31 May 2007

Shelter visitors love dogs

Today we were visited by some young folks that were in the final stages of preparation for a Grand Bake & Buy sale on Saturday 2nd June at Prem Center School in Mae Rim, in order to raise funds on behalf of Care for Dogs.

Royanne & friends, came along to see the residents and ask them first hand what they needed from the girls. Armed with many doggy chews & big bags of food, the girls gave several of the puppies & older dogs a refreshing shower and some good old TLC & grooming.

I think everyone enjoyed it, the girls certainly went away with a determined attitude to bring these dog better fortune through their hard efforts.
Good luck girls !

28 May 2007

Shelter Update

Care for Dogs has a temporary shelter for dogs, where we provide after care for post op sterilisations, regular treatments for cases of mange and allow otherwise weak or unhealthy dogs to recover their strength, before returning to where they came from or finding new homes through adoption.

Also at the shelter are many dogs that have either been rescued due to threat of their lives through poisoning or meat market, some dogs because they were born there from rescued pregnant mothers and some because they were literally dumped and totally helpless on the streets or at temples.
There is a small house in which the caretaker lives and there is a veranda on the front of this, where typically most of the dogs like to hang out, as the house is the source of food!

The area is divided by wire fencing into several smaller enclosures and these provide facilities for segregating dogs, for instance, recuperation or those needing special care.

Previously, we had some straw salas terected to give the dogs a place to shade from the sun or stay out of the rain or sleep on off the ground. These are great for some of the dogs but most of them like the veranda.
When it rains, the ground gets a little muddy and we combat this with spreading stones on the surface and renew this layer regularly. Ideally in the future we would like to concrete over some areas to provide a better, cleaner surface for the dogs to walk on, to & from the grassed areas.

However, just this past week, we have a new addition to the structure of the shelter. A bigger veranda! The new roof extension to the front of the house now provides somewhere to sit & sleep in the shade & out of the rain and not too far away from the magical door which hides all that wonderful food.

Alsatian needs a home

Lek is a beautiful & loving guy who needs a home.

He was promised a home not so long ago by some folks in Bangkok who appeared to be very sincere about adoption. However, we arranged for him to travel down from Chiang Mai, and after the journey, sadly they changed their minds.

Healthy and sterilised (fixed) and being fully vaccinated, this chap could make someone a very good companion.

If you know someone who could take this dog into their life and give him a home, please get in touch.

I am sure you will agree from the photo's, he is adorable.

25 May 2007

Fai & Big getting on fine

Regular readers might appreciate an update of a few residents at the shelter. Its been a little while since Fai & Big smiled like this !

However, Paul is still the same as ever. We are giving him vitamin B complex to aid nerve damage but it seems he will not be able to use his back legs again. But he seems happy.
(When I took this pic, I could here him saying "Where's that Gill got to?" )

19 May 2007

Chiang Mai Dog Poisoning - Sad & Angry

Back in February we came across a dog living in a village near the shelter under threat of being shot. At the time we were very concerned as this is the same village area that experienced many sudden deaths in the previous year and the man who was threatening to do the shooting was then thought to be the culprit and he was heard to say he would offer the dog to a local restaurant the locals know, still deal with dog meat!

Thankfully Daeng Gwaa is still running around, perhaps as she has been fostered by a neighbour and taken away from the original home. But sadly there was an incident yesterday at the house of the threatened Daeng Gwaa & indeed the family of the suspected old man.

Daeng Moo, the cute little dog in the photo, died from poisoning yesterday night at Baan Ma Ka Maew. Since last year approx. 10 owner dogs have been poisoned in a village area about 5 min. from our shelter. Daeng Moo was a lovely little dog, 1 ½ years old, and pregnant, loved by her owners.

Kh. Sanya, the lawyer who supports us, and Karin will go to the police today. Don’t know if it helps, but at least we wanna raise our voice against such senseless, cowardly and cruel acts.

Lucky Labrador Chor Gulab (Rose Bud)

On Friday this week we received a call from people living near Wat Rampoeng saying that a new dog had been dumped in their street and it looked to be a young Labrador puppy.

On finding the pup, volunteer Teresa brought her to the shelter for possible adoption. She didn't have long to wait, as Karin was able to find a dog loving couple who were looking for a companion for their other previously rescued dog Leo.

Happy & Sleepy are now running around and showing interest in everything. They are looking so much better. Less than 4 weeks ago when we first saw them, it was hard to imagine them getting this far.

Next week, Chor Gulab will be sterilised and then she will join her new home.

