Monday, September 16, 2013

Another Dog-Gone Birthday....

Another dog-gone birthday came and went yesterday, but this one went to the dogs. We made yet another trek into Panama City to pick up not one, but two additional Dobermans to add to our current pack of one. Since our current Dobie Venus is over nine years old we thought it would be a good idea to get another one now and have her train the newbie. But as luck would have it the Panama Animal League (PAL) found a mother and son combo in the city who were just waiting for a good home. Last week we went to meet the dogs and since the female was so attached to the male, PAL thought it would be best if the dogs were adopted together.

The two newbies getting some much needed water
after their walk

A larger picture of Kiko
yes, she has had a few litters

Street dogs are everywhere in Panama and organizations like PAL and Spay Panama are trying to make a difference.  They pick up strays and by working together with local vets they have them spayed or neutered and try to find homes for them. Before dogs are given up for adoption they receive a thorough medical evaluation which includes a variety of tests and lab work.  Our dogs were seen by a doctor in Panama City and today were taken to a local vet for further evaluation and inoculations.

It was a little after two in the afternoon when arrived back in Chame with the dogs.  Like good pack leaders we studied up on how to introduce them to Venus, prior to picking them up. What began as a gorgeous sunny day turned into heavy rains as we drove home with the dogs.  Fortunately, the rain hadn't come to Chame yet and we were able to proceed as planned.  We parked our car a half mile or so from our property where Clyde got out with the two new dogs. I drove to the house and picked up Venus on a leash to take her to go meet her new siblings. First I walked with Venus far from Clyde and the other two dogs.  Eventually, we let her meet the new dogs allowing her to stiff them from behind, then when things looked like they were going well we reversed that.  Finally a face to face meeting where all three dogs were allowed to sniff, lick, touch and rub up against each other for the first time.  Since the rain was coming our way we headed back to the house with our new pack.  We opened the gate to the property where I went in first then let Venus in, after which she was allowed to invite the new dogs in.  Ok so that theory looked good on paper but Venus really wasn't too keen on inviting two other dogs into her property.  However, we did as we were told and walked her in first.  Then we kept the new dogs on leashes as we walked them around the whole property showing them where they'd eat, sleep and play. We sat down with the three and watched to see how they'd interact with each other and when it seemed safe, we let them run free.

Venus in the front

Once unleashed the first thing the male dog did was to pee on one of the brand new dog beds that had Venus' scent on it. As time went on there were a few growls exchanged between Venus and the new female who we named Kiko. The younger male that we call Bosco seems happy go lucky and just wanted to roam around and play. Venus followed them around at first like a babysitter watching her young, but eventually they tired her out and she had to lie down.

Since all seemed to be going well and it was my birthday we decided to go out for dinner.  When we returned home about 90-minutes later Venus greeted us at the gate as usual, and we wondered where Bosco and Kiko were?  It seems that Venus had claimed the front porch for herself while the other two were camping out on the side porch.  Whenever someone would go by on the road the new dogs would run to the front of their corner and bark, but seemed to realize they were not wanted in the bitch's territory. Later that night Bosco and Kiko laid down along the side porch while Venus slept in not one, not two, but all three of the new dogs beds before the night was over. And Venus also seems to think she's now going to eat three bowls of food at a time instead of just one! Since the newbies were street dogs they've never been trained to sit, stay or walk on a leash let alone being house broken.  So we've got some training to do to teach the new dogs some basic behaviors and help the three dogs become one happy pack. 

Better look at the two new dobies
Bosco is the male and brown
Kiko is the female and black

Today a trip to the vet was in order for the new dogs to have initial vaccinations which they'd probably never had.  The vet checked them out for all sorts of things and even put them on antibiotics for tick fever which they may or may not have, coming off the streets. PAL picked up the total cost of the office visit. 

The vet also gave us the go ahead to give them a much needed bath since they really reeked. One bath wasn't enough and we could still smell them when they were outside and we were inside.  The sun came out and we decided to take the pack for a walk which went rather well.  Clyde walked with the two newbies at first and I walked Venus. On the way home we changed things up so that we each had a chance to walk all of the dogs.  Back at the casa it was time for bath number two for both of the new dogs, and hopefully this will do the trick.  We tried hard to scrub the street smells off them and even rinsed them with a diluted mix of a small amount of baking soda and water.

Bosco putting up with his first dog wash

Bosco and Kiko are drying out on the bohio or gazebo for a bit and Venus even went to lay down near them.  So perhaps the three will join forces and become one happy pack, with Clyde and I as pack leaders....along the gringo trail.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent article. And it was so great meeting you guys in person last week. Just curious, is there a cost to picking up dogs from PAL?


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