How did seven become ten?

I often wonder how did seven become ten?

My maximum was seven, and even that was too much.

With only two pairs of hands, I couldn’t even close with the attention that the seven required and demanded.

I was almost in tears when I realised that the additional three were not moving on and they were here to stay.

So, how did we get to ten?

My anguish was as a result of the increase in the number of rescue dogs from seven up to ten.

Numbers up, down and then up

We really didn’t plan to have any dogs. 

When we started the construction at GlenMyu Estate we stayed with a neighbours bed and breakfast around a kilometre from the land. 

During that time we got our contractor to build a one bedroom unit at the entrance to the land. This property was going to turn into staff or drivers accommodation. 

Our neighbour had several dogs and we got to know them as we stayed there several times. They were friendly and happy to see us.

Here’s your dog!

The neighbour decided that we needed a dog for our property (no consultation needed in Sri Lanka of course). All of a sudden Sudhu was a resident at our neighbours. Sudhu was a white coloured puppy and was lots of fun. Lots of dogs in Sri Lanka are called Sudhu, which means white. Basic, but it does the job!

The construction of our one bed unit took longer than we planned and Sudhu had made her home at our neighbours. It would have been cruel to have taken her away from her home so she stayed. We visited every so often and she made a big fuss of us each time we saw her.

You can read our article about our initial experience with our dogs “Our Rescue Dogs – making GlenMyu Estate a special place”.

The story of the seven

We had got to a number of seven dogs and at that time I said we could not have any more at GlenMyu Estate. The estate is five acres in size and could accommodate more dogs, but I felt I could not commit the time and love to any more. When you only have two hands and you have three, four, five, six or seven dogs looking for attention, the equation doesn’t work. 

Our dogs at that time were:

Clove – our first dog

Roti – Clove’s son

Kahlu and Donie

Patch and Biscuit – Kahlu and Donies’ off-spring.

Fleur – the fluffy one.

Clove – our first dog.

Clove at around one and a half years old

Roti – Clove’s son

Kahlu – Superdaddy

Donie  The supermum

Patch – a chip of the block.

Biscuit – Patch’s crazy sister

Biscuit was born at GlenMyu Estate

Fleur – the fluffy one.

The Dog looking down to the Natural Spring Fed Swimming Pool at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

They didn’t quite live in harmony, like many families, and squabbled from time to time. However, they were mainly harmonious and got used to meeting guests. Fleur was particularly affectionate and was able to win our guests hearts very quickly. 

I managed to share my time with them throughout the day. In the morning I would be bombarded by four or five of them who were excited to see me. Kahlu wanted to be brushed and petted all day and would have insisted if I had the time. Biscuit was the one that waited to find me on my own later in the day so she could have me all to herself.

Fleurs’ birthday gift to me.

Unfortunately, Fleur went missing on my birthday the year before last. We were heartbroken and sent out search parties for him. I drove for miles looking for him  just in case he got lost. We printed leaflets and posted them where we could. Social media posts were created and we searched the internet for him. We had several false alarms and drove to places where he was sighted. It turns out that. Although we thought the Fleur was unique, there are lots of doubles of him. 

We don’t know whether he met with an accident or was picked up by someone. He may have gotten lost and not found his way back home. We prayed that he was alive and being taken care of by someone who would love him as much as we do.

When we drive anywhere we are still looking for Fleur and hope that we can find him.

At the end of the day, we had to face the fact, we now had six dogs. 

Here comes Mo Mo.

A smelly, dirty, starving dog with no hair attempted several time to come into the property. The dog was chased away again and again by the resident pack. We were made aware of the dog by our staff and some food was placed outside the gate for it to eat. 

It was raining and this poor creature tried again to enter the property for some shelter and was chased by our dogs. Ru decided to take the poor thing into our old cow barn and give it some shelter and some food. It was bathed and you could see she was in so much pain as she had severe mange which left her with very little hair. She was installed into a box with a blanket and slept for days occasionally coming out for one sustenance. A mange cream was bought and applied and we tried to make her more comfortable.

An antibacterial solution was also applied which painted the skin and remaining hair a mauve colour. One of our guests, who helped treating her, suggested that we call her Mauve. Unfortunately Mauve sounds too much like Clove which was too confusing. So the name was changed to Mo Mo.

No medicine available

Unfortunately, at that time, Sri Lanka was suffering from an economic crisis and we could not find any more mange cream to continue to treat the dog. We reached out to vets and animal shelters however they were all in the same predicament. 

Ru searched online and made up a herbal medication from what we could find that was growing on the estate. Unsure whether this would be effective we were concerned that Mo Mo would make it. 

The herbal remedy worked for a while and Mo Mo deteriorated again. We were able to take her to the vet for examination as we finally had enough fuel for the car. Injections were given and various other treatments. 

We were delighted that the treatment made the difference and the pain subsided and Mo Mo’s hair started to grow back again.

Mo Mo was here to stay - so we were seven again.

Clearly, it was unlikely that someone would take on a sick dog that needed treatment so we accepted that Mo Mo was here to stay. 

Lamaiaa was named after a guest on her request

Ah, poor Kahlu

Our hearts were broken again when Kahlu went missing. 

