This page is dedicated to the dogs, our girls, as Paul and Dean fondly call them. They truly add to the atmosphere of the Mermaid & The Alligator and make our home complete.
The Dog Story
Paul and Dean had never heard of a Flat Coated Retriever when they drove out to the animal shelter to pick out a pup. They fell in love with a little black ball of fur, brought her home and named her Largo. Largo became the first Mermaid & Alligator mascot and grew into a silky black Flat Coated Retriever. Largo had an ideal guesthouse personality, lovable, friendly and fun. Thus, a few years later when Paul and Dean saw in the local paper that yet another black ball of fur needed adoption, they traipsed off to the shelter (Largo included) to pick up the new addition to the family, Kililani. Both Largo and Kiliani took to being guest house dogs instantly. They greeted the guests with gusto enhancing the welcoming and comfortable ambiance. When Kililani passed tragically from an unexpected illness, Paul and Dean, enchanted by the Flat Coated Retrievers and eager to fill the void left by Kililani’s passing, found a breeder in New Jersey. Dean flew up to collect 8 week old Havana to add to the Mermaid family. Largo too, eventually passed at the ripe old age of 15, leaving Havana to run the show. Needing a companion for Havana, Paul and Dean acquired Havana’s half sister from the New Jersey breeder. Caya arrived just 8 weeks old, ready to play and totter around the Inn following her big sister everywhere.
The Guesthouse Dogs
If you visit the Mermaid & The Alligator today, you will be greeted by Havana and Caya. They both think that the guests come solely to visit with them, and in some cases it’s true. Many guests arrive with doggie biscuits or toys for the girls and we long ago learned not to be offended that guests remember the dog’s names more readily than ours.
Caya, aka Lightfoot’s Southernmost Journey, was born April 16, 2008 and is Havana’s younger half sister. Full of spunk and bounce Caya will put a smile on anyone’s face. Caya loves to play, so do not be surprised if she greets you will a toy in her mouth and a playful gleem in her eye. A smart pooch, Caya has learned how to open doors to let herself in, and will proudly swagger around the home and gardens searching for a playful accomplice.
Havana, aka Lightfoot’s Hot Havana Night, Jan 2005- Sept. 2014. She started out as a fuzzy extra-cute puppy and grew to a very tall and solid 100 pound beauty. Havana loved her toys and had two large toy baskets filled to the brim. A very smart dog, Havana differentiated between her toys from a young; monkeys are her favorite. Havana was always a gentle mellow soul and her easy going nature charmed many a guest. She went completely blind from glaucoma several months before we lost her to cancer at too young of an age.
Largo, 1991-2006, was the grande dame of the guesthouse, meeting, greeting and welcoming each guest. She is the original muffin monster and is best remembered by guests for her attempts to convince them she was in need of a muffin or two. Largo trained the newcomers, first Kililani and then Havanna, on how to be the most lovable guesthouse dog. She did an incredible job and ran the show until she left us on June 13 2006 at the ripe old age of 15 years.
Kililani, 1998-2005, instantly at home at the guesthouse, bounced around greeting guests and following her mentor, Largo, everywhere. Unlike the other dogs, Kili was not into dog toys, although she did love to bury things all over the yard. Dean still finds gifts from Kili in the garden; the latest was a former pool man’s cell phone! The name Kililani means heavenly raindrops in Hawaiian, so although we lost Kili in 2005, we are continually reminded of her magical spirit when we are blessed by the tropical rains.
Trip Advisor Doggie Kudos
‘I ran across a youtube video for "The Mermaid and the Alligator" and got one of those "this is the place for us" feelings. Mainly, it was because of Havana and Caya, the two beautiful flat-coated retrievers who serve and mascots at the Mermaid ‘
‘Caya and Havana, the M&A mascots, are so precious, and like their hosts, are very attentive to the guests! We missed our dogs a little less having them around each day’
‘They have 2 dogs who were "the hit of the show.’
‘There are two adorable and thoroughly engaging flat coated retrievers who are actually the owners of this inn despite what their masters might tell you. I'd have loved to stash them in the SUV and frisk them away. I miss them already’.
‘Of course we must also say thanks to the owners’ dogs, Havana and Caya. They are great girls who graciously allowed us to share their home and kept us laughing.’