24 October 2007

Accepting defeat gracefully

After a year of posting to this blog and becoming linked with so many interesting dogs, cats, birds, cows & people, and living an array of emotional experiences, I have to admit that revealing ones feelings to occasional readers is quite a responsibility that I cannot continue with the same enthusiasm I once had.

If you have found inspiration from these experiences or indeed been moved by them, I thank you for reading these pages and taking time to participate in the love that so many share for dogs, homeless and in need, here in Chiang Mai.

Although not on a regular basis and in no way as detailed, I have another blog in the making called Temple Dogs and this will include some of my attempts to help needy creatures.

Sadly this will be the last post to this blog.

Warm regards


25 September 2007

Paul - Update

Gill & I visited volunteer Sarah's home where we met up with Paul who has been given reprieve from the pressure at the shelter.

I say "pressure" as he would get picked on by other mobile dogs and boys being boys, he would get into everything and that didn't bode well for his dragging limbs, wound sores being scrapped on stone and exacerbated. He would be kept separately & quietly as much as possible but sometimes he would just be in the middle of a fight and could not escape.

We found him in the bushes, keeping cool and a little hesitant at first. Sarahs home will provide him with a quiet refuge and somewhere to rest up, without fear of attack or deprivation of food.

After a few cuddles from Gill, he soon relaxed and settled with the attention from a couple of other guests we had along, a couple of NZ vets on their holidays here. One of them an orthopedic specialist, gave Paul a work over and suggested that all is not lost and that with care and proper physio, he might just be able to use 1 if not both of his back legs.

Gill immediately pledged to attend Paul as much as possible, giving his limbs necessary exercise and massage, to encourage muscle development. Worryingly, Sarah suggested that she would observe his development over the next 2 weeks and if there was no improvement, Cfd would need to reconsider his future. - Did I say no pressure here?

24 September 2007

September 2007 at the Shelter - Chiang Mai Thailand

Stopped by the shelter today to pick up Sarah and took a few pics of the inmates!

21 September 2007

And folks think the UK is an advanced civilisation...

Ten men have been found guilty and a further 16 have admitted involvement in what the RSPCA says is one of the largest dog fights it has uncovered.

In a video shown to the jury squeals of pain could be heard and phrases such as "shake him" and "come on boy" as the dogs bit each other. Read more...

19 September 2007

Wat Kao Kwai - Chiang Rai

Visited a Wat in Chiang Rai and happened across some lucky guys being cared for by the nuns at the temple. Lunch had just finished & the nuns were giving the left overs to the quiet healthy looking residents at the temple. Some of the dogs looked old, which to me indicates they have possibly been there a long time and doing ok by the nuns. It was also refreshing not to see any young pups.

If only all temples were like this, where the monks and nuns actually gave food to the dogs & cats, rather than just letting them scavenge the waste bins and remain afraid of human contact.

9 September 2007

Update for Nola - Nudee in Rama IX park Chiang Mai Thailand

Recently I visited Rama IX park to catch up with an old friend, Nudee.

I was astonished how fine his coat is and his head is not hanging to one side. His willy is still clear of TvT and he is running round like a youngster!! Wow!

Could it be to do with his new mate? I called him Buster, cos he has that sort of look about him.

Buster has got a bad case of Cherry Eye and he has a smart set of teeth to go with it!

The food vendors are happy to feed the homeless dogs here occasionally and I thing Nudee & Buster are the favourites, from their healthy waist lines.

I will be checking back on them again soon, as I like to keep Nola in the picture about one of her extended family. Check out her writings and work with dogs here

7 September 2007

Care for Dogs shelter

Today I visited the shelter for the first time in a couple of weeks.

I was welcomed by the residents and pleased to see so many happy & playful characters. Some I recognised and I talked with them and cuddled those I was close to and introduced myself to many new additions, in for treatment or just hanging out becuase they have no where else to go.

The slide show below shows some of the familiar faces but there are many more pups & adults living there, waiting to find an adoptive home.

6 September 2007

Teddy go home - Lost dog in Southampton UK

Just been reading about a lost dog in Southampton, England on a linked blog to this diary.

Teddy it seems was spooked by another dog whilst out walking and has been on the lam for a few days and my heart reaches out to the family & to Teddy, who are all very anxious.

The wonderful thing is, at this website where lost dogs can be reported, there is a forum that people can report sightings and keep up to date with the progress of the search.

Now isn't that a great idea!

5 September 2007

Injured dog at Maesai Border

Amandine recently visited the border crossing area between Thailand & Burma. In amongst the people dashing to & fro between border controls, the throng of chestnut sellers and the typical sales chaos at these places, she saw an extremely sad dog.

