When I traveled to India one of the things that I found interesting were the street dogs. I mistakenly called them wild dogs once and was quickly corrected. I spent hours on the internet reading about the dogs and what is being done to help stop overpopulation. Since I had opted out of getting a rabies shot prior to my trip (and because I’m not totally insane) I didn’t come face to face with any of the dogs although all I wanted to do was sit down in a pack and cuddle each and every one. Since then I’ve had a special place in my heart for those street dogs.
When Ike’s folks brought him to come visit me I hadn’t done any research on his breed. It wasn’t until after I met the energetic love bug that I headed to the computer to check out what exactly a “Potcake” was.
A Potcake is a mixed breed dog that resides in the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas. They are named after the food fed to stray dogs by the locals, the “cake” mixture found at the bottom of the rice/pea pots. Exactly what kind of dog is included in the mix depends on where the dog is from but most are short-haired, can be between 25-60 pounds, and a long face. Brown is the most typical color although their coats can also include a mixture of black, white, red, cream and yellow. Technically mutts-mixed breeds (my favorite kind of breed) the Potcake is a recognized breed on it’s own by the Bahamas Kennel Club.
On the street Potcakes only live about 7 years and are only about 25 pounds. Domesticated in a happy home their lifespan is similar to other dogs of their size (approx 13 years) and are a healthier weight.
Ike is the only Potcake I’ve ever watched but if he is the norm for the breed I’m sold! Ike is a wonderful dog. Very energetic so needs exercise but is really smart and very loyal and loving. Ike did not like it when single men ran by us on the trail. If they got too close he told them so. Ike spent all his free time near me and, preferably, on my lap cuddling. When hiking or at the dog park he always stopped to check in with me, make sure I was close, and that I was alright. He got along wonderfully with all other dogs no matter age and energy level. He could easily go nose to nose with Bear who is a vocal and rough playmate. He was also just as happy sleeping while spooning Riggins (as long as Riggins would allow such silliness). Although protective of me he never scolded or barked at my other dogs (like Dragon does). He was part of the pack not the leader and looked to me to fill that role.
If you are looking to get a dog I always suggest rescue. If you are looking to adopt, much like human children, I believe there are plenty of loving babies (dogs and humans) close to home that need you. BUT if you want to reach out to adopt a dog then a Potcake is something to definitely look in to. From my very minimal research it looks like the loyalty, intelligence, and love Ike showed is typical. It is like they know you saved them from living on the streets and they are thankful for all you do for them. They do need someone who can be a pack leader and who is willing to keep them active so definitely keep that in mind. If you are looking for a mild-mannered lap dog who sleeps all day a Potcake isn’t for you!
Ike’s mom works with BAARK – Bahamas Alliance for Animal Rights and Kindness. They have a spray and neuter program for the street dogs of the Bahamas and also help rescue dogs and find them homes. Ike’s mom told me that there are a number of these type of organizations that will help adopt Potcakes to loving families in Canada and the US. Keep BARRK and Ike in mind when you are thinking of what kind of pooch you would like to make part of your family!