"Max the Sea-Dog"

On my first ship, the M/S "Marie Horn", we had a sea-dog.  He was descended from the large family of light-brown harbor curs roving around the streets in Spanish Cadiz. Our cook found him on the gangplank, and, not quite sober, brought him on board. He was about six weeks old when he was brought on board and hidden, but it was unavoidable that when at sea the Captain would run across him.  His first reaction was, "The dog must go." In the first moment, we could visualize him swimming in the North Atlantic, which was unthinkable! We spoke so vehemently for the little fellow, that he changed his mind.  In gratitude we named him for the Captain; "Max."

Max thrived magnificiently, and was really a good dog whom we all loved. His bedroom was in the cook's room, who was also his provider. That did not hinder him, as every morning he would have a controlled-walk, and would greet every crew member in his room for stroking and scratching.  Sanitation was no problem. Every morning he would do his toilet on the afterdeck, which was then washed away.

In Cape Town, Max was given an unnecessary inoculation and document and was officially allowed to enter the harbor. In most places he was forbidden to land, but that didn't hinder him. He was really a jewel with his coat brushed, and a black collar, and strongly impressed his relatives in Cadiz.

Max was a large male who did not lift one leg in the male fashion, rather used two legs in the female fashion, for an interesting reason. When he was about six months old he tried to use one leg in the approved fashion, which is no problem for a young dog, but the ship was rolling and Max landed on his back. Next try: Max lifted his leg, the ship rolled, and he again landed on his back. This went on for four or five times, and then he lifted neither leg. What would his family think of him now?

Max had a very strange pecularity: Today he would be called a "racially prejudiced" dog. If colored visitors came on board, his neck hair ruffled up, and he began horrible barking as if some attack people or employee of a public authority abused him. Otherwise, he was a peaceful dog, certainly no beast, and this was for us painful.  I think that at some time he had a key experience.