Apr 16

Our Animal Friends

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 Awhile ago, I shot a video of the monkeys on Linton Island, if you haven’t seen it…

[ Click Here]….  http://youtu.be/4ywjuwdMMTY

Animals, and nature in general have been an interest to me, my whole life . When I was young boy, my mom used to take the end of the bread, we called it the heel, and feed it to the pigeons beside our house. She herself had been raised through the depression of the 1930s, and could not see anyone or anything go hungry. I guess that’s where I get it from. I have a soft spot for ‘Mans best friend’, and I seem to attract local dogs and cats where ever we sail. I collect our table scraps then give them to our 4 legged friends near us. Muriel always makes extra so there is usually lots to spare. Most of the dogs are living a hard life, eating out of garbage sites. Some places a large number that become a nuisance. There are not enough  programs in place to control their numbers. Most dogs are afraid to come close. Probably chased away too many times. We don’t have a pet aboard Mistress, other than a small gecko that we discovered about  leaving Colombia, about six months ago who hides most of the time, but comes out at night to feed on insects. We would love to have small animal, but when we go home, we would have to find someone to look after them.

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The dogs known as coconut hounds, beach dogs, in Bahamas, as Potcakes, Puerto Rico, as Satos. Every island has a stray dog problem.

There is a lady, Kim Watson, who lives in Luperon, Dominican Republic, has dedicated her life to helping stray dogs and cats. Along with a team of veterinarians they have set up a program to spay and neuter local animals to help with the overpopulation problem.



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The first day we arrived in the marina here a thin brown dog came over to us and has sort of adopted us as parents. He is an alpha male, challenges any other male that approaches his territory, But usually gets his arse kicked. We call him Itchy cause he’s always scratching. When we first met him he had ticks on his head. We bought him a flee collar and they are now under control. We are now working on his ear problem. He is a very docile dog who follows us everywhere.

Another marina pup that came along, we call her Lady, is a calm dog who sleeps on our dock at night, [she’s just making sure we don’t leave]. For some reason, and I have seen this on other dogs around here, she has a problem with her front teeth. They seem to be wore away, but it was a mystery of how this would happen, until a fellow cruiser explained how this happens. This woman is a veterinarian, she said it is probably caused by the dogs picking things up or, attempting to eat off the concrete docks.

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All of this friendship only cost us a bowl of kibble once a day. I feel good feeding them its not like I haven’t done this before, In the past I have had favourite dogs or cats in other places. When we first arrived in Luperon D.R. a small white dog known as Cotton became our pet. All the time we spent there we fed her scraps and loved her.. A cruiser who settled there adopted her.

We have had many encounters from “High five” in Carriacou a dog that would slap your palm, to 2 pups that chose to guard our dinghy in Aruba. These animals sense, I won’t harm them.


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  Nature will teach you lessons…… I sat down on a stump, to relax while I waited for the paint to dry on something I was working on. I had picked a place out of the hot sun, under a shady tree, with one of two dogs who shadow our every move. I was just getting comfortable when I felt like someone had lit a fire under my butt. I stood up quickly, and found a colony of ants had come out, to get rid of the trespasser, trouble was they were also inside my shorts…….So hiding behind a tree was the best I could do in short notice.

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Early one morning just as the sun was coming up I had awoken and was just lying there when I noticed something flying inside the boat. Here, we leave everything open at night, usually there are no bugs to worry about, [too much wind]  I first thought it was a bird, then I recognized it as a bat. We had seen them upside down on a patio at a restaurant. Seems we had attracted one of them, by our stash of fruit and veggies that we keep in the shade under our dodger. I learned where the term “bat shit crazy” comes from as I cleaned up the mess he left……. Sorry go eat insects.