The end of June was a crazy hectic time. On top of wrapping up at school, preparing for Carnival, and just day-to-day life, I adopted two sickly puppies. Everything happened so quickly; it didn’t really register until after the fact. A fellow PCV rescued the two puppies from an abusive/neglectful environment. Of course she cant afford to have tons of dogs (though I’m sure if she could she would), so she was looking for a foster home for these two cute puppies until permanent homes could be found. Luckily, the newly formed Vincy Animal Welfare Initiative here in SVG that she helped to found is off to a great start, and now she has help and support to slowly rescue as many needy animals as possible.
Anyways, I was crazy enough to volunteer to be a foster mom (since I was considering getting a dog for the company and security anyways) to two sickly puppies, and before I knew it I was off to Town to meet my fellow PCV to pick up the two pups. What an ordeal this was. Upon meeting my friend, who had already traveled from the Leeward side of the island for about an hour, was covered in dog poop and vomit. The poor doggies got car sick and made quite a mess of themselves and my friend. She was kicked off a van, and treated not so nicely by van passengers. We finally got the puppies to the vet where we discovered they were full of worms. They got some deworming medicine, and a few shots of vitamins and antibiotics. Afterwards, it was time for another van adventure, and off to my house.
After another hour-long bus ordeal (though not as bad as the first), we got to my house and promptly gave the dogs flea baths in addition to getting all the poop/vomit off. After a good bath, and some food, they were exhausted and slept for most of the rest of the evening curled up together.
From here on out, things were totally insane for me. Considering I have never owned a dog before, I was completely overwhelmed by having to take care of two malnourished, sick, non-house-trained dogs. I should have just done things my way, but not really knowing what to do, I took the overcautious advice of my fellow PCV. After two weeks I was completely over it and couldn’t wait to get rid of them. My first mistake was allowing the dogs in the house and leaving them in the house while I was at school and at night. I was instructed to feed them three times a day so I was leaving school during lunch to feed them and let them out. Of course by that time the house was already a mess. I spent 3 hours a day cleaning up after them. I was sick of cleaning up dog messes, and trying to house train them. What a nightmare. I went through about 10 rolls of paper towels in two weeks and two bottles of Clorox cleaner. Paper towels and Clorox are really, really expensive.
So after all this stress, I was ready for them to be gone. Completely and utterly over owning a dog. I clearly was not cut out for parenting two needy infants. Lesson learned, duly noted. Herein lies the next problem. The person lined up to be their permanent caretaker fell through. So it took a couple more sleepless, stressful days to find another owner who would be willing to take both. In the meantime though, I realized that not a single Vincentian allows their dogs in the house, and learned that it’s ok for them to be outside animals. This made life was soooo much easier. No more messes in the house, no more paper towels, no more getting up in the middle of the night, no more watching to make sure they poop at 3am and 5am (just one hour before my alarm goes off), so as to assure they don’t poop in the house--Not that it mattered; I’d take them out and try to make them poop for half an hour and within 10 minutes of being back in the house, they’d poop and pee all over the place. No more $4EC cans of dog food, no more sleepless nights, no more weekly flea baths, no more stress.
But alas, we couldn’t find any one that wanted both, luckily as it turned out my neighbor wanted one of them when I left. I told her she could have one now, right now. Things didn’t really move, and I was wondering if she was serious about wanting one of the dogs. Finally after a few more days some one came to pick the dogs up, and after talking to my neighbor it seemed like she definitely was willing to take one, so I didn’t give the other person both. So, after 2.5 weeks (which felt like an eternity) of total chaos and stress, one dog was gone and one remained.
Its now been a month, and well, I still have a dog. My neighbor already had a dog (which had puppies that same week), and has a cat, which also had 5 kittens the following week, so it seems that it kind of fell through. But its not so bad now that I learned that the dog can stay outside all night, she can eat her food outside, and that she doesn’t need to be fed every 3 hours; she can take care of herself for the most part. She is free to roam my yard; I don’t tie her up, but she doesn’t go very far either. However lately she has been following me half way down the street when I leave for the bus stop in the morning. She also comes running to greet me in the afternoons.
It’s like the best of both worlds. I get the company (when I want it) and the security of having a dog, but also the freedom of not having to take care of a dog. My neighbor is very helpful and is willing to watch/feed her when I am away or busy. Since I learned what works for me and Frangi, I have not had to clean up a mess in the house and have not had to buy $4EC cans of dog food. Now Frangi gets chicken backs or chicken necks, which are only $1.50EC/lb! One bag of chicken lasts about 3-4 days and only costs about $5EC.
Life is good. I am happy and Frangi is a very happy and healthy doggie :-)
ok so she's still allowed in the house sometimes, and has found a new favorite spot.