Birthday Wishes For Honey

It’s official. Honey is middle-aged.

Although she didn’t ask for anything for her birthday this past Thursday, there are a few things I wish I could give her.

Honey the golden retriever on her 7th birthday.

I got one birthday wish. This stupid hat is edited on. I’d hate to have to wear it for real.

Is She Really That Old?

Living in a boat, we travel almost constantly. So Honey gets to meet lots of new people.

Pam & Honey leave tiki bar at Solomons, MD.

This tiki bar is no fun. There’s no one here to admire me. I’m leaving.

The strangers ask her name, give her lovies, and then ask us how old she is.

When I tell them Honey is seven years old, they express shock.

“She acts like a puppy.” “She doesn’t have gray fur.” And most surprisingly, “She’s so skinny!”

Apparently all old dogs are fat? Or maybe it’s just because we travel so much in the American South where bacon is the second ingredient in every recipe.

Anyway, Honey has been a practically perfect pup for seven years. If I could give her anything, this is what I’d wish for her birthday.

Birthday Wishes For Honey

Doggy playmates

We’re back at Lady’s Island Marina in Beaufort, SC for a week before continuing south. It’s a place I described last year as a place where Honey feels at home.

A pelican swims in the ICW.

We love the pelicans we see everywhere. But they’re not interested in playing with Honey. Unless we tied a fish to her collar…

One reason is because there were a few friendly dogs on other boats with very compatible play styles and a big yard where they could play off-leash.

One of those dogs, Siena, is still here. But he’s had spine surgery and is still recuperating.

Yesterday, we stayed on the opposite side of the street as Siena and his person walked by. Didn’t want to get close enough to instigate a play bow that would undo months of rehabilitation.

Honey looked resigned. And Siena kept turning back to look at Honey until they finally passed out of sight.

There’s an Australian cattle dog two boats down from us. And a golden doodle on another dock. We haven’t seen them out at the yard yet. But perhaps there’s some play time in Honey’s future?

Freedom of choice

I love our sailboat. It’s amazing.

But it’s not dog friendly.

There’s a steep ladder with four steps to climb up into the cockpit. If Honey wants to sit outside (or come back in), we have to lift her.

The bed we share is about three feet off the ground and has a slippery, varnished floor in front. Honey has jumped off the bed once or twice but doesn’t feel secure. And as she gets older, she should probably take it easy on her joints.

When Honey wants to get on or off the bed, we carry her.

Finally, when we’re at a fixed dock during high or low tide or the wind is blowing the boat off the dock, Honey needs us to put up her ramp or pull the boat close to shore so she can disembark.

Honey the golden retriever on the boat with her ramp.

It’s about time you put my royal ramp up. I’ve been waiting for minutes.

I wish Honey had as much freedom to move around the boat and dock as she did to move around our house.

Below you’ll find an affiliate link.

A Reliable Outboard Engine

And my last birthday wish for Honey is a reliable outboard engine for the dinghy.

When we’re at anchor, we have to assemble our folding dinghy and row her to shore for potty (and play) breaks. But in areas with a strong current, we’re not strong enough to row against the flow. (If you’re wondering how I know, read last year’s Boat Dog Adventures post.)

We need an outboard engine.

The reason we’re at this marina for a week is to fix our outboard engine.

When we anchored off Topsail Island in North Carolina, we discovered the outboard engine would cut out every time we tried to speed up. It only wanted to run in idle.

Honey the golden retriever rides the dinghy to shore.

It’s taking forever to get to shore. I could swim faster. Wait, forget that. I don’t even like swimming.

That’s fine in the weak currents off the Topsail Sound. But it’s an adventure in the making in the swift currents of South Carolina and Georgia.

In fact, we had an adventure taking Honey for a break in the same spot where I could not row against the current last year. But I think I’ll save that story for another blog post.

Mike raises his hands triumphantly after rowing to shore at Steamboat Landing.

How much harder is it to row than use the engine? Let’s just say that Mike doesn’t usually look so triumphant when he uses the engine.

Let’s just say that Honey has come to enjoy being lowered into the dinghy using a block and tackle and her special Ruffwear DoubleBack Harness. She doesn’t complain about riding in the dinghy.

Honey the golden retriever models her RuffWear double back harness.

It wasn’t so fun at first. But now I find I like my mountain climbing Ruffwear harness. It’s the first step to getting to the beach.

