Our island dogs are part of our family here on Eleuthera. These mild mannered, mixed breeds are descendants of dogs originally brought here by English Loyalists over 200 years ago. Unfortunately, these dogs are seen as a nuisance on the island. Not only are they not cared for, but they are allowed to run wild and breed in great numbers. They live off the land and end up looking for food in local dumps, trash barrels, or hunting for crabs and lizards. Very occasionally some kindness is shown in the form of a handout. We find these dogs starving, injured, and sick and feel the need to help them. We are always looking for homes for puppies.
Sandy was found as a starving little pup on the streets of Tarpum Bay. He's been our protector since 1993, and loves long beach walks, going for rides, and especially swimming. Body surfing and diving for rocks are his specialties. He also loves going for a ride in a kayak cruising over the reef looking for fish. Sandy has jumped out when he spots a fish thinking optimistically that he can dive down and catch it.
Girlie Dog was found at the airport. She had been abused and then abandoned. Taxi drivers told us on one had ever been able to get near her, yet she allowed us to pick her up, put her in the truck, and drive her to her new home. She was about three years old and had already had several litters of pups. She was physically in rough shape and had very little hair. After getting good food, lots of medical care from the vet, and a safe place to live; she turned into a pretty, longhaired girl. She and Sandy have been pals since 1994. Girlie Dog is the quietest and most polite of our dog team. She also likes to hear that she is the "prettiest dog". Girlie tries to keep all the other dogs in line.
Pupper was next in 1996. We found her in the dump, where most dogs are born, because of the proximity to food. She was only a few weeks old and so starved and dehydrated, that every bone was showing. We were determined to find her a home. In an effort not to become too attached we did not give her a name and referred to her as the little pup or little pupper. She began to respond and the name stuck. Even though we had found a potential home for her in Chicago, when Christmas came around, we knew The Pupper had found a home with us. She loves to sing with Sandy when the conch horn blows in summer for wake-up or a call to dinner. The Pupper loves the beach and relaxing on the swing. She is a genuinely happy dog.
Buster is kind of a mystery. He showed up one day in January (2000) looking healthy and very well mannered. Normally the other dogs chase all strays and wild dogs away, but for some reason, they allowed Buster to stay. He's very shy, won't come in the house, and occasionally lets someone pet him. He not much of a swimmer but he loves to run down and crash into the surf several times a day. Buster is polite and well mannered, and loves a beach walk with the rest of the gang.
White Dog was found in August 2000 on the highway in James Cistern. We were determined to find a home for her too but no one could take her the first week, Buster again adopted her, Little Dog found a new playmate, and she became part of the family too. She is a feisty beagle--like dog-short legged and stocky. She eats twice as much as little dog and weighs at least as much. She eats everything in sight-- wood, paper, celery, lettuce, coconuts, beach debris--you name it. She is solid and a complete physical opposite of Little Dog. The two of them are inseparable. They travel as one, eat out of the same bowl, drink at the same time, and constantly are playing and running together. They are like a comedy team--a couple of real characters.
White Dog was "sick as a dog". We think it was something she ate. The vet prescribed aspirin, cod liver oil, and rest. SOUND FAMILIAR?
Dog food on Eleuthera is very expensive and costs us nearly $150.00 a month not to mention six separate bills from the vet. We would like to continue to save and find homes for these poor dogs, but our family is too big now. If any visiting students would like to adopt a puppy this summer, be sure to get parents and teachers OK before you come down. We can provide a Vet Certificate, a portable carry-on dog cage, and arrange for the puppy to fly with you on your lap.
All of these island mixed breed dogs are called POTCAKES. Most Bahamians have rice with dinner just about every night. The rice remaining in the pot dries and becomes a solid cake that is knocked out on the porch for the dogs. This cake of rice is a "potcake". These dogs are very friendly and can be loyal protectors. Due to harsh living conditions, they are extremely hardy, strong, and disease resistant--a good example of "survival of the fittest".