This is their domain.
Part rec hall, part dining hall, part bar, part office–this is the main hub of the Mal Pais Surf Camp where my husband I spent a week at the beginning of the month.
From here the two resident dogs, Roja & Alf, have their paw on the pulse of the place and run their operations accordingly.
Roja, a pit bull, is the “Queen” and chief investigator. If an unsuspecting iguana or stray dog came too close to the hub her sidekick Alf would sound a perfunctory alarm woof and Roja would come barreling and barking.
But Roja was also the first to show you her belly and frequently curled up on her throne, a blanket-clad arm chair in the corner of the room.
Roja also had a serious weakness for the surf instructor named Teal. When this quintessential surfer dude came around, Roja batted her yellow eyes and followed that man and his board to the pool and then to the beach. It was love.
Alf, an indeterminate breed to me, was a bit more aloof and fickle.
For the first few days I only saw his (I’m presuming) hairy frame shift from one resting location to another. But near the end of the week he appeared in front of me and asked for a full rubdown. Much like Sherbert, Alf will direct these petting sessions by standing just close enough so you can reach only the areas of fur he/she is offering. If you drop your hand he will move back in, and then move back out when you resume petting.
But Alf wasn’t all hot fur. Early one morning a pair of wild horses tromped onto camp. I saw Roja busying herself on the periphery of the action, but there was some insistent barking near the source that I can only presume was Alf. When the big threat arrives it will be Alf to the rescue.
That said, 99% of the dogs’ days at surf camp is spent in repose.
Just like Sherbert (who also has a thing for ping-pong tables).