Angus and Charles, our two Westies, have adapted rather well to life aboard. We had expected that of Angus, since he had made a long voyage with us in 2010 to the Keys. We knew he could be comfortable on a sailboat, although he is getting older and stiffer…. Charles is not so predictable (!) so we were happy to see that he has also taken to this life well.
True, there’s not much space to run around inside the cabin or cockpit, but the boys have access to lots of walking paths and grass ashore where they can exercise, check their “pee-mail”, do their business, and socialize with the rest of the canine and human population.
The cabin holds a cozy bed for each of them at night, and at certain times of the day, the cockpit is a cool breezy place to enjoy snoozing or observing life outside the boat.
Neither of the dogs can go up and down the companionway by themselves, although Charles tried once, and managed to fall rather ungracefully down the stairs. So Bob and I heave them up and down numerous times a day. At 22 pounds a piece, it’s good exercise for us.
Angus, being 13 1/2 (or almost 95 in people years), is more uncomfortable in the heat than Charles is. Fortunately, the boat has A/C, which we can run when necessary to keep him comfortable.
We’ve tried leaving them alone on the boat while we’ve gone ashore to get provisions, and it has worked out just fine. Charles will bark if he hears someone come on the boat, so he functions as a bit of a watchdog, but otherwise the two just wait quietly while we’re away. Angus almost never barks.
Scotty’s Landing, the local hangout, welcomes dogs, so from time to time we all head over there for dinner. Well, they don’t have dinner; we do!