Since I was young I have loved animals and the countryside though I spend most of my life in the city. When I met my partner, who had been brought up in a village and can tell apart almost all water, land or sea animals, it was clear to us that living in the country was going to be our destiny.
One of our great passions has always been travelling: Kenya, Tanzania, India, my beloved Syria... and it was on one of our first trips, when went to the Czech Republic (at that time still Czechoslovakia) that we go know the Prague Ratter breed.
Needless to say we each brought back a pair, and seeing how wonderful Prague Ratters are we decided we had to make this breed known to all of Spain, as here nobody had ever heard of it. These dogs are perfect for today’s life, small flats, plenty of travelling and they adapt to any situation.
Some years ago we decided to give up our jobs, which though we enjoyed did not fulfil us as they should, and devote ourselves entirely to caring for and enjoying our dogs. We would like people to get to know and love the Prague Ratter like we did.
We looked for the best area, the best environment and created the best facilities so that we could all live in harmony with nature. In doing so, we carefully monitor when each of the mothers is on heat, mated and gives birth so that there is never any blood relationship between the progenitors. We wanted to have a large family and make it known.
And although we breed dogs, I don’t like to call ourselves breeders, however professional this is. Ours is a home for our dogs where they live in semi-liberty (they cannot be in total liberty for their own safety).
Yet things are not all rosy in life. There are many sacrifices, sleepless nights during births, easy births, difficult births, puppies which for one reason or another do not thrive. And then there is the personal aspect: forget about going to the cinema or theatre. Instead, all family events take place in my house. And thanks to the inestimable help of members of the family we have been able to have some short getaways, always well organised so as not to coincide with key moment with our dogs.
From the moment a mother becomes pregnant she is showered with special attention: meals prepared for her, long walks with us in the mountains to strength her muscles even more, looooots of stroking her tummy, which of course she loves.
My husband, the leader of our pack, is an expert veterinary auxiliary and dog trainer, who simply by looking at the eyes of a dog knows whether it is unhappy, if something is hurting or if it needs some extra cuddles. Without him and his expert hands many puppies born in the breech position or whose first-time mothers had problems giving birth would not be alive today..
And that’s how it is every day. The birth can be a time of anxiety, nervousness and happiness, but seeing them grow from day to day is one of the greatest satisfactions of our lives. We look after the needs of the mothers and handle the puppies so that from the very first moment they smell us and become accustomed to human beings. Then, as of the age of 15 days, which is when they start to open their eyes, will play with them continuously.
And for playing there is nothing better than my husband’s and my own large family. Life has not blessed us with our own children, but our four-legged children spend their time playing with their human cousins. Nephews and nieces, children of friends etc. who enjoy coming to the house and playing with the puppies. This is why when one of our Prague Ratters arrives at its new home it doesn’t experience a sense of strangeness or homesickness. It has been fully socialised with humans from even before it was born
All this is due to our care, as a basic and fundamental principle is that the puppies remain with their mothers and siblings for as long as possible. We do not supply any puppy is under the age of 12 weeks. During this time it has been with its mother, suckling even when it has started to eat solid food, at this is essential for its physical as well as emotional development. The care of a mother, how she plays with them, how she teaches them, pushes them so that they learn to defend themselves, how she licks and makes a fuss of them is fundamental for the perfect development of puppies.