If any of you know me, you probably know two things about me; I love the islands and i love dogs. And Zac Efron, Kenny Chesney, The Baltimore Ravens and glitter, but for right now I’ll just stick to the first two.
For a little background, there are dogs called “Potcake” puppies in Turks and Caicos. In other words, they are homeless stray dogs that are found all over the island. It’s heartbreaking when you think about it, but luckily there is an organization called Potcake Place that aims to reduce the amount of homeless, suffering potcakes on the island. This non-profit organization run by an incredible woman named Jane does everything they can to help the dogs stay safe, healthy, and happy while finding them permanent homes at the same time.
Potcakes are also probably some of the sweetest, prettiest dogs I’ve ever met. My good friend Francois owns a very sweet pot cake named Itachi (the most handsome dog on the entire island) who has the biggest heart and personality that I have ever seen on a dog. I would love to steal him someday if Francois would let me. I can already hear him saying “Good one, Mackenzie!!!!”
I was convinced for a while that Kate and Tom purposely tried to leave this vital aspect of the island out of my knowledge for as long as they could. They knew I would catch wind of these dogs and want to take one home immediately. It only took about a year before I was online researching potcakes and writing persuasive letters to Tom about why we should bring one home, even though I’m pretty sure my 9 year old Chesapeake Bay Retriever at home would hate me. I know you are all probably hoping that I’m about to say Tom cracked and I am now a proud owner of a potcake, but that’s not the case. However, there is a happy ending. Well, I’m hoping it’s not the end, so how about a happy middle.
Potcake Place has an opportunity for visitors to take a puppy out for the day that way the dogs can get socialized and more accustomed to human interactions. The best way I could describe it to my friends was almost like “renting a puppy”. To this day, it is by far my absolute favorite thing about this island (besides the drinking age, of course).
This picture was the first time I adopted a puppy for the day. He was very appropriately named Phelps because when I put his back legs in the water his front legs would start to paddle, his ears were abnormally big, and I’m from Baltimore. He was shy at first; he would only walk about 10 feet before plopping his butt down in the sand and bowing his head. He even hid underneath the Ocean Club West beach chairs for a while. I opened him up though, and soon he was out in the crystal clear water having a ball.
This guy below was a little different. He ran up to just about anyone laying on the beach and just begged for some attention. He didn’t like the water much, though. He tried to take a swim but every time the tide came anywhere close to his paws he darted the opposite direction. But boy, did he like pictures! He was unnamed, and I tried to resist naming him to avoid attachment, but I eventually started to call him Ray. It was a struggle bringing both of these precious dogs back to the Potcake Place, but I hope they are living happily in safe loving homes, but know that they will always have my heart.
I am incredibly blessed to be able to live in a country where animal shelters take the rights and lives of animals so seriously and I am so happy that Potcake Place does the same in my second home. My love for dogs is extreme, and it breaks my heart to see these dogs suffering and hurting daily. What warms my heart is seeing how happy these dogs get even when they get to be taken out to the beach for just a day, and how even happier they get when they are found a permanent loving home. If all I can ever do to help these puppies is adopt them for the day, I will continue to do so. But, my hope one day is to find bigger and better ways to help them, whether that be adopting one or doing more for the Potcake Place.
I also hope that maybe, just maybe, I inspired some dog lovers to venture to Turks and Caicos and save some lives of their own.