I’m away in far-off Arnhem land but Gloria Morales is at home at Yuendumu and sent me through a few photos and a short story about this little fellow that she looked after for a few days before passing him on to someone in Alice Springs.
This is what Gloria told me:
I don’t know too much about how this little fellow came to me but someone called from The Granites [a large gold mine 300 kilometres further up the Tanami Track from Yuendumu] about a week and a half ago saying that they have a Dingo pup that was very sick and was being sent down to me.
Later that day a bus with a group of young Aboriginal boys turn up at my house about midday.
The boys said that the little Dingo pup was very sick and had been left at the Granites Mine. They didn’t have much more information than that.
I got a box and made him a little home in our bathroom and gave him some water and food – half-cooked chicken necks are very good for small puppies.
At first he was terrified and hid in a corner, shaking. After a while I got him out and sat him on my lap and gave him a cuddle and got the chicken neck and and put it in my hand.
He must have been a lot more relaxed being held by me because he he started eating like crazy and nearly ate my fingers as I was holding the chicken neck!
He was very skinny, with bones showing through his skin and I could count all of his ribs.
Later I talked to my friend in Alice and she helped me to find a good home for him. It was better for him to go to a new home as quickly as possible so that he could bond with the new person and create a connection with her instead of bonding with me.
I’d looked after him for two days and by the time I took him in to Alice Springs he had managed to start playing with the other puppies and had left the bathroom and gone into the bedroom and hide under the bed or under the side table.
At one time I found that he had dragged one of my pajamas under the side table and was sleeping on them.
By Saturday morning when I took him into Alice Springs he was already filling out, with not as many bones showing and he looked in much better condition and was less easily frightened than when he first came to me.
I’ll be keeping an eye on how he is doing with his new carers.
UPDATE – it seems that Ding’s first choice of carer wasn’t such a good one after all – the house he went to had a few orphaned Joeys and maybe Ding’s genetic hard-wiring kicked in and he started making very agressive moves not only at the Joeys (“lunch!!”) but also the hand that was feeding him…he is now at the RSPCA shelter in Alice Springs – I’ll keep you posted.