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Horses Pulled the First Fire Engines, and Dalmatians Helped. When fire departments started using horses to pull their equipment, Dalmatians came along to help thehorses. ... When the horses got out on the street, the dogs would run along beside them, keeping other dogs and people at bay while calming the horses.


We don’t fully understand the natural affinity between Dalmatians and horses, but it exists. The breed seem to have a natural calming effect on their equine friends, something that was noticed so early on that horse mounted warriors and hunters may have first used Dalmatians in their pursuits. By the 17th century, Dalmatians became society dogs and were trained to run along side ladies’ carriages. As a result, they became known as ” Coach” or Ladies dogs. In fact, the term “coaching” refers to how a Dalmatian will take up position just off the side and towards the rear of a horse and run with them.

Dalmatians were used to protect horses that pulled English stagecoaches where two dogs typically ran next to the horses as they pulled the coach. Horse theft was pretty common and for the average driver, this meant a night spent sleeping in a hammock strung between two stalls where they would watch for thieves. Drivers who owned a Dal, however, could sleep in a hotel or house knowing that their dog would keep watch over the horses and guard against theft.

In time, firemen found that Dalmatians could be trained to run between the horses pulling the water wagons to keep them moving as a team and not nip at each other. Not a task for just any breed.

Aarrrr, Matey! Yer in the right place for a rollickin’ good time with the brave Sea Dog. Come and join us to hear the legend of the Dalmatian who fears nothing and always keeps a cool head. Like what you see? Shop for your very own Sea Dog t-shirt in our online store for classy yet comfortable resort wear. You’ll love the super-soft, ring-spun cotton that’s printed with the artwork of the Sea Dog by artist Bill Sparks.

In the last segment of our story, the Sea Dog and his crew had just narrowly escaped a watery grave in the digestive tract of a huge sea monster, and now they were headed home for some much-needed rest and relaxation.

After the adventures they had had, the voyage was mostly uneventful. As they sailed, the ship’s crew started discussing what they would do with the treasures that they had amassed in the course of their journeys.

“We can’t just march ashore with a huge chest of gold and treasure and not cause a stir,” they agreed. “What are we going to do?”

“It seems we need a good plan to smuggle our loot home,” Bill said. “Who has an idea?”

“Maybe we could hide it among the sacks of flour and corn,” someone said.

“That’s not a bad idea—but we’re almost out of food provisions,” the cook said.

“What if we pretended that one of us died, and we carry the treasure off the ship in a coffin?” someone else offered.

“Hmmm… but everyone would wonder why we didn’t bury that person at sea. And anyway, we don’t have a coffin,” another man said.

“What do we have on board that we can hide this much treasure in?”

“Yes, it has to be something that it would be normal for a vessel to carry and that won’t excite any suspicion.”

“What about the ballast?” one of the sailors asked.

“That’s a good idea,” everyone agreed. So they all set to work loading cartons and sacks by placing a little bit of treasure at the bottom and filling it the rest of the way with stones and sand that they were carrying as ballast.

Each man got a sack with his portion of the treasure and made his own personally-identifying mark to maintain it separate from the others. There was enough for every man to have a comfortable enough livelihood to retire from the sea if he wanted to, though many of the sailors maintained that they would never be able to leave their seafaring ways behind.

When they reached port, the sailors went their separate ways, and Bill, the Sea Dog, and Peter went together towards Bill’s home.

Just before they reached the house, Bill stopped at an inn. “If I’m going to surprise my wife and daughter, I’m going to buy a nice dinner for the five of us to eat.” Bill got the innkeeper to pack him a fine meal of roast turkey, dressing, two kinds of pudding, vegetable dishes, a hot soup, and a few bottles of wine.

To be continued…

For the seafaring or land loving adventurer in your life, buy a Sea Dog t-shirt and they won’t be disappointed. Browse our many designs and pick your favorite short-sleeve or long-sleeve t-shirts.
Arrrr, Matey! The Old Sea Dog here, ready with another fine story from the legend that may or may not be absolutely true. There’s no doubt about it: this dalmatian seems to get himself into — and out of — more adventures than the most grizzled old sailor you ever did see. If you’re the same way, you might find a piece or two of the Sea Dog clothing line that strikes you as a mighty fine representative of your style. Try out our t-shirts today.

