Living with Dogs on a Boat
Since we moved aboard, everyone seems so interested on just how different life aboard is from life on land. The adjustment hasn’t been hard… just different.
The biggest question we get is about the dogs. How are they doing? What do you do when they need to use the bathroom? Where do they sleep? Etc.
They are adjusting quite nicely, actually. Since the boat is so wide and flat, they are comfortable roaming around the cockpit and spend their time while we’re at work lounging in the air conditioned salon. Since it's nice out, we spend most of our time in the cockpit and they like to lounge with us in the shade and watch the ducks swim by. They're older, so they don't move around as much, making the small space on the boat a nice fit for them. Yingling does not like the sound or vibration the engines make, so we'll need to figure out a solution for that.
We bought a dog ramp from PetSmart before we moved aboard to help them get on and off the boat. They were a little unsure of it at first, but now associate it with WALK TIME and get super excited every time Matt whips it out. Corona nearly walked off of it the first few times, but she’s getting better. We need to guide them down it since they both have cataracts and some hip issues. If we left them to do it alone, they'd be in the water for sure!
Speaking of walks, these girls are getting more exercise now than ever. We have a loop around the marina that we do about 5-6 times a day. Before at the house we would let them out to go potty and they would sit on the back porch and stare at us until we let them in. Now they are so exhausted from all their activity that they pass out before we do at night. Or, it could be the gentle rocking of the boat that does it.
Since Matt works right around the corner, he is able to come home at lunch for a little visitation hour as well. These pooches are loving it.
Aboard vs on land? Jury’s still out… Let’s see how they do when we actually take her out for a sail. Fingers crossed that they’ll have adjusted to it by then that it won’t bother them. But here at dock – life is good!