A Dog’s Guide to Cruising


My regular readers are well aware by now: I am an Airedale, and yes, I enjoy luxury as much as the next domesticated creature. So, you can imagine my delight when my human, Susan, came bounding into the house one afternoon clutching a brochure. “Guess what, Lord Whiskerton!” She chirped, using my formal title, “We’re going on a cruise!”

Let me set the record straight – I love water. But, the sequence of a) a car ride, b) getting shoved into a carrier bag, and c) boarding a monstrously large, floating metal behemoth was new. And I, being a creature of habit – that habit largely being napping on Susan’s couch – found it all rather intimidating.

But, as the luggage-bag-on-wheels carrying me was hauled aboard, I started to smell a variety of things that dimmed my initial concerns. The first whiff of grilling meat almost – almost – made up for the torturous “airline approved carrier” debate.

The hallways were tight, but I soon learned that if I led, Susan did a fine job of following and carting along my travel necessities – a satchel of toys, a couple of pressed bones, some snackies, and my overstuffed and underused exercise gear.

While Susan was busy with human things like checking in or participating in safety drills – who needs to learn how to use a lifejacket when you can doggy paddle – I acquainted myself with the others. There were small, high-spirited bundles of fur enclosed in diamond-studded collars, and then, a few larger “I could’ve been a wolf if I wanted to” types, eyes gleaming with a potent mixture of distaste and disdain.

My first dinner onboard was quite an experience, to say the least. The term ‘doggy bag’ took an entirely new meaning. Every evening, I was greeted by a waiter who, instead of scraping leftovers into a package, set a beautifully plated meal before me. Artistically arranged morsels of steak and fillet mignon nestled beside perfectly seared scallops. I was expected to restrain myself and eat in a civilized manner. But, let’s be honest; a few overturned tables were part of the package. News of my food-enthusiast rampages spread, and before long, groups of wide-eyed children began circling around me at breakfast.

Sanitization aside, I even enjoyed spending time on the deck though not for the reasons you might imagine. You may call it a deck. I call it the “Arena of Endless Chase.” It wasn’t really my fault – one moment I’d be endearingly snuffling into someone’s Persian rug, the next, the wind would ruffle my fur with the scent of a buoyant tennis ball, and off I’d go! Sure, this led to occasional catastrophic disasters involving large Viking men, but all in all, it was completely worth it.

My favorite hangout, however, was the ship’s luxurious spa. While Susan pampered herself with facials, manicures, mud baths, and seaweed wraps, I got my personal dose of relaxation. Believe it or not, they had a “pet-masseuse” on staff for us. Let’s just say after the first session, I never looked at a pair of human hands the same way again.

However, I’ll admit that cruises are not entirely a dog’s paradise. On this trip, the only real bone of contention (pun intended) was the lack of appropriate toilet facilities. Enough said.

As the days rolled by, life on the cruise was a whirl of events – fancy dinners, deck chase sessions, captivating theatre performances, and horribly traumatizing winds that deconstructed my meticulously groomed coat. However, the relentless pampering, bottomless treats, and sheer abundance of leg space to chase practically anything down made life aboard a delightful adventure.

While you sit there, pondering my tales and possibly envying my luxury-filled doggy life, I encourage you to do the same for your furry companion. Scoop them up from that comfortable rug and dive headfirst into riveting adventures. Because honestly, who wouldn’t want to live life on the high seas with an endless supply of belly rubs and barbequed meats?


What happens next?

Mild to Wild

1 = Keep it simple10 = Let's get wild

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