Now isn't it nice to have happy endings for a change!

15 May 2007

Karin & Ally Roadshow

This week we were only able to fit in an afternoons activity due to other pressing events and today we were accompanied by another student from Prem Centre, taking part in a community project.

Dianne 14, said she wanted to be involved with animals and thought we might give her an insight into how she could do so.

First off we called into the offices of the local authority to visit Cindy, living here a while now, to give her a surprise meal and also a heart worm vaccination.

Then, just up the hill, to Wat Doi Tam, a temple with many novices and lady monks too. Here we were interested in seeing how we could help them improve the health of the dogs and cats being cared for there and also to enquire about availability of cats & kittens for adoption, as we had received a request just the day before.

We were able to give heart worm prevention jabs to several dogs and found the lady monks to be very interested in animal welfare. Next week we will come & collect a dog with a growth on its elbow and see if anything should / can be done. We will also include these animals in our sterilisation program.
We noted that one of the dogs looked like a Rottweiler and he was very undernourished. His bones stuck out all over the place and was very scared of human contact. We will need to try regular trips here to hope he come round to meet us & maybe investigate his problem(s).

Next stop was at the family home of the 2 tiny pups Happy & Sleepy, to see the remaining 3 to administer worming tablets. The family said that all 3 had already gone to new homes.
With mixed feelings we pushed on to another stop, at Wat Silom. A temple in Hang Dong where we are in the middle of eradicating TvT in many dogs there. Regular readers of this diary, may recall the blow darting of the wrong dog last week. Well today we found the right dog, asleep in an outbuilding along with 2 of her friends, completely unaware of our presence.
The rain was lashing down now but we felt it was an ideal opportunity. We loaded the dart and got as near to her as possible. Missed again!!! this time the dart caught her hip but so briefly, that there was no injection made. She ran off and we failed to find her again.
With a loaded dart, we headed for Kad Farang, the place we were also interested in picking up dogs for sterilisation. As we entered the parking area, we could not believe our eyes, for there in front of us was the reported female, mangy, scrawny & looking hungry & hopeless. We offered her some food and she was ravenous. As awful as it sounds, we darted her and after a little running around, managed to pick her up outside Black Canyon. We dried her off and wrapped her to keep her warm & placed her in the back of the truck. Suffering from a lack of imagination, we called her Canyon.

Time was flying fast now and we managed to make one more stop before taking Dianne back to meet her Mum. We went to the home of Moom, the male TvT case we so want to help, to see if we could collect him to stay at the shelter for a few weeks during treatment.

Back at the shelter to drop off the doggies, we caught up with the progress of minor construction work going on, to put a new roof over the area where the dogs hang out the most & also saw the young pups Happy & Sleepy, now both fully alert & walking, looking strong & healthy.

When we found him, it was more than obvious he would be better off at the shelter. He had several serious bite wounds from fighting with is house mate Mee and they were in need of treatment too.
Dianne said she enjoyed the afternoon and asked for us to complete a report of her visit for her teacher. She was most welcome to come along and we enjoyed her company.

Prem School Visit

Thankfully the weather held good for an arranged visit by students from Prem Tinsulanonda International School. They came with a donation which was gratefully received and they seemed to enjoy the activities we tried to encourage them to participate in.

Walking dogs turned out to be the first choice of the students and showering as many dogs as they could with guidance from Tameer was next favourite. Karin demonstrated giving vaccinations and some students helped & took a chance to give jabs too. I think I scared a few students by graphically explaining the nature of TvT, highlighting the dangers of unprotected intercourse. We also managed to get some to scoop poop!

Some of the students expressed their affections for the dogs more than others. One beautiful young guy, David, talked to us at length about his family's life with dogs and showed he is a real dog lover.

Once again we are thankful of the foresight that schools have to involve children as early as possible in community issues and enlighten young minds of the perils that homeless and owner dogs face in Chiang Mai.

Students took many photo's of their visit which we hope they might share with us but here are just a few we captured of their stay.

14 May 2007

Wallace is accepted back home

Regular readers may recall the difficult reception Wallace received on his return home a couple weeks ago. Well today we dropped by his home on the off chance to see him and found him well integrated.

Outside the car repair shop, well it could be that but its hard to tell from the mess, Wallace was taking time out with his family.

Return home after their treatment

Today we returned several dogs that had finished their sterilisation & after care to where they came from. Essentially, their homes.

