There’s nothing like living on a tiny boat to help you learn new things about yourself and the ones you live with.
Latest thing I’ve learned?
Just how much my dog and I crave new things.
Creatures Of Habit
Dogs are creatures of habit, right?
We walk them at the same time every day. On the same route (after all, they have to check their p-mail).
We play with their favorite toys.
We feed them at the same time (well, in truth, most dogs insist on that one).
But are our dogs really the creatures of habit? Or is it us? What would they choose if they were in charge of running their days?
And why am I asking this now?
After struggling with boat problems all winter and then traveling through ice and snow in the Intracoastal Waterway, we finally hit warm weather.
And we stopped.
We spent a month in Charleston, South Carolina. And now we’re in our second month at Beaufort.
We’re replenishing our cruising kitty by picking up some work. Mike is building our boat’s new composting head (toilet). And Honey plays every day with her new friends.
But I’m starting to go nuts being in the same place for so long. And Honey is also showing signs that she is craving new things.
I Don’t Want To Play With You
Honey has a few buddies here at the marina.
There’s Ace, the pocket pit bull. They don’t play with each other. But Ace is an exuberant fella who barks his joy.
Honey always responds by barking back.
Nipsy Russell is the wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier who will jump off the boat and come running if he sees Honey playing on the marina’s lawn.
And then there’s Sienna—Honey’s favorite playmate.
Honey has thirty pounds on Sienna and about five years. But they’re well matched.
They play tug with sticks, chase each other around the grounds, and wrestle.
When Honey sees Sienna, she gets excited. Usually. Not the other day.
I was bringing Honey back to the boat after her walk when we met Sienna and his person going for their walk.
Sienna started dancing around and pulling to get close to Honey and I cringed at the thought of keeping order on the dock while they two tried to play with each other.
But Honey just gave a quick sniff and she was ready to walk on.
You see, she had already played with Sienna earlier that day and didn’t feel the need to do it again.
Variety Is The Spice Of Life
Honey wakes up at different times each day. She gets bored if we bring the same toy out every time.
Honey used to like carrots, bananas, and apples. Now she prefers orange slices and watermelon.
And if I let her choose our walking path, we end up somewhere different every time.
When Honey lived in a house she was more regular in her habits. But maybe it was just because we were more regular in our habits.
Or am I just seeing things in Honey what I’m experiencing in myself?
I find myself looking longingly at other boats that come into the marina and leave the next day, headed north.
I miss comparing travel notes with other cruisers (here we mostly talk to liveaboards and people staying long-term).
I’ve started looking at our anchoring guides for new places to see.
If you had asked me a few years ago if I craved novelty, I would have said no.
But I probably wasn’t paying attention.
Living in a house that moves and not moving reminds me how I used to gag on leftovers if I tried to eat them more than two days in a row. I harbor a deep hatred for pop music that is hotter than a thousand burning suns.
And now that I think of it, I did manage to find every possible route to work on my daily bike commute.
So maybe I’ve always craved new things and just didn’t notice.
Now I’m wondering if Honey is more than just a love bug who shows affection for everyone she meets.
Maybe my dog is just craving new things. And people.
I’d better watch out. I can’t afford to bore my dog and have her jump ship for someone new.
Your Turn: What’s more important to you and your dog? Routine or change?