The wound in his side is clearly made from a sharp weapon ( unless he ran through a plate glass window - I don't think so !) and the flesh remains exposed.

Amandine tried hard to tempt him towards capture, in order that she might at least get him to a vet but no one else she asked to help her was interested in the situation and the dog finally got nervous & wandered away from her sight.

As I write this, I have no idea as to whether the dog is still alive.

3 September 2007

Typical Care for Dogs Temple Visit Pics

This slide show is fairly representative of visits to Temples by the volunteers of Care for Dogs.

Once again, Amandine's 'eye' for the shot make the photo's that much more special.

Most of these pics are from Wat Than Tham which is situated in a small village at the southern end of the Airport runway and others are from Wat Don Chan.

The elderly lady seen here, is a caring soul. Every day, she feeds more than a dozen dogs in her home and then makes sure approximately 20 dogs living within the temple complex across the street from her, get their feed too.

31 August 2007

Care for Dogs Adoption Fair III - Payap University Chiang Mai

Care for Dogs jumped at the invitation, to be part of the Payap University Chiang Mai National Science and Technology Exhibition, held within the halls of the Faculty of Science.

Students demonstrated many of the current project activities and companies such as Apple and local computer sales merchandisers were laying out their wears to attract the purses of the students parents.

A highlight of the afternoon, the period I was there, was a stage show performed by some young girls from a visiting school, cajoling elder students to take part in a bottle of liquid recognition quiz. It was all very loud, animated and plenty of fun, the audience enjoyed it immensely.

Sales at the Cfd stand raised money along with donations and many people showed great interest in the work of Care for Dogs.

Karin held adoption interviews with prospective adopters and despite not being quite the same type of venue Cfd had held before at Airport Plaza, there were many adoptions of young puppies, some that had recently been dumped & rescued from a temple in Maejo.

The event also marked the launch of the new Care for Dogs colours and Karin kindly gave all volunteers a free black Polo shirt, with pink stripes & details of Cfd embroidered on the pocket & the back.

The photo quality took a down turn, lighting was not too good for photo's and besides, Amandine has now returned to the USA (miss you so much x) and we were without her photographic skills.

25 August 2007

All problems can be overcome

Today I read several articles about blocks being put on visibility and accessibility of some blogs and sites. This knee jerked me into backing up the data, that's the pages / posts published, rather than just the way it looks & feels.

After a little searching I found an excellent utility to download all the posts & comments from your blog to your local PC and its so easy to use. Shame it doesn't save down the pics within the diary entries but I have those already, after all, I uploaded them in the first place! I will sleep easier tonight.

Hope Amandine doesn't mind me publishing a pic she sent me today.

The moral of this pic is that all problems can be overcome, you just need to sit & think about how to sort it out.

Gremlins or something more sinister

Today I have read about other blogs being surpressed and it is with some relief that mine is still up.

However.... The comments feed that my side bar uses has lost its content, despite the original comment being available to read within each post.

I have checked my recent design changes and can demonstrate on a ghost test version of my blog (something I maintain is essential before making any design changes) that the feed has been corrupt or lost to my blog. Other feeds to test blogs work fine.


22 August 2007

Good-bye Benny

I enclose an email I received from Karin today, asking me to include it here. Indeed I think Karin's words bear testament to the reality of the short lives some of these poor creatures live and also the heart ache from the attachment that caring for homeless dogs can bring.

The first time I met Benny and his four siblings was in July last month. I had almost finished my temple tour at Wat Vivek, when the temple boys told me that another litter of puppies had been dumped – as it happens regularly at this and many other temples here. He showed me 5 lively brownish bundles –they were completely starving and went after three bowls of food as if they hadn’t eaten for days.

I took them into my car and drove back home. They were riddled with fleas and I tried to stop them from wandering around in the whole car, and I remember especially one popped up again and again and I fell for his cuteness right away – I called him Benny. Benny and his siblings first stayed at the shelter, were sprayed to get rid of their fleas, got a health check at the vet, food and love, their set of vaccinations, and the hairless spots from flea allergy slowly disappeared. Lady, our rescued senior Labrador, was very keen on getting into their enclosure and looked after them as a caring foster mom. Then the little ones developed a cough and I took them to our home. Partly because I didn’t want the cough to spread to other dogs, but partly also because I love to have foster puppies around between our own bunch of adult dogs – just can’t resist their charm and playfulness.

