Tuesday, May 29, 2018


Siegel dogs have typically been mindful, cautious, sensible - oh, forget it. They have been wimps. Big colossal babies. We've had to coax them up all but the simplest of stairs. They need their ramp to cross the 2 foot chasm between the boat and the dock. Learning to get from the boat to the dinghy required special training. And when we have a tricky ramp situation with some high fixed docks... sigh.

OK, there was that one incident with Dee Dee but we suspect that was as much an "accident" as anything else.

The exception was Dyna. She was fearless. There was no ramp too high or too steep. No boat-to-dock distance she wouldn't try. And then there was the time we were going 25 knots on the Penobscot Bay on a friend's Whaler and she decided the fastest way to get from the stern to Mom in the bow was to walk along the 3 inch wide gunwale.

Today there's Dora. We knew she was different from the first day we took her to the dog park and she went straight to the biggest dog in the park - all 30 pounds of her. She backs down from no fight and continues to favor the biggest, baddest dog in the park. She often sends Dylan running (at twice her size). We worried she might have problems with the boat stairs, figuring that she had never seen any kind of stairs. We were so naive.

All outside doors remain closed at all times because boat-to-dock distance does not even come into her equation. So far, she has taken every new and strange situation we have thrown at her without so much as a hesitation. You could say we thought she is pretty darn confident. But we didn't appreciate how fearless she was.

Sunday we moved the boat from Scarano Boat Builders to Shady Harbor Marina, a short 10 mile run. We decided, given her propensity to "explore," we'd setup a tether so we wouldn't worry about her while docking and undocking.

As we approached the marina, Mom, handling lines below, asked if Dad had tethered Dora. "She's sound asleep. She'll be fine", answered Dad. Little did we know...

The docking went smoothly with Dad loving his new bow thruster. We had four helpers on the dock. As Mom handed out the last line, she turned to say something to Dad and was struck speechless (a true rarity) as she saw Dora standing on Red Head's roof. She then said (calmly according to Mom, not so much according to Dad), "Dora's on the roof." Dad gave her a look of complete incomprehension saying, "What?" Dora stepped over the rim. Mom more urgently said, "She's on the roof of the boat. Get her down!"

If you haven't seen Red Head, some things may need to be made clear. Red Head's roof is 20 feet off the water.

The flat top is covered in nonskid with a rim that runs around this area.

After the rim is a slanting brow coated in slick paint. It is unlikely she could have kept her footing if she brought her back paws forward.

After Dad's successful rescue, we brought the crew inside and considered how to keep Dora to the lower decks. We then threw the doors open to catch the breeze.

Within moments Dora was on the focsle. So what, you may ask. The only way to get there is by climbing one of the two ladders.

Rather steep ladders.

Dad carried Dora down. She was right back up and down and up and so on. She manages to climb down about 3 steps and then does a sort of slide/jump to the lower deck. It has become a favorite place.

What's left for Mom's weak heart is the dinghy. Oh, heaven help us.

Dyna, Dora may not have your DNA but somehow she found your spirit. I hope you are proud.


Jen said...

I love reading these stories!

To keep Gracie off stairs or furniture, we've gotten some vinyl fencing at Home Depot. It's available in wood and vinyl, it's of a crisscross design, very flimsy, think its in 4 X 8 sheets and cuts easily, We've made several pieces, to fit on furniture and either in front of or on top of steps, to keep paws away! Good luck.

John, Marilyn and Gracie!

Pamela said...

I've often said that both timid dogs and daredevil dogs bring their own challenges to life on board. You've managed to prove that just in one family.