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Englishman in Dubrovnik Englishman in Dubrovnik

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face - I have that times 5!

Written by  Jul 18, 2022

“I have always called you Dr. Dolittle,” said a friend to my wife with a broad smile. Yes, I am certainly an animal lover but my wife takes it to an extreme level.

The reason for the Dolittle comment was due to the fact that we currently have not three, not four, but nine animals, nine pets! “I could start selling tickets on the door, like a mini Dubrovnik zoo,” I replied to the friend.

There is a reason for the sudden leap in the number of pets in our “zoo” as we are currently looking after five puppies. The cutest, most adorable puppies that you have ever seen. “Wouldn’t it be nice if they stayed that way forever,” I said as the group slept together, like a big ball of fur.

These furry faces didn’t have the easiest start to life, so to say that they were scared at the beginning would be an understatement, however with time and patience they have got used to their new surroundings and seem to be having fun.

Now, just to be clear these puppies won’t be staying with us long term. We are just looking after them until transport can be found for Split or Zagreb. But when we were asked at the last minute if we could just take care of them for a limited amount of time of course we said yes. “That must be the most innocent thing I’ve ever seen,” I said to my wife as a held a puppy and he looked right back into my eyes. It is tough not to fall in love with them. But as we know that they will go to other homes in the future then it’s important to do what is best for them. We have tried not to name them, I would emphasize the word “try” and we are trying to help find them homes.

We only hope that they find good homes with devoted owners, as they’ve deserved that.

The public cleaning company, Sanitat, gave us a whole range of dog equipment, from tonnes of biscuits, a mountain of nappies, toys, blankets, cushions and a large cage.

Now, let’s start with the mountain of nappies, it soon became clear that when something goes in a puppy that something pretty quickly afterwards will come out the other end. A puppy is basically just a middleman for water and food. And when you multiply that by five, well let’s just say you need five times the number of nappies.

And to give credit to Sanitat they also told us that while we are looking after the puppies we can restock on supplies free of charge at the pet shop. I have a feeling that we will be making quite a few visits to the pet shop.

Now, it is easy to see why puppies are so attractive for people to adopt, especially when children see them and start cooing over them. I remember a campaign in England when I was a child, “A dog is for life and not just for Christmas.” There is no short-term thinking, no impulsiveness, when you’re thinking of adopting. As I explained to one child, “You are ten now, but this little puppy will be with you all the way until the start university, at least.” She looked back at me, clearly doing the maths in her head, and answered “That’s a long time.”

It seems that a puppy, especially one that has a full belly and a warm blanket, will sleep for 20 hours of a day. However, the remaining four hours are a rollercoaster ride of energy.

Our “fabulous five” are around a month a half old, and are just starting to discover the world. They’re all like mini Christopher Columbus, exploring the new world, their new world. And the pack mentality means that they go five strong into new situations, safety in numbers. That was when they all meet our dog Toto, who was clearly confused when small faces came bounding towards him. He took one look and retreated. The mini pack seemed happy with their victory and proceeded to jump over each other in celebration.

Now, I have some good news to announce, just as I started to write this text one of the puppies has found a new owner. One kind soul has fallen in love with one of the pack and has started the long process of adoption. There are papers to be completed, lots of papers, but it would appear that in a few weeks one of our furry gang will find a home in Dubrovnik, and won’t be joining the rest on their journey to Zagreb. This makes us especially happy as hopefully we’ll be able to keep in contact with him, yes, it is a male, in the future to see how he grows up.

We just wish the rest an enjoyable and carefree life, with an owner who deserves them. And as one of them tries to bite my nose I’m reminded of the quote “There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” Sorry, I’ve got to go, they are awake and I am on nappy duty!