harnesses go back on. We've done it hundreds of times.

Apparently when we made our last trip to the dog park in Vero Beach something went awry. Maybe someone was chatting with us, maybe the dogs were misbehaving, maybe Jeff was singing me a love song – it could happen. We left one of the dog collars on shore. Now this wasn't just any dog collar. These are beautiful, matching nautical collars we purchased at a small marina in Maine during my birthday cruise two years ago.

We discovered our mistake on our first dinghy ride into Stuart. Our hope was that it might still be there when we came back through on our way north.

The day before we left Stuart for Miami Beach we received a call from David Allen. He was on his boat in Vero and had found our dog collar, could we meet? Unfortunately, they were heading west through the Okeechobee, not south. No problem, he had a buddy, Don Perkin, heading to the Keys and he'd give him the collar. About a week later while we were anchored in Miami Beach Don called. He was heading in the Miami inlet, could we meet him on our dinghy? Jeff had the dinghy at the boat show. I told him we'd catch up with him in Marathon.

This week we talked to Don again, he was in Marathon but heading out the next day to Key West. A quick call to our friend Bill Corbett aboard Spray, also in Marathon, and another hand off of the collar was made. Finally, we joined Bill in Marathon today and the collar is back on Dylan's neck.

The return of a dog collar is no big deal – we have spares. It's just a small example of the wonderful boating community we belong to. The stories are endless. Medical situations, needed spare parts, help with emergency repairs, assistance in a family crisis, advice of any kind, a potluck or a party and this community of boaters is always there for you. There are no strangers, only friends, just some you haven't met yet.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

I am so glad to hear the doggie collar is back where it belongs and only too happy to have been a link in the chain. John and I are currently in Key West at the Galleon Marina and plan on leaving Sunday and heading North :(. Perhaps we will catch you on the return trip in Marathon.....