The Nautical Chronicles of Admiral Paws

Dear mates,
Once upon a time, a dog named Chipper lived on a quaint little bay on
Lopez Island, dotted with bobbing boats, gentle tides, and a whiff of
salty air. His island story could be an epic trilogy in itself – Chapter 1:
“Rescue Dog Chronicles”; Chapter 2: “The Redemption of Chipper”; and
Chapter 3: “Chipper Takes to the Sea”.

Chapter 1: Rescue Dog Chronicles. Chipper came to his family as a
jittery, nervous wreck of a dog who had more fears than a cat has lives.
Gangways, bridges? “A vile human construct,” he thought. The dock? “A
wobbly path to doom!” Boats? “Floating traps of despair!” The first
time Chipper was introduced to our boat, Discovery, he had to be
wheeled down the dock at Spencer’s Landing like a bag of potatoes in a
cart. While desperately trying to understand our fascination with these
floating contraptions, his eyes screamed, “What kind of magic carpet is

Chapter 2: The Redemption of Chipper. Belinda and Jan were patient
souls and understood that every good pirate had to learn how to swim,
and every good boat dog had to learn how to, well, boat. They began a
campaign called “Operation Conquer Chipper’s Fears,” which involved
baby steps, lots of treats, and heaps of love. Eventually, Chipper evolved
from soldier-crawling down the gangway on his belly, to a confident
“Admiral Paws,” strutting his stuff like a champ. Ahoy, the boat slowly
became his kingdom.

Chapter 3: Chipper Takes to the Sea. His boat, as grand as it was, was not an island.
Consequently, the call of the sea meant that Chipper ultimately had to get comfortable
with the dinghy. This was like asking a cat to get comfortable with the water, or a bird to
enjoy walking. At first, the dinghy “The Unspeakable” – a floating entity that was too
small, rocked too much, and smelled of rubber, and gasoline.

Belinda and Jan tried everything. They waved ribeye steak at him – the
kind that could make a vegetarian question their life choices – but
Chipper stood his ground, salivating, shaking, and crying on the swim
step, as if he was reenacting a scene from some Shakespearean tragedy.
Eventually, Jan picked him up and unceremoniously “plunked” him into
the dinghy. Chipper flattened himself like a pancake, legs splayed out,
perhaps trying to morph into a lifejacket. The sight was so laughably
pathetic that even a passing seagull laughed. But that first time was
transformational for him, and after that Chipper found himself
sometimes sneaking into the dinghy, the “Unspeakable,” now the
“Unthinkable.’ He would hop into the dinghy by himself with the “what
are you waiting for?” look, as if he’d always been a seafaring dog ready to
conquer the seven seas.

The Epilogue: Admiral Paws’ Farewell. Years had passed like fleeting
waves, and Chipper had grown old. His whiskers had grayed, but his
spirit remained as youthful as a summer breeze.

He had seen sunsets that looked like melting pots of gold, chased flying
fish that soared from the water, and barked at the seagulls that playfully
raced alongside the boat. Chipper had become not just a boat dog; he was
part of the crew.

In my past monthly newsletters, the essence of camaraderie has resonated
like an echo, a notion that intensified in its resonance since my journey as
the club commodore commenced this year. To me, camaraderie isn’t just
a term; it’s become more clear to me that it’s a delicate tapestry of
friendship, a shared harmony with others in the club with whom I share
ephemeral yet priceless moments. ‘Chipster’, my beloved canine ‘doggie
hipster’, and my constant ‘snoopervisor’, taught me that sometimes,
camaraderie transcends the bonds of friendship to become a creative act
of love, a silent symphony of shared experience. Chipper, the ‘rescue
dog,’ in a wondrous twist of fate, became our rescuer, our silent guardian.
It wasn’t Belinda and me who rescued Chipper; it was he who rescued us.
He was a beacon of unadulterated love, showering us with affections
unasked, teaching us the essence of true camaraderie, and painting our
lives with the colors of unconditional love.

A couple of Sundays ago, as the sun dipped to meet a late afternoon
horizen, painting the sky with pastel hues of a tender goodbye, Chipper –
our Admiral Paws, embarked on his final voyage, a journey beyond the
realms of our tangible world. His luminous eyes did not have a trace of
fear or pain; instead, they sparkled with joyous light, reflecting the
boundless love surrounding him. His face was adorned with his huge,
eternal and heartwarming smile, a silent melody of peace and
contentment. Surrounded by a cocoon of loved ones – family, extended
family, friends – Chipper sailed forth, bathed in a sea of love and warm
tears, while the air vibrated with the soft, loving strains of his special,
“Chipper is a good dog” song. It was a chorus of love and cherished
memories, a melody of unspoken goodbyes. It was a celebration of
Chipper’s life, a sweet, loving serenade to accompany him on his journey
to the stars, where he will continue to shine, his light forever intertwined
with ours. And as the echoes of our serenade reached the stars, we knew
that Admiral Paws’ spirit was dancing in the celestial realms, still bathed
in love, still a good dog, and his light will forever be a part of our universe.

Our journey with Chipper wasn’t just a passage through time; it was a
dance of souls, a symphony of hearts, reflecting the eternal truths of love
and friendship, whispering the secrets of genuine camaraderie into the
silent corners of my heart. His legacy is a reminder, a beacon guiding me
to live the lessons he shared with me regarding living in the moment,
unconditional love, and the epitome of true camaraderie.

Club business:
The election of board members is held at our November membership
dinner meeting. Please keep in mind that, even though we currently have
a nomination for 2024 Rear Commodore, we always need and welcome
volunteers to come forward and become nominees.
Put these on your calendar today:

  • October 19, LIYC dinner meeting at the Islander. 5pm Happy Hour
    followed by dinner at 6pm. Presenter: Page Read from IOSA
  • October 28, LIYC Halloween Party. 5pm – 11pm Golf Course Clubhouse.
  • November 16, LIYC membership dinner meeting and Toys Ahoy Toy
    Drive Kickoff
  • December 9, Christmas Party (details to follow)

May our waters continue to call us together, year after year, as we
celebrate the bonds we’ve formed and the memories we’ve made. A toast
to all of you brave LIYC seafarers!

Everyone keep ship-shape! I’ll meet you here again at
Commodore’s Corner next month!
Commodore Jan

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