Monday, February 28, 2005

Strays

Update: We got him! Number 3 and Number 2 son captured him when he ventured out again.

Friday afternoon two pups wandered into our yard. Both looked to be about 6-10 weeks old. One all black, the other had the coloring of a baby rottweiler. Having three dogs already, I asked around with the neighbors and around town, but with no one claiming them, I took them to the animal shelter in Camden. Saturday afternoon a sandy-haired pup showed up. This one really took to the kids. In a weak moment I promised they could keep him if the vet said he had no contagious diseases.

Sunday afternoon a fourth pup showed up. If we hadn't seen his three brothers and sisters, I'm not sure I would have recognized this fella as a dog. He looks part racoon, part bear, and part human, like an eskimo covered with fur. He has proved difficult to catch. We first saw him curled up in a ball beside his sandy-haired sister's little pen. We ran and chased him sort of haphazardly - but he is much faster than his brethern. A couple of us made stabs and should have got him, but he eluded us and hid under our feed house. We spent a couple of hours in the cold rain trying to coax him from under the feed house to no avail. Thus we left him food and water for the night. I may have pneumonia this morning from these failing efforts.

This morning he has ventured out a few times, but he is very cautious and smart. Every time we make a move he runs back to shelter. I would like to catch him today because both the vet and the shelter are in Camden, and I would like to make only one trip.

How many pups does the average litter have? Do I have to go through this a couple more times? It is obvious someone dumped a litter.

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

2 comments:

alicia said...

litter size varies according to species and maternal age, but I have seen litters as larg as 11 pups. 4 to 6 is more typical, given that the average bitch has only 6 to 8 teats to nurse with.
I hate the pet dumpers!

JCurley said...

We took the last two to the vet - he said labs can have 15 pups in a litter, although it is rare.

We haven't found any more, so hopefully this is it. We will keep the golden one as I promised the kids, but the last one (which we discoverd is part Chow - which I suppose means that all are part Chow) still hasn't warmed up to anyone. We'll give her a couple more days, but then we'll have send her shelter also.

The people at the hardware store told me that my road is notorious for litter-dumpers as most in the area have dogs and our road is somewhat isolated.