We have been cruising with our dog for over a year now. We are lucky in that he is really small, so the adjustment to a small space was no problem and he was used to being carried up and down companionway
type obstacles to start with.
It took him exactly three days to learn to potty on the deck
. They were harder on us than they were on him. It's kind of heartbreaking, but an old dog (12) can learn new tricks. After that first time, we gave him a load of fresh cooked bacon. He still gets a treat every time, but they are healthier now.
He didn't love the offshore
stuff at first, but this season he is a champ. On a recent day, with fairly crap conditions, where we were pounding into the wind
with a broken prop shaft, he was curled up between the combing and the lifelines
, sleeping with the fresh breeze and a bit of spray on his face. He's a salty dog officially.
One thing I haven't heard people talk about is what a great tool dogs
can be for meeting locals. Our dog has been a conversation starter everywhere we go. We've learned more Spanish talking about him to locals than we did taking Spanish class. We've made lots of local friends because of him, and he's kind of famous in this area. I know, stupid right. Just saying, as cruisers we don't always discuss one of the most important topics: what is the best way for me to learn, experience and actually integrate into the culture I've worked so hard to sail to? For us it's been a dog and also our photography
projects, they force us out of our comfort zones and into the local population.
Anyway, this year is big for our little guy. Many people will disagree with our decision, but we are taking him to the South Pacific
. Having talked to people who have actually sailed with dogs
there, and other factors including our visa situation, intended cruising grounds and his age, we feel it is better for him to be with us than without on this adventure.
Where did you guys cruise
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