A couple saw a starving dog in a humane trap out in the country. They were concerned about her so they kept checking on her. They saw her in the trap for 3 days straight. On the 3rd day, she had 7 puppies in the trap. They couple then brought the whole thing (the trap containing all 8 animals) into the ADL on a Friday after hours. The following Saturday I was asked to foster her and her babies. The plan was that while the puppies were growing up, the adult dog would get some socialization then I could return all to the shelter. I said hello to the mama dog Saturday afternoon – went home and got my house ready and picked up everyone to take home on Sunday (March 19th, 2006). Lupe didn't know how to walk on a leash and she was so afraid of me that she urinated and defecated on me when I picked her up. She was frightened but very docile.
I set up Lupe and her puppies in my spare hallway bathroom. Although the door was left wide open, Lupe was too afraid to leave the room. Whenever I left the house, or went to sleep, she would come out and potty in the dining room (the furthest point from the bathroom). Not only did she stay in the bathroom, but whenever she wasn't feeding her puppies, she would stay in the bathtub.
Her socialization was slow. I had to carry her outside. She was so frightened, she either sat in a corner of the yard or ran back into the house. She would only go potty inside the house. Never outside. Like I said, the first time I picked her up, she urinated and deficated on me. The 2nd time I picked her up, she only urinated on me. The third time I carried her, I didn't get soiled. But for months afterwards, whenever she met someone new, she would defecate.
It took her about 2 months to come out of the bathroom and she slowly started moving out of the bathroom and into the bedroom with me over the course of a couple of months. She kept all her toys in the bathtub. When she decided to start moving into the bedroom with me, every morning when I awoke, I would find a new toy in my bedroom. After another month or two, all her toys were in the bedroom and she was sleeping in the bed with me.
After about 4 months, she finally started going potty outside but only in select places. In the beginning, I had to drive her to the shelter or to the vet to get her to go potty.
After about another month, she would also potty if I walked her all the way outside the subdivision – only to the left – not the right side of the subdivision.
After about anther month, she finally started going potty in the neighborhood but at the far end of the neighborhood so finally after 6 months, she stopped going potty in the house.
She wouldn't potty in the back yard until Matt-Matt moved in with us. Matt-Matt is another story.
After about 8 months or so, she finally stopped defacating when she would meet someone new but she still is very afraid of new people.
All of her puppies came back to the shelter at 6 weeks old and were quickly adopted. I felt that Lupe would probably always be a special needs dog so I adopted her. I couldn't bring myself to put her in the kennel were she would cowering in a corner.
All her babies would be adults now. I think about them all the time.
See Lupe pictures and videos here
"Lupe's Story" slide show chronology
"Free Range Puppies" – video of Lupe's puppies
Lupe's Puppies 24 April 2006" – video of Lupe's puppies