I was lucky to grow up on Anna Maria Island. The island and its neighboring communities always had a laidback atmosphere. But being on the coast, there were plenty of things for us to do. We could play sports at the youth center or hang out at the beach and go fishing, swimming, surfing, skiing, boating and diving. I caught a lot of fish, harvested scallops near Perico Bay, found stone crabs in the rocks and occasionally camped out on Egmont Key. As I look back, I remember that my friends and I were often accompanied on our adventures by a canine companion. The dog would usually belong to one of us; however, there were times that a neighborhood dog would show up to enjoy the fun too. I think that the local pets probably enjoyed the “island life” as much as I did.
Reminiscing about my childhood island experiences inspired me to write a children’s book titled “Skipper The Florida Dog.” The story is about a Golden Retriever named Skipper who happens to be a resident of a marina. He and his canine pal Rusty go on a daylong adventure around the marina and find many interesting things to do, like chasing fiddler crabs on the beach or riding on the front of a boat, feeling the warm breeze blow back their hair.
The book was a blast to write and brought back many childhood memories for me. I recently learned about Cannons’ marina dog “Sirius” and how much he was loved by everyone. I know Sirius will be missed, but you can be sure he enjoyed every day of his life at the marina and around the water.