Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dangle Dog

When the tide is low, getting on and off of the boat is relatively easy. During low tide, our boat and the pier are at the same level, so as long as you don’t slip, boarding is as easy as putting one foot in front of the other. Here is a photo showing the distance from boat to pier when the tide is low:

Boarding when the tide is high or when the wind is blowing like crazy can be a bit more challenging and requires some skill. Our boat is large and tall, so when the tide is high, Sea Gem sits high above the pier (this is why by our 2nd day on the boat, we invested in the tiny step stool you see in the picture below):

Even with our step stool in place, during an extremely high tide, the distance in height from our deck to the top step can be over two feet. Even though Eric and I have become pros at boarding our boat in all sorts of conditions, when the tide is high, it can be a bit daunting.

One question we are often asked–usually immediately after a guest sees Eric and I boarding Sea Gem during high tide–is how Moishe gets on/off the boat. The short answer is that he doesn't–at least not without human assistance. Although many people allow their dogs to jump on and off their boat, we don’t. We've heard stories of dogs drowning as a result of boarding mishaps, and considering our little Moishe doesn’t exactly have a swimmers body, we aren’t eager to provide him with opportunities to put his inadequate swimming skills to the test.

Since we don’t allow Moishe to board solo, to get our pup on and off the boat, Eric and I rely on a technique we affectionately refer to as “Dangle Dog.” Dangle Dog requires two people. One person (usually Eric) exits/boards the boat first, then Moishe is "dangled" over the water before reaching the open arms of whomever is waiting on the other side. During the handoff, we usually chant “dangle dog, dangle dog, dangle dog.” Here is Moishe mid handoff:

As you can see from the picture above, Moishe isn't very enthusiastic about Dangle Dog, but he appreciates the care we take to keep him safe.

If only one of us is available, Dangle Dog isn’t an option, as it requires two humans. In these instances, we simply hold Moishe “baby-style,” and board the boat in the same manner as we would board without him.

Does Moishe enjoy either of these techniques? Unlikely. However, he does like being safe—and that is all that matters.

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