And she loves getting a chance to roll in stinky things on the beach.

Honey deserves a working outboard engine for her birthday.

Honey the golden retriever rolls in the sand on the beach.

Need to gather the perfect amount of sand and stink to take back to the boat.

Birthday Every Day Of The Year

There is one thing I’ve given Honey for her birthday. And it’s what she enjoys more than anything else.

Honey gets to go nearly everywhere with us.

We’re usually together on the boat. When we stop in a town, she gets a long walk to explore. We search out pet-friendly parks and restaurants and stores at And we do our best to find new places on our own.

Not everything on board is perfect for Honey. But the life of a boat dog is a pretty good one.

Almost like having your birthday wishes come true every day of the year.

Honey the golden retriever sleeps on chart in sailboat cockpit.

Navigating is hard work.

The RuffWear harness link will take you to Amazon. If you buy something while there, I will earn a small fee but your item won’t cost you more. Thank you for supporting Something Wagging This Way Comes.

Your Turn: What do you think your pets most want for their birthdays?




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  1. Nice to hear from you again! Happy Belated Birthday, Honey! Zach would love to be able to eat some cheese, but with his allergies, we can’t risk it.

  2. Edie chase says:

    Happy Birthday Honey!!! I feel so bad her playmate Siena isn’t able to play. I think my dog’s birthday wish would be food of any kind and lots of it.

  3. Happy Birthday, Honey! I think my dogs #1 wish would be exactly what Honey has – to get to go everywhere with their humans, or at least have their humans home all the time!

  4. Happy Belated Birthday, Honey!!!! What a beautiful girl she still is! I see a little gray creeping up on the side of her snout, but that could be a shadow or the angle at which that last photo was taken. But no biggie – Shadow’s snout was already getting a little gray at the tender age of five.

    I think the one thing that Shadow wants is to have Callie alive and well. And I’d gladly grant that wish for her if I could. And I’m pretty sure that Ducky feels the same way.

    Good to see a blog post from you again!! We’ve missed you!!

  5. Happy Birthday Honey!

  6. Happy birthday, Honey!

  7. Happy birthday Honey! I’m hoping all those birthday wishes come true. And that there are cookies!

  8. Happy Birthday Honey! Mom is trying to imagine Bailie and little Madison on a boat. Most likely they would fall overboard or destroy the boat. Those two are in wrestle/wild mode almost all the time. I could handle it just fine being older and mature. Hope Honey gets her wish and has many more adventurous years ahead.

  9. Happy birthday Honey!!

  10. So nice to see you’re still around! Hope you, the hubs and of course, dear sweet Honey have had good times since your last post. Best wishes and ear scratches for Honey. ♪ღ♪Happy★Birthday, sweet girl! ♪ღ♪*

  11. Happy Birthday! Nice to see you back!

  12. I was afraid Moby Dick had swallowed you up. So glad to get a progress report and a chance to wish Honey a happy birthday. I think of you whenever I’m invited on my friends’ houseboat where mostly we down margaritas.

  13. Happy birthday, Honey! (A little belatedly…) Sounds like you have a darn good life – getting to hang out with your pawrents all the time.

    I think that’s what Rita wants for her bday – just time to hang out with us. (And some sort of bacon or beef-related product…)

  14. I hope you enjoyed your birthday, Honey!

    I’m sure Honey is happy to put up with a few minor inconveniences to spend so much time with you – it’s a doggy dream to always be with your bipeds.

  15. Roberta Beach says:

    My dogs (only 5) are happy in our new home, but wait impatiently (OK, I wait impatiently), for our full yard and trees to be fenced this spring. Happy. Irthdat, Honey! Justus will be 7, too, on Valentine’s Day this year.

  16. Happy Birthday, sweet Honey!

    She has one thing that so many dogs don’t have – she gets to spend her days with the people she loves!

    Monty, Harlow, and Ramble

  17. First and foremost, happy birthday to Honey. Even though that it’s belated, I think it’s good enough to greet than none at all. Right now, Honey is already a middle-aged dog and I wish her all the best.

    My oldest dog, Sitoy, is now an 11-year old and still going strong. I and my family just maintained his health and overall being to keep him for at least a long while. It is important for your dog Honey to maintain its health as well. I hope you will be giving her more adventures and happiness in the next upcoming days or months.

    Wish you all the best. Cheers!

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