Dogs (and Cats) of Havana

Dogs of Caye Caulker recently took a trip to Havana, Cuba and had a great time meeting Cubans of all types, including Canine.  Here are some photos of our new friends.  But first, an announcement:  Dogs of Caye Caulker is moving to the more photo-friendly site Instagram.  Please continue to follow us there where there is a whole lot more dog posting going on!  It’s a public account so you don’t need your own IG to view the pups.  Stop on by:  Dogs of Caye Caulker on Instagram

On to Havana!

Mostly I found Havana to be a place where more questions got asked than answered.  This was true with the dogs too.  There were street dogs, but not a lot of street dogs.  And most looked pretty healthy.  Most males were intact but there were not tons of puppies running around.  Unlike on Caye Caulker there were cats lounging everywhere, completely unmolested by the dogs.  And the dogs didn’t bark – not at night, not as you walked past their yards.  They were all quiet and friendly.  People clearly cherished their pet dogs.  None were tied on short leashes.  I never saw anyone being mean or unpleasant to a dog, stray or owned. In many yards I saw chickens and little baby chicks rooting around, not fenced in in any way.  Yet the cats and dogs did not bother them.

One day while walking through the Plaza de Armas in Habana Vieja I noticed that many of the dogs wandering around had little signs around their necks.  As I got closer to see what one said two women came up and explained that they take care of the dogs and try to get as many as possible spayed and neutered.  The signs have the dogs’s name and say they are sterilized I believe to encourage people to adopt them.  The women (I named them “The Havana Humane Society” in my head) were bringing food and water to all the dogs in the square and making sure everyone got some.  When I talked to them they were looking for one to make sure she got water.  They were lovely.  And overwhelmed.  They talked about the same issues we have in Belize:  skin conditions, fleas and ticks, sickness, lack of sterilization.  I tried to ask if any vets volunteer to do surgeries but my bad Spanish was misunderstood so I don’t know.  I knew from speaking to a couple of other people that flea and tick prevention is completely unavailable.  One woman loves dogs and her child really wants one but she doesn’t get one because she’s concerned about flea and tick infestation in her house.

I don’t know why Havana isn’t overrun by dogs, or why the dogs leave the cats alone, or why all the stray cats look like pampered well-fed house cats, or why the dogs don’t bark.  It was so different from Caye Caulker and also so much the same.


This dog ran up and hugged Dave
Most dogs looked pretty healthy. Some did not.


Clipped ear. Maybe spayed?


Sun dappled cutie




After having several homes, Boomer seems to have finally found his love match




Meet Morty and Patron, two brothers (not biological) living on Caye Caulker.  He may look like a big scary dude but Patron is a sweet lovable guy.  Morty is big on hugging.



Yogi is a tough little dude.  He growled when I took his picture!  Some of us just don’t prefer to be in the limelight. Sorry Yogi!  You were too cute and I had to do it!  I tried to capture his adorable overbite but he kept hiding it when I held up the camera.


Puddles: A Man of Two Countries

Puddles was born on Caye Caulker and now divides his time between Canada and Belize.  On Caye Caulker he’s usually seen in a bike basket toodling around with his people Al & Jo-Ann.  I imagine that in Canada he spends his time rolling on grass and hiding from snow.  As you can see from the candid shots below, Puddles is a bit of a partier.

Puddles cut off:


And at the next party:



Another Saturday Clinic….

…and another day full of kids and pups.


This big litter was all brown and white, except for the guy who was white and brown.



As always, the guys were champs at giving dewormer medicine.



And this cutie!



Shaggy kept us company all morning.


….and Homey and Amber wore each other out smacking down in the yard!