Two of them got adopted soon, and so Benny, Britta, and Tanya remained with us. The girls recovered quickly from their cough, but not Benny, though we changed the antibiotics every two weeks and gave him vitamins as well. But otherwise he didn’t have any other symptoms, looked healthy and playful, loved eating (as his growing little belly was evidence of), and of course playing with his sisters. He was a special friend of our 9-month old male Momo, at times just jumped on him, and the two were rolling around together. It was heartwarming to see how carefully big Momo played with his little friend. I have to confess, Benny was my special darling, and I always felt a bit guilty towards his sisters when I took him into my arms first to give him a long cuddle. I was very concerned that he would be given only to a real loving and caring home. Well, when you see the photo which Amandine took of him, you might understand.

As Bennys cough didn’t get better, I brought him for another vet check last week, and we changed the antibiotics one more time. We have currently family visiting and left for Bangkok last week. I knew Benny would be in good care with dog-loving Amandine and our valuable house-keeper Khun Kulab. Yesterday Kh. Kulab called me and told me that Benny had lost appetite and had diarrhea for the first time and that his body felt hot. I asked her to arrange a vet visit and Dr. Thanakrit recommended to separate him from our other dogs and prescribed new medicine. Benny stayed at our bathroom where bedding has been prepared for him, and when Kulab saw him yesterday evening he still looked o.k. and even tried to get out of the room to see his sisters.

This morning I got a phone call from Amandine. She told me that Kulab had found Benny this morning dead in the bathroom, he must have died several hours before.

Benny will be buried today in our garden next to the grave of my eldest dog Dao and I asked Amandine to say fare-well from me with a frangipani flower.

Rest in peace, little friend, I dearly miss you.

21 August 2007

Nakorn Payap - Community & Temple Aid Program

Today Amandine & I visited Nakorn Payap International School (NIS), as Kh Yu & Ms Elissa are in the initial stages of setting up a Community & Temple Aid Program and wanted us to present information to a gathering of interested project volunteer students on the work we do.

The project will essentially help the community effectively reduce the numbers of homeless dogs, improve the health of the current ones living within the grounds of a temple.

This wonderful initiative will enable the participants from the school to arrange sterilisation, vaccinate, treat mange & other illness, as well as improve the general level of health of the residents at a temple along with regular feeding.

Karin, Amandine & I have recently been visiting a particular temple we have in mind for this project, where there are over 30 dogs with many needing sterilisation and some interesting skin problem to deal with too. The monks and staff in the offices there, know the dogs by name and they are generally sociable ( the monks & staff too ). Currently there are some young pups riddled with ticks and by the look of the bloated tummies of some of the adults, a few more are on their way.

This location will be an ideal opportunity for the NIS group to get involved and help the community with such a valuable contribution of effort and impact on the future numbers of homeless dogs in the vicinity.

Last week we showed the temple to Kh Yu & Ms Elissa and they immediately saw the potential.
Today Amandine & I think they have managed to convince their volunteer colleagues to give this initiative their commitment and become the first school in Chiang Mai to start such a worthwhile activity.

More photo's by Amandine

By popular demand, some more photo's taken by Care for Dogs specialist photographer. "Specialist" because she seems to have the eye for the nicest of shots and captures so much emotion in her lense.

Amandine has been so click happy whilst here, there are so many more pics to come.

19 August 2007

Care for Dogs - Chiang Mai Thailand - Alive & Well

Some readers of this blog have questioned why there have been so few entries over recent weeks and I have been asked to clarify the situation in respect of Care for Dogs, in order to avoid any negative speculation. Indeed I have been considering for some time, what exactly to say.

When I started volunteering with Care for Dogs 12 months ago, I put my heart into the activities and found myself devoting more and more time every week to helping dogs as part of the work of the group. This I was happy about, as after all I am retired and you can only dead head roses so much! I have a tremendous enthusiasm for whatever I put my mind to and I can never take a half hearted approach to things.

What I had not envisaged was the exposure I would get to the negative issues within society surrounding animal welfare, the traumatic scenes of dogs in distress and the helplessness one feels when faced with so much needing to be done by so few. Regular visits to vets with a growing family of dogs that I was acquiring (despite living at the shelter, in temples or on streets, they are all part of my family now) and experiencing their pain & suffering, started to take its toll on my personal life and relationships. I discussed these emotions with various folks over time and established that there is a recognized condition termed as “Burn out” and if you follow this link you can read some other volunteer views on the same issue.

About 6 months ago, I realised my time would come to step back and about 2 months ago, I made the decision to time it after a 12 month volunteer period. No time would ever be right to make such a move, so softening the blow or impact this would have on the group was a real concern to me. Feelings of guilt, failure, weakness & disappointment flood in daily as I feel I have betrayed the many dogs that await my help and let down the group and hampered their ability to achieve their goals & objectives. But we have talked about it and their continued activities is evidence of their strength and ability to deal with the issues I could not.

