After the resident cats Simba and Ninja had been re-homed, the apartment was feeling a little lonely. Gavin and I had discussed getting another cat and possibly even a dog, however working on charter boats and been away for a week at a time, it wasn’t really a suitable idea. We did venture down to the animal shelter a couple of times to see who was down there and leaving empty handed each time broke my heart.
There are so many strays on the island of Tortola and many dogs who do have owners, yet they do not care for them properly and it is so incredibly upsetting to watch. A couple of animal welfare organisations are set up on the islands to vaccinate and spay/neuter stray animals to try and keep the numbers down, but with a lot of the locals not bothering to do this to their own, it seems they are fighting a losing battle. Gavin and I decided one day if we could have a farm, we would just adopt all the animals and have them all to ourselves.
One day whilst driving into town, the discussion came up again to get a pet. I’ve always had a cat growing up and Gavin had always wanted a dog. If we got a pet, who was going to get what they wanted anyway?? At the end of our chat, once again we decided it was best to forget the pet idea and enjoy ourselves, just the two of us.
Coming down over the hill back into our little community where we live, Cane Garden Bay, there is a small garage/scrapyard located at the bottom. Running out in front of us came the sweetest, most gorgeous little black and white puppy. Automatically we pulled over to take a look and the puppy came running over to us instantly. Gavin scooped the little thing up into his arms and instantly fell in love. ‘Can we keep him’ he asked ‘he obviously loves us, he came running straight to us’ he said. I felt like a mother telling their child, ‘no you can’t have him, put him back!’ But he was the most adorable little thing. We asked around in the local bar to find out who’s he was a the lady said ‘oh I don’t know, he comes here almost everyday looking for food’. He was absolutely filthy and covered in fleas, so we decided to take him home and clean him up.
After keeping him for a couple of days, we decided we must go and find his rightful owner. Gavin took the dog down the street to find out who he belonged to. The neighbours across the road had several different dogs roaming about their home from time to time, so naturally we thought it was theirs. ‘Milky Way’ the ladies called as they opened the door. Gavin asked if the dog was theirs and if they were going to take care of him and keep him, otherwise we would have him. There were a few um’s and ah’s and finally they said we could keep him.
Gavin was ecstatic when he came home to tell me he was ours! A cute little dog all of our own.
It didn’t take long to come up with a name. ‘Ben’ suited him perfectly. We took Ben to the vets to get him checked over and they gave him all his shots. He was clean, free of fleas, vaccinated and ready to enjoy his new life by the beach.
Ben came with us everywhere from the get go. From days on the beach, we taught him how to swim, although that was not an easy feat, he hated the water to begin with and wouldn’t even let it touch his tiny paws. He loves to paddleboard, go for days out on the boat, come for dinner, cruise in the car, you name it, he’s there with us. He is the most sociable little guy and loves to be around people and other dogs. His favourite things to do are digging for crabs on the beach and cuddles on the couch.
We are so happy to have found Ben and love him being a part of the family.
His adventures continue…
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