With the passing of our last cat, Maggie, we took a one year hiatus from having a pet on board while cruising. Having had a cats for 35+ years, we now have taken a leap and gone to the “bark” side by adding an Australian Labradoodle to our crew.
Born in November 2019 as a part of a litter of five males, we picked up Drake (as in “Sir Francis” but formally recorded as “Fur Fantastic”) from the breeder in January 2020. Knowing how formative the first few months of a puppy’s life are to its adaptation, we drove immediately from the breeder in Medford, Oregon to the boat for a 3-week introduction. We returned to Arizona for another six weeks before escaping back to the boat as the Corona virus pandemic accelerated.
So far, he has been a trooper and coped perfectly well with marine life and not been phased by the sound of the engine, bow thruster, walking on dock grates, steep dock ramps or, very importantly, doing his “business” on the deck at the bow of the boat. Descending the steep stairs from the pilot house to the staterooms below are beyond him now so we carry him down. Drake isn’t likely to be more than 25 pounds so even if he never descends the stairs we can easily handle him.
While Marcia had a dog 40 years ago, Kurt never had a dog. Every day we are reminded by how different cats are from dogs.