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Sparky’s first over-night on the boat went really well, everything considered. We love our kids dearly, and it was a fun trip, but SO much work. We are going to look into getting a pet sitter who can spend an hour or two with them in the morning, then come back again in the afternoon to feed them and let them out. Sometimes Mom and Dad just need a nice, long day on the water by themselves.



We anchored at Picnic Island. A small spoil island along the Intracoastal Waterway, a few miles north of the east end of Sanibel Island. It’s a popular local hangout because it’s one of the few places in the area where the water is deep enough to get a boat in close to shore.
The closest (professional) fireworks show was put on by the city of Sanibel, right where the bridge from the mainland meets the island. We could also see the displays from Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach and Naples.

Sparky has been on the boat a few times already, but you could tell he wasn’t sure what was happening when we brought out their food bowls at supper time. Like he was thinking, “Yeah. Sure. I’ll eat. Anywhere, anytime, but… why aren‘t we at home???”




When it started getting dark, he went in the cabin and curled up on top of the pillows that came off our bed at home. Probably the only thing on board that he was familiar with. We were thinking that he was trying to find some security in them.

Karen and I watched the fireworks display. Each with a beagle on our lap. She held Sadie and I had Sparky. Sadie just took everything in stride, like she always does. (But she did NOT like the helium balloon floating over the boat.) Spark seemed… ok, but he was definitely paying attention.



About half an hour after the Sanibel show as over, a group of drunken yahoos (Wasn’t one of them, this time.
) from some other boats walked down the beach with several boxes of fireworks. For some reason they decided to put on their own show right on our little stretch of beach. Sparky didn’t do too badly with the fireworks that were two miles away, but this was two hundred feet! He didn’t panic, but he did start trembling, and every time there was a bang, he jumped.



We felt bad for him so I took him in the cabin, put him on the pillows and laid down with him. It was way past his normal bed time and I could tell he wanted to go to sleep, but he was pretty scared. Karen and Sadie were on deck watching the show. Karen kept saying, “I think they’re almost done… Oops… Nope… Here comes another box.” So I quietly sang my little “Sparkin’-Barkin’” song over and over again. (Don’t ask. I ain’t tellin’!
)
He finally put his head down and closed his eyes, but still twitched every time another rocket went off.

It was finally all over just after midnight. We inflated the air mattress that Sparky and I would be sleeping on on-deck while Karen and Sadie shared the cabin. Spark came right out, hopped on, and curled up. Whew!… This looked like it would be easy after all… and it was. We don’t normally install the sides to the soft-top, but we do use them for overnight trips. We zipped everyone in tight and went safely to sleep. I looked up at the stars for a while.





At 4:00 AM Sadie’s tummy-clock told her it was breakfast and potty time. She came out of the cabin, climbed up in the raised passenger seat and glared down at me like a vulture. She sat there for another hour and a half. I wasn’t getting in the water and carrying them to shore before it started getting light out. It was creepy enough at eleven o’clock the night before. ( Bull sharks ARE considered man-eaters.) The tide was up and it was probably over my head anyhow. When I could see, I let out some anchor line and let us drift in shallower.

The rest of the weekend was filled with repeatedly carrying dogs to the beach…then back to the boat. We all got our share of people and dog watching as other boats came and went. We could find no rhyme or reason as to why our two would completely ignore some things, and go off in a huge barking and arrrooing fit over others. This lead to Mommy trying to hush them while Daddy laughed his head off. Before we pulled anchor to head home, I walked all the way around to the other side of the island, to net a couple small fish for my aquarium. Karen stayed on the boat with the dogs. All of the sudden I heard Sparky (There’s no mistaking his voice.) really going off about something. It must have lasted about five minutes. I’ll bet you guys in Tampa heard it! Around 9:30?... Saturday morning?



One thing we do need to work on is this… Sparky insists on going out back and putting his front paws on the top rung of the swim ladder. He fell overboard doing this on a day-trip a few weeks ago. (We were stopped and anchored.) If the little door is closed, he just jumps over and almost keeps on going.



Karen thinks we can cure him of it by pushing him in every time he goes back there… (Then bail him out, of course.) Maybe…



Hope everyone had a good holiday.
 

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What a great post! I think it's so cool that you guys take the babies out on the boat with you and what fun pictures you got of them! Thanks for sharing, sounds like a fun trip.
 

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Sounds like you had a great weekend. It's great that you can take the fur-babies out on the boat with you. I've often wondered how Jersey would do on a boat. I love the picture of the starfish in the water and got a good laugh at the one with Sparky's butt up in the air.
 

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Originally Posted By: Karebru All of the sudden I heard Sparky (There’s no mistaking his voice.) really going off about something. It must have lasted about five minutes. I’ll bet you guys in Tampa heard it! Around 9:30?... Saturday morning?
Oh, that's what that noise was? I thought it had a familiar ring to it.
You are a great story-teller -- I thoroughly enjoyed the pics and text. Now, we just have to get Karen to video-tape (with sound, of course) you singing the Sparkin'-Barkin' song!
 

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What a great story--and your pictures are wonderful!! Love the picture of the pirate beagle--is that on the side of your boat?
Looks like Sadie and Sparky are old sea dogs!!
 

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Oh mine, I'm so jealous, it is sizzling hot here!!!!

Tomorrow will be 108!! and through out his week. Wish I'm with you all indulging myself in the deep blue cool water.
 

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Great pics... Those are two happy beagles.

Summer loves the beach, running through the water, chasing gulls, barking, dragging me along like a ragdoll...


There is a commercial on TV about boating. It shows happy dogs playing and riding in boats. Frani keeps saying how much Summer and Murphy would love a boat. Can you imagine... buying a boat for your beagle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks,everyone.

Judy:
Quote: Now, we just have to get Karen to video-tape (with sound, of course) you singing the Sparkin'-Barkin' song!
Fer-gid-about-it!


Genie:
Quote: Love the picture of the pirate beagle--is that on the side of your boat?
Looks like Sadie and Sparky are old sea dogs!!
Thanks! It's on the back. You can kind of see it in the first picture, along with the name, Sea Critter II.
I don't know about sea dogs. They will willingly walk in a few inches of water, but that's about it. I think they enjoy the ride, though, and all the interesting smells.

Joe:
Quote:Can you imagine... buying a boat for your beagle?
Um... Yeah. We actually bought our first beagle for the boat. I loved watching all the other boaters with their dogs aboard. It looked like they were having so much fun. (It is fun, but alot of work too... and REALLY hairy!) We were dog-less at the time. We decided it had to be of a breed that was durable, and not too big. So we ended up with Sadie.
When we were shopping to replace the skiff with something with a cabin, Sadie was a big factor in what we were looking for. Sides high enough that she couldn't jump out easily, etc.

If you're ever back down to Sanibel again, maybe we can arrange a little ride for Murphy and Summer. 4 beagles on board? ...WOW!
 

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Makes me miss the old home place in Lehigh, lol.
 
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