When we went to Cuba, we decided to spend the last 8 days of our holiday in Playa Larga, a tiny fisherman’s village in the Bay of Pigs. The water here is beautiful, the animals abundant and everything is walking distance.
And there are dogs. Many dogs. Everywhere. Most of them are friendly and completely submissive, most of them beg for food and some of them, like Richard, simply want to be with you.
We met Richard when we went to the Caletón, the more touristy and less attractive of the two beaches in Playa Larga. It was cloudy that day, so we decided to go explore the Caletón and see if we found anything interesting. We found Richard.
Richard arrived as all other dogs arrived, tail between its legs and ears back, wagging hysterically when we bent down to pet the medium-sized dog. And then, even though we had no food on us, he came with us on our walk.
He seemed to just want to be with us. Boyfriend called him Richard, Richard III to be precise, and when we called amazingly he came. Running.
He sat with us when we rested.
He posed for photos.
He foraged for food and then always ran back to join us. And looked at us quizzically when we made complicated demands, like “heel” and “sit”.
It was love at first sight.
We didn’t take him with us simply because we thought that it would break his heart to go from being a free dog with thousands of potential friends to being an apartment dog in Madrid. But his wellbeing was the only reason we left him there – if I had been selfish enough, I would have flown him home with me.
If you visit Playa Larga and see Richard, be sure to pet him for us, his Italian friends in Madrid. Don’t worry if you notice that he’s a female – we discovered we had given her a male name only at the very end, and if she hadn’t minded till then, we thought that it was probably fine with her, too.