British Columbia Cruising with a Dog

The Dog Days of Summer

Friday, August 09, 2013S.V. CAMBRIA

Feeling worse for the wear, Sally rests up.

Well.  It finally happened.  Twelve years into this lifestyle and Sally at long last used the deck as her personal commode . . . at 3:30 am.  Even at her age, she has amazing control and refuses to use anything other than solid ground for her daily ablutions.  I have no idea why, but I usually just chalk it up to the fact that she’s half Husky and was born to work all day – I’ve literally come home to the boat and heard her howling because she needed to go so badly and the silly dog still made it to shore before letting loose.  But this time, the poor girl couldn’t help herself. 

Normally she wakes me up if she needs to make an emergency trip to shore and, let me tell you, she’s really good at it.  That dog has a stare that would wake up any self-respecting narcoleptic, but this was different.  I could hear her pacing around the boat but, as far as I can remember, she didn’t make an attempt to rouse me.  And then there was a strange noise . . . followed by the most awful smell:  The poor thing had exploded all over the galley rug, and she wasn’t done yet.

There was no way I was taking her to shore in the dark, so David turned the deck lights on and we brought her outside.  At first she resisted but, in the end, nature won over and she christened the decks . . . more than once.  We cleaned up the boat the best we could, including the trail of little poo-paws in the salon, and stayed up a while in case she wasn’t finished.  But she settled right down and went back to sleep.  It was a little more difficult for us, so we sat on the deck and watched the stars light up the sky – it was such a beautiful night.  And after a few hours of sleep, she was up again by 7:30 am for another round . . . make that two.

She settled down again and went back to bed, hopefully having gotten everything out of her system – that dog will eat anything she finds on a beach only to pay the price for it later.  With Sally resting, I took the kayak out for a paddle around the anchorage.  Bodega Cove is made up of two basins – and upper one and a lower one, which we’re anchored in.  The upper one leads to a grassy estuary at the northern end, which is quite pretty, and at high tide it’s possible to paddle out to Tahsis Inlet through a rocky channel along the eastern shore.  It’s a nice spot overall but, like so many of the anchorages that we’ve been to on the West Coast, lacks the breathtaking scenery of the Inside Passage.

I made it back to the boat just in time for another round with poor Sally.  This time I decided to take her to shore while she danced around in hopes of making it.  But she didn’t.  While I was trying to secure the dinghy to the beach, which is rocky and a little steep, she couldn’t wait any longer and let loose all over the bow.  It was pretty disgusting and she looked worse for the wear afterwards, but I managed to get her out so she could finish up on shore while I cleaned up the mess. 

She settled down again once we got back to the boat but looked (and continues to look) physically ill – as if she’d been in a dog fight and lost.  In almost 17 years, I’ve never seen her so poorly and I’m beginning to get a little worried.  But she was okay when we went to shore this evening and we’re fasting her, apart from her arthritis medication, so we’ll try not to over-react and see what tomorrow brings. 

Dogs. 

I swear!

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