Amber was signed into the Charity about a week before Christmas 2013. She had been picked up by a Dog Warden and when nobody came forward to claim her, we agreed to take her; after all it was Christmas and we had space for just one more......!
Amber was very young and painfully thin - she was also very nervous and skittish and had clearly been on the receiving end of some rough treatment. Because of this we decided to wait until the New Year before taking her to the vet to be checked over.
We didn't quite get to the vet before the first puppy appeared around 8 am on the first Saturday of the New Year, and we can assure you that it was as much of a shock to us as it was to Amber! Just days before she had been given a bath and there was absolutely nothing to show that she was carrying a litter!
Over the course of that day, Amber produced seven puppies. The last puppy was stillborn and we lost two more within the first 48 hours which, considering Amber's awful condition when she arrived, wasn't unexpected. The four remaining puppies, three boys and a girl, were called Ernie, Ben, Edward and Dusty. The boys were named courtesy of the dustbin men who arrived when the first few puppies were born, and Dusty in keeping with the dustbin theme, was named after Dusty Bin!
The puppies really were a shock for Amber - very young and immature, she was completely out of her depth and at times seemed to find being a mother all too much.
The first few days especially were a real worry and it wasn't until they had all been checked over by the vet and pronounced fit and healthy that we could start to relax a little.
AT 4 WEEKS, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, BEN AND EDWARD LOOKING SWEET AND ANGELIC, WITH ERNIE AND DUSTY LOOKING VERY GRUMPY AND NOT SO ANGELIC!
As the puppies started to grow, Amber had to be encouraged all the time to look after them as she should, until they reached 6 - 7 weeks and were more or less fully weaned. By this time, Amber didn't want anything to do with them and thankfully the puppies were doing well without her. The photos below were taken when they were 8 weeks old.
What about Amber??
Unfortunately, Amber wasn't doing so well - she had been through such a lot and we were worried about both her physical and mental state of health. She really needed to be in a home but that didn't look like being anytime soon, so in an effort to broaden her horizons and get her out of the kennels we approached Laurence, one of our Members, to see if he would be prepared to help.
He was very happy to and took Amber out every weekend, come rain or shine, for weeks. Another of our Members, Val, also helped when she was able to.
After a few weeks, Amber started to settle down and seemed to enjoy getting out of the kennels. Although still very hand-shy, she began to be more at ease around people and she also proved to be very good with other dogs.
We re-homed Amber in July when she had been in our care for about 7 months. Still a long way to go, but a completely different dog to what she was then.
A couple of weeks before she was homed, Amber met up with one of her puppies, Ben, who by that time was just over 5 months old.
She wasn't too sure to start with but eventually relaxed to the point where Ben could cuddle up with Mum.
Ben still sees his mum on a regular basis and although he "loves her to bits", Amber isn't that bothered! She will play and run about with him but she much prefers to be with her companion Tug who she adores.
Amber was re-homed with two of our Members who already had one of our dogs - a big white long-coat male called Tug, and a Jack Russell called Lenny.
It didn't take long for Amber to settle into her new home and it soon became obvious that she was totally besotted with Tug, literally following him around everywhere!
Amber has come a long way since she first came into the Charity. At times, and this is putting it very mildly, her behaviour was such that we thought we would never be able to re-home her, but given time and patience she started to grow into the sort of dog we always knew and hoped she would be.
We owe a huge thank you to everyone who has helped care for Amber and her puppies, especially Ian, and also to Laurence and Val who helped make such a difference for Amber.
A big thank you too, to her new owners, who gave her the chance of a happy and loving home which she has grabbed with all four paws!!