I mentioned in an earlier edition of my ramblings, that the Job household life is now centred around a hairy, noisy and completely insane 15 month old border collie named Ellie. She is the first greeted by everyone in the morning and the last to be hugged good night. Did I say she was insane? And why wouldn’t she be? Her DNA is dialled to herding sheep in Scotland not flies, possums and fruit bats in the Australian ‘burbs! So she wears a track around the house on continuous loop, that includes hurdling a couch or two, pausing to hurl insults through the fence at the dogs next door, and precisely 3 and a half laps of the pool looking skyward for airborne enemies. Over and over again. This madness is caused by confining a working dog to a house and yard.
Imagine our trepidation as we realised that the time had come to take her away on the boat. And last weekend was her ‘Competent Sea Dog’ course completion trip.
Her training began, as most students, with a couple of one day trips, learning to not get in the way too much and to not fall in. Next came the big step of actually living on a boat for a couple of days. As with all students, our main concerns were about, how can I put this, minimising discomfort to others in regards to toilet operation. In that regard the dog is better than our youngest son, the ‘King’. The dog has never blocked the head. Regular trips to the beach were the key to both the aforementioned needs and to tire her out so she lay still. (We find it works for the ‘King’ as well.)
So successful was the training, that we thought of offering this as a new line of products. Your dog could enjoy the same confidence on board as you, after undergoing the Southern Cross Yachting National Seadogs training scheme.
The first level is the ‘Competent Pooch’ course. This one day course will teach your hound the basics – getting used to the world moving, maximizing the amount of sand you can carry getting into the dinghy , barking at the waves the dinghy makes, barking at jet skis (well fair enough – dogs can’t just mutter ‘dickhead’ under their breath like us) and of course ‘ ablution’ practices on board.
And you will be amazed how quickly they will get all 4 of their sealers. No sooner had the boat hit the first of the large waves and Ellie was yelling ‘Rough, Rough!’
I was serious about this. Imagine families chartering our yachts bringing their family pet along to prepare them for family boat ownership. Obviously if your family dog is a 140 kg Mongolian Bullock hound this might present some problems but must most breeds would have been welcome. I have long wanted to test whether those little yappy fluffy white things can float.
But then I cleaned the boat after the weekend. It is okay for Scottish sheep herders to let dogs run around their fields. They don’t have to vacuum the dog hair off them. So the National Seadogs Scheme will remain as just an idea. Not one of my best either…