Decoy the Dog rocks out on the bow.

Cat lovers are prone to ask, Why not show pictures of cats on boats? Because cats hate getting wet more than life itself. A dog on the other hand, a good dog, is born to be on the water.

Boat owners with good water dogs like to show this off. In my 11 years at Boating Magazine, we received thousands of pictures of dogs on boats, contrasted with a few dozen angry ¬†or “gotcha” letters pointing out mistakes, a couple of “cancel my subscription” letters over racy bikini photos, and the occasional freakish stalker note. (Editor’s note: Those who stalk the boating media are far more unhinged than the average celebrity stalker. It takes real dedication to stalk the non-famous.) Had we changed the title to Dogs On Boats Magazine we would have probably doubled our subscription base.

A bad dog on the water can be a complete pain in the ass. Always trying to jump off a moving vessel. Succeeding in jumping off a moving vessel. Trying to grab live fish. On shore, rolling in dead fish. Getting seasick. Dog sick is bad news in a cuddy cabin.

But a good dog on the water is a better boat companion than just about anybody. They don’t scuff the nonskid with black soled shoes. They don’t try to jump out and handle the lines while docking without asking. They don’t bitch at you to slow down or complain about the cold. They just take it all in, ears flopping, tails wagging, and digging the whole experience. That’s the best kind of passenger of all.