Now that we have a timeline for selling the house (next spring) and using the proceeds to buy a sail boat, this whole dream thing is starting to feel real. And I’ve started to think of what we’ll be giving up when we move aboard.
Missing family and friends is such a given it doesn’t even make it onto my list.
The only things I know I’ll really miss are long, hot showers and flush toilets. And I’ll really miss them.
But what about our golden girl, Honey? What will she miss the most?
What The Dog Gives Up To Go Sailing
If Honey knew what was ahead for her, I wonder what she’d think. And would she be happy about it?
Because she will be giving up a lot when we go sailing:
Going for a walk whenever she wants to.
Life on land supports several spontaneous walks a day. Life aboard a boat means walks only happen after a dinghy ride to shore. If shore is nearby.
But when she does get a walk, Honey will enjoy new smells at all kinds of exotic places.
Her favorite dog food.
Honey loves rolling her Kong around to eat her FreshPet dog food. Unfortunately FreshPet needs refrigeration and can only be bought in small quantities—something about keeping it fresh.
That means it’s time to find a new food that’s nutritious, stores well, and Honey likes.
Hopefully she won’t mind too much once she gets a taste of fresh fish.
Playing with other dogs.
I’m sure we’ll meet other cruisers with dogs. But we won’t encounter as many dogs as we do in our neighborhood now. And most people who live on boats are smart enough to have small dogs.
Unfortunately, most small dogs we meet think big dogs like Honey are pains in the tail.
But when she meets another playful pup at a marina or on another boat, she’ll appreciate it so much more.
Room to roam.
Honey has the run of a 1300 square foot house and a small, fenced yard. She has a bed in the kitchen, the living room, on the porch, in my office, and a queen-sized bed all to herself while we’re at work.
The boats we’re considering are just over 30 feet long and about 10 feet wide. (If you’re curious about what that space feels like to live in, check out this short video of one of my favorite boats.)
On the other hand, this is the view from the cockpit.
Floors that stay still.
We live in an old house. So our floors do slant. But always in the same direction.
It means Honey can play ball by herself in the house. All she has to do is drop a ball and it rolls to the opposite corner for her to retrieve.
I wonder how enthusiastic she’ll be when the floors change their tilt with every shift of the wind.
Of course, it will make her ball games much more challenging.
What The Dog Gets When She Goes Sailing
When we move aboard, I most look forward to spending the day with my husband Mike and Honey.
I think Honey and I are twins in this.
My husband works long hours. When he’s not home and Honey’s ready to go to bed, she gets squirrely and starts to bark.
If Mike takes her for a walk while I’m sitting on the porch, Honey will pull him back to the house after going only a few steps. When Honey and I walk Mike to work, she looks after him and refuses to walk home without him. At least until I do some major coaxing with a side of liverwurst.
I hope that Honey doesn’t miss easy walks, yummy food, other dogs, a big house, and still floors as much as she loves being together as a family.
But I guess it’s up to me to be more fun than all those things.
Your Turn: When you change your life, do you worry about how your dog will react?