I go to all that trouble to write a helpful, insightful book all about Moving To The Florida Keys. Point out the pitfalls, the things to watch out for, and how to properly prepare before making a move down here. And this is the thanks I get.
My neighbor, the one who I bought the boat off of, and who rents out the other sailboat that he can’t sell, brought in some young “lady” to help him on his snorkel charters. Said female in question had come down here fresh off the turnip truck from Colorado. She was all ready to make Key West her new home. Working on a boat, living on a boat, and of course partaking of the night life in town. So, she started.
Then, she decided that she had to go back to Colorado to pick up some things, vital things that she had to have here. So, off she went back to the mountains to fetch whatever it was she so vitally needed. When she returned, 2 weeks later, she had in tow, her girlfriend who also decided that moving to Key West was a good idea, and her dog. A large breed something or other, not sure. The dog was friendly enough, but this being the Fritter, you know something interesting is going to happen.
Sure enough, first night back on the rock, the girls toss the dog into the sailboat cabin and head for Duval. After all, who doesn’t come to Key West to party? Well, the dog, as it turns out, was an outdoorsy type of mutt. It loved to run wild and free in the Rockies, so needless to say, it was not happy being penned up alone in a strange bouncing place. So, it started to bark, and howl, and cry, and bark some more. This was around 11:00 at night, right as I am trying to go to sleep next door. The barking went on for about an hour until the dog figgered that it could escape through the rear hatch as there was nothing but an ac unit and towel covering it. So it got out and you could hear it barking and running up the dock to the land and parts unknown. I thought that was it. The dog was finished. Animal control would find it and kill it. But, luckily somebody caught it and brought it back to the boat where it started barking again.
By now marina security was alerted, (this was all pre-Labombard about 2 weeks ago). They came by and rousted the neighbor and his wife who own the sailboat and informed them to get the animal under control or Animal Control would be summoned. How they didn’t hear the dog in the first place is beyond me. Anyways, one of them finally got the brilliant idea to call the party girls and get them back to the dock to deal with it. The girls were quite drunk by then and protested but did come home.
The next day I got a half assed apology from them vowing that the dog would never bark again, and to their credit, it didn’t. But a few days later, off they went to the bars yet again, and it wasn’t long before the dog managed to escape the boat again. It just so happened that I was there when it did and I pointed to the boat and told it to get back on board, and it did.
That was the last I saw of the dog or the girls. A couple days later they packed up and went back to Colorado. The neighbor said that the first girl, so intent on moving here, had a boyfriend back in the hills, missed him, and decided to go back. Apparently this is a common pattern for her. She made a similar trip to Hawaii a few years earlier.
This whole scenario is a classic example of how not to plan to move to the Keys, or anywhere else for that matter. This girl made just about every mistake in the book. My book. No planning, no preparing, in a big damn hurry to go and party, and not taking in consideration how her dog would react to a completely alien environment. No doubt the experience cost her some serious money. But the sad part is, she probably didn’t learn a damn thing from it and will try again sometime. I would have told her to read my book first, but somehow, I don’t think reading was in her skill set. The only one I feel sorry for is the dog. It went through a really traumatic experience and was scared to death. Strange place, strange people, getting yelled at by everyone. It was probably fat and happy back home, where ever that was, and only wanted to be there.
It’s idiots like this girl that make it so damn hard for the rest of us who want to live here and have taken the time to do it properly. For everyone of us who plans out a move here, there are a hundred like her who come on the spur of the moment, intent on doing nothing more than gettng drunk, burning people with broken promises, and leaving a mess of things when they leave. At least she managed to not lose the dog, as far as I know. Others have been know to abandon pets, just leave them behind rather than deal with the consequences of their actions. But those of us who show some responsibility in our actions are still lumped in with the partiers who come until the money runs out, then head back to whatever little shithole they left from in the first place. We wind up paying more for rent, getting less money for pay, and having a more difficult time living here.
I would have loved to have seen the little darling just before she pulled out and tell her to go back to the mountains and stay there. The Keys are not for her.