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Miss June 2013 - Sadie
Living on Island Time

S
adie is a houseboat dog. Her collar lists a marina instead of a street address. “She loves it out here,” says her owner Lexy Kisby. “She’s not scared of the water and doesn’t need a life jacket.” It’s turning out to be a great life for a dog, this living afloat. Even if it means occasionally tumbling into Whittaker Creek. Or wagging a paint covered tail.

For showing us that sometimes the best home is served by a dock instead of a sidewalk – TownDock.net names Sadie Miss June.

Sadie and Lexy aboard their houseboat “Island Time”
Island Time is an Oriental fixture. Over the years various owners have lived aboard her in area creeks. The vessel’s age is unclear. The nearest Lexy can can tell is she was built sometime before 1972.

Lexy’s houseboat “Island Time” is docked at Sailcraft Marina on Whittaker Creek. Instead of squirrels and robins, she counts otters, cormorants and pelicans as neighbors. Lush plants in hanging planters crowd the forward cabin. The hull nudges a piling off the bow when the wind gets up. The potted plants sway. Drinks ripple in cups.

This is Lexy and Sadie’s floating world.

The potted plant’s view of life aboard Island Time
Sadie’s marina grade collar. The brass plate lists a marina instead of a street address.

Lexy says the best thing about Sadie is her companionship.

“She’s my best friend.” Lexy says. “When I’m not working, I’m with this dog. She’s right there. Always. I walk her twice a day and she goes with me pretty much everywhere in the car. At night, she sleeps at my feet.”

Sadie also enjoys hanging out with Lexy’s Egyptian Mau “Kitty”, snuggling in bed and playing with her plush doggie toys. A favorite onboard activity is chasing the red beam of a laser pointer across the fridge and floor.

Days, while Lexy is at work, Sadie is happy watching the creek life she never would have seen at her old home.

“She just loves to be on the boat.” says Lexy. “She likes to watch the otters. Sometimes she’ll sit in the cabin and watch them through the window.” Other times she’ll view them from the docks.

What dogs see. In this case, a piece of cheddar. Lexy says, “Sadie will do anything for a piece of cheese.” Even if it means waiting. Very. Patiently.

Even before she moved onto a houseboat, Sadie has enjoyed water, especially romping in the shallows of the Neuse. Lexy says, “Sadie likes to run and splash in it. She likes getting wet.”

That love of water extends to boats. Right from her earliest days, Lexy says, “she would get on anybody’s boat.”

This love of getting on the water had a parallel twist. Lexy, too, enjoyed her days with Sadie aboard sailboats, runabouts and Boston Whalers. But she wanted more. She dreamed, one day, of moving onto a boat.

Sadie enjoying a boat ride off Oriental Marker #1 (Lexy Kisby photo)
An eager passenger, Sadie is happy to ride on most any vehicle. Here she and Lexy are catching a lift aboard a Southeast Pamlico Volunteer Fire Department’s fire truck. They were taking part in Oriental’s 2011 Spirit of Christmas parade.

Until recently Levy and Sadie lived in Oriental. The house they lived in had a fenced lot. “Sadie used to love to dig up the back yard.” Lexy says. “I’d turn her out and two seconds later she’d come back covered in mud from where she’d be digging in the dirt. Sometimes she’d break through the chicken wire fence and dig up my garden.”

Lexy says the landlubber lifestyle was okay. She worked as a pet groomer. She led the life of many. Worked. Lived in a house. Had a dog.

But the real dream, Lexy says, what she longed for, was a life afloat. “I wanted to live on a boat.”

Then she bought Island Time. On Jan 28 2012, she and Lexy moved aboard.

While the houseboat was in generally sound condition, some parts needed work. Carpets and tile needed laying. Leaks required caulking. The galley was ready for a fresh coat of paint.

Compared to her old house, Island Time was narrow. Tight. Repairs needed to be thought out in advance. Specifically, who stands where while the work is being executed. Where does the dog stand while the woman cuts the board? Where does the dog wait while the woman paints?

Sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Island Time’s galley is located between the bedroom and sitting area. “I wanted to paint the lower cabinet doors.” Lexy says. With no back yard to put Sadie in, to keep her out of the way, she barricaded the dog into the only other place she could think of.

The cabinet doors in question. Sadie waits patiently for a treat.

“To keep Lexy from running through the galley while I was painting, I used couch cushions to block her into the bedroom. I painted the kitchen cabinets. Pink because I wanted to brighten up the color scheme.”

Painting done, Lexy took a break. Stepped out of the kitchen for a moment.

Which is when Sadie bounded over the cushions and by the fresh paint job – tail held at exactly cabinet level.

“She was so happy to see me. She just wanted to be with me!” Lexy says. The feeling may not have been mutual. “The tip of her tail was pink,” she says, “and she left a trail of tail swipes right down the doors I’d just painted.”

Aside from the pink tail incident, there have been other mis-steps. Literal ones. Like falling off the dock into the water. Twice.

Other, seemingly more daunting aspects of houseboat life, never affected them. Lexy says she worried when Hurricane Sandy approached. That the houseboat might push over the pilings that held it. Come unmoored.

The storm passed much weaker than predicted. Sadie, Lexy says, “igonored it.’

Mind the bend. Lexy says Sadie was walking down the dock, nose to the ground, when she kept walking straight where the dock bent. Lexy says, “she was walking in midair”. Which worked fine. ‘til she hit the water.

In addition to riding in cars, visiting Lexy’s parents and dressing up, Sadie enjoys her constitutional. Lexy says Sadie doesn’t really miss her back yard. In fact, Lexy thinks that might be a good thing. For both of them. It forces Lexy to get more exercise than she might get if putting the dog out was just a matter of opening the back door.

So the two of them walk. Often. “I take her out twice a day for her run,” Lexy says. Favorite haunts included Windmill and Wiggins Points and the open space behind the fire station.

Just as exciting are jaunts closer to home. If time is tight, a stroll through the boat yard or along the marina docks is in order. Sadie especially enjoys visiting her feline buddy Mungo aboard “Nereus”. Other dock pals are Russ McAden and Edward Mannina.

“Can Mungo come out to play?” Sadie talking Chris Jasinski – successfully – into lowering the cat to the dock. Mungo lives with Chris and Sue Loprete aboard “Nereus”, a Heritage 46 sloop.
Sadie visits Edward Mannina aboard his 1978 Camper & Nicholsons pilothouse sailboat. He says Sadie “freaks” for his bacon and center cut pork chops.

It’s been over a year since Sadie and Lexie moved from a house onto Island Time. They’ve traded squirrels and back yard romps for otters and dockside rambles. They’re happy. They’re busy. Lexy plans to replace Island Time’s forward deck when the weather improves. And of course, there will always be the painting that accompanies the life afloat. Which Lexy is happy to do. Even if it means a bit of dog hair in the paint job.

Sadie’s Bio

Celebrity Pet Most Resembles: Sophia Loren

Nickname: Prop Wash, Dances With Props, Wallaby
Color she’d paint Island Time: Pink
Favorite marina cats: Kitty and Mungo
Loves to dress up in: Sunglasses, foulies, clip-on bunny ears and antlers
Favorite Spyro Gyra song: Island Time
Favorite Parade Ride: Southeast Pamlico Volunteer Fire Department’s fire truck


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