Off to New Adventures
Everyone who knows Biño, knows that he is no ordinary dog.
He is a Yorkie.
But not only that. He is a personality. A true adventurer, wild at heart.
As all Yorkies, he has always loved to explore the world around him and spend time with his family. Growing up in a northern country he could never get used to the endless winds and freezing winters. Time was mostly spent indoors. He met many people, but not many dogs there, and walks outside were usually a very wet and windy affair.
This changed when his family moved to a warmer climate in the south, to a country of endless sunshine. Biño loved it here, as finally he was able to roam his surroundings and meet new friends every day. Never had Biño met so many dogs – and boy, were there many! Big dogs, small dogs, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Black Labs, Yellow Labs, Poodles, Labradoodles – you name it! Any dog breed you can imagine.
In the big city so many people had a furry friend at their side. When he went out for walks with his owners, he would meet all of his friends. He was quick at making new friends – but also enemies, as he liked to make the other ones know he’s the boss.
He got along well with the Maltese of 4F, but she got cranky when she noticed his wandering eye towards the Shih Tzu of 10D – a foxy young lady, who was always batting her eyes at him.
“What’s his name?” asked the neighbour of 4F one day while walking his Maltese. Observing the enthusiastic tail wagging of the two dogs, Biño’s dad replied:
“It’s complicated... it’s Biño!”
Biño? Rather a strange name, thought the neighbour while stroking his fluffy beard.
“In reality his name is little bear, or Lille Björn, in the original language, but now everyone calls him Biño,” his dad continued.
“I see,” chuckled the man and watched the dogs now passionately sniffing each other. “Extraordinary name!” was all that came to his mind.
“Yes, well, he’s quite an extraordinary dog!” said his dad and they parted.
Yorkies are known for their small size and big personalities and Biño was no exception. He had some truly great qualities, which made him the ideal companion. Loyal, sweet and handsome, he also always looked out for his family.
However, more than often Biño could come over as bold and boastful, which would then get in trouble with much bigger dogs, who did not like being taunted. To avoid any incidents, Biño was usually not allowed off his leash in public – which, naturally, only increased his motivation to find ways to escape.
If being incorrectly tied to a chair in a restaurant or the grip being slightly too relaxed on his leash, he would take any opportunity to do as he pleased and run off chasing one thing or another. Causing mayhem and chaos all around was Biño’s favourite pastime, if he could show another dog his proper place. Not that he ever wanted to harm his owners or run away for good - he loved his owners very much. And the steak dinners on Saturday night he wouldn’t trade for the world. But he never missed an opportunity to speak (bark) his mind and explore any scent trail that would come his way.
His family knew him well, of course, so he was only allowed to bounce about freely at home, where the maximum danger came from jumping on the sofa and getting a slipper thrown at his ear.
His sense for adventure, though, was one of his great qualities, that deep down, everyone loved. He was always interested in learning and discovering new things.
That’s why his owners found him to be a great buddy to travel with – and Biño, in return, loved to see the world.
As it happens, one rainy day in late September, his owners announced that in a few days they were going on a trip.
Biño was thrilled! Of course, he had been to many places before. He had seen the Colosseum in Rome, the Piazza San Marco in Venice and pranced around the green lawns of Lake Como. But he had never been abroad. Except when he was a puppy growing up, he had not been outside his country – and was therefore even more eager to go.
Jumping up and down in excitement at his mum’s leg he barked: “I want to come!! Let me come with you!!” Mum looked down at the overexcited Biño and frowned.
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea... maybe he should stay at home with your parents,” she said. Dad shrugged.
“Why shouldn’t he come? He should be part of the fun, too!” he answered. “We will be on an island, which kind of trouble could he possibly cause there?” “If you say so,” laughed Mum. “Knowing him, he always finds a way!”
But she couldn’t think of a reason why not to bring him, and deep down she wanted him there together with them as well.
“Fine, but we have to keep an eye on him. I certainly don’t want to spend my holiday chasing after him while you sleep on a sunchair!”
“Don’t worry, darling,” Dad reassured her. “I’ll take care of him. You will have a blissful holiday.”
“I’m sure!” she snorted.
And so it was decided. Biño was part of the entourage.
Bags had to be packed, clothes folded, and no doggie treats or chew toys could be missed. Biño’s bag was the one packed the fastest, with all his favourite stuffed animals to keep him company for the long flight and some yummy snacks to reward good behaviour.
Dad made sure Biño had his most beloved toys with him for the journey. His favourite was a particularly colourful stuffed dog from the city where he grew up. His dad had bought it for him on a rainy, windy day in the alternative neighbourhood that was very popular among young people.
Biño snatched it from the bag and started playing with it while his owners were focused on the packing. He grabbed it and ran up to his dad.
“Not now, Biño. I need to pack,” said his dad absentmindedly. He had carefully laid out outfits in precise colourcoordination, neatly folded on the bed, not even bearing one crease.
Biño nudged his leg, still holding his toy in between his teeth and growled playfully. His dad lightly scratched him behind the ears, then turned his back to focus on the packing.
Not satisfied, Biño ran up to him again and pawed at his leg.
Usually, his dad loved to play with him. Since he was a puppy, Biño had been at his dad’s side and they went through thick and thin together. From long walks in the park, come sun, rain or snow, to trips to the grocery store where Biño waited patiently outside to receive his beloved grilled chicken, these two were inseparable. At times, Dad could be strict with Biño when he misbehaved and ran away from him without leash. But it was only to protect him from danger. In fact, he had a soft side for his dog and would always ensure that Biño was living the best life. He was his best friend.
However, Dad was now too immersed in his activity to play with Biño. Disappointed, he sat on the ground and dropped his toy on the floor.
“Darling, have you seen my red bikini?” called his mum from the guest room.
With light speed, Biño sprinted to her side and slid across the parquet straight into her legs.
“Ow, Biño! Hold on, I need to do something. Later we play!”
She was standing in front of the bed, staring at the contents of her wardrobe that she had dumped entirely on the top of the covers.
Biño barked. But she didn’t pay attention to him either.
Biño met his mum later in his life. When they moved to their new home in the southern country his dad had one day introduced them, and she had been with them ever since.
She was kind and sweet and Biño had liked her immediately.
They had already shared many adventures and good times together, so that Biño simply thought of her as Mum.
“No, I haven’t seen it!” replied his dad.
Having no success finding what she was looking for in her mountain of clothes, Mum came over to him. “I’m quite sure I put it in this closet over here...” she stopped and let out a giggle. “Are you actually folding your underwear?”
“Sure, at least this way I make sure that nothing gets creased on the journey,” Dad replied in defence. “Have you seen my slippers? I just had them here...” He looked around. “There’s one here. And the other one?”
In that moment Biño came bounding out from under the bed with the slipper firmly clenched between his teeth.
“Biño, come on, give it back!” But he shot away like a lightning and left them grasping at air.
Out of experience his owners knew there was hardly any chance of Biño returning the item he had snatched. It’s in the Yorkie’s nature, as they were trained to catch whatever comes their way and not release its prey, sometimes for hours. Back in the mid-19th century England in the Yorkshire region the little terriers were used to hunt small rodents and rats. Their strong prey drive is still very noticeable today, so if you played go fetch with Biño, you could be sure that you would never get back whatever you threw.
Only if you distracted him, typically with food, he would forget about what he was holding and you had the chance to grab the prized slipper/ sock/ empty toilet paper roll back. To avoid being tricked he would hide under the bed amidst a pile of odd socks, toys and slippers until discovered by a disgruntled owner.
Finally, all socks and slippers were packed, underwear folded and everything made neat and ready to go. And so they set off on their trip. The trio were already dreaming of swapping these grey skies for the tropical paradise they would soon reach.
That it was going to be a long way to get there was to be expected, but Biño didn’t mind so much. He was comfortably nestled into his little travel bag, with only his head popping out on the top.
As they strolled through the airport, he especially enjoyed all the pats on the head and the gushing of young girls admiring his handsome looks.
“He even looks dashing in his passport,” laughed the uniformed man at the border patrol. “And it’s written Biño, like in Spanish. Adorable. Well, have a good flight, Señor!”
Biño stuck out his tongue to the man who thought he was so funny, but in reality he didn’t mind. He loved making new friends. In Duty Free he just about managed to duck under the frenetic spraying of a lady promoting the latest designer perfume, sneezing uncontrollably from the fumes.
These humans and their gimmicks, he thought to himself, rumpling his nose. Why do they bother? It doesn’t make them smell any better to me!
Inside the aircraft Biño was comfortably nestled into his bag and had treats snuck from his owners. Thankfully, he was tired from the action of the day and napped soundly for most of the journey.
From the window they saw the sceneries changing: green plains, mountains and deserts passed by as the day blended into the night. The landscapes below were engulfed in the darkness with only small specs of light visible from above. From time to time they flew over a big city – an intricate web of lights shining bright into the night sky.
The hours passed.
Then the scenery changed again and when they opened their eyes from half sleep, they saw a soft orange light illuminating the horizon and small islands appearing below with sugar white sands and tiny flecks of green.
With the returning sunlight the water shone turquoise and for the first time the three of them were able to admire the paradise landscape from above with thousands of islands dotted together like on a pearl chain.
Finally, they touched down and Biño couldn’t wait any longer.
“I want to go ouuuuuuuuut,” he howled.
When they exited the aircraft a wave of hot, humid air hit their faces with the sun blaring from ahead. Palm trees stood out behind the small airport terminal, gently swaying in the breeze. They had arrived.