Uri, Mafatu's faithful dog and dear friend, consistently shows his loyalty to Mafatu throughout the novel. Uri chooses to stay right next to Mafatu's side for the duration of the story. He serves as a source of inspiration and courage for Mafatu, who struggles with being afraid of the sea, a fear that is a source of great shame for him on his island home. Through a harrowing journey at sea and the challenges Mafatu faces surviving on his own on an unfamiliar neighboring island, Uri stays by Mafatu's side. Uri bravely defends Mafatu and his canoe when a hammerhead shark attacks the fish trap hanging off the side of the canoe. When Uri falls in the water while barking at the shark, Mafatu finds courage through the love for his dog and jumps in the water to save him. He kills the shark and pulls his beloved dog to safety. Through his loyalty, Uri teaches Mafatu bravery and dedication to friendship.