In December, photographer Wesley White went to Thatch Caye in Belize for a work trip.
Even though White was in Belize for work, he did find some time to have fun. White loved kayaking, and so on his day off he decided to rent a kayak from his resort. He kayaked out to a tiny, abandoned island, where he planned to have a picnic.
White arrived at the island and pulled his kayak to shore. He started looking around for a place to have his picnic, and that’s when he realized the island wasn’t actually abandoned.
There was a tiny stray puppy already living on the island. The poor puppy was so emaciated White could see every one of his ribs. It was clear that the dog wouldn’t be able to survive much longer.
Even though the dog was clearly in pain, his tail still wagged when he saw White approaching him.
“My heart exploded out of my chest,” White said. “He was just waiting for a human to show up.”
White knew he couldn’t leave the dog alone on the island. And so, he gently put the dog on his kayak and brought him back to Thatch Caye.
Just like that, White’s whole plan changed. He only had two days left in Belize, and he was determined to find a home for the dog before he left. He decided to name the little dog Winston.
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On Sunday December 2nd, 2018, while fishing among some mangroves off the the coast of Belize, @wesleywhitepro found a small emaciated dog at an unoccupied fishing shack. Clearly the puppy was near death. Wesley removed the dog from the situation and took him back to Thatch Caye. After booking a boat ride to the main land, winston was taken to Stann Creek Animal Hospital near Dangriga, Belize. Winston was found to be infested with mites, emaciated, and dehydrated, but otherwise his organs were healthy. Through the generosity of others, Wesley was able to pay for full veterinary care and fostering with the Placencia Humane Society. . . . #animalrescue #rescuedog #dogsofinstagram #thedodo #belize #placencia #thehumanesociety @hsiglobal @humanesociety @thedodo
Back on the mainland, White contacted the local humane society, who said they would take Winston in and give him the veterinary care he badly needed.
“Winston was found to be infested with mites, emaciated, and dehydrated, but otherwise his organs were healthy,” White wrote on Instagram.
White spent his last two days in Belize by Winston’s side, making sure he was okay. When it was time for him to head back home to Montana, he was heartbroken.
“It was like giving up my little puppy all of a sudden,” White said.
White started thinking about adopting Winston himself, but he already had two dogs. He didn’t know if his pups and Winston would all get along.
Two months went by, and White couldn’t get Winston out of his head. He decided that he wanted to try adopting him—he had fallen in love with the dog the moment he met him.
White flew down to Texas to meet Winston, and Winston was so excited to see him! The dog’s tail never stopped wagging during their reunion.
Winston and White headed back to Montana, and White nervously introduced Winston to his other two dogs. Thankfully, everyone got along. Soon, the three of them were acting like siblings!
“Mr Winston weighs 36 pounds now! 24 pounds heavier than when I found him in December,” White wrote on Facebook. “Having 3 dogs is a little wild, but I’m loving it!”
We may never know how Winston ended up on the abandoned island, but thankfully the right person came along and found him. If you want to see more photos of Winston in his new life in Montana, check out his Instagram page.
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h/t: Western Journal