Our little 3 pound Mr Pete’s is so special to us and he is part of our family. People often ask us what it’s like to have an animal on board and we tell them how it’s totally normal for him now and how much we could not live without him on our Happy Wife. Sailing with man’s best friend just makes our home complete!
Most dogs love getting out on the water as much as you and I do and we wouldn’t want to leave our best friend stuck on shore every time we left the dock! :-) Sometimes, if we know we are going on a very long trip without shores nearby, we do leave him with my folks to babysit. He loves that too and is thoroughly spoiled by them!
Mr Pete’s loves it in the marina and chases some of the birds on the dock when we go for walks. Others, he has befriended, like our “snake neck” as we have named him. He notices the dolphins and the manatees when he gets to see them too. It always amazes me how these different species within different environments…land and sea, can have a connection.
Each year we have the Anhinga birds arrive at about the same time and stay for a few months. Snake neck, we noticed, always comes to sit on our boat in the marina. Mr Pete’s runs out to bark at him and he squawks back too. It’s so sweet! Having them come back each year is so special
Mr Pete’s is not the only pet on board either. We have a new little addition, his name is Pax and we fell in love with him right away. Although still shy, he gets to come out and play too and he is so content on board. I move his cage to the dining table during the day so he can see, hear and chirp back to all the birds around us.
Wherever we are on our boat, our little boy is there too. One of his favorite places is to sit with us is when we are up on the fly bridge enjoying the sunset, a cocktail or a book. he particularly likes this spot when we are underway as Shaun is captaining the boat from the helm up here and I am always doing something here too during that time
Sometimes, we anchor near shore and take the dinghy to shore visit, shop, have lunch or just swim. Mr Pete’s loves to swim too and we try to let him do so as often as possible as the exercise is good for him and the weather is so conducive too.
Of course finding a sunny spot on board is a fav. With a breeze blowing and a full tummy, there is usually nothing better for this doggy on board!
Most times when we are out, we are somewhere near shore and will take Mr Petes’ to go potty on land as often as we can. Sometimes that involves him going out with Shaun on the paddle board, or we use the dingy, which he loves too. It seems to immediately relax him. We usually are not docked when we are away from our marina as we prefer to anchor out or pick up a ball to moore.
We have a washable grass square for him too so that he can go whenever he needs to. He’s so good at using it and we have had very few accidents in the time we have lived on the sea.
We take Mr Pete’s with us wherever possible, to lunch, our picnics and so on.
In September of last year, a technician entered our boat without our permission while we were away and started the motors to work on them. Mr Pete’s panicked and jumped off the boat to the dock below which resulted in him losing his right front leg. It was heartbreaking for us and we almost lost him. But he is such a little trooper and is doing well without it. Swimming is a little difficult for him as we have to help him now, but he is still loving life on the boat and still runs around chasing his birds and so on.