5 reasons not to go sailing with a (big) dog and 5 reasons to do it
To be read with a light spirit, humorous tone and especially not be taken too seriously. 5 reasons not to sail with a dog: 1 - Your dog will be an obstacle No, your dog will not stop you from sailing, but it will always be on your way, where you need to be and under your feet! Unless of course, you keep it restrained bellow deck or you have a really small dog that fits in a bag. 2 - Pees and poos You will obsess with the schedules of pees and poos just like when you were potty training or even more. Some dogs figure it out immediately, others take longer and some will just not put up with your brilliant idea of using a mat. Seriously, after so much effort put into getting your dog to potty outside only you thought it was going to be that easy to convince him/her that now it’s ok to do it at “home”!? Drinking copious amounts of water because it’s too hot or because they were too goofy at the beach won’t help anything except the need to desalinate more water. 3 - Sand Sand, as much as at the beach, in fact, your boat is trying to become a beach behind your back! No matter how much you try to clean your dog before returning to the boat there will always be sand all over. Unless going to the beach is off limits and the dog is feeling miserable. 4 - Wet dog How much do you like to have a wet dog? Hopefully, lots, because if it’s not the beach trips, it’s the morning and night dew or the waves crashing the sideboards of the boat and spraying the cockpit. Forget about the freshwater rinses, even without those there’s a good chance you’ll have a permanently wet dog. Oh and a damp boat Especially if you have a golden retriever and you don’t want it to feel miserable and stay below deck the entire day. 5 - Beach from 8 pm until 9 am It’s not that you’re worried about skin cancer or the peak of the daily heat, it’s because in the first world (of Europe at least) dogs are not allowed on the beach. So sneaking during the times when nobody is at the beach seems to be the only option for a really good time of play, I’m already excluding the delusional idea of an empty summertime beach.
5 reasons to go sail with a dog: 1 - Watch buddy Besides being always where you need to be and under your feet, there’s a good chance you’ll have a watch buddy regardless of the watches schedule without complaints. Or fishing buddy or snooze buddy... 2 - Who’s fault was that? There’s nothing like having a buddy that will accept the blame for that sheet that was left uncoiled, happily. Besides uncoiled and tangled sheets they also accept the blame for any fender that was not returned to its proper locker. 3 - Social warmer Because there’s nothing like a rumbustious dog to break the ice at the marina, anchorage, beach etc. No one can believe that a dog lives on a boat, it’s just incredible! 4 - Dolphins alarm Who would not want to know when dolphins getting closer to the boat to grab a camera on time and get that picture perfect? If your dog is suddenly crying and staring frantically at the sea get yourself ready, dolphins are coming! Or maybe it’s just a flock of birds nearby... 5 - Pirate, kill, kill! Although a guard dog is probably not the most efficient way to keep the boat safe, a barking on command dog can be a good deterrent for over “friendly” charter boats that would like to be your anchor buddy and grab a beer from your cockpit fridge without actually stepping out of their boats. Plus stirring up your dog by whispering “pirate, kill, kill” is entertaining enough!