Kaow & Namthan went back to Wiang Kum Kam, happy to see the many other dogs there but as usual these guys get a frosty reception from their old mates, usually because they don't remember them looking so well!(All that food & TLC)

This dog returns to a street where she is fed and to be with her 2 offspring and to where some dog conscious folks are also keeping 2 female dogs locked within a walled garden for their own sake, not wanting them to have babies, feeding them twice a day. Care for Dogs will need to help these folks out soon & arrange for these girls to be sterilised & relieve them from eternal imprisonment.

Then the doggy from Airport Plaza car park was returned (minus the painted face!) to a homecoming crowd of folks taking their lunch break and plenty of puddles to play in.

Lastly there was the dog we picked up last week who had turned a little nasty on people visiting an English learning centre. Unfortunately, although she was on the truck at the shelter today for returning home, she was gone by the time we made the first official stop, sadly by breaking up the transport cage and jumping out along the road somewhere. This dog was angry and when we were vaccinating her for her release as we do with all dogs, she was quite stressed.

11 May 2007

Mysterious Death in Chiang Mai

Waiting at reception of a vet clinic will never quite be the same for me again. Typically I would sit and eye the waiting dogs to see if I could understand their problems and then I looked at the people who brought them there and ask myself if I should talk with them about their dogs and maybe introduce our work to them. I do this as I feel it works on many levels.

Firstly it helps to raise awareness of there being a group who genuinely care for dogs and possibly increase that circle of log carers who one day might make more of a difference to the poor creatures on the streets of Chiang Mai & for that matter, anywhere in the world.

Another reason I welcome conversation is to increase the awareness of the hundreds of dogs that need homes right there & then, some at our shelter and others currently being fed at temples after being dumped there by their heartless owners.

I also talk to these folks because I want them to appreciate that like them, waiting at the reception of a vet clinic for your turn to come or the results of tests, is a bit like taking your child to a hospital and fearing the worst. And that’s why I write this story.

On 9th March 2007, Karin & I went to the Small Animal Hospital ( a facility run by Chiang Mai University) where we took several cases from the shelter with bone problems. No not digging & burying problems but jaw, leg and hip problems. We sat in reception waiting our turn and on the bench next to us was a woman with her rottweiler Shuu. This woman we later knew as Manuela talked about her dog and after a while started speaking in German with Karin and I left them to it & wandered off to eye up more dogs.

In April, Karin found an advert in Chiang Mai City Life magazine regarding the sale of a cage for dogs and as is our want, we thought it would be useful at the shelter. We emailed and found that it was the same woman we had met at the Small Animal Hospital in March and eventually arranged to meet up at Prem Tinsulanada International School, north of Chiang Mai city on 19th April. I drove there alone with my pickup truck, met her outside the school and then followed her whilst she rode her motorbike further north about 15 kilometers, where she led me up to her home in the back of beyond.

As big & ugly as I am, even at this point I was getting a little concerned, as we kept winding through smaller & smaller roads and less populated areas, eventually up a bumpy off road track to a wilderness location, revealing a tiny house on top of a hill over looking a valley with a beautiful panoramic view.

As I got our of the car, the words were already coming out, asking her why she lived here. At this remote spot, why here, on her own and so far from civilisation. She immediately started to talk about her meditation and said that this was ideal for her and she went on and on about it, despite me wanting to change the subject. I was already spooked, now I was getting scared.

I managed to get her to talk about her dog and she mentioned that she needed to find a temporary home for him on the occasions she wanted to go away and suggested the new dog training & boarding place “The Happy Gambol” which was situated just the other side of the PremCentre on the way to Mae Rim. After about 20 minutes of trying to guide the conversation to a close I asked if we could lift the cage onto the back of my truck. The cage was at the side of the kitchen, an out building from the small one room house. As we moved around, I saw her bed through the mass of glazed doors & windows without curtains. It was a square wooden platform at one end of the room and on its surface were circles drawn in white and triangles within those. There were some words written on the walls that to me seemed like spiritual belief statements and then at the rear of the house I saw something that made my hair stand on end. A large earth circle with a raised edge and outside of that, what seemed to be a table type structure covered in ceramic tiles.

I asked her what she did with her time and she started on about the meditation again and this time said that she was able to reach a higher level of consciousness that some people thought they reached only on drugs. She said she could achieve this easily and spent a lot of time meditating.

I was now urgently trying to get out of the place as soon as I could and hurried the loading of the cage. In fact she had 2 cages, so that was a bonus. I paid her the money and left.

Driving away, I could not stop thinking why on earth she would want to live all that way away from civilisation on her own and about how obsessed she seemed to be about meditation.

