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  • Writer's pictureKathy Rumsey

Dog Island

Updated: Oct 10, 2018

I spent a couple of days over the 4th of July visiting some friends on their boat that was anchored near Block Island. I was telling a friend where I'd been and what I'd noticed, he said: "well, they don't call it 'Dog Island' for nothing."

It seemed like most people had dogs with them. And these dogs were LOVED. That love - you could see it, feel it, sense it with the dogs. And what I loved most about seeing them was this: they were dogs, walking alongside their humans, being dogs. It seems that on Dog Island, people get that letting dogs be dogs is a very good thing. It was refreshing not to see people trying to make their dogs into something they aren't - namely a human baby.

That being said, having a dog on a boat? It requires some dedication. Bringing your baby on a boat? I imagine that would be hard. Babies are a lot of work on land. So, in my opinion, I'd have to really want to be on that boat. Bring a dog on a boat? Not only do you have to want to be on that boat, but you must also really love that dog.

It puts a whole new spin on taking the dog out to pee. You can't just open the back door and let them out in the backyard. Harder even than hooking up the leash and taking them for a walk. I suppose you could train a dog to jump in the water and do their business. Makes you wonder how the clicker and treat training would work with that one though, doesn't it? And then, you'd never want to swim in that water again, would you? No, taking the dog out to do its business requires getting the dog off the boat, into the dinghy, and then to shore. Oh, and don't forget the poop bag.

My husband and I? At home, we play this little game of 'who can pretend they are still asleep' in the hopes that the other person will be the first to have their bladder twinge enough to make them give in and be the first one up. And the first person up? Well, they have to (wait for it) open the dog crates and then open the door and usher the dogs outside. Raising the stakes of that little game where it involves getting into a dingy with the dogs and bringing them ashore? I really, really, really love my dogs. But I can almost guarantee you I'd be shopping for adult diapers or even a catheter if necessary, so I was never the first one awake.

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