On March 21, we dug six small puppies out of a den in a hillside near Antigua. The pups were born to a feral female that we have been trying to catch and spay. We have managed to catch several in the group she roams with, but have not yet managed to get her.
The six puppies were five weeks old and growing up feral. We had to bring them in at this age or risk not being able to socialize them and have them grow up fearful. They were in very good condition; their mama did a fantastic job raising them.
The pups came into our center and after baths, worming, and preliminary vaccinations, they were bombed by wonderful volunteers Izzy, David, Anna, Denise, and Gwen who carried them literally everywhere with them, exposing them to all the sights, sounds, and humans that bustling Antigua offers. Within a few hours they went from frozen and growling to curious and playful. (This intense socialization can only be done with very young puppies. With older pups you run a very real risk of sensitization).
Our student volunteers carry on with the learning process every Saturday morning, luring the pups, playing with them and handling them. They are exposed to healthy, slightly older puppies and to tolerant adult dogs and are growing into friendly, social and playful puppies. They are being fostered by the fabulous Kristin Bush and live in a stimulating and safe environment with her and her adult dog Theo.
We have four males-Jude, Balu, Ollie and Henry, and two females-Minnow and Anouk.
Jude was the runt of the litter, but we would say he was small and mighty! With lots of good food, he has caught up to his siblings and is now a sleek, lovely pup. He is a bold, friendly little guy, who holds his own in the puppy wrestling matches and who loves people and bigger dogs, too. He is spunky and silly and just a whole lot of fun!