I joke that I can’t decide if I want to stay home and take in stray, unwanted and elderly dogs, or if I want to travel. My two passions are in conflict. I can’t have all these dogs (and some cats) if I’m going to be off gallivanting around the world.
So I’ve been struggling with ways to do both. I’m reminded of a trip I made last year to the Turks & Caicos where I discovered the island’s dog rescue, Potcake Place. We stopped in for a visit and were surprised to find so many tourists there playing with the dogs. Tourists can pick up a dog at Potcake and take it for walks, take it to the beach, or just to have a companion while on vacation. Why don’t more places do this? When I travel, I miss my dog and would gladly adopt one for the week!
The potcake story is as adorable as the dogs themselves. According to Potcake Place’s website, “Potcake is the name given to the dogs of the Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos Islands. It came about because the locals fed the caked remains of the cooking pot to the dogs.” Potcakes are generally small to medium sized dogs rescued around the island, cared for and socialized by volunteers and tourists, and then adopted out. In fact, on my flight home, the man sitting across the aisle from me was transporting one of the dog’s home to his local shelter to help it find a home. I’ve since learned that many tourists do this – they’re “mules for dogs,” if you will – transporting dogs back to the U.S. to local shelters or waiting families.
I’m hoping that more destinations will catch onto this idea. I’m going to start researching places before I travel and see if I can’t at least spend a day at a local animal shelter. I recently came across this great article about a traveler who did this in Costa Rica.