Marmite was stretched out on the roof of the boat enjoying the small amount of sunshine on offer.
Paddy took advantage of the back counter. Because he seems to moult all year round, I am constantly brushing him. This afternoon I took a comb to his coat and I could not believe the amount of dead hair I got off of him, I could have filled a small carrier bag with his hair. This was put in the hedge for any birds wanting to refurbish their nests.
I very often get asked is a boating life good for pets and I always answer yes. Both Marmite and Paddy have a wonderful life on the boat. They get to see a new place pretty much every day. They have the best garden in the world. It does of course have draw back because you cannot leave them for to long for obvious reasons, and especially in the summer when the boat gets hot. But if we did want to go off for any length of time we would put them into kennels etc, or find a friend to have them. Because Paddy has a longish coat, it can be a bind when it is wet and he shakes inside the boat, you can imagine everything gets a shower. But that can be cut down to a minimum by towelling him down when he get on the boat.
Marmite is a boat cat and she has a litter tray. When the boat is open she is always on a harness and a lead. This is for her own protection as we have seen cats floating in the canal, because they have drowned, we do not want this for her. Not only that as we all know cats love to wander off and I know cat owners on boats who spend hours and sometimes days waiting for their cat to come back before they can move off. This is no good for us as we like to move at least every couple of days. Marmite has been bought up using a harness since she was just 12 weeks old and therefore she knows no difference. Another reason for the harness is that when she is out; if she gets chased by a dog and falls into the canal, we can just pull her out. She has only fallen in once and on that occasion Paddy came and alerted us to the fact that something was wrong.
Any pet living on the boat has a blessed life, but of course not all dogs are suitable for boats. A lot of consideration on what sort of dog you have on a boat should be given. We know people who have Springer Spaniels and they can be a bit of a nightmare on a boat, because they love water and will jump off of the boat at the drop of a hat. A Springer once jumped off of the bow of a boat whilst on the move and was never seen again. Also large dogs are not always great on boats because of the lack of space. Dogs such as West Highland Terriers, Jack Russell’s and Collie’s are very popular on boats. What ever breed of dog or animal you want on a boat, a lot of consideration should be given before taking any pet on a boat. Before we had Marmite, we had a Rabbit on board our other boat named Holly, she loved the boating life as well. Other pets I have seen on boats have been rats, hamsters, parrots, budgies, ferret and chickens. We have no plans to have any other pets on board, we are happy with the two we have.