Ode to Anchor

On Tuesday, February 7th we said Goodbye to our dear, sweet, precious Dog Anchor. We are heartbroken. 💔

Anchor, our Sheppard Collie, was just shy of 14 1/2 years, in fact she was 14 years, 5 months, 6 days. Gordon had had her since she was a pup of only a few months. They had spent some time apart but were reunited, and our bond as a Family only deepened further when our Boy came along. Anchor was so very proud of her family, she would always lead the way, always insisting to walk ahead of us all. She protected us, and most importantly, her Boy. This protective side of Anchor especially revealed itself when Gordon was away on the tugs. During these times, she was my devoted companion, my best friend, our guardian. Fiercely loyal, Anchor would always wait by the door for Gordon to return. 

Sadly, her time had come… She had lived a full life, surpassing 100 dog years, and she was loved to the bitter end and now for eternity after. Anchor had developed arthritis in her hips and over the last few months she began to move with more and more difficulty. Already our hearts were breaking. Cognitively, she was as bright as ever, her eyes following you about the boat, sniffing at what you may or may not have in your hand. Her beautiful dark eyes were her voice, they told us so much. They spoke to us as her actual voice was growing hoarse. At one time she had ‘words’ for everybody. She would sit and stand on the deck of the boat barking and carrying on to all that passed. She did love to lay on deck and watch the world go by. If you were a friend of hers you would know it, there was excitement in her voice as she would chirp away at you, her tail a wagging. As time went by, her bark began to fade. 

Anchor had a penchant for baked goods, and Custard Tarts could have been considered her favorite. She once devoured a half dozen of these sweet deserts intended for Gordon’s Mother. We had just stopped at the Portuguese Bakery, and then made another quick stop at a grocery store, only to return to an empty box, and a very shameful dog. Carrot Muffins, donuts, even a ham sandwich with wasabi… they all appealed to our sweet dog. And pizza too. Of course. 

We often joked that Anchor was part Squirrel. When folks asked about her breed, Gordon would often reply exactly that ‘she’s part squirrel’ much to their quizitive looks. Anchor loved to climb trees. We knew her favorites, with limbs growing in such a way that would allow her to scale the tree to heights of 15-20 feet, looking for squirrels. We would go to the park, with the aim of letting her run and gallavant in the off-leash. But no, Anchor was more interested in the squirrels. There we would stand, leash in hand, our dog up a tree. 

Anchor was also a bonafide boat dog. She had been living aboard boats since her puppy days. She loved to swim, and had been known to swim after swans on the Island, with Gordon rowing out to rescue her. You could see the happiness on Anchor’s face when we went sailing, or for dinghy rides… the wind in her fur, her happy ears blowing in the breeze. 

The Boat is now particularly empty without her presence. I wake in the night, feeling for her with my feet before standing to use the loo, she would jolt me awake with a stealth like lick to my toes as I stepped over her. We miss her sighs, the ugh, I live a rough life, as she flopped to her side on the deck. We miss the clinking of her collar and dog tags on her bowls, as she lay down to eat and drink in the night. We miss her mani-pedis, as she liked to groom her paws and bathe as we settled into bed, again at night. We miss her high pitched yips that she would emit with demanding pleasure, pet me more, tickle me more, and then she would roll onto her back exposing her belly for belly rubs. Time to time she would even sleep on her back… oh, there are so many memories. 

There was a Boy whom had a Dog and Anchor was her name-o, A-N-C-H-O-R. Rest In Peace our fuzzy Princess, Pants, Pantalon, Pine Cone… ⚓️

This post ‘Ode to Anchor’ first appeared on goodshipmonster.com

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