Tre Cancelle Farmhouse
The Dogs of Tre Cancelle -
The builders judged us to be totally “barking mad” and strongly incited us to drive the strays off our land or (probably tongue in cheek) they should be shot, or even barbecued! However, they soon came to realise that we really were lost causes for taking in waifs and strays, but nonetheless, still persisted in regularly grumbling about the canines. In spite of this, we vowed that all the new additions would have to be outside dogs and therefore should not be allowed into the house, as we had already had more than enough muddy footprints, from the quagmire of a building site that we were living in.
Meanwhile, it became apparent that Louby was showing signs of being pregnant, and as her girth expanded and her hunger augmented we realised that the event was pending. Regularly we had to discourage her as she persisted in digging holes under the olive trees, as her instinct drove her to prepare a nest for her young ones. She would insist on doing this in the rain, of course, and would emerge caked in sticky red mud.
We made Louby a bed indoors and as the days went on she became more and more restless, until finally she started her whelping. Louby seemed rather anxious and bewildered by what was happening to her. After several hours the first pup arrived safely, and an hour later the second. There was no sign of any more so I finally crawled into bed and fell fast asleep. When we awoke and checked on Louby we was astonished to find there were now five puppies, three females, and two males. All were strong and healthy.
Louby's mothering instinct had clearly kicked in, as she licked and nuzzled the blind, clumsy, helpless little bundles of fur towards her to feed. Before long they were all noisily yelping. They soon began to grow, two were a sooty, brown colour, one a reddish brown, and two light brown with white muzzles and socks.
After 2 weeks their eyes began to open and their individual characters began to develop. We named them thus:
the males were "Vinci" and "Cheepa", the females were "Flossie", "Meg" and "Tess".