This time, we’re bringing the dog!

For the first time in years, the weather and the water levels were in our favour for a half term visit to the boat. This time as well, we had a new boater aboard in the form of Scrappi the dog.

None of us were particularly sure about how he’s take to boat life, and neither it seems, was he in the first instance. Gentle coaxing on board was followed by some worried looks from the Patterdale, then he was promptly sick.

However, that seemed to do the trick as he swiftly learned the benefit of the combination of the sofa and the wood stove. Our plans to have him sleep in his doggy bed on the floor were quickly abandoned as we realised that the bed took up too much room and the lower floor was just too drafty. The only option left was to put him at our feet, parallel with our legs and hoped that he stayed there. Oh boy, did he stay there, ensconced and happy, snuggled between us; his boating life was indeed going to be grand!

Over the next few days, his confidence grew as he hopped on and off with James to explore the sights and smells of locks, towpaths and swing bridges. A brilliant adventure for a little inquisitive dog such as him and within no time it was as if he’d always been on the boat. I guess he’s well and truly secured his place at home and he wasn’t going to let another place affirming opportunity to pass him by!

THEN…He fell in at Long Sandal Lock! We’d just moored up to listen to the match and James was playing ball with him on the picnic/ seating area nearby when we heard James yelling and shouting for his dad. Scrappi had mistaken a load of floating debris for dry land and Splosh! in he’d plopped. By the time Marcus go to him, he was having a little trouble staying afloat as the debris kept getting in his way – Despite that, he doggy paddled his way to the side where Marcus was able to easily haul him out – Thank goodness for the harness.

He shook himself a few tines and then he was off like nothing had ever happened. Apart from a lingering wet dog smell, there was nothing to remind us of his watery adventure – He clearly wasn’t bothered! They say that one is not a “proper boater” unless one has fallen in. Welcome to the boat, Scrappi!