LAHOWIND » Just you, me, + the dog.

A dog down under.

We get asked this question all. the. time. And it’s a good one, I’ll admit. Because it has to do with my favorite poodle pants…Oliver!

Seems a few folks really want to know what the heck we do with Oliver when we go to shore???

The answer…it depends!


We really try to bring Oliver to shore with us pretty much whenever we can. Oliver is not (yet) trained to go potty on the boat (although I can’t say we haven’t tried, and tried, and tried) so he requires regular everyday land breaks. He is very accustomed to dinghy life and knows that the dinghy = land = potty break. Except of course when we are at a lovely marina (like we are now) and then he’s living the high life with extra easy bathroom breaks and chilly a/c.

So if we can bring him wherever we’re going, we do. It’s one less trip to shore that way. And most of the islands we’ve visited so far on this journey have been perfect stomping grounds for dogs (particularly all the awesome secluded beaches in the Bahamas).

We really wouldn’t feel comfortable restricting Oliver to a boat-only lifestyle. I know it works really well for other cruisers, but it’s definitely not for us. Oliver really enjoys meeting other people and other friendly dogs and I can’t imagine how depressed he would be if he had to stay put on our boat and just stare at my and Jereme’s faces all the time. I like knowing that he gets the chance to stretch his legs and smell new places. He loves it! And that’s why we made sure he had all the necessary shots/certificates/etc. to be allowed to enter any of the island countries we visit. Plus, he received the full veterinary rundown before we left Naples, so he is good to go in the health department when it comes to land visits. Oliver also gets a regular flea/tick/heartworm treatment to prevent any unwanted critters from jumping aboard with him.


Side note… ^^these^^ photos were taken pre-haircut. In case you were wondering. ;))

There are still definitely those times when we just can’t feasibly bring our favorite furball with us to shore. Some of the most recent scenarios that come to mind include hiking the waterfalls in the DR, riding motorbikes, or any other land excursions (even grocery shopping) that aren’t exactly pet-friendly.

When that’s the case, we always leave Oliver below deck in the safety of our boat. Just like we would leave him inside our home in Naples when we went to work all day. I mean, our boat is pretty cush if you ask me…who wouldn’t want to hang >>here<<? ;))

Down below deck he is safe and comfortable, and we don’t have to worry about the scary possibilities of him falling off the boat, jumping out, or worse. The conditions below deck are just as they would be if Jereme and I were there too! We leave several windows and hatches open for Oliver, along with our usual fans blowing full speed. It’s literally the same temp it would be if we were sitting there with him. He’s not suffering by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I think he would be worse off left in the cockpit, where it can get very warm with the sun beating down. Not to mention, if we left him in the cockpit, then we would need to restrain him with a lease or tether and I would probably be a total loser worry-wart the entire time we were away thinking that he was going to strangle himself.

So, there you have it. Oliver gets toted to shore whenever and wherever possible, but stays safely below deck in the comfort of our little boat home if we can’t feasibly bring him with us.

You can check out more about Oliver and his boaty boat dog lifestyle here on our blogsite.

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

HarrietAugust 5, 2014 - 11:55 am

We always felt comfortable leaving Bailey down below on the boat. There was only new time when something bad happened. How were we to know that the yacht club would be firing guns for their changing of the guard? We had a soft screen cover on the companionway which he charged through and ran away. Thank goodness for the nice lady who picked him up and called us. After that, we always put the screen boards in!

LAHOWINDAugust 5, 2014 - 7:38 pm

oh my gosh! how scary! We have a wood companionway door, so unless Oliver chews his way through it, we hopefully shouldn’t have that issue. I can’t even imagine. -Kim

Allison HelfenAugust 7, 2014 - 11:41 pm

Thanks for answering my question! So good to know in case we do decide to travel with a dog :-)