Yesterday I woke up, took a good breakfast and went to Refugio Holbox Animal Sanctuary. This sanctuary was just around the corner of my hotel. When I arrived, I immediately met the owner Morelia who was very pleased to hear I came to bring donations and help out. I handed out multiple toys for dogs and cats, as well as many sets of leashes. In Refugio Holbox they were very busy cleaning, which is a big number on their daily task list, and therefore they were very pleased I came to take two dogs out.
I got two dogs to walk with, Quero and Masha. Quero is a very calm and sweet dog, who has the character to only walk when you do. The great thing about this characteristic, is the fact he fully takes over your pace while walking. I felt so calm and in peace with Quero next to me. I barely had to hold the leash. Masha is a more adventurous dog, loving to sniff and look at everything. She has a bit more energy and is more playful, but also a truly lovely character who seemed very happy to walk on the beach and catch fish washed ashore.
I wanted to walk the dogs up to Punta Coco, a very pretty spot in Holbox which I still wanted to visit during my stay. It’s a walk of an hour, so I told the shelter in advance. It’s good to tell where you would like to go, as they can estimate when you come back and they choose dogs that can handle a longer walk (a bit more sturdy dogs). The walk itself was fun, especially because we could walk along the beach. Walking on the beach with a dog has always been my favorite idea of owning a dog (I’ve never had one before). Both me and the dogs loved it! After the beach we walked through dunes and a mangrove area. Due to the amount of rain Holbox had these days, Punta Coco couldn’t be reached eventually so we had to turn around before we got there unfortunately.
During our walk, we bumped into multiple island guests who I’ve been seeing around during my stay. They loved the dogs, came up to hug them and asked me if they were mine. As I told multiple Islanders they are from the shelter (sanctuary). I was told to be having a big heart. But truly, I don’t have a bigger heart than anyone else. I just researched myself in advance how to help and got out there. They just didn’t yet have the idea to take a dog for a good morning walk. Maybe if they would have read my blog, they would have gone there too and experienced the joy and company of a sweet dog. I hope bumping into me inspired them.
After I walked two and a half hours with my dogs, I went back to the sanctuary and got a little tour. They shelter many dogs, cats, birds and some raccoons. They had the most adorable, small kittens during my visit. My heart melted! As they have raccoons as well, one currently is a baby too. So cute! I gave the dogs a last pet, took some photos and went back to my hotel.
The most incredible part of my morning with Quero and Masha must have been the afternoon. As I went to the beach and laid in the sun, I guy passed me on the shore walking a dog. Looking at his curly tail, the dog could have been Quero. Then the dog noticed me, came up to me and showed so much love. He was truly happy to see me. I asked the guy about the dog and found out it was Quero! Quero refused to walk any further with his new walker, stayed with me and didn’t move. While I experienced a calm and easy dog, the guy experienced a contrary and stubborn Quero. He eventually walked away with the guy for a second, to return to me again. Oh I love this dog so much and felt a true connection. I now understand why dogs are such companions in life for a lot of people, as they pick who they want to be with.
Refugio Holbox is the only shelter on the Island as far as I am aware and it’s visually shown on every local island map (I asked for a map at the reception of my hotel). Since 2009 they care for lost, unsheltered and injured animals (dogs, cats, birds and raccoons). It took me only 2 minutes to get there and went for a walk of 2.5 hours. I got back on the beach before noon and got a light exercise/work out from walking. Just to give you an idea of the little effort it takes. It’s really easy to do this during your holiday, mostly because you are taking things a bit more slow and have time to think and enjoy the island while walking a dog.
The sanctuary finances itself only – which is very cost consuming – and therefore they are also very keen on receiving donations.
I hope you consider to help and enjoy a dog on Isla Holbox when you visit this paradise!
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Extra info:Refugio Holbox on FacebookThere is multiple references on Tripadvisor when you look for "Refugio Holbox"Address:Refugio Holbox Animal SanctuaryCalle Tintorera, Holbox, Q.R., MexicoOpen from 10:00h - 18:00h everyday
You can pay a visit unannounced, they are always pleased to welcome you.
I would love to help you out, answer your questions or hear you comments below:)