TIM Shaddock, who was lost at sea for two months with his dog, has faced new pain after being forced to abandon him.
But after being pulled ashore by his rescuers, Tim abandoned his canine companion that he “found” while on a trip to Mexico.
“He is a spirit in the middle of the world and he didn’t let me go.
“I tried to find a house for him three times and he kept following me in the water. He’s a lot braver than me, that’s for sure. “
Tim, despite his heartbreak, decided to leave the baby in the hands of a member of Marie Delia’s group who came to rescue him.
Then he left for his home in Australia.
Tim said he chose team member Genaro Rosales to look after Bella – and he assured her she would be well taken care of.
Bringing pets to Australia can be a long and expensive process involving cats and dogs being sterilized, vaccinated and quarantined – even from “legal” countries.
Mexico is not a legal country for the sale of pets to Australia, making it difficult for Bella to return to Australia.
They must have lived in another country, and been cared for there, before being considered for entry into Australia.
After being rescued, the 51-year-old, who sported long hair and a beard, revealed that he and Bella survived on raw fish and rainwater when the pair were lost at sea.
A former IT professional, he set off in April from La Paz, Mexico, on a 3,728-mile trip to French Polynesia.
But a few weeks later, his ship was damaged by a storm that caused the lights and navigation to work.
The stranded pair were rescued after two difficult months at sea, 1930km from land, by the tuna fish Marie Delia after being spotted by a chopper.
Then the boat took them back to Mexico.
Tim said he was “very grateful” to be alive and described the moment he saw a helicopter that alerted the pilot to his location.
“The place I live here is amazing, you know, it’s very good. I am happy to be here,” he said.
“It made me feel like I was going to live, you know. The helicopter was the first sighting of any ship for three months. “