The Lucky Seven

by Jane Dempsey and Heidi Graham

April 1999 - Rescue is constantly asked by callers if we have puppies for adoption. Our standard reply is “rescue doesn’t usually get puppies, most of our dogs are over a year old.” We do take applications and we explain to people that the chances of puppies coming into a rescue program are slim (one litter in the last six years).

All that changed this year, when a local animal shelter was given custody of a 2 year old breeding pair of OES with AKC papers. The female Clarabelle had given birth to a litter in a shelter “foster home” and the shelter adopted her out when the puppies were 3 weeks old. A family that had contacted us about OES rescue adopted Clarabelle directly from the shelter and had already adopted the male Clancy. Both Clarabelle and Clancy have been been spay/neutered by the family. The shelter had docked the puppies tails and planned to “sell the purebred OES puppies” intact at 5 weeks old.

After much discussion, the shelter agreed to let us “buy” the puppies (rescue groups must “buy” for dogs at many animal shelters). Since the puppies had such a rough start, we consulted with our vets and local OES breeders wanting to do the best for the puppies both physically and mentally. The sometime bumpy road to placement weaved slowly as the puppies went through vet checks, wormings, shots, eye and hearing checks, and 12 week old early spay/neuters with dew claw removal.

The Lucky Seven (Winston, Petey, Truman, Loris, Mischief, Molly, and Emma) took it all in stride. All the vets involved volunteered their services and/or offered very reduced rates to rescue. With seven hungry mouths to feed, Nutro Products came to our rescue by supplying the dog food.Puppies are able to start learning basic commands at 7 weeks and “ours” were no exception.

They were just like little sponges, ready to soak up anything taught them. Spending just a few minutes on training with each puppy – two or three times a day can produce results. Armed with puppy-delicious treats, they learned “sit” in no time at all. Call out “cookie, cookie” and there was sure to be a stampeed of puppies coming in from the yard, all lined up and eager to show off their new trick. They learned to walk on a leash, play fetch, and some had even learned “down” by the time they went to their new homes. In order to socialize the puppies, everyone who came to visit was encouraged to hug, pet, and play with them.

It wasn’t too hard to convince anyone to do this! Sitting on the floor, the new visitor would be eagerly greeted and become an “instant” puppy jungle gym. We are happy to report that all the puppies are doing GREAT in their new homes! Winston is entertaining 14 year old OES Misty with his puppy antics. Petey lives in the mountains with 2 year old OES Rescue placement Sara. Truman is kept busy playing with 4 year old OES Forrest. Loris runs and plays constantly in the yard with Andee, her young mistress. Mischief keeps stealing toilet paper, blaming OES Nicole and living up to her name. Molly can always find something to do when OES Rumple isn’t visiting her. Emma and 11 month old OES Maggie play chase non-stop through their yard.

Before they left for their new homes, the puppies gave Dr. Richard Martin and the staff at Brentwood Pet Clinic a standing ovation for their patience and time.They also sent out big thank yous to all of the other people who helped in so many different ways to care for all their needs. We are very proud of “our puppies” and we will treasure the time we spent with them.