Saturday, March 26, 2011

Puppy Chow

Our first Lab was an 80 pound black male named Duke. He lived to the ripe old age of 15 but never was able to adapt to the old lobster boat we had at the time. As a puppy Duke ate Purina Puppy Chow. Since then all of our dogs have learned that "puppy chow" meant mealtime.

You don't ever, and I mean never ever, say "puppy chow" unless you mean it. There is no more sacred word to a Siegel dog.

Since then we have learned much about nutrition in dog foods - or rather the lack thereof in the vast majority of dog foods. The morsels that pass through Dyna and Dylan's lips are hand formed by virgins on a remote tropical island. At least we think it must be, given the cost and difficulty involved in obtaining it.

After many, many hours of research, literally, our two babies receive Innova brand dry food, adult for Dylan and senior for Dyna.

Innova is not available at Walmart or Publix or Pet Smart. In fact, we know of only two places on the east coast where we can readily get it from the boat, Solomons, MD and Miami Beach, FL. So we must have 30 lb. bags shipped to us along the way.

This means we need to be somewhere long enough to receive ground shipping. Trust us you don't want to be paying overnight shipping for this stuff. We have calculated that 60 lbs. of dog food will last for 3 months. That's per dog. So we generally stock 120 lbs. of dog food, ordering more when we open the second bag.

Then there's the issue of storing it. This is accomplished in 3 phases. There are two 2.5 gallon containers that take half a shelf in our pantry, one for each dog. These last about 5 days. Two bags (one of each), along with treats, travel bowls, etc. are stored inside the larger of the two side tables we have in the saloon. The other two bags are stored in the hatch underneath the guest bunk.

Today the last two bags came out from under the bunk. We'll be in Charleston for another month but we have a little over 2 months left on the boat before we'll be back home in Maine. After ten minutes online, two more precious bags will arrive next week. So the best part of the day will continue to be when we say, “Dyna, Dylan, do you want some puppy chow?” and we watch the tails wag.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Kids Are All Right

One of the most common questions we receive about life onboard is, "How do the dogs like the boat?" Two big dogs on a boat can certainly be a challenge at times, but trust us, these kids are just fine on the boat. Dyna is happiest laying on the stern on a nice day. Even Dylan can't disturb her reverie.

But don't worry even inside Dyna manages to find a comfy spot.

Sometimes a pillow does the trick.

And at bedtime they share the space - with each other, we have to make do.

So some may think we're crazy to live on a boat with two big dogs. And maybe we are, but we're not alone (right, Stephanie and Bob?). All in all the kids have a great life on the boat and we're glad they let us share it with them.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Temperamental Charleston

Since we've been here the weather has seemed to change every time we turn around. One day it's warm and sunny, the next cold and blustery. Each morning as we pull on clothes to go to the dog park we debate how many layers to put on - or not.

A few days ago the winds were so strong we felt as if we were underway and were tempted to make sure we were still tied to the dock. The boat rocked like we were miles offshore with whitecaps coming alongside.

The dolphins seem to come into the basin when the winds are strong and Dylan has learned to keep watch. Dyna stays in her bed resting from her morning romp until Dylan sounds the alarm. Then she joins him, not always sure why she's barking but determined not to miss out.

For now they're predicting a sunny weekend in the 70's. We'll believe it when we see it. At least there's no predictions for snow.

Friday, March 4, 2011

BFF's Reunited

Dyna and Dylan don't care about Charleston's fine dining and shopping or historical architecture or the many cultural events. All they care about is the dog park next to the marina.

Every morning around 7 am they're up and ready to go, pacing, whining, staring. Mom and Dad seem to take an eternity to get ready, then they make them use the bow before they leave, then there's gathering leashes, collars, throw toys, locking the boat - why don't they just get going?!?

They have a regular early AM date with BFF's, Huck and Goose. Those of you who have followed them for a while already know about Huck and Goose. Huck is about a year younger than Dyna and Goose is near Dylan's age.

Dylan and Goose run, fetch, chase, tumble, and generally act like the two young boys they are. Huck holds his lacrosse ball securely in his mouth and either sits nearby watching or leans heavily into whoever is near. At over 90 pounds you really have to lean back not to get knocked over.

Now and then Dyna tries to get in the chase and occasionally gets barreled over but mainly does her walk abouts around the field sometimes going over to Huck with a look that says, "Can you believe those two ruffians?"

For now they are both sacked out on the sofa resting up for tomorrow morning. That's the reward Mom and Dad get for keeping their early AM appointment.