My name is Skye. I'm the new Border Collie around
here. My assignment is to be the office dog and
security dog for the Southwest Florida Yachts
charter fleet. I also serve as the personal house
pet and boat dog for my new parents, Barb and Vic
Barb, my new mom, asked me to write this month's
column so I could tell you my story.
I'm not a puppy. I'm already five and a half. The
Hansens adopted me just a few months ago after
their beloved Star passed away at the age of 16.
They were very sad. One day Aunt Theresa at the
animal clinic called them and told them she had a
dog – that was me – who needed a home and some
attention. They decided to give me a try.
Of course, I had to be on my best behavior because
I knew right away that this would be a special
place. First of all, I would not have to work 24/7
and sleep outside in the yard like with my first
assignment. Before I was given up for adoption, my
first parents kept me outdoors all the time. Today
I have my own bed inside an air-conditioned house.
Right off the bat I learned it would not be a good
idea to bother the house kittens or chew on the
sofa. No big deal. Mom gives me really good food
and lots of yummy treats. I'm pretty sure I've
passed the probationary period.
I've come to understand that I've got four big
feet to fill. Star the wonder dog was Barb and
Vic's heart and joy. She was a Border Collie, too,
which endowed her with exceptional skills.
Mom told me that Star was the official greeter at
Southwest Florida Yachts. Her job was to welcome
all, smile, and to lie down and be quiet when they
had visitors. I hear ya, Mom.
They took me to Marinatown where the fleet boats
are headquartered. Mom told me Star was very good
at patrolling the docks at the marina, providing
security of a sort and shooing away birds from the
boats. Heck, I can do that. When I was at the
pound I overheard somebody say that that the local
airport was spending $5,000 to train a border
collie like me to chase birds off the runway. For
free dog food and medical care I can shoo birds
from boats. It's in my DNA.
Please understand I have nothing against birds.
It's only that they need to know that there is a
place for everything and a boat isn't one of them.
I went on a short weekend cruise with Mom and Dad
recently and, oh boy, did I learn that lesson.
I haven't been on any extended cruises but I'm
really looking forward to them. They told me Star
liked to pace around the boat and when a dolphin
surfaced she'd give a shout out to the passengers
to let them know the show had started. Mom told me
the more Star ran around the deck barking at the
dolphins, the more they would perform. I could do
I'm good to go. I could even write a guest column
now and then.
Just call me Skye the Boating Dog.