Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Dog's Life: The House vs The Boat...

Right off the bat I have to say that I only wish our lives were as good as our dog's. So any comparison between what it's like at our house and our boat is really silly. They have a great life no matter where they are.

Things are different in the two places. We have a beautiful, historic house. Built in the 1830's by ship builders, it is a fortress. There are many rooms and many dog beds. Except for one parlor, Dyna & Dylan have free run and know all the ways to get around.

Here are some of the major things in a dog's life and how they compare at our house and on our boat:

In both places, the dogs have comfortable sleeping areas. At night they sleep in bed with us and have all the space they want. At our house, we have more room because the bed is a lot bigger. Bottom line - sleeping is the same for them, better for us at the house.

This is a favorite activity of our dogs, especially Dyna. On the boat there is plenty of opportunity for swimming for obvious reasons. At the house we have to take them to an island or at the Maine Maritime Academy and they end up swimming about 2-3 times per week. Bottom line - swimming is better on the boat.

Although we are often visited by other cruisers on our boat, multiple people come to our house every day. Our dog team likes that a lot. Bottom line - there are more visitors at the house.

Dog Parks
Truth be told, we travel from port to port on the boat in search of dog parks. This gives the team a lot of opportunity to play with other dogs. At the house, they've only had a couple of play times with other dogs. Bottom line - there are more dog parks and more dog contact on the boat.

Mom & Dad Contact
On the boat we're all together for most of every day. Other than grocery shopping, the dogs are almost always with us. They even got invited to a dinner party on a friend's boat last Fall! At the house there is much more going on for us. So we're out more and the dogs are by themselves. They're never left for long but there are a few evenings a week when we're not all together. Bottom line - there is more family contact on the boat.

Dylan is especially a nut for Frisbee's. He's an incredible catcher and we've practiced with him since he was a tiny puppy. On the boat, there's almost no opportunity for Frisbee catching. At the house, Dylan is a leaping star. Bottom line - the backyard is Dylan's Frisbee kingdom.

Dinghy Rides
Dyna loves dinghies. She especially loves to go fast. She'll stand up in the bow, facing the wind, with the biggest smile you've ever seen a dog wear. For most of our cruising time, we're out on the dinghy almost every day. But in the anchorages, the dinghy has to go slow. In Castine we have a 13' Boston Whaler. Once we're 100 yards from the town dock, she goes 25 kts. Dyna loves it. Bottom line - the boat provides more quantity of dinghy time; the house has a better quality of dinghy time.

So we're down to the last 10 days. Piles of gear are stacking up. House projects are coming to an end and final lists of things to finish up have been made. Bottom line - the dogs are pretty happy no matter where they are.  So are we.


Lawrence Leonard said...

I don't think I ever mentioned our boat cat, Marin ( French for sailor). At home, he is an indoor cat only. On the boat, he has free run above and below deck. Bottom line: both he and I are much happier on the boat. Have a safe trip back to aCappella.
Fair winds & Smooth sailing,
Lawrence Leonard S/V Elle & I

John said...

I always thought I wanted to come back as one of my dogs....but after further thought, I want to be a Siegel dog!

Great comparisons! I think Dixie and Gracie like the boat best, their much closer to us.

We're in Block Island, some to run over to Martha's Vineyard. Then back to Shelter Island, where we'll pick up our outboard (being repaired), then slowly home.

We'll miss you again! September means Holden Beach...hopefully October means boat show, and we'll catch you there.

John and Marilyn

MV Red Head said...

Our blog will start to be more consistent when we're back onboard John. I hope we get a chance to get together somewhere along the line this season. I want to check out that new boat of yours!