Posted by: rosyroadsadventures | February 9, 2012

A Lapse of Boat Manners

N 18° 03.77′   W 63° 05.31′

Simpson Bay Lagoon, Marigot, St. Martin

Trips to shore are one of many routines the canine crew happily anticipates

We thought we could check doggie pottie training off the list. Until yesterday.

The recommended boat pottie training method for dogs of our size is to place a urine-scented carpet scrap to encourage the dogs to relieve themselves in a designated spot on the boat. The “pee mat” was seasoned with canine and human urine, another interesting task in which the human sample was the easier to obtain. We put the mat on the bow, since it is farthest from the living areas and can quickly be cleaned.

After about 30 hours with no shore access, both dogs had success. We thought, hurray, they got it! Not bad for senior citizens who had previously been accustomed to a thick St. Augustine lawn for their bathroom needs. After several months we put the mat away and the dogs, mostly Lady, still used the bow location from time to time when we could not get to shore.

A couple of weeks ago we passed our pee mat along to Gail and Tom, another family who had just moved aboard a lovely catamaran and were working to acclimate their dog to the new lifestyle. We were thrilled to hear that that Lucy, a Portuguese water dog, quickly caught on. Amazing the things we find exciting, isn’t it?

The problem is that the dogs still prefer to do their business ashore. We like to get them off the boat for exercise and in many of our locations a walk once or twice a day has become an enjoyable part of our daily activities. Here in St. Martin we have gotten into a more predictable routine. Being dogs, they love routines and hold out for that anticipated walk. When we have days like yesterday, when we moved the boat outside the Lagoon and had other things to attend to, the shore trip didn’t happen.

Bandit has been the biggest resister to using the onboard facilities. She is fastidious, almost cat-like, and very particular in her personal habits. Yesterday, for whatever reason, she had a rare but major accident in the cabin below. We had LOTS of clean up. It coincided with us trying to tidy up the boat in preparation for guests. Dogs seem to have a way of timing those events.

A refresher course is in order and we realize we need to stop keeping a predictable walk routine for awhile, and get both dogs back in the swing of using the onboard facilities. But in the interest of not having any pottie disasters while we have company we will wait a couple of weeks until we have a more opportune moment. The dogs promise they will be angelic as long as we take them on regular trips to shore . . .

We are so excited to have guests on the Mar Azul plus friends visiting the island this month. We will get to see Steve, Jean, Doug & Glen within the next few weeks. February should be a very memorable month.  



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