Monday, 12 October 2015

From Guadeloupe to Normandy, the Tale of a Potcake Dog


Saari currently has a canine friend staying whose owners are away for a couple of weeks. She is called Perle and she has a rather interesting history. However, Saari is not all interested in her history, she is just happy to have a playmate, some-one to keep her company on her walks and a bed she can steal that is more comfortable than hers!




So what is Perle's interesting tale?

Perle was in fact born in Guadeloupe, a French island in the Caribbean.  She was a street dog know in French as a chien errant (feral dog) and these dogs are all too numerous on many of the Caribbean Islands.  In the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas (and to a lesser degree in Guadeloupe) they are known as potcake dogs.  The name comes from the fact that many of the residents used to feed these feral dogs the sticky mixture from the bottom of their pots of rice and peas, a traditional Caribbean dish.  The dogs themselves are most probably descended from dogs who arrived on the islands with early settlers and although this may have included many breeds, the potcake dogs themselves now all look somewhat similar.  Perle is an excellent example - short coated, shortish legged and (in her case) a slight look of dachshund about her.

On Guadeloupe these potcake dogs are now a major problem.  Estimates vary greatly as to the numbers but it is thought some 500 puppies are born every day.  The dogs suffer greatly through their short lives from malnutrition, disease, parasites and injury.  If you have a strong stomach (and I mean strong as some of the images are quite horrific, then Google "chien errant Guadeloupe").  To try and combat their rising numbers there are some sterilisation programmes in place and a limited number of adoption agencies working to re-home dogs that are taken from the streets.

Perle was one of the lucky ones.  By the age of less than a year she had already had a litter of puppies but she was caught, spayed and placed with a re-homing charity.  This charity works initially with the dogs in Guadeloupe,  ensuring they are healthy, taming them and generally turning them from feral street dogs to tame, potential pets.  They are then flown to France, to a refuge near Paris and put up for adoption.  Our friends got to hear of this charity just as they were looking for a pet and visited the refuge hoping to be lucky.  All homes wishing to adopt a potcake dog are inspected for suitability (this is not often the case with other dog refuges in France who are often just relieved to give a dog a home) .... and by chance for our friends one of the ladies who checks homes actually works in our local town of Condé-sur-Noireau.  Their home was deemed suitable and Perle, the street dog from Guadeloupe found herself a new and loving home surrounded by the fields of rural Normandy.  Quelle chance!! 




For anyone wanting information about re-homing Potcake Dogs in France please contact: 
 

Association Secours Protection Animale
21Ter Rue Anatole France - 95120 ERMONT
Tel: 06.51.72.73.13
 

internet site: www.secours-animaux-guadeloupe.fr


ANIMALTALES



Lou Messugo

33 comments :

  1. A lucky ending for Perle and a perfect play mate for Saari, they will be sorry to be parted again by the looks of things.

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  2. Is there any info on how people can help the potcake dogs? Because my stomach isn't strong enough to google it.... She is so lucky to have a furever home when her chances were so remarkable small. It reminds me of that story of the starfish all being washed up on shore and the guy walking along picking one up and throwing it back into the ocean when someone stops him and asks why he bothered, what difference could it make? And he replies 'It makes a difference to that one'.

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    1. I love that starfish story, it is so true. I will look up about how you might be able to help the potcake dogs and report back. I also ask my friends when they are back which organisation they used.

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    2. Hadn't heard that starfish story but it's a beautiful truth, a shame more people don't think like that!

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    3. Me neither and it is a lovely story with a very true message.

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  3. She's a lovely dog and even though still young has led an interesting life. I'm glad she was rescued :) #animaltales.

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  4. What a fascinating history, and just how amazingly French that these dogs get flown over to la metropole to be rehoused, I think that's incredible! For these potcake dogs it's definitely a good thing that Guadeloue is a département rather than an independent country.

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    1. I was astounded when my friends told me her story and yes, you are right, only in France! I know there are "catch and sterilise" programmes on some other Caribbean Islands but I don't think any others fly some of their rescued dogs so far to be re-homed.

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    2. good to see this again at #AllAboutFrance, thanks for linking.

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  5. What a lucky dog. She is beautiful and I hope has many happy years in France. It is fascinating how mongrels revert to a single similar type over generations. My parents adopted a street dog in Venezuela and she looked similar.

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    1. It's very true about reverting to a similar type. Maybe this is what all early dogs looked like.

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  6. It's very reassuring to hear that all of you have lovely comments about Perle. She was my tenth birthday present! What an adorable little potcake she is! Glad to hear that she is spending a great vacation with Saari, sleeping in each other's beds, rolling about in the grass and barking at the sheep.

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    1. Hi there, Will and thank you for commenting. Perle is having a great time and will definitely want to meet up for walks with Saari once you are all back.

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  7. what a lovely story and such a good looking dog

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    1. She's lovely isn't she but her colour does mean she is very well camouflaged when I walked along the tree lined paths around us!

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  8. What a happy ending for beautiful Perle. Saari loves having a playmate too doesn't she? :)

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    1. Oh yes ... and some-one else's bed to sleep in ;)

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  9. What a great way to get a dog! And a lovely programme for rehousing. That's some effort to go to. Sometimes that sort of thing is necessary, just to remind us what the point of life is.

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    1. You are so right and every life is important.

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  10. What a beautiful dog - and what a wonderful programme, such a worthwhile cause. Thank you for hosting :) x

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  11. I enjoy seeing dogs playing around. They make for interesting photographs. it is always a shame to see any dog re-homed but I do see the need for it happen. Especially when the owner can no longer look after the dog or other family issues arise.

    Thanks for Sharing.

    John

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    1. Although Perle was never really REhomed as she was born on the streets. She is now at her first and hopefully only home.

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  12. Hello, Perle's "Mommy" here.
    for all those who have enquired, and would like to help the potcakes: Here is the information about the association:
    Association Secours Protection Animale
    21Ter Rue Anatole France - 95120 ERMONT
    Tel: 06.51.72.73.13
    internet site: www.secours-animaux-guadeloupe

    They have plenty of dogs that need help!
    Thanks for your interest. Betsy

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    1. Many thanks for this Betsy - I'll add the details to the bottom of the post.

      PS - please note you need .fr on the end of the web link

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  13. Perle is a lucky dog. I had never heard the term potcake dog before, although I have sadly seen many of these canines in the Caribbean. I am sure she is enjoying her life in Normandy (who wouldn't). Thanks for writing this great story.

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    1. I had never heard of it either and am so pleased Perle is on eof the lucky ones.

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  14. Wow! She has travelled a long way. It is indeed a really interesting history.

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    1. ... and she went to America last summer as her owners spent several weeks over there. She is certainly very well travelled.

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  15. This is so interesting. There is just something about animals, the love they give and receive so freely, that is astonishing. I am so happy to have read about this story and look forward to learning more.

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