Why Would Anyone Take a Dog Sailing?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a million.

Why would anyone want to take a dog sailing?

Perhaps the Carton family can explain better than I can. They shot some lovely footage of last summer’s trip exploring Italy’s volcanic islands north of Sicily. The youngest crew member was Jackie, a nine week old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

Get ready to squee.

And pay attention at 3:49 when the family is visited by every sailor’s favorite guest.

Maybe now you understand why we’re working so hard to make sure Honey enjoys sailing at much as we do?

Sally is a basset hound foster puppy.

Am I cute?

Introducing our Latest Foster Puppy…

I asked for your help naming our new basset hound puppy visitor and you certainly gave us a lot of great names to consider. Facebook friends added even more names to the list. Thank you so much.

But one seems to be sticking. My husband has been calling the puppy “Sally” all night.

Her new family will probably change it. But after the Pasta Batman incident, Tompkins County SPCA staff and volunteers have learned not to be too attached to the names we give our temporary charges.

So send a warm welcome to Sally. She’ll be with us just long enough for her vaccinations to take hold and she’ll be spayed and put up for adoption right before we leave for BlogPaws. I don’t think she’ll be looking for a family for long. Do you?

Your Turn: Do you see the appeal of sailing with your dog? Or would you rather stay in your own dog house?


Thank you, Marian Carton, for giving me permission to post your video here. And for sharing your family’s lovely trip with us.

Please check out Carton’s other videos, including some great underwater footage, at You Tube.




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  1. Sally is adorable….and I think a dachshund, especially from this photo!!

    • When I can’t see her big old paws, Sally reminds me of an adult dachshund. But if I can get a good picture of her, you’ll see she’s all basset hound. :)

  2. I think the better question is “why wouldn’t you take your dog sailing?” but that’s just me…Welcome to Sally!

  3. Max's Ma says:

    Wow! I watched that video, how stunning! Yep, I wanna go sailing with Max there too! I loved it!

    • Although it looked like little pup Jackie missed a lot of the pretty scenery during her naps. I guess Max would do the same thing? As would Honey.

  4. Sally is a great name! We named our first chocolate Lab we got when we moved to CA in 1995 “Sweet Sally Brown”. She was with us for 14 years and the sweetest thing. So we have a special place for that name. I’m sure your Sally will be just as sweet.
    And…what a fun video – that pup is very lucky!

    • Sally is a name with some history for me too. My last dog Shadow didn’t get on with other dogs. Her first friend was named Sally.

      Maybe there’s something about the name that speaks of sweet personalities.

  5. We know Sally will find a forever home soon. Wow the water sure looks inviting. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

  6. We hope Sally finds her home soon.

    I’ve always dreamed of being able to take the boys out on the water.


    • With Golden Retrievers you always have to wonder if they’ll spend more time in the boat or off it.

      Honey doesn’t like to swim so I don’t worry about her. Would Sam and Monty stay in the boat? Or go for a swim?

  7. I think I’d enjoy going on a boat, the views are stunning and I love the water. I’ll have to start training my bipeds – they love the idea but they get seasick on a pond!

    • You work on the training, Clowie. There are some great tools for seasick people. The medicines are much better now and cause fewer side effects. But my husband uses accupressure wrist bands and they really help him.

      Of course, you’re so striking that you’d probably cause collisions if people saw you sailing by.

  8. You will have so much fun sailing with Honey! And I love the name Sally…it fits her well.

  9. Sue at The Golden Life says:

    First of all, I have to say that “Sally” seems to fit her. She’s adorable! I bet it’s going to be tough giving her up!
    Secondly, I can definitely understand why you — or anyone else — would want to take their dog sailing with them! One of our pet sitters and her hubby occasionally take their dogs (and now 3-year-old son) sailing with them. Callie and Shadow were always a bit too rambunctious for us to take on our boat (fishing/skiing motorized) with us, especially when it was just the two of us.