Care for Dogs has existed for well over a year now and the short period of 12 months I have been associated with the group, has been a tremendous experience for me and provided many opportunities to assist dogs in ways that before, I would not have known how to help. I have learned so much and still encourage people to get involved with helping dogs in any way they can.

The work of Care for Dogs continues unabated, still providing medical care and arranging sterilizations for as many dogs that funds will support. Equally, rescues of injured or sick and dogs in danger, are still ongoing, new homes are being found for homeless dogs and Karin is capably continuing to drive the groups work with the assistance of other volunteers.

‘Ally’s Care for Dogs Diary’ started 12 months ago and has grown to demonstrate many issues surrounding the welfare of dogs in Chiang Mai and sometimes other issues too. It has become a daily interest for some people and to the volunteers, a source of reference, such as “when exactly was it that we picked that dog up?” and a means to mass communicate issues that folks need to know about. As some will have recognized, it has also served as therapy for me, to express my feelings and share with others, what has upset me. I do intend to continue with updates from time to time, drawing attention to the work of Care for Dogs & trying to encourage folks to contribute funds to their work and including my ongoing activities of helping dogs where ever I am, albeit not in the guise of Care for Dogs volunteer. You see, when you start working with dogs, you can never stop. The more you look, the more you see.

So, please keep popping in from time to time & read up on the updates. But whatever you think, please do not feel that Care for Dogs is less active than before.

8 August 2007

Blow darting TvT cases

This entry covers a story about 2 dogs that live at a temple / school and both have severe TvT (Transmissible Venereal Tumour).

Amandine & I visited the location twice to blow dart the dogs. They both hang out in the school dinner hall, sleeping under the tables and getting regular meals from both staff & children.

The male, "Carrefour", has a massive tumour on his penis and constantly drips blood. In fact, by the time we arrived back at the shelter, there was a puddle of blood in the back of the truck.

The female, well her back end is a mess. Yes that is the dart in Amandine's pocket, dangerous woman!

Amandine was busy at the school with her camera and the children, as ever, were willing models and extremely interested in the results.

The 2 dogs are now at the shelter and receiving weekly chemotherapy.

1 August 2007

Stolen Golden Retriever - Chiang Mai, Thailand

This week a handsome Golden Retriever called Momo, went missing from near his home in the Wat Ched Yod area of Chiang Mai, Thailand.

His family are beside themselves, missing him so much and fear the worst, that someone has taken him for sale or even to the meat market.

If you are in Chiang Mai and see a dog similar to him for sale, please contact us so we can verify that its not Momo.

UPDATE The family have also reported Momo as missing at the following site:


UK people listen to animal welfare message

Animal cruelty convictions down

German shepherd named "Blade" suffered neglect for two months

Convictions for animal cruelty in the UK fell by 20% last year, according to new figures released by the RSPCA.

The charity said the statistics showed people were beginning to listen to its animal welfare message.

It also said new legislation introduced in April was enabling it to intervene earlier to prevent acts of cruelty.

The RSPCA review of 2006 did, however, include "shocking" examples of cruelty including a starving dog forced to eat dead companions to survive.

The charity's 2006 cruelty statistics showed overall that, although there were more complaints investigated, there were fewer convictions than the previous year. [Read more...]

30 July 2007

Photo special for Expectant viewers

Here is a selection of photos, taken by our proffessional team photographer, especially for an expectant mum to be Sachli. We hope you are keeping well and your stay is comfortable.

This slide show represents just a few of the current residents. They are all needing a home and given the opportunity, will make wonderful, loving companions.

If anyone reading this knows of someone needing a good friend, loyal partner, someone to share love and affection, do get in touch and maybe we can be match makers.

Care for Dogs has so many dogs that need homes. Some pupies have been born at the shelter from rescued pregnant temple or street dogs.

Some are from rice sacks we find at the gate, containing discarded litters of pups, as the family only wanted 1 from their beloved family dog.

Many of the puppies at the shelter come from local temples where they are found wandering, looking for food after being recently dumped there. ( We know this as the monks tell us about the clandestine activity of dump & run cars at night )

And other dogs at the shelter come from places like carparks & 7/11 forcourts, that have just been discarded by families that no longer want them. ( yes this happens ) Staying in a group, looking for the car that dumped them and wagging their tails to anyone & everyone, hardly the inflammatory characteristics of 'wild, savage & unfriendly dogs', that sells newspapers, fills blogspace or motivates so many folks to give the poor homeless creatures a negative image.

