More Tales o’ Tails
A young man from Tafara, one of the Townships that borders on Caledonia, had spotted a commotion on an unused building site adjacent to the flats he lived in and, checking it out, found that a litter of 7 tiny pups had been discovered in a hole by some workmen who were trying to level the ground and fill in some old foundation trenches. Being a kind hearted youngster, he immediately went to the rescue and, although he’d never owned a dog before, wrapped them in a small piece of white duvet, popped them in a huge plastic bathtub and took them home with him, where he proceeded to try and feed them on egg and milk.
Fortunately, someone must have given him our phone number and suggested that he call us, which is why, at 5.30 in the evening, just as it was getting dark, Tawanda set out from the farm in the Red Racing Snail, loaded to the hilt with a large wooden kennel, bale of straw, several squares of green fleecy material, 2 towels and a goodly supply of milk and food for the mother dog – should she materialize out of nowhere – together with a little container of baby dog feeding bottles full of Royal Canin Babydog Milk, warm and ready mixed.
The babies, eyes just beginning to open, (somewhere between 10 and 14 days old?) were given a quick feed by torchlight, before being left in the kennel, which had been put as close to where they had been found as possible, in the hope that their mother – some poor unfortunate stray who must have been beside herself – would come back and find them there. We had absolutely no idea what we were going to do next but it was late and we knew we had to jump around and make some kind of a plan.
Friday 18th August
We couldn’t wait to find out what had happened, but once again, couldn’t make comms. So, at 9.30am I sent a text message. ‘Hi Tinashe, it’s Mrs Thompson here. Did the mother dog come back? Has anyone seen her? How strong are the puppies? Thanks for your kindness to them.’ The feedback came – ‘Owk i luv dogz they are doing great’
That was a good start… ‘Has anyone seen the mother dog?’ Answer, to the point, ‘Yes’
Earlier that morning, Tinashe, who is 18 – now joined by his older brother and a little boy from down the road – had been devastated to find the kennel empty when they arrived to check ‘their’ babies. No surprise there, because when we saw the photos in the clear light of day, I realized that the kennel was now the only prominent feature in the middle of a miniature lunar landscape that was humming with workmen as they prepared to set about their new building project!! Still, undaunted, the 3 brave rescuers set off to look for them and, about a 100m away, found them – no longer 7, but 8 – curled up in a huddle on a little bit of flattened grass next to a rock, where mum had obviously tried to make a bed for them. Determined to follow instructions and do the right thing, they swept them all up and carried them proudly back to the kennel, putting out new bowls of food for the mother before they stepped back to keep an eye on their new responsibilities from a distance…
Gosh!! What can I say!! Time for step 2… The kennel was moved to mama dog’s rock of choice, together with the food and, that afternoon, when Tawanda went to check on them, there was Mummy Dog, curled up in the kennel, with all 8 babies squirming and nuzzling contentedly in their new shelter. She’s now called Spider, and although she growls slightly when people try and peer in at her, she had already eaten 3/4 of the food that had been put out for her and almost the same amount of water.
The temperature had plummeted on Thursday night, so tonight should be a better one for them all, but tomorrow is another day and it will be time to start thinking of the next step. We can’t rush things – the rescuers need time to win her trust – but we also have to be careful that her babies are not stolen by some passerby to be sold on for a few dollars… Tawanda tells me the look on the faces of the 3 caretakers was something special to see and, after leaving them with 3 of our animal care leaflets to read, he came home really happy, with a wonderful spring in his step. So far, so good –
Sunday 20th August
No news is generally good news, but it was good to get a message from Tinashe on
‘I also thnk u mrs Tompson for helping m al is gud the mother is living with her children
they are all fine i thnk u cos i was losing hope thinking tt they wont survive but i thnk u
fo great job’
I replied, ‘Gosh Tinashe. Thank you for your text. We’re very glad to be able to help
but the journey has just begun!! Spider will be a loving grateful friend to you and we will
do everything we can to help. Good night for now.
‘Owk Sam to u’
Tuesday 22nd August
Tawanda takes a bottle of sterilized milk and an egg to add into Spider Mama’s food
and, too afraid to come out, but determined to get it, she pulled the 2 litre ice-cream
container right into her kennel, where she flattened it, with a little help from her pups,
who were trying to lick up the last of the milk. She’s very nervy and growls at everyone
but is spending most of her time with her pups so, for the time being, all is still well…
We are so grateful to FORPETS for donating dog food to RAC which goes a long way in helping us feed this desperate mama dog.