Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Concerns, Issues, Ongoing Work.... still at home

Right now I am working on the boat. Fortunately the weather has been decent, a little on the windy side. We don't really need a hard top for the aft deck, but it would be very nice to have one, so I'm building it. More than half way done at this point. Kathie has been a very big help and learned all the various epoxy mixes that I use to laminate fiberglass & foam. She has also been the Supply Officer and drove to the store when we were about to run out of stuff.

A lot of people cruise with dogs. Others don't but wish they could. We consider our dog to be part of the family; where we go, he goes. But this of course raises the question "but where does he ummm 'go'?" A great idea is to carry a small patch of grass or sod on the boat in a tray, placed on the deck in a secure spot. We carry a welcome mat. Training the dog to use it takes patience and a relentless approach. It took 36 hours for 'Hank' to decide his bladder was so full he just *had* to go. After that first time, it was a lot easier. My advice is, if you're trying to boat-train an adult dog, then you must be relentless. Do NOT take him ashore when he whines and pleads. If you do, he will never learn. This is harsh, but worth doing. There will be a lot of times & places where it will be inconvenient, impossible, or dangerous to try and take the dog ashore. There may not be lions & tigers & bears, but there definitely will be alligators, bears, and irate landowners... oh my!

The other day, I was visiting friends at a boatyard here in New Bern and one of the boatyard dogs had a fish hook stuck in him. Fortunately it wasn't too bad, and there were a couple of concerned & helpful people. Two of us held & calmed the dog while the boatyard owner took the barb out & sloshed rubbing alcohol on the wound. It still makes me angry to think that a fisherman would carelessly stick a fish hook in a helpless dog and then walk away... and it's easy to see evidence of careless fishermen who leave hooks & floats & tangles of monofilament behind them. Here's a message to those of you who fish.... have some basic respect for others and don't force this kind of mess on others.

To close on a more pleasant note, a new shipment of epoxy just arrived, so I'm off to finish our hard top.

Doug & Kathie

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