Hello, my name is Sparky. I am a Wire Haired Fox Terrier who loves to “go to the boat”. My sailing adventures started when I was six weeks old. So far I have only gone overboard once and that was under the Oakland Bay Bridge. I am much more cautious now. I love chasing tennis balls on the beach and currently have a collection of about 15 on board. Dinghy rides are another passion of mine.
I am very friendly so, if you see me come pat me on the head and say hello.
September 23, 2006
Sparky here, Thought it would be good to provide a picture of me and my faux son, Sparky Jr. S.J. is a good boy and probably less maintenance the I. Lately Mom and Dad have been leaving me home while they fix up the varnish on the boat but I will be back aboard in the next month or so. From a dog’s perspective all this getting ready to go somewhere is just a bunch of hurry up and wait for me. I don’t understand all the planning, grab the Kibble and let’s go.
January 12, 2007
Hello again, boy has this been a tiresome week. Both mom and dad have got this idea that you can teach an old dog new tricks. Just what I need right, new tricks, they need to spend more time preparing and less time looking to make me into a new dog.
Grrrruff, we all know that only silly cats use litter trays, after all that is why they call them cat boxes… hmm, I guess a Cat House, must be a bigger version of the boxes, oh well, let me continue. Anyway I am fairly use to “taking a break” outside. When I do my business the parents normally come around and throw salt water on the deck to freshen it up a bit. Now all of a sudden they have plastic boxes set about the deck with ridiculous plastic plants stuck in them. These things are all in my favorite “watering areas”, so you know what I have decided to do, that’s right, tinkle all over them, that should show them who the Big Dog is.
Now in addition to these new plants and boxes, they have also brought a new crew member on board. Take a look at this picture and tell me what you think of the new crew. I didn’t mind so much till I was locked outside while the crew monkey’ed around in the warm cabin.
March 10, 2007
Hi everyone, Sparky here again. Sorry it’s been so long since I wrote. It’s not really that I haven’t been writing it’s just my fingers are really short so it’s tough sometimes using this keyboard.
So it’s been pretty amazing around here. Mom and Dad are really getting things together and it seems that every weekend is filled with activities from dusk to dawn. You probably saw that the solar panels were installed and the fumes have been pouring out of the boat from some of the varnishing and cleaning that has been welcoming in the spring, or at least the last rites of winter.
We did get a chance to go sailing last weekend. It was nice to finally be out of the berth and away from the same ol’ hydrants. My dad was so excited to be out of the slip and finally on the anchor last Friday night that sometime around midnight I was able to convince him to inflate the dingy and take me ashore.
Oh my, if you have never taken a midnight walk on the beach, you are really missing out. If you have taken a walk on the beach at midnight but have forgotten what it was like, get out and re-live one of the greatest sensations ever.
Pardon me for a minute while I confess something before I go on. I am not a criminal, but there is a place on San Francisco bay where it might be just a little bit illegal for me to run around without a lease. Let me tell you, the thrill of walking the beach and feeling a little bit like a bad boy had me running so excitedly for about hour and half and I thought I had gone to the big dog park in the sky. I think we could have stayed longer but dad was complaining his arm was getting sore from throwing the ball so we came back. The next morning I was happy for that old saying “let a sleeping dog lie”, man did I need the rest.
If your worried about me not setting the right example, please forgive me, and I promise by the time the tide came up you never would have known I was at that beach.
We had a nice walk up in the hills of Tiburon and even had a chance to run around on a beach together later on Sunday. Quite a weekend for me. Hope you are enjoying the weather where ever you live.
Take care and talk with you later.
September 14, 2007
OK so the paws don’t tap the keys quite like Jerry Lee Lewis used to rattle them, so what! Don’t get an attitude….
It is really been quite a mess around here, I mean think about it, I am on the boat one week, then off the boat and spending time with my sister Stephanie the next. I have really been having a go with my mom and dad but things appear to have settled down for a bit.
