But a year before my sailing adventures, our local dog catcher brought by a small
Lhasa Apso to see if my daughter and I could save him from a certain death at the hands of
the pound. He had been beaten by a lady with a mean broom. And was so cute, just like
Herbie in the movies, which became his name.
Now, due to breeding, natural disposition and too many whacks on the side of the head, it
turned out that Herbie was the meanest #%!* dog that ever lived. He loved to sit and look
cute while people persons would pet his cute little head right before he took a chunk out
of their hand. He bit friends, clients, kids, adults and especially my father who insisted
he knew dogs just before he went to the emergency room for bites down his leg. Okay, I
admit it, the scar on my nose is not a wound from a distant war, he bit me the first day I
Herbie was not a happy puppy when we sailed off into the sunset. He was bred to
guard the queen's bed, not the masters boat. And, to my chagrin, I discovered that ole
Herbie would not do his business on a boat! I built a sand box on deck - nothing; added
rocks - nothing; added a bush or two - nothing. Herbie would never go on a boat. This
meant that all sailing had to be navigated with Herbie in mind.
After enduring our hurricane experience, we were returning to Florida for repairs and
Herbie had been two days without relief. I was in the western Bahamas and the charts
indicated a landing at Round Rock which turned out to be nothing more than an outcropping
of ironshore in the middle of the ocean. Nevertheless, I dropped anchor and struggled
ashore with this cute dog, just so he would not chew me up before we made Florida. My
rubber dinghy was slashed on the reef and sank just after we made it back on deck. Herbie
was happy for another day.
After all the storms and misadventures at sea, some of which I've already recounted, the
final storm blew us into Grand Cayman, where, enough being enough, I docked at Morgan's
Harbour Marina, where I would end up running this bar, restaurant marina complex. But the
men of Morgan's Harbour in West Bay, didn't like the foreigner with the big boat
disturbing their way of life and it was a difficult time. But there was Herbie.
He kept to himself for a while, always under my feet. I figured he was still
recovering from the hurricane and deciding how to repay me but in reality he was just
sizing up this fresh crop. A few of the men, from time to time, would, after a few too
many, rush me up by getting in my face and threatening to send me back from whence I came.
After tossing them in the North Sound a few times they decided it was better to go after
Herbie got six of them before I was able to get out from behind the bar. They didn't have
a chance, since the Hurricane, the storms and the endless days without relief were fresh
in his mind. About fifty men, all of whom had been to sea, suffered many hardships and
fought many fights, ran from the bar and cowered on the dock while Herbie licked his
We were at Morgan's Harbour for two years and every afternoon when Herbie walked into the
bar the men would become silent, first from fear and eventually from respect. For they
realized that this little dog was as mean and ornery as they. Six of them would proudly
show their scars from the day Herbie took over the bar.
Eventually I built a house in South Sound and bought a female Lhasa Apso just for
Herbie, hoping that age and companionship would ease his temperament. But she was as mean
as he. Herbie became feeble and blind and I had to put him asleep just before I
left the island. My daughter was there and we both, foolishly cried for the meanest #%!*
that ever lived.
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