As you know, during my stay at El Rancho La Mesa I was taking daily spanish classes which required me to walk to town. One day during one of my sojourns I saw to tiny white puppies hiding in the scrub and rocks along side the dirt road.
Needless to say, it wasn’t the first time I’d run across a litter of puppies playing out on their own and I had learned how to keep my emotions at bay. As quickly as I caught sight of these two they disappeared into a crevice in the stones. For several day went by and watched for the puppies. If they were out I’d sit and let them approach, giving them a few pieces of kibble and water. I was at odds about feeding them since I wasn’t going to be around for a long time and I didn’t want them relying on me for food (would it alter their ability to scavenge for food?). They clearly needed nourishment so I left them food and water once a day.
Since the puppies weren’t always around when I walked by I was always uncertain whether they or another animal had eaten the food but I continued to put some out. Finally the weekend came and I went for a visit armed with flea and worming medicine, I could at least treat them and give them a better chance to survive. Unfortunately, my efforts were too late and I found the little boy dead. Despite my determination not to ‘rescue’ the puppies, at this point I couldn’t leave the little girl alone so I scooped her up and brought her home. Nickel immediately took her as her own, letting the puppy nestle into her. Nickel’s attention gave little white puppy come comfort. When outside she was afraid to venture very far from under the truck and inside she
hid in the crate that I’d set up on the ‘couch’ in the camper. She was very timid of her environment (especially anything moving quickly) and petrified of the rain. It all made sense since she had been vulnerable to other dogs and predators and she had no body fat to protect her; getting wet would have meant her end. She shivered quite a bit and I wasn’t sure if it was fear or cold so I made a coat for her… out of what I had available, a sleeve from my PJ’s.I also kept a hot water bottle in the crate which not only kept her warm, I think it gave her some comfort since she was used to having another puppy to snuggle up against.
During her first week my efforts were to simply put weight on her and help her understand that she didn’t have to fight to survive any more. I strung flexible toys near crate to occupy her since there was no room in the camper for her to be on the floor but she had no idea what play was all about. Being up high served several purposes… reduced area for potty training, kept her out of the big girls’ way, allowed her to keep an eye on me (and vice-a-versa) and give her access to the crate so she’d learn to find comfort in it. She was fed all her meals in the crate as well.within the second week she was putting on a little weight
I‘m pretty sure this was her mother….
Well, the rest is just a long story of nurturing and training and significant efforts to find this little girl a home. With the help of my girls, Pup-ita’s personality blossomed and she not only learned how to sit, stay and come, she learned how to PLAY.
with Great Joy (and a heavy heart) Pup-ita left for her new para siempre home today… exactly 6 weeks after finding her.
Frida picking up Pup-ita to bring to her new home