We are spending a lot of time on the boat lately with some intermittent walks on the nice streets of some fancy town with pink houses in it (Capitola, California, USA). Most of the folks are nice and look at me as if I am really something special, which you know is true. I have met a bunch of big Rottweiller chicks. They all have a bit of crankyness to them, but I can see through that. None are near as nice as my Freeway, but they are all special in their own way.
The other day I took mom and dad to the beach and we had a really good time until my mom tried to get me to pick up “ball” that just didn’t look right. As you can see I am trying to explain to her that what ever it is, is full of sand and there is no way I am going to pick it up until she rinses it off.
Ultimately she saw the since in my argument and we got on with the game of her throwing the ball, and me just picking it up afterwards.
I will never understand how humans can expend so much energy throwing stuff…Just silly if you ask me.
Anyway, I am having a good time, running around and sleeping. Wish you could all enjoy this with me.
September 19th, 2007
Boy did I have a time today folks. It has been quite a while since I have had anyone over to the boat for fun and games.
Last night I was having dreams about how it use to be when Freeway would come over every Friday or Saturday. We would play games like “Stare at the Steak on the counter and get the parents nervous”, “Act Like we are a sleep so they will quit tell us to sit down or be good dogs”, and “Put on puppy eyes to get a treat”. The last game was one of the best because if you did it long enough you would have two or three treats given to you.
Anyway, this morning, as I was making my rounds about the boat, I met a friend who was just dropping by for some rest. She was quite young and apparently had quite a time the night before, I mean it is a long swim to the boat no matter where you come from.
So I quietly spoke to her about a plan to come to dinner. Normally I would yell at the top of my lungs anytime someone would come around, but Mom and Dad don’t seem to appreciate that as much as they use to, so quite I was. Soon Dad came out and noticed my friend hanging out in the dinghy. Golly I was so excited that he seemed to enjoy the fact that somebody had dropped by as well. He calls Mom and they both started smiling and laughing at my new pal. They went so far as to get the video recorder to be sure not to miss a moment.
For almost five minutes everyone cheered and giggled, I couldn’t wait till they said she could come to dinner. When I was just about sure I had dinner plans set something went terribly wrong and Mom and Dad got out the boat hook and began pushing my friend back into the sea. I was mortified, “wait I said, we can probably talk this out”, they didn’t listen. Soon my dad was actually pushing the pole into my friend’s chest and eventually she relented and went back to sea.She didn’t leave right away though; we had made a connection and our bond was pretty tight by now. I pleaded with Mom and Dad to let her stay and she continued to try to get back into the dinghy, but ultimately my Dad decided we should just leave if she wouldn’t go away. I was saddened, but know that someday soon I will find a new friend.
Until then I am happy to wave to my watery pals along the way.
See you out there, Sparks.
October 23rd, 2007
I’m back on the boat! What a relief, while I love my sister, she is just so busy going to school and working that I hardly had anytime to see her throughout the day.
Can you spell T R A M A T I C, that is exactly what the trip down and the re-entry into the boating world was like for me. Nine hours after leaving Winters we arrived in San Diego, I had no idea how far it was, good thing Stef was driving or we might still be on the road.
Mom and Dad were a bit worried, but by morning I was back to normal or at least back to normal for a couple of hours. When Dad pulled out the clippers, all that perky stuff seemed to just fade away, but fear not, I am good to go now.
Hope to have more updates when we get another connection.
December 23rd… Happy Holidays
As usual Mom and Dad don’t give me much computer time. I can certainly sympathize with what my sister and brother must have gone through as children of the computer age! Anyway, here I am giving my first update since San Diego.
Life on board has been a bit boring lately as we have been stuck in the marina. I do get out twice a day, but usually it is only for a walk along the Malicon or to some store where it is hit and miss if I get to go in or not…Oh, oh, oh, I have to tell you I got kicked out of my first restaurant the other day.
We had been strolling for quite a long time when we located a nice little place with hardly anyone inside. I lead the way to a table that was a little out of the way. I usually do this so I don’t get stepped on while the parents are munching away. Anyway, everything looked real good for a couple of minutes. A nice looking waiter appeared to want to help us and gave a nice Buenos Tardes to us all. He bent down to my pa and said something that I just couldn’t hear. Next thing I know we are following the guy outside and he indicates that I could be tied up OUTSIDE!! I was agast, mom was fuming and Dad just simply said “Gracias, pero no!”. We left shaking our heads.