When we first got to know Kahlu he was quite aggressive and clearly the dominant male in the pack. He was a fighter (particularly when female dogs were in heat) and would come back to the estate with all kinds of wounds which Ru treated. 

After getting permission from his original owner, we arranged to get Kahlu neutered. 

The affect of this was amazing. Kahlu changed from a scary dominant male into a pussy cat. He was so cuddly and just wanted petting all the time. There were no more fights and he really became a home dog just making a daily trip to visit his previous owner. 

Kahlu still had an appetite and always was around for his breakfast or dinner. 

One day he didn’t turn up. 

We waited and then looked for him. I drove around to see whether he had met with an accident. We asked our neighbours whether they has caught sight of him. Several days passed and we still had hope that Kahlu would return. I missed him a lot.

His fate finally revealed.

A few weeks later we were in a bank in Haputale and one of our neighbours told us that Kahlu had died. He had eaten some poison left at a trap and succumbed. He had found him and another dog who had met the same fate some days after they had died and he buried them both.

I was quite upset for several days but, unlike Fleurs’s fate, we knew how Kahlu had died. At least there was some finality.

Now we were back down to six

How on earth did you manage to get up to ten?

In the middle of the night we had a break in. Not a burglar, but a little black stray dog. It managed to enter our dog house (which is abandoned by our dogs in the warmer weather).

In the morning there was a big fuss around the dog house with this little puppy barking at the older dogs that had now seen the intruder. She held her ground and wouldn’t let any of the other dogs in!

Like all the other strays, we fed, cleaned and gave the puppy medicine to make her stronger before she could be re-homed. A visit to the vet revealed that she was anaemic and needed treatment. Injections and medicine was given and we knew that this would be a long road.

And now for the name!

At the time we had a French Moroccan guest staying called Lamaiaa. She spent a little time with this puppy and requested that she be named after her. As her name didn’t sound phonetically like the other dogs the name was given.

The requirement for ongoing treatment to get Lamaiaa healthy meant that this was another dog that could not be re-homed. So, we were up to seven dogs again.

And that was going to be the last

We had some guests stay with us a GlenMyu Estate who came across three abandoned puppies on their travels. After some messages going back and forth to ensure that they were abandoned we agreed for them to bring them to us. Later that day there was quite a downpour and they were stuck in a drain. Perhaps if we hadn’t said we would take them in they would not have survived. 

At this stage we were happy to take in a few puppies because we had always been successful in finding them new homes. 

The puppies were cute, needing worming and a good bath. They had a little skin infection and a few days later we took them to the vet for treatment.

They were attractive enough that we thought that when they were strong enough and had their vaccinations that there would be a queue of people wanting them.

The landscape had changed.

Unfortunately we were wrong in our assumption.

It turned our that the financial crisis meant that there were a glut of puppies that were in need of new homes. We advertised on social media however, unfortunately, there were no genuine takers.

One neighbour did take one of the puppies, but it found its’ way back to the estate later that day. We had no chance of re-homing these puppies unless they were relocated far from GlenMyu Estate.

I could have cried!

Ten dogs! Really!

How would we manage? Where would they stay? Would they integrate with the existing pack?

It took may several days to come to accept that we now had seven dogs. I’m still not happy with the situation but there was no point dwelling on the matter.

The final ten.

So, this is how seven became ten!

I am adamant that we will now not be taking in any more puppies under any circumstances. More puppies are for Ruwanthi’s next project which will be an animal sanctuary. At the moment it is just a dream for her. However, GlenMyu Estate was also a dream and she successfully achieved her goal.

The puppies are now around eight months old, have been spayed (no more puppies!) and have made GlenMyu Estate their home.

They are puppies, so they are naughty, have eaten too many shoes and annoy the other dogs from time to time. It will take some more months before they are fully part of the team.

Of course, they are cute. They are also characters and have provided me with some content for my YouTube dog channel. The guests love them, but who doesn’t love a cute puppy.

Lipton

Sunny

Bobbi

The final line up!

Our contingent now comprises of the following:

Clove – our first dog

Roti – Clove’s son

Donie

Patch and Biscuit – Donies’ off-spring.

Mo Mo (formally mauve in colour)

Lamaiaa – still a little bit crazy

Lipton, Sunny and Bobbi – the three sisters from Lipton’s Seat

If I say the names fast, it doesn’t sound too bad.

Support our work with rescue dogs by staying at GlenMyu Estate.

The money you pay for a fabulous stay at GlenMyu Estate helps support the work we do with rescue dogs. Food, shelter, medicine, annual vaccinations and sundries are partly covered by staying at the hotel. Your money also supports several local workers, local suppliers, the maintenance and development of the estate and our other animals. Did I mention we have around twenty ducks, twenty chickens and a rescue cow called Maali!

Find out more about a stay at GlenMyu Estate by visiting our website.

Contact us directly on WhatsApp for our best direct booking rates.

You will also find us on Booking,com and Airbnb

Read our reviews to find out about the guest experience at GlenMyu Estate on Booking,com, Airbnb, Google and Tripadvisor.

We look forward to meeting you and introducing you to all the dogs.

There will be a test on whether you can remember all the names!

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