Inca is my Labrador x Irish Water Spaniel guide dog. I gather he was a bit of a mistake on the part of Guide Dogs, sort of an experiment that didn’t work! But what could be better for a blind sailor than a guide dog with Water Spaniel in him?
I confess I was a little worried about sailing with my guide dog but I need not have been. He seems to have taken to the boat like, er, a Labrador Irish Water Spaniel to water! He has yet to discover the joys of a stiff South Westerly breeze blowing straight up the Blackwater. It can build up a nasty short chop there. But on the experience of the few trips he has made so far, things are looking hopeful.
Well, Inca has been out a few times now and while I do not think I could assert that he loves it, he certainly does not seem to mind too much. I think that if there is no guiding to do, no balls to chase or food involved, he can take it or leave it. He gets very excited on the walk along the pontoon and jumps eagerly onto the boat, but once aboard seems to find the whole thing a bit boring! Ah well, you can’t win them all I guess. Mind you, with the summer coming up and the possibility of a swim or two, I think I may yet win him over to the joys of sailing!
Update; Inca has learned to swim! Well, actually he fell of the pontoon and had no choice. Seriously, he is a bit of a muppet at times. But, with the warmer weather he has really got into sea bathing in a big way. In fact it is tricky keeping him out of the stuff. Still, he works hard all week (sleeping under my desk) so it is only right he should have some fun from time to time.