Tootsie Roll and Peanut - Boykin Spaniels (dogs)
Name: Nial Quinlan and Jim Vogeley
Boat name: Grande
Boat model: Nordhavn 57
Years cruising with pet: Six years
Funniest moment: When it rains, one of our dog runs throughout the boat collecting all his toys and places them under a chair for safety.
Scariest moment: Left the dock and the dog had leapt off while we were busy and focused on a difficult departure from a marina. We did not realize it until a ways from the marina. The race back to the marina and quick re-docking and run into town to find him snuggled up to a Good Samaritan was a relief. Our dogs are too agile, no gunnel and leap is too large.
Treasured memories: In the Chesapeake Bay, finding a great beach to throw sticks and watch them retrieve over and over, never giving up. Or, the times the dogs rode on the dinghy almost beckoning at the bow as their ears flap, "faster, faster, faster."
Unexpected/unanticipated difficulties: Overly enthusiastic townie children welcoming our dogs off the boat to play while we are in town. Panic sets in when we cannot find them on the boat on our return. Good news is that we were eventually able to find them.
Unexpected/unanticipated joys: Crabbing, fishing, and realizing how much the dogs love the boat and how they refuse to go home after a wonderful outing. Encountering dolphins and how the dogs immediately connect with these fellow warm blooded creatures.
Worst thing about traveling with pets: Categorically there is no down side to traveling with your best friend.
Best thing about traveling with pets: They add a whole new dimension to boating. They are both calm companions and great play friends. Nothing like catching crabs off the swim platform with your dog, or netting a fish. They are so excited and keen eyed for the next catch. Dogs love boating.
Advice: Train your dog to do their business on board. Either on the swim platform or bow deck. Bow deck is best while under way. It is not hard to train a dog to do it on the boat and it makes ALL the difference in the world.