In the last episode of the legend of the old Sea Dog, the crew had just had a narrow escape from a watery grave when a monster swallowed up some enemy pirates as if they were so many prawns. The oldest sailor on the ship was about to speak to Peter, the cabin boy, about the identity of the monster.

“My boy, in all my born days, I never did see the like, but my grandpappy described a close encounter with a monster near the Norwegian fjords. He called it a Hagufa, but I call it a Kraken. The monster so terrified my grandsire that he never took to the sea again, not wishin’ to risk another like experience. He barely escaped with his life.”

All the men breathed a sigh of relief at having escaped with their lives, and Bill laid a fond and only slightly-shaking hand on the Sea Dog’s head.

“Sparky,” he said, “Ye’ve saved us again. How’d ye know it, my lad?”

Sparky only looked up merrily at Bill’s face with a panting tongue that looked like a grin.

“I’m glad I listened to ye,” Bill continued. “The time I don’t listen to this-here Sea Dog is the time I need to have my head examined.”

Bill looked around at his men. He saw the haggardness of fear and stress still lingering on the faces of his men. He stood up and addressed them.

“Men,” he said, “We’ve all been on duty too long. “In celebration of all the good luck the Sea Dog has brought us, I propose a holiday,” he said. “Whaddya say?”

“Hip hip, hurrah!” one man cried, and everyone joined in the cheer.

“Let’s go home,” Bill said. “We’ve got a ship full of treasure and I’d say we all deserve a rest. We’ll all be rich when we go home, and we can take to the sea next summer! Peter, you come with me, lad. We’ll have a fine time at home. My wife and daughter haven’t seen my face for many a day.”

This boosted everyone’s spirits, and as Sparky capered up and down the length of the ship, he caught sight of the ship’s last rat. As he flung it far overboard, he caused another cheer and a roar of laughter.

“If it weren’t for that Sparky, I don’t know what we would’ve done,” someone said. “He sure is a fine Sea Dog. I don’t know if any other dog has had half his adventures.”

The Sea Dog cocked his head quizzically as if he were thinking back to the day when he sailed to the island of eternal youth and remembering all the stories that his favorite ship’s crew had no way of knowing. And he probably had an inkling that there would be many adventures to come.

Shirt yerself up in the garb o’ the pirate dog who loves to sail the high seas. Pick out a couple of your favorite Sea Dog T-Shirts today! The Sea Dog Shop is your source for authentic Sea Apparel featuring the artwork of artist Bill Sparks.

Aarrr, Matey! The old Sea Dog here, wishin’ ye a fine day of adventure and a rowdy good time. Why not sit a spell with yer old friend, the loyal dalmatian with the eye patch and peg leg? The old Sea Dog is your mate when it comes to fantastic, legendary adventures on the land and sea, and you can even get the t-shirt!

In the last episode of the legend of the old Sea Dog, the Dalmatian was urgently sensing an unknown danger and wanted to get away from the mysterious island that the fighting pirate ships had drawn close to.

As the ship’s mates pulled hard on the oars and let the wind fill the sails to hurry away from the island, the men took a look back at the enemy pirate ship that belonged to Gloomsday. Its red flag with the black skull and crossbones waved merrily in the breeze, belying the ship’s dilapidated condition after suffering much cannon fire.

Gloomsday’s sailors anchored the ship in the small inlet of calm water that was surrounded by protruding rocky outcroppings at varying intervals. The men were busy about casting some nets to catch the many fish that had crowded into the area to feed, when all of a sudden, there was a great upheaval in the sea.

What had appeared to be land was not land at all. It heaved and rose up. The men in the Sea Dog’s ship gave a yell of terror and felt themselves to be not at a safe distance at all, so they made even more haste to get away.

