Jereme and I regularly laugh about how this whole cruising adventure is one big exotic potty break for Oliver. To every new island we sail, we are constantly scouting the best “toilets” for Oliver. It’s become a sad running joke between the two of us.
You know how they say cruising is really just “fixing boats in exotic places?” (That is true btw.) Well, we would also add that cruising with pets is mostly just “letting your dog poop in exotic places.”
Seriously. It is. ;))
^^Look at that face. One happy little beach poodle.^^
Oliver has done his business on more beautiful beaches than the average person will ever even see in their lifetime.
He has also probably swallowed more sand than I would prefer. :(((
And caked bucket-loads of said sand onto his poodle velcro fur, thus requiring dog baths on the regular.
There have been wild donkey and deer encounters on some of these exotic beaches, plenty of pointy sea grass prickers collected in his poor paws, and a few tense moments trying to land our dinghy on some serious wave-breaking shorelines.
And as much as I’m sure that sounds like a chore to most (as opposed to say simply opening the back door of your house and letting the dog out), for us it’s been honestly some of our most favorite memories made on this trip.
Every single day of this little life afloat of ours, we start with the same exact routine…taking Oliver to shore.
This is our usual three (or more) times a day task-a-roo. And it’s not as terribly painful as you might think. Our routine pretty much goes down the exact same way each and every time…
Jereme gets into the dinghy.
Then, I do the old fashioned poodle hand-off, demonstrated below. ;))
Oliver is well-versed in this little maneuver and has no problem being lifted, dead weight style, off and over the side of the boat and into Jereme’s waiting hands.
And then we make a beeline to the closest beach for Oliver to take care of business. He usually swan dives off the front of the dink as soon as it comes close enough to land. He would prefer not to swim in, but sometimes he miscalculates his jump to land ratio and ends up about knee-deep in water.
Oliver also pretty much always manages to get smothered in sand during these trips to shore. For him, potty breaks clearly = play time, and hence the sand smothering. This is more likely to happen when we are on a really gorgeous sandy beach. Oliver’s no dummy, he prefers running wild and free along a powdery white sand beach over a rocky one any day. But he’ll take what he can get.
And if there’s a stick anywhere along the way, he will certainly find it!
We always try and squeeze in a good bit of playtime for Oliver while we’re on land. I mean, being the best dog ever, he totally deserves it! ;))
But usually, he gets pretty darn messy in the process. We try our hardest to get as much sand off his poodle velcro as possible before dinghying back to the boat.
Most of the time Oliver’s paws are soaked with saltwater after a quick rant along the shore. So, as soon as we get back from taking Oliver, I rinse his paws with fresh water. (And sometimes, he’s such a mess that he requires a full blown bath.)
We’ve found that saltwater logged doggie paws simply do not dry. The saltwater causes major irritation and results in Oliver chewing his paws into oblivion if left untreated. Our fresh water rinse has really helped combat the issue for him.
And that’s really our typical routine with Oliver.
I really can’t even imagine not taking our cute poodlepants off the boat for bathroom breaks and fun rendezvous on land. I mean, what kind of life is that for a dog? Yes, it would be great if Oliver knew how to “go” on the boat as a last resort during long passages, but the fact that he doesn’t isn’t the end of the world.
Cruising with Oliver has (more often than not) required us to launch the dinghy when we would be too lazy to do so, explore more off-the-beaten-path beaches than most, and allowed us to enjoy it all with our favorite furry family member in tow.
Oh, and we’ve amassed a serious sea glass collection in the process while waiting for him to do his business. So there’s that. ;))
Wanna know more about Oliver and his “boat dog” lifestyle? You can find all the deets >> here!<<
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