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« To run and leap! | Main | Incepted »
Thursday
Aug222013

Beauty and her pups

Approximately 13 weeks ago, a stray gave birth to 6 puppies underneath David's car in front of my house. David is mostly in Jakarta and so the car is almost always just sitting there. The mummy dog was smart to choose a stationary car.

Then, it began the excitement in the Cheong household. (Although, perhaps, it was probably excitement for yours truly) We had to be careful not to bother them. Mummy, whom I named Beauty was very protective and we never actually knew how many pups there were until 3-4 weeks later.

About 2 weeks after they were born, Beauty decided to move them to another stationary car on a lane next to my house (Yup, we have quite a few stationary cars in my neighbourhood) We all thought it was a pretty good idea at first. One of the pups, whom Alison named Coffee was such a roller. He rolled everywhere and we were worried that he will roll out onto the road and gets hit by on-coming cars.

Then, a few days later, it rained very heavily. I was sitting at my usual work area next to the sliding door which faces the side lane. I heard the puppies squealing and crying. It was such a pitiful sound. I then realised that the lane is flooded! I took an umbrella out and tried to see what I can do. Beauty growled and barked at me, telling me to back off. I went back inside but I cried along with them. I felt so helpless, not knowing what to do. At that point, I told Andrew that I cannot stand aside and not care anymore. Before this, he forbade me to feed Beauty, telling me that she will be able to take care of herself and her pups. 

This is the 1st picture I took of Beauty and her pups.

I think Beauty chose our house for a specific reason. She must have known that it is a safe haven for her and her pups. She must have known that we will help take care of them. But for whatever the reason, I feel responsible because she chose us. 

We could not move her pups but after another rainy night, she decided that David's car is safer and in the middle of the night, she moved them (I saw it from my bedroom window) Unfortunately, she could only move 4 of them. She left 2 out in the open and some kind people thought they were abandoned and took them in. I had not realised that 2 were gone, actually, because Beauty was still very protective towards them. But she began to trust me enough to eat the food I put out for her. 

Then, the puppies began to walk (actually, waddled) The friendliest was Coffee. He will ALWAYS come out from underneath the car to investigate when I am nearby. A kind neighbour helped to find homes for them. One of her friends wanted Coffee but I asked her to persuade them to take Socks as well. They are best buddies, inseparable. I have witnessed numerous wrestling matches between the 2 of them. And so, Coffee and Socks went to their new home. 

Then, suddenly, Beauty disappeared with Rolly and Belle, the last 2 pups. Irene, my kind neighbour found out that they have established themselves at the TNB sub-station on the next road. There, the place is fenced up and no humans can get in. Beauty is so clever. She began to get the idea that humans are taking her babies away. 

I began to feed them there twice daily. They were eating from my hand, in bowls I left for them. I love my neighbourhood. Often, I will see packets of rice or other foodstuffs left for them. They are so kind. But the other strays (and those who actually belong some too) began to recognize me. Whenever I come, they will come running towards me too.

Then, Belle got adopted. And at this point, I found out that Belle is a boy and Rolly is a girl. Definitely a case of gender mix up.

I have learnt so much by watching these dogs. In their society, there's hierarchy. The bigger males eat first. Then the medium sized ones. Then comes the female and the pups. I tried to fend off the bigger males and urged Rolly and Beauty to eat. But Rolly just sat a little away, not moving and Beauty was barking at me. Then, I began to guess what she was trying to tell me. "You got it all wrong! THEY are supposed to eat 1st. We can't eat yet. Definitely, Rolly who falls into the bottommost rung, can't eat 1st" 

Ok Ok! I get the idea but I still want to make sure Rolly gets her food. There's organized living amongst the pack. I saw an old black dog. She must be Beauty's mother. Last week, she was limping. I walked a little too near her and the rest of the pack started barking furiously. They are so protective towards the old and the injured. When I saw that, and I think about how humans mistreat other humans especially children, I began to marvel at the fact that these dogs are not the animals, WE ARE!

All these while, when I was going to the sub-station, my ultimate aim was to try and lure them back to the front of my house for food. Here, I have a little bit more control. The strays mostly stay around the sub-station area which is right next to the playground. And, it worked. They are now coming over for food, not like clockwork. A routine still needs to be established.

Through Beauty and her pups, I have learnt so much. I have learnt that dogs are more human than humans. I have learnt that my neighbours are kind people. I have gotten to know more neighbours too. I have learnt to anything will respond to kindness. I have also learnt that human intervention can upset the system. Rolly, actually growled at 2 grown male dogs in the manner of, "Keep off! This is MINE!" Will this be the bane for her? Am I harming her more than helping? I honestly do not know. I have never done this before. I do not know what is the right way to go about it. All I do is all I can think of to do. And I intend to do it for as long as I can

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