Pawsitively exhausting, but someone has got to do it. Do you really think all my fellow crewmates could manage to greet so many people with so much style? Yep... me neither. I mean, they are all great men and women, but they are people. They don't have the style, refinement and adorableness that a well mannered Australian Cattle Dog naturally has. Besides, I like people (they are easy to train, in my experience, anyway).
A while ago, it could have been two weeks ago or maybe 2 months ago (Dogs CAN'T tell time, cut me some slack) we took the BROWN over to the west wall of the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. You might ask what MY job is, on a WWII Liberty Ship. While we are underway, I tend to stay up on the Flying Bridge with the Captain and those pilots that talk on walkie talkies. Everyone else seems to be busy at the bow and stern, so this way I can keep out of everyone's way while having a 'dog's eye view' of activities.
Once we got to the pier, I needed to be on my game. They say that I'm like the Walmart Greeter for the ship, so I have to happily pose to get my picture taken with visitors, give quick kisses and welcome all to the ship.
Sometimes crew members need a break from work, so I help them out too. My dad (in the yellow shirt) also needs some 'selfie-time' with me. Sometimes I know I've done a good job with training them, when they stop to give me water or even better, when they stop to play catch with me using one of my favorite toys, an empty plastic water bottle.
But my biggest job is to keep the small miniature people happy. Sometimes this means letting them play the 'throw the water bottle and I'll bring it back to you so you can throw it again' game with me. Other times, they just want to pet me, and sometimes I can tell that they would appreciate one of my licks. If they have recently eaten something, EVEN BETTER (because they are sloppy little people and taste good). Adults seem to like having their pictures taken with me, too.
So now you know what a ship's mascot does. I need to be friendly, professional, and on my game at all times. When the day is done, I try not to let them see how exhausted I am, and sometimes I can sneak up on the Captain's bunk or padded bench if no one is around. But I can't wait until we do it again, because I'm the kind of dog that needs a job. I wont bore you with my psychology, but I'm pretty smart and I like doing a job. On the ship, I have two jobs...follow the Captain around, AND greet passengers. Until next time, humans! If you live near Virginia, I'll be on the BROWN when we go to Norfolk in May. Here is more information HERE. Hope to meet more of you then.
Project Liberty Ship, Inc is a 501(c)3 non-profit, all volunteer organization engaged in the preservation and operation of the historic ship JOHN W. BROWN as a living memorial museum. Gifts to Project Liberty Ship are tax deductible.