Brandy, the Day After

Brandy, the Day After by Captain Skip Rowland

Brandy, the Day AfterWe have had three Cavalier King Charles spaniels over the last twenty four years.  Here is a story about the first one, Brandy.

Three years into a circumnavigation abroad our forty three foot sailing yacht, my wife, Denise, was seriously missing having a dog.  Having a dog is a pleasure Denise has enjoyed her entire life until we sailed from Newport Beach, California.

We were in a small marina at Surfers Paradise in South Wales, Australia.  Abroad the boat next to us was a charming three year old Cavalier King Charles.  For Denise it was a love at first sight, and her birthday was a few weeks distant.  I had never considered a “live aboard” dog because I thought it would be awkward, inconvenient and cruel.  We were offered the opportunity to dog sit.  For a couple of nights all went well.

Little Brandy joined us shortly thereafter as a six week old puppy becoming a registered crew member for the next four years of our voyage.  Although there were sometimes considerable problems admitting her to countries, as I can tell you without a doubt, dogs adapt to their surroundings.

Brandy at Bow of BoatBrandy quickly learned there is one spot aboard the boat where she can “do her stuff”.  She knew to stay below in rough weather and never to leave the cockpit until she heard the anchor chain going down.  Then she was free to roam the decks as our official guardian.  Through forty three feet can be confining even for humans, Brandy adapted well.  I believe, in fact, the constant conversation and attention she received because of the limited space enabled her to learn more and become brighter.

When headed for shore in our inflatable, Brandy commanded the bow. From her prime position on the bow, as we neared the shore Brandy could leap into the water, swim the rest of the way to land where she could chase crabs on the shoreline or roll coconuts on the beach.  She was always happy to return shipboard.   Here as a canine crew, Brandy learned the cure for the morning after (as seen in photo) is not more “hair of the dog that bit you” but rather the solace that stardom seeks behind the shades that hide the bright morning realities.

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