August 26th is National Dog Day, and with summer beginning to wind down as Labor Day approaches, there’s no better way to celebrate man’s best friend than by taking your pup out for a day of fun on the water.
At Sea Tow Wrightsville Beach, located on the beautiful North Carolina coast, Capt. Scott Collins knows a thing or two about the joy of having a canine co-captain. Many days, Capt. Scott is joined on his distinctive yellow Sea Tow boat by his 10-year-old chocolate lab, Charlie Brown.
In fact, Charlie Brown is a bit of a local celebrity. Every day, before the dynamic duo head out to the marina, Capt. Scott stops by the local supermarket to grab a coffee for himself and a banana for his co-captain. While he’s patiently waiting out in the truck for his morning treat, Charlie Brown is often recognized by local boaters who have seen him out on the Intracoastal Waterways.
With a first-rate reputation and a long-tenured career as captain and first mate, it’s safe to say Capt. Scott and Charlie Brown know how to properly celebrate National Dog Day out on your boat.
The biggest thing to keep in mind, Capt. Scott says, is your pup’s safety.
“As with anything, safety should always be your first priority,” he said. “Unless your dog is an expert co-captain like Charlie Brown, don’t let him stand on the bow while underway because uneven conditions could cause him to slip and go overboard. Use a leash if you need to. Keep a towel or mat around so that he doesn’t have to stand on a slippery surface, and it’s never a bad idea to have a doggy life jacket, just like you would for a human.”
Another important factor to celebrating a successful Dog Day this summer is to make sure you’re prepared by bringing along all the necessary supplies.
“Always be sure to have a water bowl and plenty of fresh water,” Capt. Scott added. “It can get hot out there in the sun. Waste bags, puppy pads, treats and toys never hurt, either.”
At the end of the day, Capt. Scott says, it all comes down to knowing your pup and what he or she needs to be comfortable on your boat.
“If your pup has never been out on the boat with you, keep their first few rides short so they can get acclimated to what it’s like being out on the water,” he noted. “Keep an eye on their mood and know their limits. At the end of the day, it’s all about making sure they’re safe, calm and comfortable. After all, that’s what boating is all about.”