So we did find another place within a couple of blocks and had a nice plate (1 pound) of Barbequed beef, yum, oh I forgot I was complaining, oh well, it’s not all bad I guess.
I have met a couple of friends here in La Paz that I really like. My favorite is Jocko. Jocko is an Irish terrier and I guess you could say we hit it off just fine. Neither of us wants to be leader, we just work as a team when together, kind of a nice change. There are lot’s of other dogs, but mostly I find them anoying the way they grapple for affection that really should be mine; Pierre comes to mind. Pierre is just a little punk that I could swallow if I had a mind. Mom and Dad appear to like his parents so I tolerant him, but just barely.
Tomorrow we will leave for another port. I am not looking forward to the trip, but the weather should be better and I know there are more beach trips when the weather is warm.
For now I wish you all Merry Christmas and I hope to speak with you soon.
September 15th, 2008…Sweating my nails off!
Many of you probably thought I would never write again, but that goes to show you that the old human saying of you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is a bogus statement. It’s been months since I have written though and I do apologies for that, “bad Sparky, bad”.
So what have I been up too…hmmm, let’s see. The life without fences has been pretty cool. Mom and dad had promised that they would take me for daily walks and for the most part that has happened although there has been a lot of work to do in between walks. Pirate Watch is perhaps the biggest issue I have to deal with. It’s boring because like Bill said we haven’t seen any pirates since we left Buccaneer days in Catalina last September. Even though I am expected to watch the boat when the Captain and his first mate leave for a day in the town. They tell me it’s an important job so I do the best I can, though it is really hot down here. Most of the times it is during the afternoons that I am on Pirate duty, but sometimes it goes into the night. The night watch is a lot more fun because it is not so warm and the fish around the boat settle down and don’t jump so much, the jumping just gets my nerves on edge and the next thing you know I am hanging off the rail yelling like a Chihuahua at a bunch of fish with cat brains! I embarrass myself at times.
The fleas and ticks have been a nuisance here as well. Don’t know why I have to deal with the heat and then every time I go out playing in the field those pesky Mexican ticks seem to grab hold of my fur and ride home with me. The crew on Beyond Reason have been really good at getting them off me but god should have reconsidered putting ticks and heat together, one is plenty for a dog to deal with.
Beach life has been good and I really have developed well when it comes to swimming and sometimes even diving for stones that dad throws. Of course my swimming improves when I’ve had a hair cut, but like all things in Mexico when I have a good “swimming cut” the sun is so intense that I start to get sun burned. A sun burned dog is not a happy dog, and when the admiral goes ashore I have to stay on “pirate watch” whether thar be pirates in the local waters or not because “it’s for your own good” or so I am told. Anyway, running on the beach and playing on the water are under rated and there is nothing better to free the soul and help you focus on the big picture than going to shore and playing in the sandy surf.
Would I let someone take me on a trip like this again, you bet. The overnight passages are a bit difficult to enjoy but then again if you add fishing to the mix while we make passage, it doesn’t get much better. I am sure you read the story of the Dorado last month…no, well let’s just say the Dorado was calling me names while Bill was pulling him in. Lisa didn’t look like she could handle the gaffing by herself so to speed up the process I jumped in after the Dorado. Almost got the little bugger but he slipped away at the last minute. Sadly Lisa launched the dinghy before I had a chance to swim him down, and ultimately Lisa caught me and tossed me in the dinghy…Now that I think about it perhaps I should have been a little less anxious and waited till no one was looking…It still upsets me that that dorado never felt my rath.
Well, that should about do it. My nails are starting to hurt and I have a big bowl of kibble waiting for me.
Sparks… Oh P.S. If you look closely at the picture you will see that I am sporting my new Mo-Hawk cut. It is not recognized as an official breed cut by the AKC, yet. What can I say, I’m a pirate dog at heart.