Of the thirteen puppies from Doggie's third litter (she has now given me a total of 35 puppies) I had to keep this one. I was in amongst the pups helping a prospective new owner to select a couple when this one snuck up on me and bit my toe. Yes, that toe. Clearly the dog has a bit of character and is not intimidated by our difference in size. Clearly the couple looking for a puppy thought so too for they immediately dumped one of the two puppies they had selected and demanded him instead.
Bitches can, and do, mate with more than one dog and can store sperm until they feel the time is right to get pregnant. I can see at least three fathers in the mix but I prefer the obvious isssue of Kizomba.
Kizomba is my neighbour's dog. He was fished out of the river years ago with a badly lacerated leg. Against all odds, he not only survived but made a perfect recovery to become the Alpha male of the neighborhood. As Doggie came on heat for the second time and Charlie, his son, started to go a little wild eyed and crazy with hormones, Kizomba beat Charlie up so bad he damn near ripped his balls off and I had to suture Charlie's ball sack if he was going to stand any chance of fathering his own puppies.
Unlike most feral dogs, Doggie included, Kizomba is inteligente and comfortable around humans. He was willing to be trained and obey his master in exchange for a decente bunk and regular food. Charlie, his son by Doggie is the same. Oddly enough I chose to keep Charlie, out of Doggie's first litter, because when I had finally tracked down the hole in the ground that Doggie had dug to give birth in and was stuffing the puppies into a pillow case to transfer them to the box I had made up, he bit me.
Charlie will sit when he is told to and come back when he is called. I can put a plate of food in front of him and he won't tuck in until I tell him he can. He won't climb up on the furniture or nick food off the table. I once caught Doggie on the table tucking into our Sunday roast, na opportunity she had seized just because I had turned my back to make the gravy. Charlie will also dog Alex and get extremely viscious if he thinks the boy is under threat.
Between here and the restaurante site is a pack of feral dogs. I have to drive between the two almost daily and Charlie will not stay at home. He just has to gambol alongside the Jeep. The one thing he does not do well is ride along in vehicles. And every time he gats beaten up by this pack of feral dogs. One on one I am sure he would murder them but faced with such a co-ordinated attack by so many, it is hardly surprising he always comes off worst. On more than one occasion, I have been tempted to ride down the middle of the road at night and shoot these dogs but I just know I would get into all sorts of trouble. What Charlie needs is some back up.
'This puppy is special', I told the prospective owners.
'Yes. This one is a pure bred Tiger Dog, look at his stripes. Look at his brother Charlie over there. This one will come out bigger and meaner than him'.
'I want him,' said the guy.
'It'll cost you,' I said.
The guy picked up the puppy and it struggled manfully before sinking its sharp little teeth into his thumb.
'I'll give you a hundred bucks,' he said.
'Not even close,' I countered, 'How many real Tiger Dogs have you seen?'
I can see this guy really wants this puppy but I want to keep him too so I throw out a ridiculous figure.
'OK, 500 bucks', I say.
'Done,' he says.
Now that wasn't supposed to happen but 500 bucks, US mind, is not to be sniffed at and, after all, I hadn't really earned it, Doggie had done all the work.
Just then, Alex pitched up.
'Daddy! What are you doing with Eddie?'
'Yes Daddy, Eddie. Eddie is MY dog!'
The guy's wife looked at Alex's trembling lip and, no doubt with a mixture of maternal pity and the thought of what she could buy with the five hundred her husband was willing to toss, persuaded him to hand Eddie back to Alex.
To train a puppy to be loyal the first thing you have to do is stop bathing. Dogs rely on scent so if you shower regularly, it just confuses them. Now I have no problems eschewing running water and soap. For a start, unwelcome visitors are suddenly less inclined to darken my doorway but wives, whose bed husbands are expected to share, take a diferente view. Anyone who came off the tit and was immediatley packed off to boarding school will understand the trauma of being seperated from Nanny. Eddie felt the same way. He had lost all his siblings and his mother, Doggie, was kicking him off her teats. Clearly, Eddie needed to be introduced the the inside of the house and learn to eat the meat he would need to build up his muscles so he could back up his brother.
And this is where sweaty, unwashed clothes come in. At night, I peel off and make a bed up for the puppy with my stinky garments. It gets used to my smell and the fact that I feed it. We become inseparable. It's all over my feet and biting my toe to get attention. If I am working late at night it whines piteously so I pick it up, stuff it inside my shirt and it calms down as I type. Then it wakes up, struggles out of my shirt and settles down right between my eyeballs and whatever it is I am doing.
|Can we go to bed now Daddy? I'm tired and so very pissed off, oh so pissed off with this blogging lark, |
Can't we go hunting instead?.
'Isn't your best friend called Eddie?' she pointed out.
Oh, so that's where Alex got the name.
'That's alright,' I assured her, 'I'll just tell Ed I am naming my dogs after English Princes'