In case you missed my pictures on Instagram, we recently adopted another dog. He’s about four and a half months old, and his name is Angus. He came to Atlanta from a Haitian village in the Bahamas, and he’s a “breed” known as Royal Bahamian Potcake. Isn’t he adorable?
“What is a Royal Bahamian Potcake?” you ask. Well, it’s a type of street dog that is native to the Bahamas. Apparently, there is a restricted gene pool in the islands of the Bahamas, so all the street dogs are all closely related, much like a specific breed of dogs here in the United States. However, rather than being coveted they are seen as a nuisance and bother. Angus was picked up with his 2 siblings and mother in early November, and unfortunately his mommy didn’t make it. After receiving a clean bill of health in the Bahamas, he was flown to Atlanta for adoption. After Thanksgiving, and seeing how much our other dog, Buster, enjoyed visiting his furry cousin, Molly, I finally agreed with the Big One and Mellow Man to get another dog. (They have been petitioning me for several months now that we really needed another dog.) We adopted Angus in the beginning of December.
Now, he has added a fair amount of chaos into our home, which is already somewhat chaotic. I have dealt with quite a number of puppies. In fact, Angus is puppy number 5 in the past 2 decades. Angus has been the outlier of the lot of them all. He is a puppy unto himself.
First, potty training was a bit of a challenge. Let’s just say that a Bahamian Potcake is way easier than a human boy to train, but way harder than any of the previous puppies. He didn’t seem to get it at first, bless his heart. (I mean that in a sweet way, not the snarky Southern way.) Angus took longer than I expected to learn that we expected him to realize that outside was the proper place to potty, and that he needed to tell us that he needed to go out. On the upside, he is the first puppy I’ve ever had that has been able to sleep 8 hours without having to wake up to go out. I wish the Little Monkey would take a lesson from his sleeping book! We also tarted to crate train him, but that didn’t work out. Please don’t judge, but he has the ability to shriek like you are sawing off a limb when he is locked up, and he will go on for hours. He’s not comfortably snuggled in our bed, along with his big brother Buster, and occasionally with the Little Monkey.
The other thing that I’ve never dealt with in a puppy, is poor Angus’s level of food focus. Angus is constantly worried that he’s going to starve. I don’t know if this is instinct that is bred in the dogs after years of having to survive, or it is the result of having to live on the streets as a puppy, or some combination of the two. He eats rapidly and with so much gusto and fervor that it’s funny and pathetic. We can’t slip him bits of food from the table because that would just chum the waters for this little shark.
Angus upon arrival into our home was friendly towards his new family, but only to a certain extent. All of my other puppies have immediately wanted cuddled, and quickly acclimated to our “pack.” We did a little reading on street dogs, and learned that this breed tends to take longer to warm up because they are always in survival mode. He liked us, and definitely wanted to be in the same room with us, but didn’t want petting and snuggles that I generally expect to see with new puppies. It’s been 3 weeks now, and he’s fully a part of our “pack.” He likes being with us, and now climbs onto the furniture to cozy up next to us. He’ll even roll onto his back for belly rubs. That first 10 days where none of us seemed to really matter to him was very hard. Luckily, Mellow Man checked around for information on the breed, and we learned that this standoffish behavior would only last a week or two. Now he follows us around everywhere, and cries at the door when I take the garbage out.
Angus and Buster have gotten along fairly well from Angus’s arrival. Buster is constantly trying to prove that he’s the “top dog,” but they do enjoy tussling and playing. Buster didn’t like playing outside alone, and now he and Angus will roam the yard and woods exploring and chasing squirrels and bunnies. Buster grumps at him if Angus invades his sleeping space at night, but they can sit together with the family on the couch.
Angus and the Big One have gotten along just fine. However, watching Angus and the Little Monkey interact has been interesting, alarming and so very heart-warming. First, they are curious about each other, and don’t treat each other very well. The puppy will walk up to the Monkey and nip at the elastic in the Monkey’s pants, so the pants fall down– much like the Coppertone ads. This makes the Monkey extremely mad, and he will turn around and whack Angus with his hand, block or toy car. However, Angus doesn’t seem to mind much.
They are both so curious about each other, but as you’d expect from a baby and a puppy, there is no common sense. The Monkey will try to feed Angus his yogurt, and Angus will steal and run off with the spoon. Monkey will see Angus playing with a ball, and will try to get Angus to play with him. However, they aren’t there yet. Maybe in a year or so, the two littlest boys can play catch together.
They can also be so sweet together. The other night I was watching TV in bed, and the Monkey who has been struggling with back-to-back-to-back ear infections. was dozing restlessly in the bed with me. He was flailing about and couldn’t seem to get comfortable until this happened:
My heart melted, and I knew that Angus was officially part of our “pack.” Now we just need to get a bigger bed!