It was a giant beast that arose from the sea. The “harbor” of calm water where the ship was anchored and the fish were feeding proved to be the bottom jaw of a giant mouth, and what had appeared to be a nearby cliff proved to be the upper jaw. As it started closing down on top of the whole mass, Gloomsday’s sailors immediately jumped overboard to try to escape from their doom by swimming, but it was to no avail. The giant mouth, high above the mast of their ship, now clamped down on ship, men, fish, and all, and the ship splintered into bits as if it was a bunch of toothpicks. That was the last that was ever seen of Gloomsday or anything pertaining to him.

The Sea Dog’s men saw a pair of huge eyes and nostrils and a waving mass of many tentacles as the creature submerged slowly back down into the watery depths. Its descent created a whirlpool so strong that the crew of the Sea Dog’s vessel barely managed to escape being sucked down into the watery depths with it.

Only when it was gone again did the terrified men find their voices again, but it was in hushed whispers, as if they did not wish to be overheard by the creature that they knew to be below them.

“What was that?” Peter asked.

An old and grizzled sailor spoke in answer.

To be continued…


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Ahoy, matey, and welcome to the Old Sea Dog’s storytelling lair. Come and enjoy the legend of the dalmatian with the eye patch and peg leg who never seems to be at a loss for adventure. You can celebrate your own adventures and shenanigans with a Sea Dog t-shirt made of the finest, ring-spun cotton that is 100% pre-shrunk. You’ll love the variety of nautical motifs, cheeky sayings, pirate designs, and patriotic themes on our shirts, so shop today to find your favorites.

In the last segment of our story, the pirates on the Sea Dog’s ship were fighting in hand-to-hand combat with the dread pirate Gloomsday, who was bent on taking away all the treasure that Bill’s crew had amassed over the course of their recent adventures with the Sea Dog.

The melee was filled with angry shouts from Bill’s crew about all the injuries they had sustained at the hands of Gloomsday and his men. Sparky himself remembered how the cruel man had thrown him into a sack, and he darted in and out as Bill and Gloomsday fought, placing more than one well-timed bite on Gloomsday’s legs before streaking away out of reach.

Suddenly, over the confused noise of fighting, one of the ship’s mates cried, “Laaaand hoy! Land ahead! Weigh anchor! Sandbar, starboard side!”

The men all stopped fighting in dazed confusion. “What? We were in the middle of the deep ocean. How did we come near land so fast?” But there it was before all their eyes - a large island with several rough rock outcroppings projecting up out of the water.

A huge number of fish was teeming in the water all around them, leaping and darting to and fro and swimming toward a murky, brown area near the land. The little fish started greedily eating what was in the water.

Gloomsday saw his lucky break and changed his manner from that of a fierce pirate to a cordial merchant.

“Well, it’s been nice doing business with you,” he said. “I guess this is where my men and I will weigh anchor to do some — ahem — repairs on our ship and stock up on foodstuffs. But make no mistake. We’ll be back.”

He and his men high-tailed it to their own ship and began limping toward a calm, harbor-like point of the island, leaving the Sea Dog’s crew momentarily stupefied with surprise.

Bill and his men hadn’t watched the enemy ship depart for long when they became aware that the Sea Dog was extremely agitated. He barked and dashed away to the side of the ship that was opposite the side of the island. He repeated this behavior again and again, tugging at Bill’s shirttails in between his dashes to the side of the ship.

“What is it, Sparky?” Bill said.

Sparky went to the ropes that the sailors used to hoist the sails, and he began tugging on the first one with all his might.

Then, barking and whining, he dashed to the edge of the ship and stood, quivering, straining his neck in that direction.

“He wants us to go somewhere,” Peter said. “He seems to be afraid of something.”

Sparky barked in the affirmative, and everyone looked to Bill for a decision.

“Hoist the sails,” Bill said. “For a fearless, seasoned seafarer like him, something’s wrong. And he’s been right about gettin’ us out of a pickle more than once.”

