All Paws on Deck! Seattle Pup Meets the Seattle Boat Show


The Boat Show, the Boat Show, the Seattle dogs were on deck at the Seattle Boat Show!

We had a chance to check out the Seattle Boat Show, and it was a blast! This year, for the first time in its 73-year history the Seattle Boat Show allowed dogs on deck! Over 135 dogs registered to attend this year and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. There were kids catching fish, which was really fun to watch, other dogs to sniff, and many vendors were handing out dog treats. In addition there were several strategically placed "poop" decks, which made life easier.

Ricochet, had a lot of fun and enjoyed showing off for the camera and the other attendees. This photo of Ric in a dingy with a captain's hat has been reprinted courtesy of 48North.

Ric, a titled, registered, internationally recognized Project Canine therapy Doberman, joined our team at the event. We will be posting an article on Ric and his trainer, Deneese Elfenson of The Canine Resource Center in the coming months.

"I love having a chance to experience this event with my dogs. . . .

We wouldn’t have been able to attend if we couldn’t bring our dogs."

Seattle Boat Show communications director, Lisa Samuelson, took us on on tour of the 2-story Century Link events center. Lisa informed us that the Seattle Boat Show is the largest boat show on the west coast and the 3rd largest nation-wide. Boaters fly in from 43 states to attend this enormous 9-day event. "This is one of two event sites in Seattle," she explained, "there is a free shuttle that takes attendees to the other location on Lake Union."

Dogs on Board

Several boats had dog amenities, like the Barletta Pontoon Boat which came with a dog food and water bowl, located in a hide-away under the captain's chair, standard.

Inviting pet dogs on site is a first for an indoor boat show. According to the boat show facilitators, Seattle is the first city in the United States to host pet dogs indoors.

Tails wagged in greeting as we strolled the red carpets. Everyone we talked with was having a great time. We met Starbucks as we were walking on the show floor. Starbucks is a cute, 12-year-old Maltese who was chilling out in a doggie sling as her two little puppy brothers Geyser and Gunwale got everyone else's attention. “I love having a chance to experience this event with my dogs.” Starbucks' mom shared. “We wouldn’t have attended if we couldn’t bring our dogs.”

All of the dogs appeared to be very happy with the event. Advice from the Seattle Mariners (who host Seattle dogs at their well-attended Bark in the Park baseball games), in-house emergency vet services, and the dozens of attentive dog owners and sweet pups made the Dogs on Deck event a huge success.

“You may be surprised, but all different kinds of dogs like boating,

the water, being outside. They love being out there. There are so

many places in the Pacific Northwest that are only available when

you have a boat. It is really great to to explore

these areas with my dog."

Dogs Make Everything Better

Denise Whitaker and her precious pup, Buddy, were also here checking out the boats and activities. Buddy is a nine-year-old beautiful boy with an amazing smile, who often gets misidentified as a Golden Retriever. In reality he is half Husky and half Shepard. Denise went on to explain that Buddy came into their lives as a registered 12-week-old puppy. He had been surrendered to Seattle Humane by his first owner because of a problem with a landlord.

Denise recounted how much dogs make a difference in our lives and how much they change the energy at an event like the Seattle Boat Show for the better, and we couldn't agree more!

She then shared the details of a story that she had written for KOMO News about Seattle Humane and a rescue toy poodle pup by the name of Rascal. Rascal had been found after being severely injured by an eagle and brought to a local vet. The vet explained that they didn't have the experience necessary to deal with the extensive injuries the pup had sustained and instead suggested that the little guy be taken to Seattle Humane. Seattle Humane worked tirelessly to bring him back to life. Rascal then became a foster pup of one of the employees while he healed and waited for his fur-ever home.

One day, when the employee serendipitously returned with Rascal for a check up, he found his human. An older gentleman met little Rascal that day and the rest is history. Seattle Pup Magazine had an behind-the-scenes tour of the Seattle Humane facility and will be posting a spotlight article soon about this fur-tastic nonprofit.

As we perused the vendor booths and walked across the boat showroom floor, we met both puppies and older dogs. Big dogs and small dogs were all enjoying the show. Joe Clein, photographer and managing editor of the local sailing magazine 48North, sponsor of the very popular photo/costume booth, explained, “You may be surprised, but all different kinds of dogs like boating, the water, being outside. They love being out there. There are so many places in the Pacific Northwest that are only available when you have a boat. It is really great to explore these areas with my dog."

Workshops Teach About Dogs, Boats, and Safety

The Seattle Boat Show also hosted three workshops for dog owners. The nine-day show is well known for its workshops and classes (233 at last count).

David Spencer, who presented the workshop "Dogs on the Poop Deck" with his pup Bailey (12-year old Spaniel), shared a few tips with attendees on how to acclimate their pups to boats and, more importantly, how to teach them to do their business while away from land.

David sails frequently, approximately 11 weeks out of the year. Many of those hours were with Bailey on board. "When we were headed to Glacier Bay, we had stay away from the shore and trained him to go on AstroTurf, similar to what they have available for dogs here at this event. We had a couple of 'specimens' that we placed where we wanted him to go. It didn't take him long; he got the hang of it."

We met David and Bailey while we were taking pictures at the photo booth. “My dog loves it here, but I have to say that the photo booth had him perplexed. He climbed into the dingy, turned around at me, and looked confused. I think he was disappointed there wasn’t any water anywhere.”

Photo by Diane Lander

At the "Cruising with Your Canine Companion" seminar, Diane Lander and her French Bulldogs, CoCo Chanel (age 5) and Calais Elyse (age 10), detailed the importance of

dog safety. Dogs are encouraged, like their owners, to wear a life vest when on the water. We will be posting a detailed article about boater/dog safety later this spring. Doggie life vests, provided by Connelly Watersports were given out to the first 50 partakers in the Seattle Boat Show Yappy Hour after the workshops.

“My dog loves it here, but I have to say that the photo booth had him perplexed. He climbed into the dingy, turned around at me, and looked confused. I think he was disappointed there wasn’t any water anywhere.”

In addition to all of the above, the Seattle Boat Show had a veterinary representative from Rainier Veterinary Hospital on hand the entire day in case there were any issues that needed addressing, and owners received a "wagbag" with a Frisbee, water bowl, and a doggie poop bag holder complete with a roll of bags. Owners could then stop by the photo booth to enter the 48North photo contest and make a personal, engraved dog tag.

The event center also happens to be home to several local food trucks, where we had a chance to meet Seattle's Best BBQ operator LT and his cute as a button Pit Bull pup, Cherry.

Seriously, could it get any better than this?

Psst.....There is a rumor going around that future boat shows will have dog days/times. So save the dates for next year!

Don't miss another cool doggie event. Subscribe to Seattle Pup Magazine (its FREE, see form below) and be sure save the Seattle Pup Magazine home page to your phone. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Over here at Seattle Pup Magazine we strongly encourage organizations to consider inviting dogs to events. We understand that having pet dogs at all of the days or hours of an event can be cumbersome, but facilitating times specifically for dog owners and their pups --like the Mariner's Bark in the Park and Dogs on Deck-- provides a much-appreciated experience for dogs and their owners that is sure to be a hit!

If you or someone you know is hosting a dog-friendly event be sure to send us an email and let us know! Seattle Pup Magazine proudly supports dog-friendly spaces, places, activities, businesses, and events around the Pacific Northwest! info@seattlepup.com.

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