BooBee was certainly exposed to a lot more than what she had experienced at the pound, till then. She had never seen television before. The first time we turned on the TV (I remember it was a Saturday night, around horror show time) the image of a creepy man appeared and BooBee barked at him. It only took her a little while to realise that it wasn’t a real man but just an image. From then on she hardly ever took more then a glance at the TV. Yes, we have a TV on Micasa, albeit a 32 inches TV mounted on a swivel arm.
One day, during the first month that BooBee was with us, I happened to turn on the stereo which has a pair of waterproof speakers in the cockpit. She was up in the cockpit at the time. She immediately walked to the companionway doors while glancing back towards the source of the noise, with a very puzzled look on her face. Like everything else, she learnt extremely quickly, that it was only one of my gadgets!
We would every now and then take the boat out to spend a night or two at nearby Islands. Lazarus Island, which is linked to Saint John Island by a land fill, was one of our favourite (and BooBee’s too). The first time I started the engine, BooBee ran out of the boat, not knowing for sure why the whole house was rumbling. Again she learnt!
When sailing, the safety of the boat’s crew rest with me, the captain. Everyone, including myself must dorn a life vest. No exception, even BooBee! She felt uncomfortable in it, initially, but soon gotten used to it. She never liked riding in the dinghy and refused to get in by herself. Always had to be carried on. When anchored near Lazarus Island, the dinghy was the only mean of getting onto the island. It was like Treasure Island to BooBee. She loved exploring it. The next morning, as soon as I pulled the dinghy nearer to the boat, she was the first one on it. All by herself! She wanted to go exploring on her Treasure Island.
On some stretches of water even within Singapore waters, on the more exposed side, the sea could get rather rolly. To the extent that the Admiral would get seasick. But not BooBee! I have never seen her getting seasick.
Surprisingly, though, BooBee would get car sickness if the ride is anything longer than 10 or 15 minutes. One day after she threw up onto the back seat of the car, I commented to her, “You really are a sailor dog, aren’t you?”. And that became her nickname of sort from that point onwards.
On one of the boats, a half dozen boats further along the pontoon, lives BooBee’s godmother. She dotted on BooBee. Occasionally bring her roasted pork knuckles or roasted chicken. My Admiral too would sometimes buy KFC for BooBee. When she told BooBee once that she was going to buy KFC for BooBee, she would lick her mouth just thinking about it. She understood what KFC was. BooBee’s dinner now usually consists of cooked rice mixed with a whisked egg, then microwaved to cook. To this, strips of shredded deboned roasted chicken was added and mixed evenly into. She does eat better than we do but we would not have it any other way. She loved fish and the occasional crab as well. We will have to peel or debone for her first. We do spoil her in this sense but then why not?! Didn’t we agreed to regard her as a member of the family when we decided to adopt her? Is she not like our child to us, an only child!?
In many ways, BooBee does not think she is a dog. She had very little contact with other dogs as there are no dogs nearby, only on weekends, a nearby neighbour would bring their dog to the marina. She was with humans only, nearly all of the time. One morning while drinking my coffee, she even indicated to me that she wanted some. I ignored her…. It’s coffee after all and dogs do not drink coffee! She persisted and when I kept ignoring her, she nudged me with her snout! So I gave her a few teaspoons of coffee in a bowl….. She lapped it all up!!!
In some ways it’s my fault that she does not know she’s a dog. Especially when it was raining outside I would give her, her dinner, on the saloon aisle. At times she would eat a little messily with grains of rice sprinkled all around her bowl, onto the floor rug. I would pick them up grain by grain, else the rice would be sticking to our soles. In my annoyance, I would say to her, “BooBee don’t eat like a dog! You give me work to do!”. Her godma thinks it’s my fault!
I know, it’s mostly our fault that she is such a fussy eater now. She has also become a little costlier to maintain too!
That’s BooBee, my Sailor dog who was from the pound!