The Dogs of Holbox Island - Is this Where Dogs go to Heaven?

Editors note:  The mission of Animal Essentials is to bring holistic awareness and expert support to the world in ways that will enhance the wellness of companion animals, their people and the communities they live in.  While we clearly recognize that their are thousands of mistreated, malnourished and abandoned animals that need our help right here at home, our travels are also teaching us that animal wellness and a global community of  like-minded animal lovers extends beyond all borders.  Everywhere in the world I have been,  speaking the words of holistic animal care, I am met by "family"--- people who deeply love animals and wish to share their wisdom with ours, and their experiences with you.  It is a pleasure to introduce you to Animal Essentials' first-ever international correspondent (and also my wife), who along with myself and others will bring you images and stories of animal wellness from abroad.  This, as part of what will soon be established as the Animal Essentials Global Wellness Fund.  More later..   --GT

Imagine for a moment you are on an Island coined paradise. For those of you that remember, think ‘Fantasy Island…. A magical place where all of your dreams come true’. There are no cars… only a few golf carts known as “taxis” that transport you to one end of the island or the other. The roads they drive on are soft white sand lined with wild

Marcey Levine

flowering plants. If you prefer to ride bikes, there are sturdy white cruisers with orange baskets provided for you. Feeling the warm tropical sun on your skin, you decide to take a dip into the calm azure waters where you can walk out into sea the length of a football field, with the cooling water just meeting your shoulders. Perhaps you are hungry and go looking for some lunch. Every corner, you will find a plethora of the freshest seafood. You dine on grilled whole gulf butterfish, shrimp, octopus or lobster cooked any way you like it and finish off your meal with some cold fresh coconut water.

Who wants to go? Well, this dream come true exists! There is one very sweet tidbit I left out. I know, you’re thinking, “what could possibly be missing?” It’s dogs, yes, the sweet furry, adorable companions that fill our lives with such joy.

On this Fantasy Island at the northern tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, there are 100’s of the sweetest, most adorable, well loved and cared for breeds living a dog’s life! There are big breeds, full breeds, little breeds and lots of cute mutt breeds. I’ve personally coined this Island ‘Where dogs truly do go to heaven’. In fact this is what I envision when I think of the beautiful poem Over the Rainbow Bridge! As I said, these dogs are all well fed and most have collars on, a few are on a leash, but most are free to come and go as they please, swim in the ocean, hang out in front of a convenience store, plop down under your table while you are dining and play the day away. In other words, they are not attended by a human master, but by whoever they please in visit at any given moment. These are community dogs, living as free spirits, but obviously loved and cared for by all. Most seek out human companionship and are happy to come say hi with a wag and a wet nose kiss. Oh, and the golf cart taxis and the bicyclists even ride around the fun loving pooches if they are playing in the middle of the streets of sand!

Are you wondering about how this all works? How this Paradise Island and beautiful symbiotic relationship has come into existence? Me too! I’m only here visiting for a few days and I can hardly count the days to come back and find out. What I do know so far is there are no mama dogs walking around with teets hanging low. No mangy, starving dirty mongrels laying in the streets either--- and I have seen no puppies in my five days here. I have seen spay and neuter

clinics, as well as a few of the sweetest vet offices here, but am left wondering who foots the vet bills? Perhaps these dogs do have personal caretakers that simply allow them to roam free--- but certainly are not owned. From what I can gather, the people here believe that another being, dog or otherwise, cannot be owned.

The human animal bond has been found in our history dating back about 100,000 years. The American Veterinary Medical Association states that this amazing bond “is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced 

Holbox Schauzer

by behaviors that are essential to the health and well-being of both. This includes, but is not limited to, emotional, psychological, and physical interactions of people, animals, and the environment”. This place takes the relationship to a whole new level of love, freedom, peace and respect.

The essence of this little piece of paradise lies deep and at the very core is the love and immense amount of joy the Dogs of Holbox Island bring it’s human friends, and this includes both full time inhabitants and the many daily visitors. If you love your furry family and can’t bring them with you when you travel, this is where dog lovers go on vacation!

And perhaps where dogs really do go to heaven.