Couple stranded in Costa Rica because they refuse to leave their pug behind

A UK couple traveling the world with their pet pug Pebbles say they are stranded in Costa Rica because they can’t take her home on a repatriation flight, reports Metro.

Abbey Walsh and Hugh Thomas, both 25 year of age, have visited more than 25 countries with Pebbles. The couple landed in Costa Rica on March 12 during the midst of the coronavirus pandemic which led to travel interruptions and cancelled flights across the world.

The couple were then offered a repatriation flight by the British Embassy, but the couple said that Embassy staff wasn’t so sure that Pebbles would be allowed on-board. The couple, from Newport, Wales, refused to leave Pebbles and have been stuck in San Jose, Costa Rica ever since.

Pebbles the Travelling pug in Santorini, Greece, @pebblesthetravellingpug

Walsh, who runs a marketing firm with Thomas, said, “When they suggested we leave Pebbles behind, I thought they were joking.”

“We would never abandon her – she is a member of our family, she’s like our child. We are all in this together, and we won’t go home until we can all go together,” Abbey said. “A few days after we arrived they closed the borders to foreigners, all the national parks, beaches and they put curfews in place.”

The pair got Pebbles as a puppy in 2015, and have since taken her to 28 countries all over the world. Before the outbreak the couple were traveling across Canada and the Americas and planned to spend two years traveling across the Americas.

Pebbles in the south of France, Instagram @Pebblesthetravellingpug

For now, the couple are staying in an Airbnb and they are waiting for the lockdown to be lifted and either continue their travels or come back to the UK if they would not be able to travel freely.

Pebbles the Pug’s Instagram can be found here, @pebblesthetravellingpug.

Pebbles in Costa Rica (Instagram @Pebblesthetravellingpug)


Many around the world have had their travel plans devastated due to the coronavirus restrictions and it is unfortunate that the small family’s plan was derailed due to the coronavirus travel restrictions. It is however, endearing to hear about their love for their dog and that they would never abandon their dog despite being offered a plane ride home without him. It is hard to imagine anyone being able to abandon their dog in a foreign country.

For now the couple will stay in the country where restrictions are still in place and it is entirely possible that travel after the coronavirus restrictions are lifted will not be the same as it was before the outbreak. So this could see the couple have to go back to the drawing board.

Nonetheless, it is exciting to read about their travel plans with their dog and to see how far they have been able to travel.

Their story shows that traveling with a dog is still bit more complicated as you can see with the Embassy’s response. However, it also highlights that traveling with a dog is absolutely a possibility, despite having to face challenges the family have managed to rack up an impressive 28 countries around the world.

Rocky the Traveller said, “Reading about this couple and their cute pug makes me miss the days of traveling around the continent to warmer climates. I hope this lockdown is lifted soon so I can sit lazily by a Mediterranean beach rather than sitting lazily on a couch!”

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