This stunning Caribbean island lets you play with rescue dogs all day
Holidays and dogs: the two greatest things about life in the modern era. If you are looking for an instant shot of peace and quiet, go on holiday. If you are feeling down and out or simply want to look at something that will cheer you up, find a dog and stare at it. Both holidays and dogs are capable of lifting our moods incomprehensibly and now you can get both of these magnificent facets of life in one beautiful, brilliant and slightly bizarre package.
Welcome to Potcake Place, an island in the Caribbean where you can spend your entire time playing with adorable rescue puppies... honestly.
Potcake place is a dog rescue charity situated on the tiny Caribbean island of Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, which lets visitors take the puppies to nearby beaches in order to help them learn how to socialise and interact with humans before they go off to their forever homes.
The charity was founded in 1997 by Jane Parker-Rauw after she noticed how many stray puppies were roaming around the island. Since its establishment, the centre has housed thousands of puppies, with more than 500 of them getting adopted every year. Sadly, a lot of the puppies were timid around strangers, so in 2010 Jane decided to let locals and tourists hang out these four-legged friends for a few hours each day.
The walks are called "socialization walks" and can only be done with dogs who have been vaccinated and dewormed. Those lucky enough to spend some time in the company of these majestic mongrels are permitted to take them to the beach in the morning so that they can splash around and get comfortable with their human counterparts.
Potcake Place provides a beach bag for each puppy to take with them containing a bowl, a bottle of water, toys, puppy treats, and of course, a roll of poop bags. "All puppies wear a harness, as well as a collar, for these walks, and of course, a leash which must remain on at all times," Parker-Rauw said. "People are told to make sure that the puppy is in the shade and does not get too hot, pick up all puppy poop, only give the approved treats that we provide, and see that the dog can't tug at the leash."
It turns out that these socialization walks were a fantastic idea, with Parker-Rauw saying: "We have found these short puppy excursions to be invaluable to the puppy's development. These short interactions with nice people both in and out of the adoption center really help to give them confidence that yes, most people really are good. We have seen hundreds of times a very shy puppy just excel and develop over a short time this way. It's lovely."
Unsurprisingly it can get pretty hectic during tourist season as people rush to spend time with the adorable pups. "Some days, we will have people lining up over two hours before we open to be able to get the chance to take a puppy out for a couple of hours. Other times of the year people can just walk in at opening time and be in luck," Parker-Rauw said.
However, despite it looking like all fun and games, Parker Rauw is quick to emphasize that the walks are there to provide more than just an ideal photo for your Instagram account.
"We want people to understand that this is not an excursion and that we are doing it solely for the benefit of the puppy," she said. "Please be understanding if either no pups are available or if the one that you want is not."
Well it's safe to say that I know where I am going on my next holiday.