Dog Days of Summer

Carysfort Reef
So, how did Hastings enjoy his summer holiday? He loved it! If there is food provided and he gets to supervise us 24/7, he's a pretty happy camper.

Dinghy: Woe to Wonderful!

When we first got the boat, he wasn't too thrilled with the dinghy idea. He would throw a wobbly when we readied the dinghy - reverse away from us with all haste, resist being lifted into it, and shake terribly while in the dinghy. It was discouraging, to say the least! Like good parents, we kept forcing the family fun on him, and he stopped being a stick in the mud. He gleefully realized that dinghy trips = opportunities to roll in mud = extreme joy and happiness.

Hastings loves his dinghy! At the Elliot Key sandbar

The Potty Situation Has Gone to Pot! 

Can't teach an old dog new tricks? Not true! I was 100% certain that Hastings would refuse to go potty on the decks and be miserable if we couldn't take him to land a few times a day. When we had our first getting the dog to land fail, he simply went on the deck with no encouragement (we were busy arguing about who's fault the lack of the fake grass patch was). He (again, without being told) wholeheartedly barks at birds on the mast and eagerly barks at power boaters passing too closely.

Adjusting to New Smells

When we got to Bahia Honda, he was so happy to see land - he teeters, all fours on the dinghy tube, very precariously, wagging his tail, a happy light in his eyes. We walked the trail and were overwhelmed by the throngs of land tourists pressing against us. Hastings led the charge, thrilled by every turn, every scent, every possibility. He is fearless and joyful and unabashedly greets each change as if it Christmas. Leaving the boat? YAY! BEST PLAN EVER! Going back to the boat? SO EXCITED! Going down this dodgy looking dark path in the rain? What are you waiting for?!

He's really grown into a wonderful boat dog and it's because he keeps a good, curious, welcoming attitude.

Ordeals (usually caused by the hapless humans) (usually = always)

On our way northbound, we anchored at Indian Key (a state park) for the night and decided to take Hastings to shore in the morning.
We got into the dinghy and departed for shore (yes, Hastings was very excited!) We then realized we needed a leash for Hastings and shoes for us, and returned to the boat before leaving again. The docks at Indian key were very high and we had to hoist Hastings above Matt's head, then carry him over the scary cattle grate, to triumphantly arrive at a Pay Fee, No Dogs Sign. (Hastings may or may not have appropriately shown how he felt about that sign.)

Getting ready to be hoisted to disappointment, Indian Key, Islamorada
Supervising: A full time, very intensive job. 
Hastings likes to keep the helmsperson company.

What Larks Await!

We're all learning to get out of our comfort zones and expand our horizons. It may seem scary at first, but Hastings says it's best to greet every change with full-throttle enthusiasm. The strange stranger just might have beef jerky in their bag! What larks!

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