The three puppies are now just over 11 weeks old. Since we rescued them at 4 weeks old, we made the decision to keep them separate from the 4 big dogs in their area at the back of the house. The pups were so tiny that they were likely to be trampled on by the big ones. Monty and Tommy, who live in the house and have the area at the front, are much smaller of course, and they have been fine with the pups. Monty continues to act like a father/big brother to them and it's lovely to see.
As they are now growing and are much stronger, we decided to start getting them used to the big dogs. They can see and sniff each other through the fence, so are used to them being around, but I was still a little apprehensive about allowing them all in the same area together. However, if they are all to live together harmoniously, it has to be done.
It wouldn't be a good idea to allow the pups into the back area, which the big dogs see as their territory, so one by one we let Blondie, Megan, Sammy and Freddie into the front with Chas, Dave, Melek, Monty and Tommy.
I held my breath...but after a few growls, the sniffing of bottoms began...then the big dogs exerting control over the smaller ones... finally they settled, and mostly ignored each other. We did this for an hour, and will continue to do so, until it becomes normal to them.
|Megan and Melek|
|Dave, Chas and Melek|
|Blondie, Dave, Chas and Melek|
|Melek outside the new plastic kennel, with the old wooden kennel on the right which has become the pups playroom!|
|Sammy, Monty, Blondie, Dave and Chas|
|Sammy, Blondie, Dave and Megan|
|Blondie, Dave, Melek and Chas|
Eventually, it will get easier. Feeding of course will always have to be in separate areas, because there is a tendency with street dogs to fight over food. No matter how long they live with you, and are fed regularly, they never lose this instinct to protect their food at all costs.
And talking of feeding dogs, Between 20 and 25 industrial estate dogs are still being fed by the café owner with the dried food that we are providing, but Mr A pops up there every few days just to check that they are all OK. We are also continuing to feed 5 or 6 dogs in the village.
However, we are now at a point where we may have to cut back on this....perhaps even stop altogether. Donations have dried up. I do have a few donors who have committed to monthly payments for the foreseeable future, amounting now to a total of £40. I am so grateful for this, but it isn't enough for us to continue to care for so many dogs out on the streets. We also have to consider the cost of feeding and vaccinating our 9 rescues, not to mention having the three pups neutered in a few months time. It has been mentioned to me that I should consider re-homing some of them, but I just can't do it. I cannot part with any of them. They are all part of our family now.
I think I'm to blame that there isn't so much money coming in, because I took a step back from continually asking for help. I was finding it difficult and embarrassing to do. But I know now that our limited finances just won't allow us to continue unless I just swallow my pride and ask.
I desperately want to carry on what I've started. I don't want to let these dogs down, so if anyone can spare a little to help, you will find the Paypal button at the top of my blog. Thankyou.