An unintentional litter of love

 

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04/15/2016 The babies are 1 year old today. I am happy to report that the 7 pups and their Momma are all healthy and living fabulous lives. It breaks my heart every time I see a starving dog or a hugely pregnant malnourished dog wandering the roads of this island.  People need to be educated and they need to understand that allowing a dog to continue to have/make pups is inexcusable and irresponsible. It needs to stop. My 7 pups were unplanned, due to a dog I rescued, I did the best that I could. Please spay and neuter your dogs and cats. This is a success story, but 99% of them are not.

I already had Lola, Lucky and Highway when I found Frito on Tuesday, March 10th at the school in Barrio Los Fuertes. We were doing a TOMS shoe delivery. There was a bone sticking out of her paw and it was infected. I lured her to my car with a bag of Fritos, scooped her up and left. I had already called Bethany, Doc Calderon’s assistant and also called Bill saying, “there is a dog..” Once we were home, I fed her, gave her fresh water and made her a nice bed.  I then tried my best to clean her paw and started her on antibiotics immediately. She went to the vet on Wednesday (the only day there is a vet here on the island) and he wanted her sent to his office in La Ceiba. She left that day, the 11th, on the afternoon ferry. She was operated on Friday the 13th and came home March 15th. EXACTLY one month later she had 7 puppies. I just figured this all out the other day when I was getting sentimental about it being the pups first birthday. All along I have been saying, about a month later she had pups, when it really was exactly 1 month. More of that “it was fate” stuff.

Frito had a good life here after her surgery. I fed her a lot and she gobbled it up, after starving for most of her young life. She started gaining weight rapidly though. Three weeks after she came home from having her leg removed I realized she was pregnant. We were out on the lower deck and she was laying on her back on the bench and I saw her belly move several times. I put my hand on her fat, huge, burgeoning belly and sure enough, a little foot kicked me. DAMN.

The day I Frito gave birth to 7 puppies was more than a little change in my life. It was huge. I am all about responsible dog ownership. I would NEVER breed a dog, it is stupid to even think about that. Finding good homes is very difficult. Puppies are adorable but they grow up to be dogs and they become eating machines. They MUST get heartworm meds, flea and tick meds monthly, regular shots, wormed, all things that most people don’t think is important. Most of all they must be fixed to ensure that NO MORE PUPS are born. Here I was with an unintentional pack of puppies. I had no idea that when I saved Frito I was saving her and the 7 babies she was carrying.

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Not gordo (fat) but prego!!

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3 was a good number

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So was 4

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How about 6?

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And then there were 7. Seven little dwarfs.

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Hungry little buggers

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These 2 were destined to be together and we knew from the day after they were born that they would be. Sable and Bandit bonded at birth and are lucky that they were adopted together by 2 people who love and adore them. Thanks Lisa and Rob!

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He’s not heavy, he’s my brother.

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Sable and Bandit

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Sable and Bandit doing ballet

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Sable with Lisa

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Bandit and Rob

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Hungry pups

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Once their eyes were open we started taking them out to the grass. We had to make umpteen trips up and down the steps to get them all carried outside. Frito was still the milk truck but Lola was already forming a bond with the pups.

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Nursing in the grass. Frito was eating like a queen, she got spinach and eggs and yogurt, anything to keep her healthy so the pups would be healthy.

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They loved their outside time. Bill built an enclosure on the lower concrete porch that was shaded and dry. We put them in there for naps so we weren’t constantly carrying them all up and down the steps. Lola always sat guard. ALWAYS.

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They had an enclosure in the living room that grew to take up half of the living room. I was totally anal keeping it clean. I did 3 loads of dog laundry a day, washing bedding constantly.

Lola guarding her pups.

Frito soon lost interest in nursing the pups, they had teeth and were biting her. She had mastitis too so I wrapped her teats in warm wet cabbage leaves. Yes. I did do this. When she recovered we kept her separated from the group so she would dry up. This is when Lola really took over as momma dog. She did everything but nurse them, not that they didn’t try. She never left the pups alone. If they were downstairs in the pen sleeping, she was right there with them, sometimes in their pen.

About the time Frito lost interest in nursing was when she and Lola started fighting. Frito usually went after Lola when ever she got near the pups which was all the time, since she was their self appointed guardian. It got to the point that we had to keep them separated because I was afraid the pups would get in the middle of all of the nastiness going on.

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I took over feeding them. We went through containers of yogurt, eggs, evaporated milk some Karo syrup and rice cereal like crazy.

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I always had 2 containers of yogurt filled with their special AKC recipe in the fridge, ready for late night feedings. By the way they grew, I know they were getting proper nutrition.

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eggs, yogurt, milk, Karo, cereal..check.

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It was my life. I unknowingly allowed these pups to be born, I was responsible for their lives.