29 July 2007

Classic Cars of Lanna visit the shelter

Today Care for Dogs shelter at Hang Dong was visited by some of the members of Classic Cars of Lanna Group, on their road tour of the Samoeng Loop which circles around the mountains of Doi Suthep & Doi Pui.

We were able to explain to the group the work of Care for Dogs and showed them around the shelter.

It was great to see a collection of vehicles as these but I don't think the dogs at the shelter appreciated it much at all.

We had to keep the residents couped up a while for the cars to arrive & the visitors to make their entrance but after a while some of them got to play with each other.

The visitors kindly donated money to the shelter and one puppy was adopted.

A very good day.

Can you help Paul find a home?

Dear Animal Friends

Today we would like to introduce a very special case and a special dog to you: Paul.

Paul was living around Ratchamanka Road, a handsome looking black-white dog. One night Paul was hit by a motorbike, and couldn’t move any more. The next day caring neighbours called us and we picked him up. Vet checks and an x-ray confirmed that Paul had suffered dislocation of his lumbar vertebrae. The impact of this became more and more apparent; Paul cannot use his back legs any more but can get around by dragging them behind them.
Paul is in good health otherwise and is a gentle natured guy who loves human companionship.

What are Paul’s options for his future? Will he have as much luck as Hannah, another dog with a similar fate? A kind vet in Bangkok donated a wheel chair for her, and a loving lady with a huge heart decided to give Hannah a new life at her home. Today Hannah and her new owner Tameer are enjoying daily walks together and we are convinced Hannah enjoys a wonderful life with Tameer. Read by yourself what Tameer says about living with Hannah ...

“Although living with and caring for a companion such as Hannah requires a little more attention than perhaps another more able bodied dog, the rewards are dramatically greater. With loving care and a small commitment of time in the beginning, Hannah has healed and developed way beyond her apparent initial disability. She has gone from dragging her rear end exclusively to strengthening her remaining back leg enough to be able to stand while eating. She is slowly experimenting with standing to turn around and is currently "figuring out" how to balance her body and move as a 3 legged being. By nature, Hannah is a very happy and joyful little being, accepting of all that life has brought her. She is a genuine pleasure to have as a companion. We share a deep appreciation of each other and Hannah loves that she has a home of her own. We have 2 young cats with whom Hannah plays, she is always sweet and gentle with them and they are great friends! With the help of a 2 wheeled cart that was donated by Dr. Nan in Bangkok, Hannah is able to go for walks much like any other dog .. sniffing, chasing cats and just generally enjoying the pleasures of being an inquisitive dog.”

Can we believe in another miracle – is there another kind soul around who would be willing to give Paul a new life? We would give any assistance needed to adapt to his new home and to arrange a wheel-chair for him to give him a best possible start into a new life.

If you think you can help Paul, please let us know.

Warm regards,
Care for Dogs

27 July 2007

Another sad day

Amandine, Karin & I visited a house quite near to the shelter & met up with some local residents who were concerned about the welfare of a dogs being kept in a small cage all day, every day and its only release was briefly at weekends when the house holders were not working and then only chased & beaten with a stick.

The sign on the cage says "Beware Dangerous Dog". There was food in the cage ( until we upset him & he knocked it over along with his water bowl.

Poor guy. After our visit, we drove to find a man who likes this particular breed ( Baan Kaoew) in a hope he might be able to help the dog by giving it a better home, as it was rumoured the current family are not really interested. ( Understatement ) Last we heard was there was at least a discussion going on between the 2 parties.

Next we visited a temple that we had not been to before, hearing that there had been a previously adopted dog being dumped there.

There we found that dog along with about 6 others and a mother with 3 pups. All the dogs were infested with ticks but the mum & pups seemed to be more troubled than the others. Didn't manage to get many photo's as I was more interested in de-ticking than clicking.

We sat down and after a good spray, we literally plucked the ticks off the pups with tweezers. There were so many in each ear and between each toe, it was hard to imagine how the poor things could hear, let alone walk.

The mother had a row of ticks clustered along her belly, in between her warm & moist droopy tits, quite amazing.

Unfortunately, the conditions in the grounds of this temple are not exactly ideal, as if any temple grounds are, the toilet block being just a dump site and the cloisters just rotting rubbish.

During our stay, many people were coming & going and in particular, a group of school children who were making merit for the forthcoming festival period of Khao Pansa. Some came and looked at us plucking ticks and wondered why foreigners were interested in doing this.

Later it was the turn of the forestry department and the fire & rescue guys put their best protective suits on for the temple visit.
This temple needs regular visits to help these poor dogs.