Sunday 28th June: Finally some puppy adoptions

Millie, an adorable pup

Millie, an adorable pup

Finally, finally, the drought is over and three puppies are adopted from Whiskers’n’Paws! Nero, the lone survivor of his litter is one of them.  Quite a few people were taken with his chubby charm as he toddled round the terrace, and now he is living at Bel Air, very close to our kennels .   Millie, making her third or fourth Sunday appearance,  has gone to Homantin where she will have another dog as a friend.  A family who came later to meet Millie but found that she has just been adopted were very happy to take pretty Amber as a substitute.  Result, three lucky pups and a very relieved Sally.

Karina on the day she was adopted (and later returned)

Karina on the day she was adopted (and later returned)

 Thankfully the rain held off for the entire three hours so the older pups, Sinbad and Karina, were able to play outside.  Karina had been adopted a few Sundays back, but returned for “biting”, that is,. being a normal puppy.  She is a very sweet natured girl and, knowing her now,  I’m reminded of how important it is that adopters understand that ALL puppies bite, and ALL puppies will have accidents and chew at least one favourite pair of shoes and a phone charger. There are few guarantees in life but toddler tears is one of them if you have a young puppy in the home.  My advice to would-be adopters with babies is usually to choose a slightly older puppy which has got past the must-bite-everything stage.  A crawling human baby (especially with a smelly nappy) is irresistible bait to a puppy which sees anything on the floor as something to be played with. Those baby teeth are like needles and can pierce the skin very easily.  I feel sorry for mother dogs having to feed a litter of nibblers with their vampire fangs.

 Of course, the inevitability of puppies biting doesn’t mean that it should be tolerated without question, and that’s where training starts.  Once a puppy is taken away from siblings or playmates and joins a human family, it must be taught how to adapt to new rules and routine.  I’ve talked about positive reinforcement versus punishment training before, and all I can say is that the puppies that I take as young babies and who grow up without ever being physically threatened, end up as happy dogs. 

Just yesterday I got an email from someone who adopted a puppy a year or so back, and now the dog is aggressive and even bites his owners.  I’m quite shocked to hear this, as I have never, ever been bitten or even threatened by any of my dogs, even the ones I bring home as “damaged goods”.  I don’t know what goes wrong or why a dog would literally bite the hand that feeds it, other than fear.  I have quite a few dogs that would fall into the category of ‘unhomeable’ due to their timid natures or ‘odd’ behaviour, but the key to harmony in the home is trust.  The dogs trust me never to hurt them, and in return I trust them never to bite me. 

 I’m not saying that I don’t lose my temper with the dogs or never shout at them, because of course I do, but as dogs get angry with each other for a short time and then it’s forgotten, the dogs understand that if I’m upset with them about something it’s quickly over and done with.  There’s no “post punishment”, that is, getting upset about something that happened earlier.  You have to catch a dog in the act for it to understand and make the connection between what it’s doing and the reaction.   It’s frustrating, because many’s the time when I’ve found chewed items lying around and I feel like killing someone, but it’s pointless.  The dogs all sit there with innocent looks on their faces, like “Who? Me?”, and I can only mutter curses and accept that my last wooden spoon or pile of important paperwork is now destroyed.  My lesson is that I must remember to put things away and out of reach, and that nothing is sacred to a dog.

Just in: scary and horrible news from China.  Yet another disgusting dog cull.

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It’s still a dog’s life for pets on the mainland

David Eimer
Updated on Jun 29, 2009
With basic human rights flouted on a regular basis on the mainland, what chance do animals have of being protected by the law? Precious little, if the recent dog cull in Hanzhong, Shaanxi province is anything to go by. At least 36,000 have been killed by local officials over the last month, in response to a rabies outbreak that has resulted in the deaths of 12 people over the last three months.The pictures of groups of men chasing down any dog roaming the streets, whether a stray or a pet, and then beating them to death with bamboo poles are repugnant and have sparked outrage at home. It is medieval behaviour, and hardly appropriate for a country that increasingly wants to present itself as a force for good in the world.

That carefully nurtured image has taken a battering with the widespread reporting of the cull in the overseas media. To many foreigners, it confirms that the mainland remains a place where even the most domesticated animals can be killed at will.


One Response to “Sunday 28th June: Finally some puppy adoptions”

  1. Denvy Says:

    Not just puppies, but adult dogs too! Too many books were destroyed by Lemondrop to be counted…

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