Need for a puppy ‘swayamvara’
A few weeks after Stubby died, a discussion started in the family about bringing home a puppy. My father grew up with a dog in the family, and other than the 5 years that we were in Delhi, we had a dog at home. My sister also decided to came to Bangalore for a weekend and it was decieded that we would get a puppy from Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA) that Saturday.
There were quite a few pups at the adoption kennel at CUPA. After debating whether to pick a male or a female, a brown or a black, an active one or a not so active one, and a few other points, my sister and mother decieded on a male not so active pup with brownish black coat and a white patch at the end of its tail. We called him Stingy for a while, but the name didnt really catch on.
The pup was quite sluggish the first couple of days and we thought it was because of the deworming medicine it received just before leaving the shelter. But it just would not eat anything. We tried everything from milk, rice, boiled egg, bread, roti, biscuits, rusk, and an assortment of many other things. But the answer was a no go on all counts. It was a proper hunger strike and we were just not able to discern why. On the second day I force fed some milk using an ink-dropper. When the fast went into the third day I took it to the vet. Knowing the ways of pups, he said, ok lets try this. He opened a bottle of dog food took a few pieces in his hand. Within no time his hand was licked clean !! The pup attacked it like it hadn’t eaten anything for a few days. Well, it hadn’t !
Hoping to make the best use of the complementary pack the vet gave us, we tried mixing the packed food in different forms, with home cooked food. An adamant no way was all we got. It even refused the dog food by itself. I realized that the complementary pack was a different brand from the one that the vet gave in clinic! It was the seventh day and four force feeding sessions later. My father caved and bought a pack of Pedigree and the pup gobbled it up in seconds. After another unsuccessful round of trying to get it to eat home cooked food mixed with the Pedigree stuff, we decieded we would not be able to feed him packaged food nor did we want his growth to suffer due to the hunger strikes at such a crucial stage in its growth.
10 days after we brought him home, we took the pup back and left him in CUPA. The managers and helpers maintained that they do not feed packaged food to their dogs, or any other animal in the shelter. In one of their cupboards they had a large jar about one third full with the same Pedigree stuff that was the only acceptable food according to the pup. Anyway, whether they accepted it or not, the pup was hooked.
Take home: When you go to the adoption center, take a bowl of whatever you plan to feed. Line up the potential candidates and pick the one that attacks the food and devours it!