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In late January GPRNC was contacted by a lady out of Merced County who we will call Mrs D. Mrs D was a former Pyr owner and many of the people she worked with knew this. While making a pick up at a dairy, she was alerted to a Pyr living on an abandoned ranch nearby. Upon investigation she found a female with seven 7-10 day old puppies living in a bunker that the mother had dug next to a junk pile not far from a busy freeway. Momma (latter to be named Necco) was in pretty bad shape as she had been living off what few rodents she could catch and was basically wasting away to feed her pups.

Necco is very friendly and allowed Mrs D to collect her and her seven “wafers” as they later became known, and took them home. She was unable to properly care for them (they were still in pretty rough living conditions) and she was also unable to contain Necco who was still in “starvation mode”. Necco was constantly escaping from the trailer that she and the pups were being housed in, to find food (even though she was being fed, though possibly not enough to support her and the nursing pups) and was in danger of being hit by a car or even shot by other neighbors with livestock. After some back and forth we were called on a Tuesday morning in early February and told that we had to have Necco and the litter picked up by 4:30 that afternoon. This made things interesting as preparations had to be made, one of the “rescue” party was 2 ½ hours out from home and there was a 3 ½ drive down to where Mrs D and dogs were but we made it just in time.

At first glance the pups all appeared to be very healthy and it was obvious that Necco had given it her all to keep the pups well fed. However, appearances can be deceiving and four of the pups quickly became very ill with an intestinal parasite (which all the pups probably had) compounded by a viral infection that they picked up some time prior to our picking them up. One of the pups (surprisingly the smallest male) quickly pulled through on his own but the other three required around the clock care and it was touch and go for about a week with them losing ¼ of their body weight, requiring hand-feeding a prescription gruel every three hour and administering sub-cutaneous fluids. After 10 days in what we were calling “puppy ICU”, everybody was back on track and growing like weeds.

After enough time to rebuild immune systems, everybody went to Livestock Guardian Dog “boot camp” for some quick basic evaluation to identify good candidates for Family Farm Dogs while at the same time being weaned off Necco allowing her to really start putting weight back on.

Now at three months old, they are all happy, healthy and ready for the next adventure, their new “forever” homes.

These puppies are being fostered in El Dorado County.

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