Welcoming our new puppy Bento to the family

Richard Branson teaches his new puppy to swim
Virgin Galactic
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 23 April 2021

Delighted to welcome our new puppy Bento into our Necker Island family.

Bento is a mixed breed – he’s a Spaniel, Labrador and a splattering of other breeds. He’s such a friendly little chap and he’s making friends with our other dog Tofu, who is a wonderful Labrador/Irish Water Spaniel cross, and charming all of our team on Necker Island. 

We’ve had a great time teaching him to swim and paddling in the sea together.

We attempted paddle boarding but he must have better balance than me as I was the first to fall off!  

It’s also been wonderful exploring the island together, checking out the wind turbines, and meeting the lemurs, the parrots and all the other wildlife that call Necker home. 

In case you’re wondering about the names, I’ve been fortunate to spend time in Japan on ballooning adventures and many other Virgin events, and ever since we have been naming our dogs after Japanese food and drinks.

Virgin Limited Edition
Virgin Limited Edition

We have had Sushi, followed by Sumo and now Miso, Tofu and Bento. One of the advantages in living a long life is how many dogs you get to share your life with. 

A puppy has been a wonderful addition to our team as the pitter patter of paws sparks such joy and brings everyone together. It’s perfect timing for a new pup, with Necker Island reopening for guests where travel restrictions allow. 

We’re all a little smitten with dogs (and animals in general) in our family - Holly also made her first ‘paw-poseful’ investment last year into Denzel’s, a brilliant dog food start-up that turns food waste into snacks and uses fully recyclable packaging. 


It’s great to see so many new start-ups trying to change the way business is done and creating positive change for people – and dogs!