I was found by a lady out walking her dog; she picked me up out of the roadside gutter and brought me into the Ngaruawahia Vet Clinic.
On examination, I was found to be about 2 to 3 days old and about 200 grams. My eyes and ears were still shut and I had my umbilical cord still attached to my belly. As I was so tiny and a newborn pup, it was decided that I would be humanely put down.
Just as the deed was about to be done, the nurse holding me said “what happens if someone turns up looking for their pup?” So instead I was given a small feed of puppy formula from a 2 ml syringe and put in a biscuit box, along with a heat pad and soft bedding to hopefully quiet me down.
That night I went home with my nurse and caused a lot of excitement in her house. She had 2 other dogs, both 12 year olds (Huntaway X Rottweilers). One was not too bothered about me but the girl; she kept licking her lips and watching me all night through the cat cage bars while all the time whining. I was awake every two hours in the night needing to be fed and toileted.
The next morning, I was dropped off at the Huntly Clinic, as someone was already hand rearing three kittens the same age as me. But within four hours I was getting sent back to my nurse at Ngaruawahia, as I was too stressful to look after. I couldn’t suckle my milk properly without having it run out of my nose and the choking was a bit scary for everyone.
So my nurse, she pulled up her big girl panties and took on the challenge to hand rear me herself. If I survived the first week with her I was going to be called ‘Roach’. This was short for cockroach, as I was a survivor from the gutter and possibly a cat attack as I had bite marks on either side of my lower back.
The first 3 weeks, were pretty up and down for us. I wouldn’t poo as I should, so I had to have small warm water enemas to get me too poop after each feed. By week 4 I had started pooping on my own and as I was a bit slow for my age due to my start in life, my eyes and ears didn’t open until I was closer to 17 days old instead of the normal 7-14days.
Once my eyes were open, I started to transition from my bottle to drinking out of a bowl and then also eating canned puppy mousse. This was way too messy for my nurse, so she started to soak puppy biscuits in warm water and turn it into a mash for me. Way tidier to eat and I couldn’t put it all over the floor, walls and myself.
I am learning to toilet on command and also to go in the bathroom and not on the carpet at home when I am outside my kennel crate playing. A towel is kept on the floor in the kitchen for when I have little accidents on the carpet. My mum cannot wait until I am fully house trained, because she will get the carpet cleaned, but luckily I haven’t stained it at all for her… yet.
During Labour weekend, I went outside for the first time with the big dogs and had so much fun running around and trying to eat things that weren’t good for me; but I also got to toilet on the grass for the first time and have the big dogs try and run me over when they were attempting to play with me.
I am still tiny for my age (2.28 kg); and I have just turned 6 weeks old and have had my first vaccination. It is important that I start them young as I go to work every day with my nurse and hang out at the Vet clinic in the back kennel area. I am one very lucky puppy and have found myself a good family.