In almost every island dive center, you will find one typical staff member with a similar personality no matter where in the world you go.
Regardless of his physical years, he is an old soul with a hundred or more stories to tell. Some of these could make you cry with laughter, others it is probably better that he cannot speak of them.
It is no exaggeration that he can claim his friends are as many as the stars in the sky. Over the years he has gotten to know most of the local residents intimately and visits them often, yet he forges new relationships with almost everyone he crosses paths with. Even if their meeting with him is only brief, he will stay with them long after they leave.
This may be in part because he welcomes all newcomers with genuine enthusiasm as soon as they step through the threshold, truly glad to see new faces on his property. It may also be because he is completely blind to race, nationality and physical or mental impairment. He judges only based on each man’s actions towards him and his family and woe-be-tied those who may pose them harm.
While his past may well be peppered with painful memories, he lives only for today, which is often spent in part in an ideal world – tearing up and down the sandy beaches, and splashing in the turquoise sea. If there are children there, he may spend time playing with or comforting them – whatever their need is of him that day. He will check on a few of his favorite familiar faces and make sure all is in order in his little corner of the world. Where acceptable, he may roam for a few miles through the nearby village, absorbing all of the amazing sights and sounds it provides. His enthusiasm for all that his surroundings provide never waivers. He has a deep appreciation for what each person in this world has to offer regardless of how small that may be. He is generous in sharing his fervor for life with all who he meets, and their day is made a little brighter simply by spending time with him.
But at night he pays his dues and his keep – snoozing maybe, yet always at the ready as he guards the dive shop he calls home or those that he loves the most in their beds. They sleep soundly at night to the sounds of the waves because they know he will protect them…with his life if he must.
And when the moon rises on his final watch, he will kiss them gently, with no regrets and no looking back on yesterday, only thankful that they found each other and for all that they have shared during their time together, however long or short that may have been. He will be mourned by many people around the world when the news reaches them. Yet he will remain firmly forever in their hearts, leaving behind countless lessons on how we should all live each day – whether that be under the shade of a palm tree or the shadow of a high-rise.
He is a protector and a friend, a confident and companion. He is an ambassador to his island. He is the Dive Shop Dog.