I just have to chip in here. I have read this whole thread, and it seems like it has attracted a lot of dog lovers. I was.
Jack was a cross Black Lab/Border Collie. He was the best dog ever. When we adopted him he was scared of water
. We lived in a house with a pool and he shared it with my wife and I and our then 7 year old daughter, an 8 year old Jack Russel "Crunchie" (who had a habit of eating the neighbours discarded rotten duck eggs and then farting while under our bed) and an English
Bull Terrier (AKA The Chinese Racing
He was petrified of water
. We noticed that he would never walk near the pool. Even if we threw a ball, all three dogs would set off, but Jack would veer and take a long path to avoid it. On the day of our daughter's 7th birthday party it was hot, and we had about 16 kids
around, there was a lot of splashing and laughing and suddenly Jack was IN the pool with the kids! The lesson here was that behaviour can change, and more so if FUN is introduced. I think the previous owners were scared of water, and that fear is easy for a dog to smell. Be sure that you are confident and happy when you take your dog to the boat, he will sense your trepidation. When he sensed nothing but fun at that party he joined in.
Jack was a natural climber, and nearly scared me off the roof one night while I was aligning a satellite
dish after a storm. I had a 20' extension ladder leaned up against the roof, he had climbed it himself. I had to show him an easy way down, jumping onto the adjoined cottage, a high, then a low wall. This was a mistake, as we had complaints from the neighbours that when we were at work, Jack used to climb onto the roof and bark at all the other dogs in their yards and set off a cacophony.
We sold up everything and bought Gilana, and left for cruising in '99 Our daughter was 9, and Jack was 3....He sailed with us for 14 wonderful years and gave us several heart attacks, but many more laughs. He got stabbed by a stingray, he herded fish
and caught them and ate them. He got sick eating garbage in a marina, we thought he had been poisoned. The only thing he hated was flies. He loved cats, birds, and had a friend duck that he walked and swam with, alone, they used to seek each other's company and go walkabout/swimabout together.
He protected us from boardings, and prevented theft. He was a companion and friend.
We have had many emails asking us about pets
on board via our web page and have answered all.
In the following link and, as a result of requests from total strangers, we complied a photo
essay on our web page. You can see him age, he used to climb the ladder when we were hauled out, later I had to piggy back him. We even trained him to jump into my arms on demand for when that was needed.
Enjoy the photos here http://gilana.org/hilights/jack/jack.htm
IF you are a dog lover, do it, and do it right, it is wonderful to share the fun with a woofie.