My daughter is a recent marine biology major from AU University.  Of course, she was ready for another vacation which included diving.  We had visited Eleuthera in 2006 and we remembered how absolutely beautiful the crystal waters were so we decided on another visit to Eleuthera.  We have already visited several of the Hawaiian Islands, Virgin Islands, Vieques, Puerto Rico, Domical, Costa Rica and some local beaches.  We arrived late afternoon on Monday, May 7 and we were in town for one week at the Playa de Papaya house.  When we first drove up, all I noticed was the beautiful water which I clearly remembered from our previous visit.  The next morning, I was making coffee when I heard a scratching noise on the door.  I looked up and there she was...Fartu a/k/a Cherry.  She followed us around everywhere, even when we went out to swim and snorkel in front of the house.  After a few days of feeding Fartu lots of good food, she began to chase our car out to the street when we would leave for our daily adventures.  It was so sad so we decided to load her up and take her with us.  A couple of days before our departure, I told Rodney Pinder that I wanted to take her home with me.  He told me that the gentleman down the road did some rescue with Petpals and she would hang out down there.  That day, I went to visit the gentleman that Rodney was referring to, Wayne Wampler.  Wayne told me that Fartu had been adopted several times but she always ended up back in his care.  He told me that he would probably be returning home to Utah during hurricane season this year.  Wayne told me that Fartu would just go door to door and find food when no one was around to care for her.  He told me that he was currently caring Fartu until her current owner returned in October.  I immediately thought to myself, she will be without anyone to care for her June-September. Eventually, I told Wayne my reason for visiting with him...I wanted to take her home with me to Alabama.  Wayne said he would have to email her owner that would return to Eleuthera in October and he was in Germany.  I was so, so sad.  In any event, we showed up at the airport to return to Alabama and, while walking into the airport, a gentleman stopped me and asked if our last name was "Christian" and I quickly said yes!  The gentleman told me that Wayne was trying to reach me so he called Wayne and put me on the phone with him.  Wayne claimed that he received an email from the owner in Germany and he said I could take Fartu home with me.  I was thrilled but I knew that I would have to go home and return for her at a later date.  Due to her size/weight, she would have to go on a plane as "cargo" and most airlines currently had an imposed embargo from May - September due to heat the pets would encounter during their transport.  I was devastated.  Doris (Petpals) and Wayne gave me some helpful information on other possible airline arrangements.  Unfortunately, the only airline that could accommodate me was Twin Air Calypso and their schedule did not work with my schedule.  I remembered an article that I read years ago about a volunteer pilot that worked with a  company by the name Pilots N Paws Pet Rescue.  They help transport pets.  I immediately went to the web page and posted a transportation request from Bahamas to FLL.  I knew I could get her home as soon as I got her into the USA and through customs.  I posted a transport request on their web page and I received an immediate response.  I was in total disbelief and I could not believe that such a selfless individual existed (thank you, Richard :)).  After a couple of days of email exchanges with Richard, Richard told me that he had an upcoming trip to Gainesville, FL...in TWO days.  Richard asked if I could get everything lined up to pick her up in Gainesville early morning, Saturday, May 19.  Of course, I could!!!  I immediately started making arrangements for her trip home.  Richard was planning on flying from South Florida to Eleuthera on Friday, May 18 to pick up Fartu.  Upon her entry to the USA, she would go through customs and spend the night at his home.  All was successful with that leg of transport and Richard sent me some incredible pictures.  I got off work at 5:00 pm Friday and I immediately jumped in my car for the drive to Gainesville, FL.  Richard and his adorable family AND FARTU arrived in Gainesville at 9:00 am on Saturday, May 19.  Again, felt like someone needed to pinch me because I could not believe a total stranger would do this for anyone!

       I have never been so excited to see a plane.  When the plane arrived, I was waiting on the landing and Richard motioned for me to come on out.  What an adorable family he has and what a totally selfless individual Richard is.  Fartu and I immediately began our drive back to Birmingham, Alabama.  Since our arrival in Birmingham, Fartu has experienced so many new sounds, faces and objects.  She did pick out a few new chew sticks on our return home to Alabama.  She had a bath at the pet store, we ate dinner at an outdoor cafĂ© and we went to the gym last night.  She loved running around the gym and looking at herself in all of the mirrors.  She tried to jump on the treadmill with me on two occasions!!!!  I will be headed to the store tonight to purchase a little swimming pool for her....not Eleuthera...but maybe it will do for now.  I truly believe Fartu is very much enjoying her daily walks, the air condition inside the house and all of her reality tv programs :)  She is totally frightened by the squirrels in the yard and not too sure about her kitty cat brother.  She was very excited and wanted to know more about her parrot (macaw) sister, Lola :)

       We are certainly looking forward to our visit to Eleuthera in September and visiting everyone that helped make this dream come true.  To the following individuals...I cannot thank you enough.
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