20 April 2007

Tour of Chiang Mai - Karin & Ally 12 hour roadshow

Karin & I teamed up today on what I am now referring to as our 'roadshow'. Typically what happens is, Karin compiles a list of people to meet, dogs to see & places where we have had reports of dogs in need of our help & we try to cover as many of the tasks as possible.

Firstly, I visited the new puppy quarantine area behind Karin's home where I saw these cuties. There was another one but they were so engrossed in chewing a hide chew that all I could see was their bum sticking out under a pile of dry leaves. The black one with panda eyes is not suffering from mange, its his natural hair colour around the eyes!

Then in the garden, an unusual rescue of a Blue Crested Lizard, after having been in the mouth of one of Karin's dogs. They lay frozen on the lawn and hoped everyone would go away so it could go on living. I picked the lizard up gently with a towel & put it out of harms way. The first rescue of the day!

We set out in good spirits, thinking that maybe we could achieve at least 50% of the list and hope to at least hit the 1st priority items. As with all events surrounding caring for dogs, there needs to be a great deal of flexibility and if we set a strict time scale to our plan, it always moves and we invariably need twice as much time. And that's what we try to allow for every time!

First stop for us today was to check up on a doggy named Boi who was given 2 weeks to live a month ago by a vet who had checked his blood and said that parasites were so advanced that he would surely die. He looked reasonably well and Karin was quite emotional when she saw him still alive.

It was then my turn to get emotional. Next we visited 5 pups born about 5 weeks ago. The purpose of our visit was to deworm them. I immediately saw that 2 of the 5 were very much smaller than the others and these 2 were constantly scrambling to get to their feet and seemed to shake quite a bit too. Karin talked to the man at this house and he said that he had not & was not considering any treatment for the puppies, only to ask us if we could deworm & vaccinate them. (We do that for free & word soon gets round.... +&- eh?)

I will take these 2 to the vet with me next Tuesday to get a proper diagnosis & try to encourage the owner to take the appropriate course of action.

Our next stop was to a shopping area called Kad Farang in Hang Dong. (Kad= Shopping area & Farang= Foreigner in Thai) We had received a call that there was a brown coloured dog hanging around the car park that was firstly bothering the shopkeepers (they were concerned...+&- again!!) but more importantly in our minds, in need of some assistance as the dog did not look healthy.

We made contact with a property development office nearby and were taken to a banana grove where there were 6 puppies that the staff had been caring for. Apparently the 6 were born about 5 - 6 weeks ago to a brown coloured dog but she was constantly off looking for food and not attending to the pups. The staff had made a temporary home for the little ones, to offer some protection from the weather.

We dewormed them and pulled ourselves away, leaving them to stay when they appeared to be very healthy and well adjusted. In our hearts we would love to take these 6 back to the shelter but what about the other 6 & then the other 5 & so on & so on. We are just full up right now and cannot take every pup we see or hear about. Just this week alone, we have come across or been told about in excess of 30 puppies desperately needing homes. We have to say no for the sake of the dogs at the shelter right now and hope that adoptions of current residents can make way for more to come in & find new homes in turn.

After a long search of the area, we headed off to Hang Dong market where we met up with a stall holder who had previously alerted us to many dogs at a local temple in need of treatment for their TvT & sterilisation. She also advised us that the dog that lived in & around the market area she was interested in us sterilising, was now pregnant. Too late!!

We then went to the temple (the home of Nam Pueng & Pauline) where we found the Abbot & many monks gathered around the courtyard. We identified 2 female dogs that we wanted to sterilise and set about catching them. There was a clever brown one who ran as soon as she saw Karin, remembering her previous visits here and took and instant dislike to me too. But the black one hung around a while. Not being easy to approach, we thought it was time bring out the hidden weapon. THE BLOW DART!

Yep, we recently invested big money in acquiring the tube, the dart, the valve and the other little bits this mechanism needs and this was its first outing. Karin's husband Klaus had shown me how to use it and I had practiced on stuffed toys (that in hind sight remained in one spot too long!!) and after a while I felt confident to put it into practice.

Victoria, as we named her, was a shifty girl, running away & moving, just as I blew the dart(not my aim of course!) and it took 3 attempts to finally succeed in getting the dart to enter her hind quarters and give her a small shot of Solitil, the sedative used by vets when operating on animals. Despite a successful injection, she ran for at least 10 minutes before finally giving in to the drug. She will go back to the shelter later and tomorrow go for sterilisation & then return to the temple next week.

During the waiting game, I came across this baby, having fallen out of a nest. The adults were chirping crazily above my head as I carefully put the chick out of the way from preying eyes of cats in the area.

Next we drove about 25km's south through Sanpatong and almost into Chom Thong. We eventually found the address where we followed up an adoption made last year and collected Kitty, another female dog for sterilisation & return next week.

Back to Kad Falang but still no sign of the wandering brown coloured dog.

Dropped off the 2 dogs for sterilisation back at the shelter and then made our way to Airport Plaza to meet up with the management of the shopping centre to ascertain if we could hold an "Adoption Fair" next month, as previously discussed with them but today they were not able to see us. Another follow up next Monday.

In the car park of the shopping centre there are some workers huts and here lives another doggy we need to get sterilised. When we collected Nam Than, she had blue marker pen all over her face, apparently put there by adults!! and not as we had thought, children!!

After dropping off a spare transport cage for Teresa, another volunteer who needed the cage in case the result of her follow up adoption appointment was negative, we headed off for Mae Rim to visit a family who adopted Tao from us about 8 months ago. It transpires that when Karin had come to the house on a previous occasion, she had found the family had 4 dogs. A poodle that was allowed to run where it liked & when it liked. 2 long haired brown collie like Thai dogs and Tao. The latter 3 were in a cage about 2 mtr sq and were also on leashed in the cage. Karin had been horrified and when she called to the family before coming today, the woman had said she did not want Tao anymore and was glad we were coming, could we take the dog back. Emotions were still running high from the rest of the days events!! Karin gave Tao a big hug & we took him back to the shelter. We asked if we could take the others but the woman said not this time, maybe later. Sorry to say this but I do not understand the mentality of such a person.

We headed off to another adoption follow up in Mae Rim. This time there was a nice out come. Karin had this dog down as a female and we were to check if the sterilisation had been completed when the dog was old enough. Ha! Surprise surprise, the dog was male, not a sex change but a fact that got lost along the way. Lueng was happy to see us and he enjoyed a nice hug and friendly faces.

By now it was very dark and we were feeling a little weary. We paid another visit to Kad Farang, to see if the elusive brown coloured dog was mooching around but alas she was keeping a low profile.

On the way back to the shelter, we made our final stop in the local village to see a family that had taken in a new dog from friends after they had lost so many of their own through poisoning last year. This lovely dog was now being kept on a chain at the side of the house and the folks qualified this by saying they did not want their new dog to be poisoned.

Now that is what I call a sad ending.

This weeks journey = 182 km's

No comments: