Pedro the Fisherman

Pedro the Fisherman

From Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul

Pedro the Fisherman

The most touching dog story I’ve ever heard was told to me thirty years ago by a neighbor on her return from a Mediterranean cruise.

The setting of the story is a little cove on the east side of the Spanish island of Mallorca. It was there that an Englishman, a professional diver, lived on his yacht with his dog, a springer spaniel. He had tied his yacht to a pier where diving conditions were ideal. Each time the Englishman made a dive, the dog sat anxiously on the pier, awaiting his return. One day the dog became so concerned when the Englishman disappeared into the water that he dove in after him.

Underwater, the dog saw a school of fish swim past. He grabbed a fish and carried it back to the pier. The Englishman, surprised and pleased, praised him. After that, the dog followed the man on his dives. In the course of the shared diving, the dog developed excellent fishing skills, to the man’s considerable amusement. The Englishman told the island’s residents of his dog’s accomplishments, and they came to the pier to watch. Delighted, they began calling the dog Pedro, after Peter, the fisherman.

One day the Englishman became ill, and shortly thereafter, he died. Townspeople tried to adopt Pedro, but the dog would never leave the beach for fear he would miss his master’s return. He waited on the beach through hot sun and driving rain. People tried to feed him, but eventually they gave up. He wouldn’t accept food from anyone other than his master. Finally, to feed himself, Pedro went back to fishing.

It happened that on this same island there were a number of stray cats. Ravenous, they would gather to watch Pedro dive into the schools of fish, select the fish he wanted and bring it back to eat on the shore. Then the cats would fight over what the dog had left uneaten. The dog must have observed this, for one morning when Pedro had eaten his fill, he dove into the water again and came back up with a large fish, which he placed on the sand before the group of cats. Then he backed off and watched. One black cat, with greater courage than the others, approached the fish, grabbed it and ran. After that, in addition to keeping vigil for his master, the dog also seemed to consider it his duty to feed those less fortunate. For every morning thereafter, Pedro the fisherman shared his catch with the hungry cats of Mallorca.

Bob Toren

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