But even as the men hoisted the sails and they filled with the sea breeze, the Sea Dog wasn’t satisfied. He barked with even more agitation and ran to the oars. He nudged the oars with his nose and ran back to Bill, practically yelping with alarm.

“All righty, mate,” Bill said. “I’ll go along with it.”

Then he shouted the command to the crew. “Man the oars! All speed ahead! Make haste! Away from the island.”

The men began rowing, and helped by the wind in their full sails, they moved away from the island with as much speed as they could.

To be continued…

While you’re waiting for the next segment of the legend of the Old Sea Dog, why not come to the Sea Dog Shop and buy a couple of t-shirts for yourself and your buddies? You’ll all enjoy our short sleeve and long sleeve t-shirts that feature the artwork depicting the Sea Dog’s accomplishments and witty look at life. Shop today!

Ahoy, matey, and welcome to the blog of the hearty and salty old Sea Dog. You’re in the right place for a woof and a wag and a rollickin’ good time of adventure. Stories of the fearless dalmatian with his eye patch and peg leg are famous far and wide, so why not pull on your favorite Sea Dog t-shirt, draw up a chair, and chat a spell?

In our last blog post, the Sea Dog’s crew was gearing up for an encounter with the dread pirate Gloomsday, a character they’d rather not have had to mess with.

The enemy ship drew nearer and nearer, despite the best efforts of the crew to keep ahead.

“She’s a speedy one,” the sailors muttered under their breath. “But we’ll resist ‘em.”

When the ship got within striking distance, the sailors expected the cannon balls to start flying, but to their surprise, they saw no cannons aboard the vessel.

“So that’s how it moves so fast. But what are they up to?” the sailors wondered.

Gloomsday’s men were setting up a strange contraption that looked like a giant catapult on the ship’s deck. As they got within striking distance, they loaded up the bucket with a payload of grenades whose fuses had been lit, and they sent them all flying toward the Sea Dog’s ship.

Quick as lightning, as the grenades hit the deck, the Sea Dog took off for the first one, bravely grabbed it by the rope fuse, and tossed it off the ship, the same way he had done with the rats. A cheer went off from the throats of all the men, and they all scrambled to help the Sea Dog, throwing the grenades overboard. In this way, they succeeded in ridding their ship of all the grenades, and not one caused damage or injury.

Gloomsday’s ship sent a hail of grenades again and again, and each time, Sparky and the ship’s crew bravely hunted each one down and tossed it overboard. This caused no end of frustration to the pirates on Gloomsday’s ship. In return for the grenades, Bill ordered his sailors to fire the cannons. The two ships were now at such close range that almost all of the cannon balls hit their mark, doing great damage to Gloomsday while leaving the Sea Dog’s ship relatively unscathed.

A rain of arrows followed, Gloomsday seemingly having run out of grenades, and the two ships fought furiously. Under the sustained cannon fire, however, the enemy pirate ship began to founder. After many hours of fighting, the two ships came together, and hand-to-hand combat began.

Gloomsday went straight for Bill, and the two started to fight.

“Of all the fish in the sea, I had to run into you,” Bill said to Gloomsday in an irritated tone of voice. “What do you want from us, anyway?”

“At first I only wanted revenge,” Gloomsday said in a smooth, suave voice that contained an undertone of glee, “but now I want far more than that. Rumor has it that you have a mighty fine treasure on board, and I aim to capture that for myself. And since you've just about sunk my ship, me and my men will have to take over yours.”

At hearing these words, the Sea Dog growled. There was no way that Gloomsday was going to get away with this.

To Be Continued...

The Sea Dog clothing line is a t-shirt brand featuring the artwork of Bill Sparks. Find the legendary bravery, humor, and good luck that the Sea Dog brings you when you place your order. Can a Dalmatian on a t-shirt really bring you all that? Probably not, but what we can say is that the t-shirts are super-soft, 100% pre-shrunk, ring-spun cotton. We aim for it to be among the most comfortable shirts you own. Shop for your favorites today!
Arrrr, Matey! Yer in the lair of the old Sea Dog, the rough and readiest old dalmatian ever ta sail the high seas. Pull on yer favorite, super-soft Sea Dog tee and relax with yer favorite brew to read all about the adventures and shenanigans of the Sea Dog.

