Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dude, seahound first class

Whether it's the car or the boat, all you have to do is say, "saddle up" and my Boston Terrier companion hops aboard in anticipation of a ride. When it comes to boats, he anticipates a bit more, perhaps some fish brought on board for him to lick and nip at, or a live box full of fish that he can investigate and watch as they splash around in there. He's been known to lift the live box lid on his own and peek in.

Oddly enough, I don't know if he swims, but he seems to know enough to stay out of the water and in the boat. Hes' perched himself up on the gunwale once when the excitement of a fish breaking the water was more than he could handle, but so far he hasn't jumped in. If he ever takes the plunge, you can be sure I'll be hopping overboard to retrieve him.

To get Humper accustomed to being in a boat, I first took him out in a canoe just a few feet from shore for just a few moments and then brought him back to shore. A short while later I took him out again in the canoe and paddled much farther from shore and spent a couple minutes on the water before returning to shore. Each time I gave him the command, "saddle up" to he knew I wanted him to board, and when we returned to shore, "go on" was his clue to jump out. When on the water, I used the ever popular "stay" command just to let him know that his place was exactly where he was, whether seated or standing or perched on the gunwale to get a better look.

By now, Dude knows the drill, we get him on board, I untie the boat, and we shove off for adventure on the water. He's a seagoing pup, but he isn't worth a damn when it comes to landing fish, steering the boat or messing with the anchors. Perhaps I'm expecting too much. Then again, it may be that I haven't yet found his natural aptitude when on the water.

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