01 December 2010 | Bonaire N.A.
We are now babysitting an 80+ lb Rottweiler who belongs to our friends Kaija and Gary. They had to return to Canada due to a death in the family and we volunteered to take Doc. At first Doc was so sad that he would actually cry but in a short time Doc became used to life on the Peking. He does make a presence.
He and John have bonded and the following are the letters John has written to Gary and Kaija after his conversations with Doc. His parents will be returning in a couple of days.
Dear Gary & Kaija
Now I do not intend that you take what I am about to tell you personally but there are a few things I believe you should know.
This evening I had the opportunity to have a long discussion with our new dog, Doc. Of course the subject of the old pack came up. Doc commented that he could not remember the last time he got a whole hot dog, and there was never an offering of Salmon. He thinks you were a couple of miserly people keeping the good stuff for yourselves and giving him make believe bacon. Worse, you thought he should actually like that faux food that smells faintly of the New Jersey swamps. Should you have any of this immitation food product on Kaija's Song he suggests you have it for breakfast and see how you like it. Oh, yeah, drop it on the floor first for added flavor.
Additionally, he raised the topic of boats. On Peking he can sit on the bow or stern and see the world around him.. This vantage point allows him to more fully discharge the sacred job of sentinel. He can see "them' approaching and stoutly deter unsavory persons from approaching home territory. On KS he did not have the vantage, and was oft surprised by finding someone already in the alert zone before he could react. This time delay meant that his reaction had to be very vigorous and forthright. Tiring for an old fellow; much easier on Peking.
Lastly came the topic of travel.. He wondered where we were going. His concern is waste management. He suggests that long voyages are a real burden. He has suggested that you should try to hold your pee for 30 hours and see how you like it; particularly when you are sitting with your legs crossed, a strange look on you face and all you can think of is running water. Then and only then will you be in a position to sympathize with him. I have assured him we only make short passages. I do mot think he believed me.
In short Doc thinks you should go to a doggie care school where they teach the proper method of preparing salmon, and the theory and practice of sharing the good snacks. He asks that if you return to KS late that you keep the noise down so that he will not have to bark at you.
He wil, however,l forgive a lot of you past transgressions if you bring him a snack.
Doc and I were out in the mud flats behind us and we were stalking flamingos, Doc is a pretty good hunting dog, but I hate it when he gets feathers caught in his teeth so we let the birds off tonight.
While we were waiting for the birds to come closer I reviewed your most recent e-mail with Doc. His first question was "who are Kiaja and Gary? Are they the two hard hearted pack members who denied me treats and made me wait 30 hours before I could pee"?
"Yes", I replied.
"I have heard that immigrant routine before, and I do not buy it" said Doc. "I am a Rotweiller, an immigrant from Africa. My ancestors, when they came to North America, learned that hard work diligently served provides each foreigner with the promise of success based on their own merits and not tied to some ficititous ancestry. Gary and Kaija play that "poor immigrant " line when they look for a break or sympathy. They never gave me goggles when I was swimming. Gary would sit in the dinghy and make me pull all 250 lbs of him and never once give me a snorkle tube to make the job easier. From one immigrant to another tell them to forget it."
Doc continued, " Let's be candid. Since they took the soft gloves of formality off, I want to address the issue of "slop". Yeah, they are pretty good at giving gruel to the working staff while they regal themselves with foods from France and other exotic places. Do they come on deck at 3:00 am with even the smallest morsel for the perpetual watch I maintain? Did they even say "thanks" when I protected the boat in that den of thieves in Trinidad. Did they ever treat me in any special way when I guarded them in Isla Margarita? Never! Ungrateful aliens, they should be cast from gracious Canada, my adopted home, returned to the cold regions of Finland. There they can feast on rancid reindeer meat and rue the day they demeaned their faithful companion. I hope Kaija gets antlers to gnaw upon."
"And, while I am on the subject of respect, I do not like being called "meat head", I did not fall in the water when we got tangled in the nets. I did not have a mast that shrunk, I did not put on the flea medicine early in the morning then tell me I can not swim. I believe there are more candidates then me for the title of "meat head" and if the crown fits, I suggest someone else wear it. After all, I am a dog and in that context am a steller performer, if I do say so myself. What does the rest of the crew have to boast about?
The birds have gotten close now and we are about to depart. Doc looked at me and said, "You know, on the whole they were pretty good. I was very sorry they abandoned me; I am a very sentimental Rottweiler. If you run into whats their names, tell them, I can forgive a lot of their foibles if they would just put chicken pate in my dog food. However, before I assume the role of indentured servant, I want an employment contract, signing bonus and two NHL draft choices".
I told him the signing bonus would be the hard part.