As 98% of you are sick of hearing about (the 2 are for Aneesa & Leah who are not quite sick of it), I rescued a pupper!! Vaquita and I first met in October on a Saturday after we finished doing activities with the kid's group. Elvis had promised to show me pups, because he knows how much I love them and I think he enjoys seeing how crazy I get. They were so tiny and fluffy!! I immediately loved her and named her "tiny cow" in Spanish (vaca = cow --> vaquita = small cow) and said I would try to talk to my landlord and come back when she was 6 weeks old.
We came back when she was 6 weeks old and she was EVEN CUTER! I had already asked my landlord and she said no. But, I had Elvis call her on the phone (on a Saturday night haha) and she said "absolutamente no."
I was really sad to leave her because as the puppies get older, they get lots of fleas and sicknesses. They tend to be abused in this community and they start getting meaner and scarier with experience. I knew if I, or anyone else, was going to take her she needed to leave the community asap. I also have tried to care-from-afar for two dogs in the past by bringing food and water but leaving them there, and they both died. A lot of dogs die over there from an array of problems (disease, starvation, getting hit by motos, snake bites, drowning). In these specific "floating" communities where they're under water for 6 months out of the year, the families "gift away" all of the puppies before the river starts to rise, or else they will drown in the river. (seriously, lots of dogs drown in the river every year. lots of children used to drown as well but INFANT started a program which has successfully reduced those numbers drastically)
So, I started scheming how to get Vaquita out of there. I found two different families who had farms that were willing to take her. Both were doing it as a favor to me because they saw how sad I was over the dog. On Friday afternoon, we swung by the house after work to pick up the babe and bring her to the vet! The plan was, I would take her to the vet Friday after work, she would spend the night with me, and then Saturday at noon she would go to live on the farm. Vaquita had her first little boat ride with me to the city, then I held onto her tight on the back of Elvis' motorcycle on the trip to the Vet. He kept making wrong turns and I almost strangled him because she was so scared and sad and he was making the trip unnecessarily long.
We arrive at the vet (Amazon CARES, its an NGO) around 7 pm and waited to be seen for what felt like too long. She was just crawling with fleas! I was picking through her fur trying to get some out as we waited.
The vet only spoke to Elvis and didn't even look at me when he talked #whyineedfeminism
The vet quickly covered her in anti-flea medication which made her freezing cold. After the visit, we stopped by an animal store to buy a collar, leash, and small ball before arriving at my apartment. She was scared but didn't cry at all. I coaxed her out of hiding (under chairs) with treats and let her sleep in my bed, where she snuggled up to me all night! Adorable!
By the time Saturday at noon came along, we were too attached. I couldn't send her to live on a farm! I love her!!
sleepy baby couldn't walk more than half a block for the first 3 days
Well, the landlord stood behind her "no." Despite the attempts of myself, Elvis, and Linda. So, we moved to a new apartment. It was a shame because I thought that apartment was perfect for the dog. But, our new place is great because the landlady loves Vaquita!
Where I walk her in our new neighbourhood, everyone already knows us! They see her coming and say "Hola Vaquita!" whenever we pass. When I walk to work without her, they yell to me "Kris! Donde esta la Vaquita!?"
Over the past week, she has learned her name, how to walk on a leash, "No" "vamos" "ven", she's mostly learned to pee outside or on newspaper if I'm at work (ok this is a work in progress), and she's almost got down "sit" at the corner before we cross the street. I think she has also learned "do you want to go home?" but I'm not positive. She just found her bark Sunday night! Which is terribly screechy.
Our building has a guard dog (seriously, he marks his territory in a systematic pattern and bites dogs and cats regularly). Well, he has really warmed up to Vaquita's insistent attempts to play. He clearly knows that she is a baby and plays gentle with her, never snapping, barking, or getting mad. He gets annoyed sometimes but will just get up and walk away. Plus, he's free-roaming so he's never forced into the situation. He could always run away and she's leashed so she can't follow.
The guard dog's name is Mani, and I think one of the reasons he has taken to us so well is that I let him out in the mornings. He's locked inside until the first person up opens the front door to let him out, and that's always Vaquita and I bright and early!
Monday morning, after letting him out to pee, Mani came on the walk with us! I was excited cause he was clearly purposefully walking with us! If we fell behind, he would wait. It was sweet. When we got back inside the building, we said bye to him at his spot by the door before walking up to our place. As I was closing the apartment door, Mani pops up the stairs! He came up to play! Mani slowly came into my apartment and played with Vaquita for a while. It was so sweet. She's a little bitey, her teeth are so sharp when she tries to play it hurts, so I'm hoping he will teach her bite-inhibition!! It seems like the best way to learn this is through play with other dogs. He acts like her dad, just laying there letting her bite his ears and step on his head, until she bites too hard or gets annoying then he flings her off. Also, he took his dad tax out of her breakfast ;)
Am I a total weirdo for writing so much about my dog that I've had for 10 days? Also, any advice on training a puppy much welcomed. It's hard.