First, some facts. Aduana is four years old this winter, and 34 pounds. She 'adopted' me at two months of age, when I was in Veradero, Cuba. I didn't want a dog - she didn't want to starve to death as a street dog. Guess who lost that battle of wills? It's real tough to say no to a cute and tenacious 8 pound bundle of fur when she's got her sharp little puppy teeth deep into your heart and soul.
Aduana has crossed the Gulf Stream three times now, and done the ICW four - soon to be five - times. She's done about 10k miles on the boat, from the Great Lakes to Cuba, and this year, she'll visit the Bahamas, adding one more country to her list.
No, she's not real big about boating - her first boat trip, across the Gulf Stream from Varadero to the Keys, was rough, and she was down below on her own, and frightened. I don't think she's forgotten that.
|What's going on here? |
Aduana's first photo, on the boat after her bath
I couldn't be with her much as I had to sail the boat, all I could do was run below when I could, give her a quick cuddle and try to reassure her. It didn't help much, she was sick both ends and all over my Florida Straits chart - a new meaning for paper trained.
Here are some photos of Aduana as a very young puppy, including her first day on the boat, first bath (she was a street dog and full of fleas), her first few steps on American soil....and right up to some recent photos.
Aduana has developed into a gentle, friendly, very loving dog. She's wonderful with children, and an enthusiastic greeter of everyone she meets. And when she sees someone she hasn't seen for a while, she goes right over the top in her excitement, as several readers of this blog can testify, Doc being the latest.
I've written the story of how she escaped Cuba as a children's story, complete with photos. I think you'll enjoy it. If you have kids, or grandkids, they'll love it.
If anyone would like a copy, it's available as a download via Dropbox. Send me an email, or use the message function at the bottom of the post, and I'll send you the link.
This story is the first half of her escape: leaving Cuba. I'm finishing up writing the second half, entering the US, including Aduana's encounter with the officers of the US Customs and Homeland Security boat... as soon as it's done, I'll set up that link as well.
|At 8 pounds, three days out of Cuba|
Aduana's first steps on American soil
One story deserves telling here. In 2010 we returned to Cuba, stopping at the resort at Cayo Levisa to the west of Havana. Most of the guests at the resort were European, and many many were missing their their dogs back home. Aduana became their surrogate puppy.
Every morning when Aduana and I would arrive on the beach for her walk, Blanche, a woman from Belgium, would take her for a walk and a swim while her husband Jacques and I chatted.
A little later, around 11, a couple from Italy would come to the beach and take Aduana for their turn for some puppy love. They generally had leftovers from dinner the evening before. And then, after they had done spoiling Aduana, the next couple arrived.
And so it went, day after day. Aduana was getting spoiled badly, but there were a lot of people who were upset about leaving when they left Aduana. And I still hear from these people, always asking 'How is Aduana?'
|In her basket with her favourite toy, a plush lobster|
|With her Belgian friend Blanche, at Cayo Levisa, Cuba|
|Of course I'm the world's cutest pup....you doubted?|