I started looking for homes but was very cautious about who I would give a pup to. Living on an island like Roatan, you must be selective. You have to be sure the people you give the dogs to will have them fixed, no more proliferating puppies on the island. You also need to be sure the pups will be fed, get regular vet check ups and be loved. It was tough, really, it was. I knew 2 were going to Lisa and Rob and was totally chill with that. They loved the dogs and would be good to them. After many conversations and messages I finally got Marcia to have her husband come over to meet the pups and he fell for Buddha, now called Duke. When Dennis took Duke I bawled. Tears of joy and sorrow. One of my babies (remember, I had myself convinced I gave birth to these pups so it was natural to be experiencing post- partum depression) was leaving the nest. Then Lisa and Rob took their two. I was prepared for that though, I knew they had a good home. That still left me with 4 pups and 3 other dogs, Highway, Lola and Frito. {Lucky, a dog I took from some people leaving the island who couldn’t take their 3 dogs with them, had by then moved to a friends house where he is much happier without puppies nibbling on him.}

Max had been spoken for by another couple but when he got really sick from Giardia and we almost lost him, they had lost interest by then. Thanks to Doc Calderon and Bethany, Max is fine now and a total love. Brindle (now renamed Gringo) also had a home but at the last minute things changed there too. We still had 4 pups. Bill’s sister was coming to visit and we took Max with us to pick her and Jenny up. While at the airport I saw Kevin and Claire. Kevin grabbed Max and took him to show Claire. Then he came back to me and said, ‘We want the big one showing his teeth in your pictures.”

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They wanted Tank. I was happy and sad again.

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Lola watching the pups..

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Lola and Tank and Max, chewing on her tail.

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Lola with the 4 boys

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She was so good with the puppies..so gentle, she allowed them to crawl all over her, chew her tail, her ears, her face..she was just chill.

Let me just say this, I may have been the one making all the food and cleaning up the messes but Bill agreed to my every whim to build things needed to keep the puppies safe. A big box downstairs, a box upstairs, a bigger box upstairs, backs on the steps so they wouldn’t fall through, rails on the porch, rails on the deck, barriers in the yard, you name it, he made it. All for the puppies. Or maybe to protect himself, because if anything had happened to one of these pups I would have lost it. He knew that.

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The living room crate.. Thanks to Lynda for bringing me all kinds of towels and things for bedding.

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Sound asleep in the Le Creuset dish

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Passed out in their upstairs crate.

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When the pups were about 5 months old we all met (the pups and their parents) at Parrot Tree lagoon and let them swim and play together for a few hours. It was so cool to see them figure out who the other dogs were. And Sable was her regular kick ass self. Being the only girl, she was feisty as hell and took nothing from her brothers.

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Brothers and a sister

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Bandit, Barrio, Sable, Max and Duke

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Gringo, Max, Duke and Barrio

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Two peas in a pod, Sable and Bandit..Their love for each other is amazing.

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Our 3 boys and their Momma

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The Beach Boys at Big Bight

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Bill hooked a water spritzer on the deck, they loved it.

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I’ve never allowed dogs on the furniture. These 3 wore me down.

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Rooftop rumble

We are down to 6 dogs. Highway, Lola, Frito, Max, Barrio and Gringo. They are all loved immensely. I can’t even begin to tell you how any times a day I kiss the dogs and tell them I love them. Bill is always loving on them too, they get a lot of attention. We have extended the fenced in area to enclose the whole drive way, they have the roof, the back deck, the lower deck and two yards to play in. Hopefully we will soon have a pool for them.

I consider myself very fortunate to have found good homes for 4 of my babies and I am good friends with their parents so I always know what is going on.

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This is Duke. He has it made with Marcia and Dennis and their rottie, Shay. Thanks Marcia and Dennis. XOXO

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This is Tank. I used to call him Tankerdoodles. He also has a life of leisure running and playing with the other dogs at Kevin and Claire’s. Kevin claims to not like him (hahahaha) but rumor has it he and Tank share kisses.. Thanks Claire and Kevin. XOXO

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And then there is Sable and Bandit. I stopped to see them one day and they went crazy kissing me. Lisa just marvels at how they remember their birth Momma. These 2 also have a fab life with a pool to swim in and parents who love them. Thanks Lisa and Rob. XOXO

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Our boys swimming last Sunday.

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The 5 that live upstairs. Unfortunately Frito still has to be kept separated because she wants to kill Lola. We feel really bad that this is the case and we are trying to help them to get along. Frito isn’t chained, she has a big yard to run in, she is Bill’s shop dog, always wandering around with him. She gets to sleep inside on a nice bed and gets food, the most important thing in her life.

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Every night, this is what our floor looks like. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

In closing, Happy Birthday to the 7 most loved pups on the island. Huge thanks and much love to Rob and Lisa, Marcia and Dennis and Kevin and Claire. You guys probably saved my marriage. If I hadn’t found good homes for the dogs, I would have kept them all. My love for these dogs grows daily and what they have given to me can’t be measured..it’s too perfect.

And remember people, SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR PETS. Don’t be an irresponsible schmuck.

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7 thoughts on “An unintentional litter of love

  1. Suzanne says:

    I agree with the other comments – very lucky pups and humans. I do have an unrelated question for you. A few blog posts ago you made some comments about the political situation on the island and from that I got the impression that there are 2 mayors, a “good guy” and a “not so good guy”. I get the posts from The New Roatan on facebook and I’m wondering which one that is.

  2. In my opinion the New Roatan mayor should focus on the issues at hand (infrastructure on the island, schools, water, garbage) instead of spending taxpayer money jetting with his flock all over the world looking for different energy solutions that the island can not afford to install. I am good friends with the mayor on the east end of the island (Santos Guardiola) and he is trying his best to make things better.
    I rarely post on the New Roatan page because whoever handles their P.R. will argue until the cows come home.

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