Dog Skills To Take On The Boat

My dog Honey is not just a pretty face. She has some mad skills.

Can we convince her to adapt them for the boat?

Honey the golden retriever rolls in the sand.

I’ll do my best to transfer as much sand and smelly stuff to the boat as I can.

Adapting Dog Skills For The Boat

Let me tell you about some of Honey’s special skills and how I’m hoping she’ll use her powers for good once we move aboard the boat.

Powers of Cute

On land: When we come to road construction or a toll road that’s narrowing from twelve lanes to two, Honey uses her powers of cute to get us into a new lane.

I roll down the window and while the nearest dog-lover driver is distracted making googling eyes at Honey as she looks out the window, we slip into position.

Honey the golden retriever looks out the car window.

Who wouldn’t slow down to look at me?
Okay, they’re distracted. Merge into their lane.

At sea: When a new boat comes into a dock, an unofficial “docking committee” forms—folks telling the newbies what to do and laughing at any dumb mistakes.

Here’s hoping that Honey on deck, with her flowing, golden coat, will give everyone something else to look at.

Especially that mega-yacht owner whose boat is so big he can only park it right next to the fuel dock.

Powers of Gift Giving

On land: When Honey gets excited, she goes looking for a “gift” to present. Usually it’s a large stuffed animal or her Nylabone.

But what if, instead…

At sea: Honey could present fenders or a winch handle?

Now how do we teach her not to start humping a fender we need to keep the boat from hitting another boat or some pilings?

Powers of Cuddling

On land: Honey often sits beside me with her head on my knee. Sometimes, when it’s cold, she’ll lie in a ball on my lap.

It’s better than a sweater. And kibble is cheaper than natural gas.

Honey the golden retriever rides in a kayak on the Choptank river.

And don’t forget my keen and focused eye for navigation–GOOSE!

At sea: On an open boat, it’s easy to lose little items, like hats, to the wind. But at least with Honey to weigh us down, we won’t be going anywhere in a blow.

Powers of Dreadlocks

On land: When Honey gets wet, the hair on her ears turns kinky like it was just taken out of a braid.

Without a television or stereo, combing through her fur to keep it from knotting was quite the entertainment.

At sea: In humid, salty air, Honey’s ear fur will become an ongoing project.

In fact, I wonder if we’ll have time to do anything else?

Powers of Shedding

On land: Swirling tumbleweeds of dog hair follow Honey everywhere she goes.

Luckily, her hair makes great compost and is a soft lining for bird nests.

Osprey nest in the Choptank river.

Honey thinks that Osprey nest would be far comfier with some golden, floofie fur.

At sea: Dog hair can clog drains and pumps needed to keep from swamping the boat.

So she’d adapt this power by…by…

Oh crap, we’re f*cked.

You’re Turn: Does your dog have any silly skills that you love?




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  1. Roxy is the official meeter, greeter. Then Torrey has to get her greetings in too. We could go through life not ever saying hello to anyone.

    • Now I know the real reason you spend so much time in the wide open spaces of America’s west. If you traveled back East, you’d never get anything else done. :)

  2. With Jax around, there is no real need to clean their food bowls. He makes sure he licks both bowls shiny after each meal. *Human bowls are off limits LOL

    • You’re lucky to have such a good helper.

      As for your friends and family, some are probably relieved to know Jax’s dishwashing services aren’t being used on their plates. Some people are just nuts.

  3. The pre-rinse cycle for the dishwasher, of course!

  4. With CindyLu around, I never eat or sleep alone. And always know if there’s someone coming home or at the door.

    It’s going to be very interesting, how you adapt to sea life! Can’t wait, I’m sure you’ll be loving it, challenges and all!

    • After sharing a double bed with Honey and my husband the past few weeks, I’m starting to think a dog Cindy Lu’s size would be perfect.

      Shhhh, don’t tell Honey.

  5. I have confessed that my dogs are the pre-wash cycle for the dishwasher. No one has accepted a dinner invitation since, thus saving both time and money.

    • If only there was a way to make that gross-out factor work with telemarketers. Hmmm.

      Perhaps if I changed my phone message to, “Please be aware that my dog will hump the phone at the sound of a sales pitch.”

  6. Zora’s superpower is guarding the cabinet where I keep the catfood so none of the cats break in and steal their own food. Of course, that doesn’t stop her from opening the refrigerator and stealing MY food. How would that translate on a boat?

    • Whoa, Zora can open the fridge? that’s quite the advanced skill.

      You might have to move aboard a boat to keep you food safe, Vicki. The fridge on the boats we’re looking at is in the counter with a removable top. That would take Zora at least a week or two to figure out how to open. If she’s tall enough to reach the handle.

  7. Zack encourages me to be more green: his power of ripping into any ziplock bag, regardless of the content’s edible-ity, discourages me from using plastics in the first place.

  8. I have the power to clog up washing machine filters, vacuum cleaners, pretty much any machinery.
    When I’m in the car I’m usually settled down and not visible to others, but when we stop at a junction I pop up to see where we are – it really surprises other people!

  9. About drains and pumps — don’t “they” make filters/hair catchers to avoid those clogs? I used to have one in the bathtub for when I gave Kissy her baths. It worked great! As for how Honey can adapt her hair-shedding powers to the boat, I have no idea. Maybe buy a few pairs of pantyhose, cut the legs off, and tightly cover the openings of the drains and pumps, and replace as necessary. Water and/or air can get through but not dog hair. My Mom used to cover the dryer hose that way every winter, to keep the hot air in the house. (Dad put a metal cap over the hole to the outside to keep the cold air out.)

    • Okay, let’s of good ideas here. But you realize that none of the other sailors would let us hang around with pantyhose hanging off all our drains.

      Remember the song?

      All of the other sailors
      Used to laugh and call them names
      They never let Pam & Mike and Honey
      Join in any sailor games. :)

  10. I would suggest you could always shave honey, but I am concerned that people who do not know me as well as you may think i was serious! Looks like there is nothing you can do about the fluff risk, so for your safety, I think you need to give Honey to me!!! #winwin ;0)