So You Think You Know Your Dog Breeds: What Is A Potcake?


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A few months back, we visited Nassau in the Bahamas. We stopped by one of many tables along the main road, this one was photographer Elisabeth Gay. We very much admired her work, but then we began talking about dogs. Elisabeth taught me about the Bahamian dog breed I never heard of, called the Potcake. Gay explains their story. 

Potcake pup Brandy with his ‘pet bear’

Stray dogs were kept around the neighborhoods by people throwing them scraps of food leftover from family meals. The local dish known as peas and rice is cooked in a large pot, using oil to fry the onions and peppers before adding the tomato paste, water, rice and pigeon peas.  When the rice absorbs all the water there is a crust formed in the bottom of the pot, which is called “pot cake.” This would be scraped out, mixed with other left overs, and fed to the dogs, hence they became known as Potcakes!

Bailey, a Potcake puppy – is this the cutest dog, or what?

I found Bailey in a litter of puppies living under an old shed in the bush with their mother.  A neighbor of mine was feeding them, and reckoned the pups were about 7-8 weeks old. Three weeks earlier, our Potcake, Nikita, had just died.

Elisabeth with Robin and me in the Nassau

I saw Bailey (puppy photo of him that I sent you was the day after I got him) and realized I needed to fill the void that Nikita had left.  So I took him (I also found homes for three more of the puppies and took the mother and the remaining three to the humane society, where they were all adopted). 

Both Bailey and Brandy are attending weekly obedience classes, and I see a huge difference in Bailey in particular during and after class…he is excited and thrilled to be praised and usually performs everything like a star pupil.  In fact, he tries to be teacher’s pet, as he absolutely adores Tonya and seemingly will do anything to get her attention.”