>> Sunday, June 21, 2009
They looked like baked potatoes when we pried up the plank from the deck of a vacant house and pulled out seven puppies...one at a time. From the beginning, I called them jumbo puppies. These puppies (and others like them) are the reason I always know summer is going to be busy...very busy.
It started like this: A good friend of mine (you remember Anita from my Raining Squirrels post?) lived next door to a vacant house. For several weeks, a vicious looking dog would run from the backyard of the house and scare the beejeebers out of anyone who came near...including me! Trust me, I didn't go too close, but I tried to put a dish of water and food in the backyard more than once. The dog let me know I was unwelcome.
Anyway, this went on and on. The seemingly vicious dog got more aggressive. She tried to jump the fence and come into Anita's backyard more than once. Since Anita had an elderly dog of her own and children too, she was getting more than just a little nervous. The situation was getting bad.
One night my husband and I were over at Anita's for dinner.
"I had to call the animal warden," Anita told us. "I can't take a chance of that dog hurting Savannah (her dog) or Emily (her youngest daughter)."
I was sad but I understood. It was scary.
We ate dinner. As evening turned to night my husband fell asleep in front of Anita's televison. I fretted. About 11:00, Anita and I went out to see if the dog had been trapped. It had indeed. It only took a moment for me to see that this lactating dog had only been trying to protect its pups.
"We've got to get the mom out of this trap," I told Anita. "If the animal warden comes this dog doesn't stand a chance and I know she has puppies somewhere. She needs to be able to nurse them."
This story could go on and on but through the efforts of my husband (and a few other friends) we went into the very dark backyard of the vacant house. And yes, I had to wake up my poor husband. We needed as much help as we could muster at that late hour.
With flashlight in hand, we looked under bushes and in a shed. Finally, it dawned on one of us that the puppies were probably under the deck where they would be hard to reach. Of course, that's right where they were.
As soon as we started pulling the puppies out from under the deck, we transferred them to another large crate which we placed right beside the mother dog. We left that crate opened and untrapped the mom. She immediately ran into the crate with her pups. Now she didn't look so ferocious. In fact she looked downright grateful.
The next morning we went back to the vacant yard to make sure we hadn't missed any puppies. It broke my heart to find empty McDonald's bags and various other trash that the mother had obviously been eating just to survive. What maternal insincts she had.
Ten weeks and I can't tell you how many bottles of formula later, we placed all the puppies in good homes. Most of them went in twos, which made all of us very happy. The mother found a good home with one of my friends who helped to care for the pups all summer. Her name is Rae. In addition to taking the mother dog, Rae did puppy laundry, feedings, and just about everything she could do to help with the puppies.
In the end, it was a very successful rescue. A patient at my vet's office had formed a foundation to honor her dog. It paid for every single shot the puppies and their mother received. Can you think of a better end to a rescue story?
Oh! I can think of one way. There's going to be a puppy reunion in July. I'll take lots of pictures to share with all of you.