REMEMBER GRITA? (Coco Loco’s bar bitch)
Christmas day, 2005 ten dogs on the north side of the cut were poisoned. One was Tessa, a beautiful female that belonged to Louis. He had gone to Cayo for Christmas and I was taking care of Tessa. “The Girls” who lived in the white house down by the cut came screaming up to my condo with Tessa who was convulsing. We were in the middle of a big home owners holiday dinner and tried our best to save her. Pepe, my Golden Lab – wanna-be – pot licker was beside himself but not poisoned. At that moment he became aggressive.
A few days later as I was waiting for the pull ferry in order to go north across the cut this cute little black ball climbed up onto my golf cart, into my lap and buried herself in my heart. A dark skinned man came over and asked me if I liked her. I asked him what her name was. You could see him thinking on his feet and said “Negrita” which I was later told means little blackie.
How much, I asked.
“Oh, ten dollars” he said.
When I opened my wallet, he said “Oh, make it $15.00.”
“Take the ten and be happy” I said “since I doubt that she is even really yours.”
My intention was to give her to Louis to replace Tessa. When he returned three days later he said he didn’t want her; that it was too soon for another dog.
By then there was no parting with her and Pepe, who was six months older had a new pal.
Pepe was obviously the alpha dog and considered himself in charge of guarding the place and Grita was the people dog.
In the morning, the first person arrived at Coco Locos Bar; Grita was there to greet them. Whenever anyone went for a walk Grita thought it her duty to guide them. She always came back to the bar, had her favorite coconut tree to lay under waiting for the next sucker.
Pepe and Grita could both be sound asleep upstairs under the table when a school of Mullets could be heard as far away as the cut; running from the barracuda. Out the screen door they would tear, across the sand and sea wall and Grita would make a flying dive into the sea just ahead of the fish.
As beautiful as she was she was not terribly smart. Something had gone wrong with her retriever gene and she never thought to face the fish and open her mouth and let one fly in. I was in the sea snorkeling one day when a school came flying at me. I turned to face them and was soundly felted. If I had opened my mouth I could have caught one. NO, she swam with them snapping at where one had just been. She never learned to catch a Frisbee or tennis ball either.
BUT she was loved. So much so that a neighbor up by the Palapa bar started taking her into her yard and feeding her extra special food. Grita would come visit me and stay until she got hungry – sometimes a few hours – sometimes a few days. She was with me for a week over the Christmas holiday while my sister was here. Alita heated lobster stock and mixed it with her dry dog food and spoon fed her – CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT!
Grita loved to run and just had to be the lead dog. She could not tolerate Pepe getting out in front of her, nor would she let him chase bicycle and golf carts. She grew to be much larger than him and got so she could take him down.
Today I was having one of the nicest days; visited with a lot of old friends when my world crashed at 2:00. When I pulled into Super Buy Melody Wolf asked if my dog was OK. I looked a Miss Kitty sitting beside me and know I had a quizzical look on my face. She said “OH, she wasn’t one of the ones that were poisoned?”
I’ll skip the drama of the next couple of hours but my heart broke when Just Dave told me that Grita was dead and he buried her for me. My emotions scrambled as Pepe came around the corner and jumped on the golf cart. Thank god he was OK.
My daughter is on a trip to the mainland and loved Grita beyond what I can express here, I dread having to tell her this when she returns. Please pray that I can give her the news in a way to somehow cushion the pain.
Rumors abound and the body count keeps changing. The facts are that someone laced chicken with a special poison and threw it into several people’s yards; including the fenced yard where Grita stayed. At least eight dogs are dead and two are in serious condition. There maybe more as there are some dogs that are not as yet accounted for.
A reward of $500 (and may increase) has been posted.
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