In our last blog, our beloved Sea Dog was entertaining the ship’s crew with his discovery that he could fling rats overboard by their tails. They roared with praise every time, knowing that the loyal dalmatian was slowly but surely ridding the ship of the plague of rats that was robbing their food supply and threatening to multiply out of control.

With Peter’s patient training and an endless supply of treats from his friend, the cook, Sparky quickly displayed a keen intelligence and an ever-growing supply of tricks. He mastered simple commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “fetch” so fast that Peter moved on to more advanced ideas. In no time, the Sea Dog had learned useful tasks like how to open and close a door, grab the end of a rope in his mouth and bring it to a sailor, or retrieve loose items and put them in a box.

Bill beamed with pride at the Sea Dog’s progress. “You’re a smart fella,” he would say, with a fond pat on the Sea Dog’s head. “Is there anything you can’t do?”

The monotonous days on calm seas ended one day when the pirates spotted a ship on the horizon. It seemed to be moving their way.

The next morning, it was closer.

“They’re gaining on us, Cap’n,” one of the sailors said. “Reckon they’re coming after us?”

Bill peered through the spyglass and thought he saw a tint of red where the ship’s flag would be, but it was still too far away to tell for sure.

“Gloomsday again, maybe,” he muttered, and a scowl creased his brow. “I’ve had one too many run-ins with him for a lifetime.”

“Gloomsday? That lily-livered, scurvy swine? I’d like to see him try any of his yellow-bellied scoundrel tricks on us again,” the sailor said, clenching and unclenching his fist. “Why, it was all on his account that we almost lost you — you and Sparky, too!”

At the sound of the word “Gloomsday,” the ears of the nearby sailors perked up, and in moments, the entire crew was fuming.

“A drubbing would be too good for the likes o’ him. I’d like to see him get a nice dose of the keel haul after what he done.”

The men geared up for battle while also raising the sails to catch the sea breezes and delay the approach of the other ship.

The next morning, the enemy ship was even closer. Now they could clearly see Gloomsday’s red flag with its black skull and crossbones.

“He won’t get away this time,” Bill said to himself.

The Sea Dog stretched his neck forward and sniffed the breeze, and the hackles on the back of his neck started rising.

To be continued…

If you’re a person who doesn’t back down to a bully, you’ll love the Sea Dog clothing brand. Choose your favorite long-sleeve and short-sleeve t-shirts for men, women, and children. With super-soft cotton that comes in all the right colors and designs, you’ll be sure to find something for everyone in the family. Shop today.

Aarrrr, Matey! The old Sea Dog here, welcomin’ ya to yet another segment of the legend of the old Sea Dog. You’ll be sure to love the adventurous spirit of the brave dalmatian with his peg leg, earring, and eye patch. The only thing you’ll love even more is the chance to wear the super-soft Sea Dog t-shirts with their artwork featuring the Sea Dog’s shenanigans and cheeky sayings, so shop our t-shirt selection today.

In our last blog post, the Sea Dog’s crew was just reminiscing about the Sea Dog, telling all the stories they knew to the new cabin boy, Peter.

The ship sailed on for days, and all the men breathed a huge sigh of relief at the fact that their captain was back with them, safe and sound, after his recent close call. However, relief gave way to monotony as the days wore on. Calm seas and not much to do caused more than one of the sailors to feel the itch for action.

Peter seemed to be the only one who wasn’t bored. Life aboard the ship was a new experience for him, a grand adventure after his confined life in the small harbor town that he had left behind.

In his free time, he spent many hours training Sparky. The first skill he learned was accidental, and it was almost a game between Sparky and the boy.

It all started with a rat — actually, a family of rats — who had managed to sneak aboard the ship in one of the crates of provisions that the sailors had brought aboard. The rats began to wreak havoc, driving the cook crazy with the destruction and filth that they spread. Every night, it seemed there were new holes eaten into the bags of flour that the ship carried. The cook tried in vain to catch the rats, but they outsmarted all his traps. It seemed there was simply no way to get rid of them, and the cook wrung his hands in despair over the waste and mess that the rats were causing.

One day, when there was nothing to be done but look for entertainment, Peter and the Sea Dog were playing a game of tug of war with a knotted rope, when suddenly, a rat scurried across the deck. Both of them spied it at the same time and took off in pursuit of the rat. The rat scurried under the doorway into the captain’s cabin, and Peter and the dalmatian followed. They slammed the door shut and stuffed rags under the door to block the only exit. From there, a hilarious game of hide-and-seek ensued, with the rat scurrying from side to side in the room.

Finally, the Sea Dog caught the rat, but just barely. He snapped up its tail and held up his head proudly with the rat dangling from his mouth.

The two proceeded from the cabin and the Sea Dog practically strutted around the deck with his prize dangling from his mouth. However, the rat grew tired of being paraded around and decided to make a violent attempt to free himself, which led to the Sea Dog shaking his head back and forth, back and forth, back and forth —

And the tail of the rat slipped from the Sea Dog’s mouth and the rat was flung through the air until it landed with a plop in the sea.

At this, all of the men gave an involuntary cheer, led by the cook, who said, “Do it again, Sparky!” The dalmatian practically glowed with the praise and went sniffing for another rat.

For the next several days, the Sea Dog chased rats and got quite good at catching them by their tails and flinging them into the sea.

“Isn’t that something, now?” the ship’s cook said. “Any other dog would’ve just ‘et em up, but not our Sea Dog. He’s got some tricks up his sleeve.”

To be continued…

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Arrr, Matey! Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, from the rollickin’est pirate dog ever ta sail the high seas. Our brave dalmatian with the peg leg and eye patch has weathered many a storm and survived many an adventure, and his high spirits and frolickin’ ways never seem to diminish. For the adventurin’ hero in your life, let ‘em wear the Sea Dog t-shirt — whether they’re goin’ for style or shenanigans. Either way, the Sea Dog will be the most faithful and loyal companion you ever did see.

In our last blog, the pirate ship was sailing away from the harbor with a new cabin boy aboard, and new adventures were about to begin for the Sea Dog and all his crew.

Right away, the ship’s crew noticed that the Sea Dog had taken a strong liking to the boy, Peter. It was as if he was saying to the entire crew, “I’ll take care of this new seaman, boys.” Wherever Peter went, the Sea Dog followed, sticking to his heels like a loyal friend and romping around him with unrestrained happiness. When two of the gruffer seamen tried to give Peter a hard time, the Sea Dog leaped in front of him and faced the two men, growling and showing his teeth.

This caused the men to relax into grins. One elbowed the other in the ribs and said, “Look at Sparky go! He won’t let nobody pick on the boy.”

“Looks like he’s decided he’ll be a trusty ol’ pal to ya,” the other said to Peter.

Peter fondled the Sea Dog’s ears. “That’s right, Sparky.”

“This dog is quite the hero, you know,” the first man said. “This wasn’t his first close call — or his first rescue. Let me tell you about the time he lost his leg…”

“No,” the first man broke in, “Tell him the part about how he lost his eye first so that the boy gets the story in order.”

The two of them started telling stories about the Sea Dog’s adventures, and before long, almost the whole ship’s crew had gathered around, chiming in with the forgotten details of the story. The mood of the whole group alternated back and forth from jolly hilarity to solemn remembrance as they talked about some of the close calls that Sparky had had over the days he had been on board.

“Sparky, what a good dog you are,” Peter said more than once as he heard the string of adventures. “How did you manage to live through all those dangers?” Then, he turned to the crew.

“How old is Sparky, anyway?” he asked.

