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Fishing Paws

The Strongest Dog I Have Ever Known

By Roberto AlagoPublished 2 years ago Updated about a year ago 3 min read
Fishing Paws
Photo by Paul Postema on Unsplash


By Roberto Alago

It is common to see a lonely fisherman fishing next to a bored dog or a cat. What is not common to see, is a furry creature working at a commercial fishing outfit. Which makes me feel all the more privileged to have experienced this.

You see... in a commercial fishing team there is no room for freeloaders. If you work, you earn your pay. If you don't work, you don't get paid. As simple as that.

One evening, right after a spectacular sunset, I was just walking along the sea shore on the "Song Of The Rocks" beach in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, when I came across some fishermen that were pulling a drag net. There were three boats in the water and two crews of three men on each rope on the sand. The net was being pulled by the men on one side while the men on the other side just held their position. Suddenly, the last fisherman on the longer line called out to me and said in a rushed tone: "young man, grab that rope" and pointed to the long tail of the net's rope.

Of course, I didn't know what to do and it showed. I had never done this kind of work before. The fisherman looked at me and smiled. He then asked, "first time?" I said "yes." So, he gave me some brief instructions about, pulling at the same rhythm as the other men on the line. Everyone has to pull at the same time or it will not be as easy. He also told me to move up closer to him and to leave the tail end of the rope dragging on the ground.

As both ends of the net were parallel to the shore, all the men began to pull. As the net got closer, it was getting heavier, because of all the fish it had captured. One of the fishermen let out a whistle. Out, from the shadows came running this big, black dog and grabbed the tail end of the rope and began to pull.

That dog was very strong. I sure could feel the difference. With the last pull, all the fish were out of the water and flapping about. The fishermen were quickly picking up fish and tossing them in containers full of sea water, where the fish would remain fresh until taken to the market.

That day, I received my pay in a long string, loaded with fish. When I refused, because, I didn't feel I had done enough to earned it. The fisherman was quick to point out, that according to their way of living, everyone that works, gets paid. I had worked, I had earned it. Then he pointed to the dog and said, "He worked less than you did and he will get his due." His friendly smile, told me that was the end of it and it was useless to continue the argument. So, I picked up my pay, patted my canine co-worker and said my goodbyes.

That day, I learned three very important life lessons: 1. Earning your pay will give you satisfaction. 2. Hard work brings its' rewards. 3. A well trained dog can work just as hard or even harder than some humans.

Later, as I reflected on the matter, I felt sorry for the fish. But, that section of Aguadilla is a fishing village with over 300 families, dependent on fish for their survival. Like it or not, some people still make a living that way. Some families have been doing it for generations and based on the number of boats I saw the last time I was there; it won't be stopping anytime soon.

I wish there was an alternative industry we could present our fishermen that is more enticing than fishing. But... What would that be?

#dog #fish #pet #work #pay #industry #commercial #paws #man #earn #net #alternative #boat #beach


About the Creator

Roberto Alago

Born in PR. Married, Father of four and Grandfather of eight. Soldier, Computer Expert. Admissions Associate at Interactive College Of Technology. A versatile man with interests too numerous to list; including: Acting and Public Speaking.

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