Arya of House Potcake

One thing I’ve learned about going on vacation, is that I don’t like to relax.

How can I, when there’s so much to do and so little time! I want to see ALL THE THINGS!

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And most of the time I vacation with my husband he responds with a blank stare and a “why would you want to do all of that?” So this time around we went to Turks and Caicos, a small island chain in the Bahamas whose island upon which we landed is only 38 square miles, so I think he assumed he would have me boxed in by water and I’d have no choice but to chill out.

He was wrong, of course. Shortly after arriving, I spotted the telltale signs of what I knew to be an island without an animal control program: stray dogs darting across the street, hiding from the midday heat and humidity in whatever shade they could find. In the Bahamas, these distinctive stray dogs are called potcakes, after the congealed rice and pea mixture scraped up from the bottom of the pot that was traditionally fed to the dogs. Scrappers from the start, these sturdy little guys.

With no official animal control and a population subject to the elements, starvation, parvo, and heartworm, one of the ways to deal with them was through poisoning (a very common and unfortunate way to cope when there is no program in place to help the animals.) Potcake Place is a rescue located on the island, 100% volunteer run and donation based, that exists to help bridge that gap and give these dogs a chance. Visitors are welcome to come in and meet the pups, so of course within 24 hours I mapped the place out and planned a trip.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to find, but I sure wasn’t expecting this:

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What they have managed to make out of so little is truly heroic. Enjoy the pictures of these healthy little pups. I guarantee you, before these rescue volunteers took them in they were not this happy and healthy.

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The facility is cheery, tidy, and full of happy. It makes people WANT to go in, as evidenced by the steady flow of tourists into the building to play, learn, and offer to courier the dogs back to the States. As the bulletin board shows, they’ve been successful in that as well.

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(aside- one in Hawaii?? That’s hardcore.)

Best souvenir ever, right? These people all seem to think so.

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Knowing this was ABSOLUTELY NO NO NO out of the question that we would be able to take a dog home, I settled for the next best thing: Potcake Place allows you to be a ‘foster for a day’, taking a dog out and about to give them socialization, exercise, and an opportunity to show off for more tourists on the street.

Who’s available? I asked.

They said, Bran, Rickon, and Arya. Was this meant to be or what? So we borrowed, of course, Arya.

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Come on. This is totally relaxing.

So anyway, we spirited Arya back to our little stretch of beach and told her all about the world. How people are pretty cool, if you trust them. How she should enjoy this water while she could because rumor had it she was on her way to Boston on Saturday. She took it all in stride.


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Did I mention Arya is extremely photogenic? I hope she goes to someone with a blog. Almost as much as I hope she goes to a Game of Thrones fan.

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And she’s great with kids. Seriously, she was awesome.

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So awesome, in fact, that when I saw her in the airport departure lounge on her way to a no kill shelter in Boston I seriously considered changing her out with my neck pillow- they’d never know until it was too late. Cooler heads prevailed, of course, and I decided I would instead focus my efforts on trying to convince them to put in an application for a World Vets team to come and help with a large scale spay/neuter effort.

I know just the right vet to help out.

 

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To learn more about Potcake Place, visit their website or Facebook page. They adopt to people all over the United States, even those who have never been to the island; you put in an application, and once you are approved you wait until someone from your area goes there on vacation and volunteers to courier the pup back to you. Isn’t that a great system?

Filed: Be The Change, Blog, Daily Life, Happy Tails, On Safari, Photography Tagged: , , ,
  • carolinegolon

    So great! And a perfect excuse to head to T & C!

  • Solange Han-Barthelemy

    you are awesome. that is all.

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      Oh, the volunteers there are the awesome ones!

  • Cathey Avery

    This is absolutely miraculous! I wish some of our shelters here in the US could do this fine a job.

  • Mauidi

    Thanks for sharing this. Arya is THE cutest pup. What a wonderful shelter. I live in Hawaii and can explain why there has not been an adoption in this state… we have a rabies quarantine policy that you have to jump through hoops to bring an animal into this state. Good to keep rabies out, difficult for folks moving here with an animal.

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      Hi Mauidi-
      I agree, Hawaii does a GREAT job staying rabies free and their program is the reason why. Having done some of those imports for clients I am with you, it’s a ton of work (though England/UK is arguably even worse!) If you look really closely you’ll see a little yellow push pin in one of the islands, which is why I was extra impressed knowing how hard it is. Turks and Caicos is also rabies free but I don’t know if Hawaii offers any exemption on their titer rules for that.

      • Mauidi

        That would be awesome if they would offer an exception like the do for New Zealand. I’ll be anxiously awaiting tails (pun intended) of your return to the Turks and Caicos with World Vets. Have a safe and happy 4th of July with your family and fur babies.

  • Sue W.

    Uplifting and wonderful! It’s so good to hear some great news and what some people are willing to do (hurray, volunteers!). Thank you for letting us know. :)