4 Gifts For Pets (And Friends)

I’m not expecting any gifts aboard Meander this season.

Or maybe I should say the gifts will be new fuel injectors, a repaired propeller, and the fuel lines my husband replaced.

But if I was giving Honey gifts, here’s what I’d do.

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4 Gifts For Honey

The Diva of Good Ideas, Jodi of Kol’s Notes (yep, that’s her official title; look it up), had a great idea for making the gift-giving season more sane.

Instead of spoiling our pups, what if we got them

Something They Want

Something They Need

Something To Wear

Something To Eat

Even if I am not getting Honey something special for Christmas this year, I give her things inspired by the 4 Gifts list all year round.

Something Honey Wants: Friends

I could not buy anything Honey loves as much as making new friends.

Leah, Zack, Zoe of Let's Go Dog meet Pam and Honey.

We all had fun meeting Leah, Zack, and Zoe of Let’s Go Dog on their RV circumnavigation of the continental U.S.

Living in a boatyard for the past two weeks has been a little lonely for her. The boating season is long over for most people on the Chesapeake Bay so she’s not meeting other folks coming into the marina.

The folks who work here are very sweet to her. But they have work to do.

Hopefully we’ll heading south early next week and able to meet new people and dogs along the way.

Something Honey Needs: A Block And Tackle

We’re starting out slow on the cruising thing. We’ve stopped at marinas to make it easy for Honey to get on and off the boat.

Honey the golden retriever approaches her boat boarding ramp.

I feel so royal walking from my ramp to the boat and back again.

But it’s very expensive—like staying in a hotel every night. So eventually we’ll be anchoring offshore and using the dinghy to take Honey to land for her exercise and breaks.

Honey is not the kind of dog to leap off the deck three feet into a waiting dinghy (although I know a few Labs who might be willing to give her lessons).

And I don’t even want to think about standing up in a rowboat while Mike passes Honey into my arms.

Instead, we’ve gotten her a Sailboat Lifting Tackle System to help lift her on and off the boat.

Mike tests the block and tackle on the boom.

Mike tested the block and sling by lowering himself into the engine compartment and back up again. Obviously it will easily support 50 pound Honey. Hopefully Honey will look less stressed when she’s being hoisted.

We’ll be attaching it to the boom (the spar the holds the bottom of the sail), pushing the boom out over the waiting dinghy, and lowering Honey down like a golden fairy princess.

Stay tuned to watch our progress.

Something Honey Will Wear: A Lifting Harness

Mike doesn’t look very comfortable in that rope sling he McGyvered, does he?

Only the best for Honey.

That’s why we’ve chosen the Ruffwear DoubleBack Harness. It’s made for lifting dogs when they need help while rock climbing. Although most people seem to use it for helping their aging dogs in and out of the car or up stairs.

We’re still working on fitting the harness to Honey. It’s pretty complicated.

Honey the golden retriever with her Ruffwear lifting harness.

I don’t think you’re putting it on right. But if you give me a morsel of liverwurst, I’ll stick around for another fitting.

But Honey doesn’t care if it takes months to figure out the harness. As long as she keeps getting liverwurst to help her feel comfortable with it.

Something Honey Will Eat: Cloud Star Chewy Tricky Trainer Treats

Liverwurst is Honey’s favorite high value snack. But when it’s too messy, we rely on Cloud Star Chewy Tricky Trainers, Liver Flavor.

They’re stinky. They’re soft. They don’t fall apart in my pocket.

And as long as we’re expecting Honey to do so many new things on the boat, we’ll be relying on yummy treats.

Honey the golden retriever jumps on a horse sculpture.

I love metal horses. They smell like liver.

With these four gifts, Honey will be happy. Because that’s just who she is.

The Four Gifts I Wish For You

In 2016, Something Wagging This Way Comes will celebrate its sixth anniversary. Wow!

We’ve published over 1,300 posts, gotten over 24,000 comments, and met animal lovers from all over the world.

I wish I could give every one of you four gifts for making blogging so fun.

Something You Want: That the animals you love would live forever.

Something You Need: Never-ending love.

Something You’d Wear: A smile.

And since you’ll probably be getting more than you’d ever want to eat this holiday season,

Something You Can Read: Faithfully Yours: The Amazing Bond Between Us and the Animals We Love by Peggy Frezon.

Faithfully Yours by Peggy Frezon

I bet it would lift your spirits as it has mine.

I hope you’re enjoying a lovely holiday season. And that you’ll stick with us to see everything we have planned for Honey in the future.

Four Gifts blog hop.

Click on the 4 gifts to get other great gift ideas.

Your Turn: What gifts would your pets want, need, wear, and eat?


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  1. Duster and Zach would both want new Nylabones. We’re up in the air about them, ’cause our vet has said they shouldn’t be chewing on anything that can’t be bent in two, i.e., rubber.

    They both need a good bath, and now that Advantix season is over, they just might get that. They’re not really clothes horses, and they got new collars already this year. For eats, they’ll likely get some home-made peanut butter treats.

    And here’s Best Wishes for a Safe and Happy Holiday Season from us, to you and yours :-)

  2. Wow that hoist thingy looks pretty complicated! I look forward to seeing a picture of Honey flying over the seas. Awwww, thank you for mentioning my book on your holiday list. I hope that people enjoy the true stories of animal love! And for you, I wish calm seas and smooth sailing!

  3. Love your approach to the holidays this year and looking forward to hearing about Honey’s new way of getting to dry land! Wishing you all happy holidays and smooth sailing in the new year!

  4. You will probably forgo a Christmas tree and halls decked with ivy. I’m glad to hear you are headed south where is is warmer.

  5. The lift thing seems practical, but looks pretty scary. Does she do alright with it? We would wriggle like a fish out of water I bet!

  6. That harness looks super complicated. I think Honey is going to be thrilled with her presents!

  7. We’ll be here, waiting when you’re away from wifi and reading when you do have a connection. I’ve already read Peggy’s book, sometimes with a tissue in my hand. And I wish all the same for you and Mike. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, whichever you prefer! We had our 5th Blogiversary this year, too, but I’ve lost track of the exact date.

  8. That lift system looks pretty complicated. I am sure that Honey will figure out her part pretty fast.

  9. Your list is wonderful. I used a lifting harness for a sweet senior girl I cared for. That thing was like a puzzle! Thankfully, she was patient with me while I figured it out.

  10. Love your list but Jax would frown and ask you “where are the balls?” He just can’t get enough of them. I think I would like to read the book, so thanks for telling me about it.