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Boatyard Dog-Scout-95

"Scout" Is he smart or what?

SCOUT IS AN ACCOMPLISHED DOG,” writes Richard Klaber. “At the dock he prefers to lie on the bow of our boat, the vantage point that permits the best view of all local activities. When someone—two- or four-legged—walks down the main dock, he fixes them with a steely stare. But then he seems unable to control his tail, which starts wagging and thumping on the deck: not much of a ‘No Trespassing’ message. “Out sailing, Scout can be found at his customary place on the high or windward side of the boat. I don’t know if there are windward dogs and leeward dogs, but Scout knows what a tack is and when it’s called for. Perhaps he understands the discussion in the cockpit about the need to tack, or perhaps he senses or sees or hears the movement of the sails, but his timing is impeccable.He moves from port to starboard or vice versa, across the bridge deck while it is level, and is fully in position, lying down with paws braced against the cabin house as the boat heels onto its new tack. “As a Labrador retriever, Scout is, of course, completely happy and at home in and around the water.When he is ‘at work’ retrieving, he uses a powerful stroke that causes his upper chest to rise out of the water and propels him at a speed that creates a streaming ‘V’ wake back from each shoulder. He also enjoys swimming recreationally. The technique is a slow-motion, sequential paddling of each leg.Most often he swims in a big lazy circle, using his tail and an occasional stronger stroke of a front paw to keep him on course. The expression on his face and his overall demeanor is the ultimate expression of relaxation and pleasure.”

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