When you’re out at sea, there are a lot of things that you miss. High up on that list are pets. The cadets and I sure wish that there was a furry friend aboard the TS Kennedy! The cadets have only been away from home for four days, but they’re already missing their dogs. Many of the cadets have stopped to tell me about their dogs back home. I’ve heard stories about Charlie, Molly, Buddy, Max, Lucy, Coco, Teddy, and countless other canines.
A few cadets even shared photos of their dogs with me. Here is 4/C Sara Smialek with her dog. Isn't he adorable?
Imagine my surprise when I read a bright pink sign on one of the doors leading from the Quarterdeck to the Main Deck. It said, “Please Dog The Hatch”. I was both shocked and excited.
I ran up to Captain Campbell’s office and burst in without even knocking. I hopped into his lap and gave him a hug, careful not to scratch him with my hook. “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” I cried. “I am so glad that you changed your mind about allowing dogs on the TS Kennedy! Now where can I find The Hatch?”
Captain Campbell appeared puzzled. “Dogs will never be allowed to cruise on the TS Kennedy, Little Buc!” he replied. “This is a training cruise! There is work to be done. Keeping dogs on the ship would be a dangerous distraction to cadets and it also wouldn’t be fair to the dogs.”
“But The Hatch is on the ship. I saw a sign!” I insisted. “I am thinking that we can get a scrap of roast beef or a slice of ham from the Mess Deck. That will please him for sure!”
Well, let’s just say that Captain Campbell was more confused than ever and beginning to get annoyed. I did the only thing I could. I grabbed his hand and pulled him down to the Quarterdeck. I knew that he’d understand if he saw the sign and then we could begin looking for The Hatch.
When we reached the Quarter Deck, I pointed up to the four bold words.
“See, Captain Campbell!” I yelled. “Please…Dog…The Hatch!”
Captain Campbell’s frown turned to a smile. Soon he was laughing. He picked me up and pointed to the words as he spoke.
“On land you call it a door. On a ship, we call it a hatch. Dogs are pivoting steel levers that hold the hatch closed. This is critical to prevent the door from blowing open, especially when there are high winds and rough seas.”
A cadet who had overheard our conversation demonstrated how the dog is rotated up before the hatch is opened and rotated down when the hatch is closed.”
Captain Campbell placed me back on the floor before heading back to his office.
I was pretty disappointed that I wouldn’t be playing with a dog anytime soon, but glad to have learned the shipboard meaning of dog and hatch.
You can see the dogs on this door that is in the process of being painted. Not the type of dogs I was hoping for, but they will keep us safe. You might say that they're the TS Kennedy watch dogs! Ha...ha!
Does your family own a dog? Is there a dog that you enjoy playing with in your neighborhood?
Please give the dogs that you see an extra pat from Little Buc and the cadets aboard the TS Kennedy.
Wishing you a great day at school!
Your tiny green pal,
Is Little Buc related to Amelia Bedelia??