Sailor dog, the boss on our boat.

Sailor dog is now as far removed from her past in the pound, as can be.  For one, she is no longer as timid as she was when she first came out of the pound to live with us on our boat.  She still fears loud noises such as thunder, which make her shiver with fright.  She now goes about with her bushy tail held up high and waving at the slightest provocation from those she is familiar with.

She has become a party girl of sort, running towards the neighbour’s barbecue gathering on Friday nights, when the tables are set up on the dock.  She would wonder around at ease amongst the legs of those seated at the table, taking morsels offered to her frequently under the table, especially by her Godma.  She knows her place now and has become a little more demanding in her requests, giving sharp short barks directed towards the person she is requesting from.  Like when she wants to go for her walk after dinner, or when she is hungry and wants her dinner. One evening when back at the boat a little pass her dinner time, I was halfway through making her dinner when I turned and talked to our guest staying with us on the boat, stopping momentarily on her dinner preparation, she barked at me several times, demanding that I get on with preparing her dinner.  She always gets her way, the way spoilt little children gets their.

I have realised too that she growled and barked more readily at strangers coming near our boat making her presence known with a greater degree of confidence in herself.  It is as though she is aware of her new found fame as the Sailor dog with more than 1,500 views in less than the 3 months that this blog has been started.  Fame having gone to her head?!!  God help me, if that be the case!  A spoilt little child star?  No, I do not think so.  It was a long process of building up her self confidence after life in the pound.  She probably feels like she is the boss in our boat now, with each of her demands being met and we would rather have her as the bossy dog than the timid dog afraid of her own shadow.  She certainly makes her presence known to strangers who walked a little too closely to our boat. 

When our friend also known to Sailor dog as one who would bring her roasted chicken whenever she came to the marina, became a guest on our boat for a couple of weeks,  Sailor dog took it in her stride to be her protector as well.  When an ex-colleague came to visit me at my boat, Sailor dog was a little hostile towards him.  Following the introduction between my ex-colleague and our guest, he reached out to shake our guest’s hand.  That was when Sailor dog lunged forward to snap at his out reached hand.  She missed, and I would think intentionally and just wanted him to know she didn’t like him touching our guest.

Of late I have been at work, sewing canvas for neighbouring boats.  I was either at the marina’s facilities doing my sewing or at the respective boats doing measurements and fittings.  Sailor dog would be at home on the boat.  I would tell her in advance that I was going to work and that she has to say at home, else she will want to follow me out.  I would come back to the boat every now and then to check on her.  She is normally well behaved.  She knows that work is necessary.  If I haved changed to go out and she wasn’t allowed to follow she would occasionally throw her tantrum, pushing and spilling her water bowl with occasions when the newspaper was found stuffed into the waterbowl.  Still defies me, how she actually did all that.  She will of course gets a scolding on my return for spilling water onto the aisle runner carpet.

Sailor dog’s requests has recently become demands and these includes demands for snacks at around 10 pm or chasing us to go to sleep if we are up past 12:30 a.m.  She does not like going to sleep by herself.

Our (Sailor dog and mine) early mornings snack rendezvous still takes place at regular intervals, usually between 2-3 a.m. in the morning.  Of late, the stash of goodies has been ran down to crackers only, as I have not been shopping for a while after having taken on this latest canvas project.  This one involves, the bimini, sprayhood, side clear covers, rear bimini top, rear enclosure and a sunbed on the deck.  Windy conditions made template taking almost impossible and the recent dry spell seems to have ended with sporadic rains coming down nearly the whole of yesterday and the day before, making progress a frustrating act.

The rear enclosure has a high degree of complication with removable doors, removable clears on top of insect screens.  I cannot yet envisage some of the details surrounding the junctions of some of these pieces but I’ll need to work something out when it comes time to cross those bridges.  My old sailor advisor on  canvas works said to me, “you’ll work it out!  I have seen what you can do!”. Not really sure of what exactly he has seen!  These are the sort of thing that keeps me up at night these days.  In the past corporate life, they are things like meeting sales targets, regional tenders, manufacturing issues, etc & etc.  It is a habit of a life time which now carries forward into my canvas venture. 

Must remember to go out to get more snack!  Sailor dog likes those Ika peanut balls (squid flavoured peanut fritters).  She’ll eat the crunchy batter coating and leave the peanut in the center untouched.  She dislikes vegetables of all types.  She’ll eat rice though and fried rice is one of her favourite.  She will eat everything in the fried rice except those few peas and corn kernels which will remain in the bottom of her dinner bowl after she is done eating.  She does however like the potatoes made by her Godma mainly because of the copious amount of cheese in it.  She loves cheese!

Sailor dog seems to understand our sign language as well.  One day while talking to a neighbour, our conversation was on the SB20 class racing sailboats and he pointed to where they were normally kept.  Sailor dog spun 180 degrees around to look at where my neighbour was pointing.  My neighbour was taken aback as well.  Just a day or two ago, the Admiral and I were watching Netflix when I noticed sailor dog laying on the floor matt in the bedroom.  Not wanting to interrupt the movie, I beckoned sailor dog to come out with my index finger and pointed toward the aisle runner carpet next to me.  The next moment sailor walked out slowly from the bedroom and laid down on the aisle runner carpet next to me.  Quite amazing when you actually realise that sailor dog actually understood what I was telling her with my gestures.

Sailor dog can be demanding when she wants or need something, like she is the boss on our boat.  At other times, she is a warm sweet obedient girl.  All these says something about how her confidence has built up immeasurably and that she is very comfortable in her floating home with us.

Just very recently, we came across a friend who had adopted an adult dog from the pound a year or so ago.  They were getting along wonderfully despite some earlier health complications with their dog.  The dog seemed very happy and comfortable now despite having doubled in size!  A direct result of her much improved health I would presume.

We sometimes wonder what would have become of sailor dog’s life if we have not taken her under our wings, from the pound.  It certainly has been as rewarding for us as it has been for sailor dog, having her with us.  If you ever have a wish to do a little something to make the world a better place, try adopting a dog from the pound.  It can be a fulfilling adventure for both you and the four legged child.  Do be aware that this should not be a spur of the moment decision as it can and should be a lifetime commitment (at least for the lifetime of the furry friend) and it need not be a sacrifice at all, for you will reap as much joy as you give, in this family like relationships.  How do I feel about this adoption?  If I have a bigger boat with more space, I would readily adopt another one from the pound, for a bigger family and a companion for Sailor dog.  Wishful thinking for now but things can change.

On this great mystery in life, it has been written “Give and you shall receive…” Luke 6:38.

Our humanity can be extended to beyond the human race, to God’s other creations and a happier life together shall await you with much blessings and joys!  Cheers!

Published by Ben

Semi retired ex-corporate executive. Now a liveaboard on a sailboat with the Admiral and my sailor dog.

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