“We don’t know,” Bill said. The first time we ever saw him, he was already a full-grown dog. We found him floatin’ aboard a drifting ship that didn’t have any other people aboard. Not a soul. It was very mysterious. All I can say is, ever since he came to us, this-here Sea Dog has been good luck to our ship and crew. We not only captured all the treasure from that abandoned pirate ship, we find other riches almost everywhere we go. It’s almost like Sparky led us to
‘em without ever seeming to. Like the time when I dug in the sand, thinkin’ he was dead and I was gonna bury him, and my shovel just “happened” to strike a buried chest. Yer good luck, aren’t ye, Sparky my mate?”

Sparky let out a loud “woof” in answer, as if to say yes, and all the men laughed.

“What would we do without ye?” Bill said to Sparky, stroking his head.

To be continued...

Once you own a t-shirt from the Sea Dog Shop, we’re sure that you won’t know what to do without it, either. Hey, who knows if it might even bring you good luck? Shop our long-sleeve and short-sleeve t-shirts today.

Keep reading our blog for more of the legend of the old sea dog.

Arrr, Matey! Welcome to the Sea Dog blog, where ye’ll find the magnificent adventures of the Sea Dog, the beloved dalmatian with the peg leg, eye patch, and earring.

In our last episode of the legend of the old Sea Dog, our trusty friend had just been rescued from a watery grave by a boy who noticed his plight. The two rested on the shore, panting and full of relief at the success of the rescue.

“Let’s go find your peg leg,” the boy exclaimed. “I saw where that man dropped it on the ground. I hope it’s still there.”

The two went together to the place where Brutus had caught the Sea Dog, and they searched on the side of the road, where they finally found it in a patch of tall weeds. The boy carefully attached it, and the Sea Dog trotted by his side, grateful to no longer be a tripod. The two of them went together to a remote, hollowed-out place in the base of a cliff where the boy usually stayed.

“I’m going to catch a fish for you and me to eat,” the boy said. He cast a line into the sea and caught a couple of fine fish. Then he cleaned the fish, built a fire, and carefully cooked the fish over the coals. He allowed the Sea Dog’s fish to cool before offering it to him, and the two ate together happily.

“I’m awful happy to have a friend,” the boy said. “I’m glad you lived.” The Sea Dog rested his head on the boy’s knee and the boy stroked his ears. “Why anyone would want to kill you is beyond me.”

The next morning, the two of them went to the wharf and the boy went from one ship to the next, looking for work. “Mister, need any help? Got any work for a boy to do? Hey sailor, need an able-bodied boy to help you?” But everyone brushed him aside, looking at his ragged clothes and not taking him seriously.

Finally, the two of them found an out-of-the-way place and sat, watching the bustle of activity as the ships came and went.

It was late afternoon when Bill and his crew arrived at the wharf to return to their ship. They were full of mixed feelings, joyful at the return of their captain, but sorrowful over the loss of their beloved Sea Dog.

As they neared the ship, the boy observed them and knew that he had not yet approached them for a job. Here, he thought, was one last chance.

He got up and drew near to the group of sailors, the Sea Dog following him, and he started to say, “Mister, got any work—” when to his surprise, the captain’s face broke into a wide smile and he stretched his arms open wide. The boy wasn’t sure what to make of this reception until he saw, an instant later, the Sea Dog race from behind him and rush up to the captain, wagging and yelping with delight.

“Sparky!” Bill exclaimed. “I didn’t think I would ever see you again! How did you escape?” He raised his eyes to the boy standing there.

“What’s your name, son?” he asked.

“Peter, sir,” the boy said.

“Know anything about this dog, my boy?” Bill said.

Peter told him the story, and Bill and the sailors made exclamations of admiration as they listened.

“You have saved my dog’s life, Peter,” Bill said solemnly when Peter had finished. “I’d like to give you a reward. The 3000 ducats that we didn’t need to use to buy me back are yours. Plus, our ship needs a cabin boy. Would you like to sail on with us? I’ll give you your training and your pay.”

“Yes, sir!” Peter exclaimed. “Thank you, sir.”

“Welcome aboard,” Bill said, and there was much back-slapping and congratulations all around.

To be continued.

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