A ‘good news’ dog story

Tuesday May 27, 2014 Published in Letters to the Editor
Australian vet Michelle Gray at the Esther Honey Foundation Clinic last year. 13031537 Australian vet Michelle Gray at the Esther Honey Foundation Clinic last year. 13031537

Dear Editor, I recently had the holiday of a lifetime planned, spending four weeks in Rarotonga.

I had been three times before but only for short breaks so was determined to have a long luxurious break on your beautiful island.

We rented a holiday house at Muri Beach and the first week we settled in beautifully, relaxing, walking, swimming.

However I was awoken one night at 2am by a noise and, much to my distress, I found a burglar standing in our bedroom. I screamed extremely loudly and he took off.

Scared out of our wits, we rang the police. They turned up promptly, found the window he had broken in through (yes, the house was all locked up) and did as much as they could. They were great, but when they left I was too scared to go back to sleep.

The next morning, so alarmed by our experience, I decided we could not stay there as I was simply too scared to sleep there at night. Before making arrangements to cancel the rest of my holiday and arrange flights home, I went for a calming swim in the lagoon.

Walking back to the house a Muri beach dog followed me (having experienced the dogs many times, I simply ignore them when walking.) Well, the dog sensed my distress and stayed on the front verandah all day and all that night (despite the fact I did not feed her). Strangely that night I was able to sleep sporadically knowing she would bark at anything.

I did not cancel the holiday, simply because of that dog.

She stayed faithfully for the next three weeks and guarded the house every night. During the day she went everywhere with me, swimming, walking, eating, to the shops, absolutely everywhere. It was as though she sensed I needed her and she stayed.

It was heart breaking when I left but I wanted to tell the story as it was so special. Thanks to this beautiful beach dog, my holiday was not ruined and I got to stay the whole month and will return to Rarotonga.


(Name and address supplied)


  • Comment Link Randall Saturday, 31 May 2014 15:29 posted by Randall

    A good news story for sure! Too bad Raro is getting a really bad reputation (even here in Canada) for break-ins. I've been there 6 times, never had been broken into (thanks to Bailey at Kuras)
    Raro has a problem with youth employment or most likely, kids getting bored and wanting the latest gadgets - without having to work. I think that the sentencing is too lenient as well, and it is causing a huge revenue loss to tourism. The Island dogs sure have a knack for getting your friendship, I'm glad this one made you change your mind.

  • Comment Link Nio Mareiti Saturday, 31 May 2014 09:00 posted by Nio Mareiti

    Puakaoa ngakau meitaki:
    Kua kite te manu i te rave i te mea meitaki. Ka reka ko te tangata, kua po te mata i te takinokino.

  • Comment Link Yanna Thursday, 29 May 2014 19:07 posted by Yanna

    That was a lovely story and you were meant to have that friendly dog to look after you. Nature behaves in mysterious ways you know. Come back and visit us again friend. God bless.

  • Comment Link Irene Wednesday, 28 May 2014 15:59 posted by Irene

    Such a lovely story.

    I just adore the island dogs and they seem to remember us each year. We sometimes have as many as five sleeping on our porch at night.
    One special dog I named Poppy a sandy coloured girl with extra long legs. She used to cross them so elegantly when she sat down. She would follow us everywhere and even came with us to restaurants sitting outside patiently waiting for us to leave. She would then trot down the beach with us and sleep outside. I was so upset that she wasn't there at Christmas last year and often wonder if she is OK.

    One year a darling girl went into labour outside our place and we sat up with her all night. She eventually had her puppies under the Muri Beach Koko Cruise booking office. She came and barked at us as we sat in the lagoon and insisted on taking us to see her babies.
    We saw one of them last year all grown up She had been adopted by a staff member at the booking office. We named her Doris. Never saw Momma dog again though.

    I think The Esther Honey Foundation do a wonderful job taking care of all the animals and hope they continue with their work. My wish is that every visitor do something to help them with their much needed funds.

    We will be back for Christmas again this year and look forward to seeing all our gorgeous four legged islanders.

    It's such a great pity that a few criminal types are spoiling the reputation of the wonderful, friendly and hospitable Cook Islanders.

  • Comment Link Poko  Worman Homer nee Pareanga Tuesday, 27 May 2014 19:42 posted by Poko Worman Homer nee Pareanga

    Am pleased that u stayed also to enjoy the rest of your holiday and the dog was sent as your guardian angel.......... Its lowlifes that give our beautiful island a bad reputation.

  • Comment Link Apii Kae Tuesday, 27 May 2014 16:48 posted by Apii Kae

    This is a blessing from above, Bless that dog and I believe you will always go back to Rarotonga for holiday. I am a pure Cook Islander and I am from Atiu, one of the best place to visit. I am happy that you have faith in the dog and I hope you see him again on your next visit. God Bless!!!

  • Comment Link Myra Tuesday, 27 May 2014 11:48 posted by Myra

    Good to know you stayed to enjoy the rest of your holiday. Next time, have a baseball bat nect to your bed and hit the mongrels with it. They give our beautiful pradise a bad name.

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