Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Triplets born during the pandemic

By Patricia Nakyalu and Esther Nakkazi

On the 28th May 2020 during the pandemic, Brown, named after its color, started to show signs that she was going to give birth. She was crying endlessly in low tones, looked weak and exhausted, and was breathing heavily.

Brown and Black were both adopted by Marcel. One evening he heard crying puppies in a nearby bush. He checked to find two puppies. They were dirty and infested with fleas but they were well fed.

He picked them up and brought them to the house. We gave them a clean bath and he arranged to have a veterinary doctor come and immunize them. The following evening a fatty, big dog came around and we knew that was the mother.

Brown and Black were domesticated so they were not wild anymore. Marcel made a house for them and we would cook for them - mostly posho, rice with silverfish (Mukene), chicken legs, or beef bones.

Their mother who we named mother dog was still a bit of a wild dog so she would go in and out of the compound as she wished. She came back every evening and slept on the verandah. Although mother dog’s movements were not restricted we realized that she enjoyed staying near her children. So we started feeding her too. She would come to the compound during meal times. We then added her to the pack.

Mother dog and her puppies now grown-up dogs have been living with us for four years. During this time she had triplets but we gave them away. Her daughter Brown also got pregnant and on 28th May she downloaded six beautiful puppies.

The first signs of the puppies coming were after the dog walk in the morning. Brown was very exhausted. She started making funny noises so Uncle Marcel decided to carry her to the dog house where we had prepared some clean old clothes in a comfortable bed to deliver her puppies.

At exactly 2: 48 pm, 28th May, Brown started giving birth, we all watched in awe and pity because she seemed to be in pain breathing fast and crying. After what seemed like an eternity to her but just two hours all the six puppies were born.

She was a protective mother. If someone got near her puppies she would let out a warning low bark as if to say back off. We started feeding her two meals a day because she was a mother and needed extra food to produce milk for her puppies. In the morning rice and silverfish (Mukene) and the usual posho and fish in the evening.

The puppies were cute and lovely. Their eyes were closed all the time. They had a variety of colors - two were pure black, one looked like Brown, another one had no resemblance to her at all. We think the father of the puppies is Black because they all have a white tip on the tail like Black except for one of them.

A week after they were born I went to check on them in the morning. Three of the puppies were dead. It was a very despondent moment for me because it was like losing family members. Uncle Marcel thought that the puppies might have died because they were not vaccinated.

So the surviving three were vaccinated immediately. We also gave them names - ‘booze’ names. The triplets who are all female were named; Miller Lite, Brandy, and Vodka. After a month they started going for dog walks. They were afraid of everything.

When they saw a bodaboda they would stop walking, they were afraid of humans and they would get tired. They would freeze and not move when a bicycle was passing by. Just stare at it until it disappeared at the end of the road.

On many occasions, Marcel had to carry at least two of them back home because they were just tired and could not walk back to the house. The puppies and Brown continue to have a breakfast meal - rice and Mukene so that they grow healthy and Brown has to rebuild her body. They also eat an evening meal with the rest - Black and Mother dog now ‘Oma’ - grandma in Dutch.

They have grown big so fast. It was just months back that they could not even open their eyes and only cried when they were hungry. Now they understand Marcel and play some tricks. They all look different and have personal characters.

Miller is the ‘blonde’ gal both in looks and brains. She has greenish eyes, has white, brown color fur. She has a lot of fur on her outer coat which makes her look like a typical crossbreed. She is the cutest by far, the friendliest but the most stubborn and a 'crying baby'.

Miller loves food but has no brains to fight for it. When you save a bone for her and quietly call her to eat she will abandon it and follow you thinking that you have an even bigger bone. That way she loses her bone to Black who is fierce while fighting for food and anything.

Miller is the one everyone comments about that she looks ‘exotic’ on the dog walks and they ask Uncle Marcel to give her to them. Too bad she does not hear what they say she would walk over her sisters. Miller loves playing with Vodka but then she will start crying like they are killing her until we intervene.

Vodka looks exactly like her Mother Brown. She has grown so big sometimes it is difficult to know who is mother or daughter. Vodka is peaceful. She is scared of everything which makes her insecure but that means she can also snap and bite you because she thinks you want to hurt her. Vodka is also the most destructive, she hides in a corner, stays quiet, and will chew at your shoes or slippers until she shreds them to pieces.

In a dog pack, there has to be a leader. In this case the only male, Black is the head. Black is the one who will attack anyone who gets into the compound. He is so fierce he will attempt to jump and bite if you don’t hold his chain tight during the dog walk. He is also the most obedient dog to his master.

When Marcel leaves the house, Black sits by the gate and peeps at every car driving by. He sometimes refuses to eat until he comes home. When he gets home, Black usually licks his beard and shakes his tail so hard running around him as if to say I am so happy you are back.

Brandy on the other hand loves to be the one in charge and sometimes tries to take Black’s position in terms of rank and has been badly been bitten a few times by Black. Brandy has a dark brown color that almost looks like her granny (Oma) but not exactly. She resembles black too. She loves to play and will be the one to dare steal a bone from Black who will fight her. She also loves fighting over food with her sisters during the morning meal. She will try to chase and bite Vodka and Miller so that she eats everything. They are clearly afraid of her at mealtimes.

Brandy loves climbing up on the chairs on the verandah ‘playing king of the jungle’ and looking down at Vodka and Miller who then fight to try to climb up too but never get a chance. She is playful but hates water. When the dogs are taking a shower and you hear the loudest cry that will be Brandy. Even when we smear them with lotion after bathing, Brandy screams like it is so unpleasant.

So which of the triplet puppy gals do you pick; Brandy - 'queen of the jungle', Miller -' the blonde gal', or Vodka 'the mischievous'?


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