On Monday 7th May 2007, I was cycling round the village (taking my 4 dogs for their evening trot at) 6pm. Karin called me to say that the same woman, Manuela, had been calling her on & off during the afternoon and that she was worried for her as she sounded very agitated and confused. We agreed that we should go to her, as we interpreted this as a call for help by someone who was desperate and troubled.

We visited the German Consul on the way & chatted with him about the matter and he advised us to be very careful and if she appeared to be suffering from mental or clinical problems, not to force her to go with us to a hospital but try to talk her round.

On the 40 minute journey, driving through thunder & lightening and torrential rain and following the route I made previously in daylight, I became every increasingly scared as the darkness of the night covered all the landmarks I had remembered.

On the journey, Karin related the afternoon’s conversations on the phone with Manuela. She told me that it all started about with a call from Manuela who was in a very anxious state & screaming and crying. At the same time, there was another voice on the phone and this was a Thai woman who (with Karin’s housekeeper’s help) Karin understood had gone to Manuela’s home to ask for money for the journey by her Songthaew(PublicTaxi) the day before that she had not paid at the time. Apparently Manuela had suggested that Karin could help her pay the money.

Next there were conversations about her dog which Manuela was asking if it was with Karin and she had said it was at the place I had shown her. Karin said following this call she contacted the dog training school and they confirmed that the dog was there. They also said that Manuela had come there Sunday with the dog and been very emotional but then returned on Monday in a strange excited way, behaving very strangely, saying that if she did not come back to give a bed cover of hers to him and said she could not pay them for his stay and that she would not be back. Then Manuela called Karin again, asking Karin if she could hear volcano noises & Karin said she was scared and concerned by what Manuela was saying and then she called me.

Karin then had a further call from Manuela and this time she was very calm and said that she had found 2 gates but did not know which gate to go through, bye bye Father and that she felt sleepy. Karin had said that she & I were on our way and the call was ended by Manuela. Karin then drove to my home.

So when we arrived at Manuela’s home, approximately 90 minutes after the last call from, we saw the place in complete darkness and with my torch we could see no one in or near the house which is set on top of the hill, about 100 metres from the gate. Karin called Manuela’s phone but there was no reply. We went to the neighbour, a little old lady and told her we needed to see Manuela & asked if she had seen her. She had not & she quickly grabbed her torch & we walked to the fence between the 2 properties. Karin & I continued to call out her name and shone the torch o our left. The blanket of darkness blocked everything else out. The torch lit an arc and that was all we saw.

At the house, the doors were open and the place was much the same as I had seen it previously. A bit untidy and sparse. The more we called, the more we worried. The house which as I said earlier is just a single bed/living area, merely had the bed and books, papers and clothes on the floor. No other furniture at all. But at the far end was a door to the bathroom. It was shut. I smelt something rotting, like a dead animal or something (blame my Dad for that in giving me his sensitive nose!) and that spooked us even more. I looked into the kitchen at the back of the house and saw cutlery scattered on the floor and the place looked a tip. There was no trace of her motorbike or sidecar either. I then caught sight in the torch beam of the earthen circle behind the house and said to Karin that now I was very scared and agreed with her that we should leave. We walked carefully down the steep grass & gravel pathway to the lower level, saying that we should now go to the Police. I suggested we take a look at another small building near to the front gate, just in case she was there. Approaching it, the doors were all closed which seemed to make it even more scary, as we could not see within.

We then agreed we should go straight to the Police and let them know our feelings. Karin gripping my arm even harder now, we turned back toward the side of the property to where we had first come in, to a break in the high barbed wire fence. We had walked a circle.

We walked to the old lady’s home and she sat on the steps looking at us. We agreed to not spook her too much and merely asked her to call us if she saw Manuela return.

After driving back about 15 kms, we came across a Police Box and told them we worried for the safety of Manuela. After a while they jumped in the back of our car and we returned to the old lady’s house. Once again, I led the way with my torch, over the fence and into Manuela’s property. This time however, after helping Karin over and starting to walk ahead, I realised that the Police could not see where they were going without my torch and turned around toward the right, away from the house, intending to bring the light back behind me and as I did , there in the light was a brilliant white object in the blackness. It looked light a shop window dummy and I then realised there was a pond in front of me. I screamed something and Karin cried out too. I ran to hug Karin and cried briefly. It was Manuela in the pond, facing up, her arms out in front of her. I looked at the Policemen and one of them was shaking like a leaf, trying to use his phone keypad. I comforted him, rubbed his back and told him to slow down. I felt I needed to satisfy myself that it was her and that she was dead. I went to the bank near to her and looked into her wide cold dark eyes. She was long gone, her neck cut and a shirt top she was wearing appeared pink & red from blood having run from her neck. A cream coloured frog sat on her outstretched floating right hand and I felt I could see to her through down her nostrils and mouth was wide open too. I did not see her legs, I thought the pond was deep and she was just standing there, face above the water. I was stunned and still am many days later, at the brilliant white tone of her skin. So white, like a camera flash in my mind against the darkness of the water and the blanket of the night. I see it now.

