Lorna and Bruce Hancocks with their island dog Beuda, at their home in Bergsig. For more photos of Beuda go to www.georgeherald.com. Photo: Michelle Pienaar
GEORGE NEWS - If dogs could write books, Beuda the island dog would tell a story full of adventures from her life on the Caribbean islands, where she was found.
Lorna and Bruce Hancocks, a South African couple who have spent 24 years chartering tourists on boats around these islands, returned to their homeland two years ago with Beuda, their coconut retriever, as these island dogs are referred to.
"We found her on a small Caribbean island called Barbuda," explained Bruce. "She was about five weeks old and all alone. She was in a very poor condition." Bruce gave the puppy to his wife as a birthday present, who nurtured her back to health. Their dog was aptly named after the Island Barbuda. "We added the extra 'e' for the sake of the pronunciation," said Lorna. "We did not want people to think that we mocked anyone's religion."
For the next eight-and-a-half years of Beuda's eventful life she helped Bruce on his sightseeing trips around the islands, met wonderful people, chased seagulls and swam a lot. The couple was based on the island of St Maarten, but spent a great deal of time on the boats. "She is the first one on and the first one off the boat," said Lorna. On more than one occasion Bruce was offered 500 euros for their beloved dog. "People just love her," he said.
Beuda's travel expenses for the trip to South Africa were expensive. "Getting her here was more costly than a single ticket form the the Caribbean," said Lorna.
"She's our baby. We could not have left her behind."
Although she's well-adjusted to life in George, to this day Beuda's most favourite plaything is a coconut. Lorna still has to take Beuda for two walks a day, because that is what she's used to from her routine on the boat.
"Beuda is living proof of what a rescued dog can be like with love and care," said Lorna. The people of Barbuda call themselves the "Barbeautiful people". To Lorna and Bruce, Beuda is their Barbeautiful dog.