One of the most repeated tales from people globally on how they have been getting through this isolation and combatting the loneliness has been the close relationship they have with their animals. With the lockdown putting pressure on everyone, this rings just as true for those in the Galapagos islands too.
Therefore, we have decided to bring the Galapagos closer to all of you by telling you some stories from those living out there themselves. We hope this will bring people around the world closer together
One of the most photogenic of dogs on the Galapagos is Sharky. Rafaela is one of the owners of a local distribution store in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, and not long ago she adopted Sharky when he was only a little puppy to join her young family.
In no time at all, Sharky became one of the most recognisable dogs along the front of the town. With his boisterous excitement and love for anyone that came past him, tourists and locals alike, he became a favourite as he strolled along on his morning walks to the shop.
Whether he is lying in front of Rafaela’s store watching the world go by, or accompanying her on her scooter, you will never not see his tongue hanging out with joy. If you find yourselves around Puerto Ayora, keep an eye out for this character, he loves all of the attention.
Sarah Darling runs the Angelique Art Gallery in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. She has been a huge animal lover and currently has a rescued family of 23 cats and 3 dogs. She designed her house and garden into a cat-proof haven with full and free access to all of the cats.
Sarah came across Marygold just before Christmas in 2013 when she saw a black knotted bag being thrown into the bushes. Walking passed with her dog Neptune, she saw it moving and inside was a 6-week old Marygold, also known as the ‘Golden Girl’. Marygold may not be the queen of the household, but she certainly acts like it!Sarah gains her artistic inspiration through her passion for the natural world, conservation, and animal kingdom. Go check out her art on Instagram (@sarahdarlinggalapagos).
Domenica, Nana and Mushroom are three dogs living in the same household together with Sarah Darling. In 2010, Sarah found a 5-month-old Domenica roaming the street near her Gallery. She was nothing but skin and bone, and after seeing her being harassed by dogs, Sarah wanted to avoid another litter being born, taking Domenica back to hers for the night. She was soon spayed once she had regained her strength and remains one of the warmest dogs you will meet.
Nana was found by a kind individual in 2007 and taken to a fantastic team of vets that were on a sterilisation campaign there. She was blind in both eyes due to suspected chronic glaucoma and had to have them removed at the time. Sarah took her on and despite her disability and her age, you will still see Nana going on her daily walk and snoozing on the Gallery floor!
Claudia Moreno runs the Galapagos Horse Friends rescue farm in the Highlands of Santa Cruz. She currently has 13 horses, 12 cows, and 12 dogs herself. Destiny was a young horse that was found muddled in her rope whilst working as a packhorse at the end of 2018. With a number of old wounds and completely exhausted, the team at Galapagos Horse Friends (GHF) took her in and nursed her back to strength over many months. She is now an active and happy member of the Herd on the rescue farm. Claudia and the Galapagos Horse Friends continue to work hard, and we look forward to getting back to the Galapagos to continue to provide support for their growing site. Go see Destiny and Claudia at the Galapagos Horse friends on Facebook or on their website http://galapagoshorsefriends.org
Karma and Alba were both found tied up in the Highlands of Santa Cruz by Fatima, who runs her small dog shelter Patitas Galapagueñas on the Island. Both were only around 6 months of age, and after recovering from a small bout of Parvovirus, they returned to the shelter to start to be introduced to the rest of the clan.
They have since grown into their characters, with Alba loud and excitable, and Karma quiet and gentle. With these opposites in characters, they have one thing in common and that is that they are not afraid to get their white coats covered in mud, much to Fatimas’ despair!
Fatima and her small clan at Patitas Galapaguenas have grown to a current 28 dogs rescued around the island. Go check out some of her beautiful videos on Facebook and Instagram (@patitasgalapaguenas)