    • I’ve been at the lake front and seen dogs jump off the boats that were coming in toward shore. Some dogs are just full of life. I can only imagine how fun your boat trips must have been. :)

  10. Woof! Woof! Our friend (actually my Golden brother) goes sailing every summer. There’s a lot of dogs here that goes sailing with their human (its very common). Of course they wear a life jacket. I would love to go but mom get sick being on the boat. Golden Hello n Welcome to Sally. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

    • I’m sorry you don’t get to go sailing, Sugar. I’m sure you’d love the quiet breezes blowing through your fur.

      Please tell you mom that seasick treatments are much better. The meds have fewer side effects. And my husband uses accupressure wrist bands that help his mild seasickness.

      I just hope Honey doesn’t get seasick. I’d never know where to line up the pressure point on a human wrist band.

  11. What a beautiful video! Thanks so much for sharing. I don’t sail, but if I did, I would bring Dakota the Corgi. She loves the water – at least the kind that comes out of the garden sprinkler!

    • Of course, if the sailing goes well, you shouldn’t really get wet.

      Maybe you should see if Dakota would like kayaking or canoeing with you. We kayak with Honey and it’s very easy.

      As a corgi, Dakota would probably fit much better in the front of a kayak than Honey does.

  12. Hi Sally! I do love that sailing puppy. I especially love the swinging bottle toy. Genius!

    • Yes, I was really impressed with the bottle toy. I’ve tried tying Honey’s tug toys to the chair to see if she can amuse herself when I’m working but she’s never taken to it.

      However, since the water bottle swings around with the motion of the boat, that makes it much more interesting. It might work for Honey.

  13. So Mike has stopped calling her failed foster puppy? :-( I did have hopes he’d change your mind. :-)

    • I’m determined not to bring any new animals into our home until we figure out long term sailing plans. But after what I learned today, I certainly wouldn’t adopt a basset hound.

      Did you know their bones are so dense that they sink? No, bassets are definitely not the dog for water loving people like me.

      Of course, the Tompkins County SPCA does allow long-distance adoptions. So, if you think Sampson and Delilah need to be bossed around by a short dog that weighs nearly as much as they do…

  14. I love how they have netting around the edges of the sail boat so the dogs doesn’t accidentally fall or jump off. I loved seeing the dolphins too. That sailing trip looks like quite the experience, and who better to experience it with than a dog! :)

    • A lot of sailors hate that netting because it “ruins the look of the boat.” I’d say losing a beloved pet (or child) off a boat ruins the look more.

      I’m also expecting to use a tether with Honey as well. It’s not just cars that can be dangerous for our pets, huh?

  15. Fun fact: when I adopted Bella, the rescue group was calling her Sally. :)

  16. Hooray for Sally! I’m sure she’ll have no problem finding a furever home.

    As for sailing… if I was a boat person, I’d definitely want to bring my dog along, but while I love to be in the water or near the water, I’m not crazy being ON the water. And I’m pretty sure Rita wouldn’t like it either. She likes to go for a quick dip, but beyond that she’s not crazy about water.

    Very wise to not add another animal to the home until you know your plans!

  17. Cute video! I actually had a rather bad experience taking my dog sailing when I was a young teenager. We had a small 1 or 2 person sailboat at our lakehouse and I had just learned to sail it. The wind decided to start blowing hard after a day with no wind. I was small so not strong enough to lean the boat over and it flipped. Me and my sheltie floated in the lake til my dad came to get us in the motor boat. Was quite an adventure!

  18. Sally is a dream! Simply beautiful. I never, ever thought of the idea of taking my dogs sailing – it looks so idyllic; thanks for the great idea :)

  19. The video was so beautiful. The puppy was absolutely adorable. I love Duck Tollers. What a lucky puppy to be able to sail with the family that way. It looks heavenly doesn’t it?

    Love the name Sally too. It fits her. She’s quite adorable as well. :)


  1. […] Friday, my friend Pamela shared an awesome video of a Nova Scotia Duck Toller traveling with his family as they sailed around taly’s volcanic islands north of Sicily. It was […]