Potcake Place has a clever approach to getting you to fall in love with this amazing breed. Tourists are invited to pop in to meet the puppies during their vacation. You can even take a puppy out for a socialization walk on the beach and around the village.
I read up about this opportunity before arriving in Grace Bay and could NOT wait to help socialize a puppy. It’s so easy. Just get in line outside of the center by 9:45 a.m., any day, Monday through Saturday. A friendly staff member will give you a simple form to complete. (Potcake Place is run 100% by volunteers and donations.)
Then, voila! You get your puppy! Plus, a TLC bag that includes treats, water, a popup bowl, tennis ball, chew toy and cleanup baggies.
You can keep your Potcake from 10 a.m. up until 12:30 p.m.
My first Potcake was an adorable little guy named Rocko. While some of the puppies are a little nervous and have to be coaxed away from the center that has been their safe haven,
Rocko was ready to roam!
We walked back to the beach where my husband was waiting in front of the Villa Renaissance so that we had shaded lounge chairs as our playtime home base.
It was so fun to see all of the other tourists out on the beach, taking time from their personal R&R for the puppies.
But you are instructed to not gather, even though the puppies want to play with each other. This is a prime opportunity for the puppies (who goodness knows what they’ve been through) to meet and regain trust in all different kinds of humans.
Some of the puppies don’t love to walk on a leash yet, and just because they are island dogs doesn’t mean they want to go into the water. You have to read your puppy and give them what they need. “No tugging or pulling them along,” urge the Potcake Place volunteers.
After Rocko, who was very feisty and playful, I went on to socialize three more puppies. They were little girls and more timid. All they wanted was to be carried as we walked, or cuddled and rocked when we sat.
By the time I had to return Dahlila, Hazel and Luxey, each little girl had stopped shaking. That felt pretty darn good.
It was also super gratifying to return to the center one morning and find a fellow volunteer family from Texas in the process of adopting and packing up two sibling puppies to take to back to Houston. Talk about Lucky Dogs!
Potcake Place has a very thorough and careful process for adopting puppies into forever homes, and you can learn all about it at their website: potcakeplace.com.
While I am still yearning for Rocko, Dahlila, Hazel and Luxey, we were just not prepared to adopt a new puppy yet. Especially with a senior dog at home. (Rocky, our 14 yo Boston Terrier; I was sure it was fate that I fell in love with the Caribbean “Rocko”!)
The next trip to Grace Bay, we will be better prepared to embrace the adoption process. In the meantime, we can all support these amazing fur babies and their hard-working human volunteers by sharing the Potcake story and making a donation:
- $10 gets a suffering puppy his first worming treatment;
- $50 gets a complete a rescue starter kit of a de-flea bath, vaccination, worming and antibiotics;
- $75 provides food and essential supplies while in foster care;
$100 covers spay and neuter procedures to help reduce the stray population; OR
- Go all out with a $500 contribution that will provide everything a single puppy requires from rescuing to re-homing.
I only got to keep my Potcakes for 2.5 hours each. But they were truly the best dogs I ever had in my life. Sorry, Rocky, old boy. But it’s the truth.
WHAT IS A POTCAKE DOG?
Potcakes are truly a remarkable breed of dogs. They make very smart, loyal and loving pets. Potcake is the name given to the dogs of the Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos Islands. It came about because the locals fed the caked remains of the cooking pot to the dogs.
The exact mix depends on what dogs had been introduced to the islands in the past. Basically, they are mixed-breed street dogs. It is believed that the original Potcake derived from the Labrador, German Shepherd and Fox Terrier breeds. The Bahama’s Kennel Club recognizes the Potcake as a breed.