Many Different Kinds of Pets
-- ----Many cruising boaters are accompanied by pets aboard. Cruisers often become engaged in lengthy discussions about the pros and cons of traveling aboard with an animal that requires care, love, and feeding.
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To Show a Few
-- ----Most folks choose a dog, a cat, or sometimes a fish or a bird for their onboard pets (or even a friendly bull snake). However, a dog often 'requires' a dinghy for the owner and dog to go ashore to use shore facilities for the pooch. This can be a nuisance when the weather or the anchorage is not suited for a shore walk. Cats are often trained to be 'housebroken' to a box, but this arrangement may also be inconvenient for the owners. It is easier to maintain cleanliness with a bird, but their feathers, seed hulls, chirps and odors can also be distracting.
-- ----So what pet do we have aboard?
-- ----Now, to start with - we are a little weird, and we realize that. How many folks live on a 22-foot boat for most of the year? And, with their boat, 'drift' around the continent? And, contrary to the culture, think that the smallest ... or the simplest ... or the least ... is better?
-- ----We understand that most folks, for good reasons, are different and have different goals or aspirations. We know that most Americans have their dog (or some fewer folks, their cat) and that they lavish love and care for their pet. And there are many reasons (personal or psychological) for having a pet. We have a friend, who in younger days, owned a unique dog to attract the attention of other young (and hopefully attractive) people. And we have childless friends whose dog (or cat) is their family. And others, with stressful jobs, whose playful cat distracts and entertains when at home, and takes their mind off the obligations of work. There are many wonderful reasons to have a pet.
-- ----There are also expenses involved with pets. Americans spent an estimated $47.7 billion (YEP - BILLION) on pets in '06. To put that into perspective, the proposed National Park Service budget for 2011 is $2.7 billion. Wow! We do lavish on our pets. I read that last year owners averaged almost $4.00 on their pet for Valentine's Day!
-- ----So, of course, folks bring their pets on their boats when they head out for a cruise ... even on a small boat. The 'pay back' from their pet far exceeds the bother of caring for the critter.
-- ----OK - we confess. We DO have a pet aboard. Most who know us would be surprised to hear that.
Advantages of our Onboard Pet:
-- ----1. She (or at least, we think she's a she) entertains us virtually every evening.
-- --- 2. She is artistic and has a fine understanding of the importance of design and utility.
-- ----3. She is not housebroken, but we can clean up her daily mess in less than a minute, and it is odorless (I think).
-- ----4. She doesn't cost a cent for food, care, or Valentine's Day cards.
-- ----5. She has made her own snugly 'home,' and her needed space for her home is out of sight and does not impinge on our needed space.
-- ----6. Her home is either solar heated or warmed by the excess heat from our Wallas stove.
-- ----7. She requires no petting, stroking, or veterinary care.
-- ----8. She doesn't require walks ashore (in fact, wouldn't take one if offered).
-- ----9. She is silent. Absolutely silent. No meows, woofs, growls, or tweets.
-- ---10. Our pests aboard are her pests - she neatly disposes flies, mosquitos, ticks, and other such bothers to boaters in the summer north.
-- ---11. She is small, and requires little space -even smaller than a goldfish!
-- ---12. She didn't cost a cent to acquire - in fact, she chose us as companions.
-- ---13. She lives outside our cabin - in fact, under the eaves of the boat outside the window over the Wallas.
-- ---14. Children are fascinated by our pet - kids will be entertained for hours by their antics.
- ---Now, you have to admit that our pet has some incredible advantages over most onboard pets. You might even be willing (if you aren't a pet owner now) to consider adding a pet like ours.
Charlotte (or could be Charlie)
Charlotte's Daytime Web, Outside, Over the Stove Window
And Her Overnight Home, Between the Warm Engines, Lifted for the Night
Our Pet, Charlotte
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