I rejoined Karin & we gripped each other quietly climbing over the fence & back to our car.

After a short while, most of the surrounding village people had gathered, motorbikes continued to trickle in for about 2 hours. People just standing around laughing & joking, some swaying with the effects of too much to drink and some still consuming. Slowly more Police arrived and it was clear that the first 2 were no longer needed, especially as this was not their territory. The asked us to drive them back and when we started the car with them in the back seat, it became clear that we were going no where! We had a body guard that tailed us around the shadows of the old ladys garden for the next 2 hours. I started the car again to charge the torch and Karin’s phone but that set their alarm bells ringing and I shut the engine off.

By now, it was about 11pm and the head honcho of Police had arrived. One zealous officer demanded my torch and the crowd migrated to the house. Karin & I stayed at the car with our bodyguard and after about an hour, we were asked to go to the house. The villagers were everywhere. In the house, garden, round the pond, everywhere. The house had so many people in it, as I walked towards it, it seemed more like a social gathering rather than a scene of death, let alone crime. It was a shambles and already I felt a dislike for the lack of respect for Manuela being shown by allowing her to be exposed publicly like this.

The head honcho asked us to look at papers with writing scrawled on in thick green or blue pen. It was ramblings of a confused mind. A particular set of papers seemed to rant on about emotions and thoughts and yet despite reading them over & over again, the words although written in English, failed to make any real sense. There seemed to be a sense of failure or anger about some pieces and others seemed to merely state an obscure remark. This set of papers were signed by Manuela on the 7th and there were various points in the writing that included times, ie 16:13 & 16:17 (during the afternoon when she had called Karin). The police were constantly asking what words meant and Karin did her best to translate them. It was hard, as many of the guys just stood there thinking we both had 2 heads when we talked about the words & connotations of her writings.

I had now put aside my feelings of dislike for the lack of respect and entered the house. There were about 12 people in a room that made it feel cramped, turning over papers & looking to be busy. They were looking for Manuela’s passport. They also turned on her Cd player and amongst this creepy and morbid scene, blasted a monotone voice demonstrating how to imaging a line running from the top of your head to the middle of your stomach and how to breath and reach a level of consciousness. WTF! I am already aware that Thai folks generally do not understand this stuff and as the only 2 English speakers in the place, this was doing my head in!

After much searching and rummaging by so many, the passport turned up & the place emptied. Then a new super head honcho arrived and started from scratch with the questions. I got bored and wandered off into the kitchen and found a book with similar writing dated January this year, containing a similar style of writing but appearing to be a little calmer & more understandable. I also found a bundle of screwed up papers near her hand bag with a sheet from an Airline booking system, suggesting that she had been enquiring about flights to Germany in the next few months.

After another period of soaking in the drizzling rain we were finally allowed to walk back to the car. This time we exited by the front gate. It was 1am and half the population of local villages were still hanging around the gate and at the gate on the ground, exposed to all, was the body of Manuela, no clothes, legs straight, arms outstretched and there for all to see. There was no respect for her dignity or ours for that matter and I could imaging the glee of the old men gawping at the sight of a lithe fair skinned foreigner laid bare before them. Back in the UK, I would have thought there would be at least one necrophile in the crowd of a similar situation, how many were here?

I caught Karin’s arm tighter and complained bitterly till we reached the car and then moaned even more about the lack of organisation, respect and courtesy.

The drive home was slow because of the rain but eventually we arrived back at 2am. I slept on the couch with the dogs next to me, not wanting to be alone tonight and missing Pe’Took so much ( her being away in Bangkok with friends at a Funeral of all things!) and amazingly, Karin would sleep alone with her dogs too as her husband was away on business for a few days.

As anyone might imagine, my emotions were all over the place and routine things tended to remind me of the events of the night before and the images and feelings constantly flooded my day to day life.

Tuesday & Wednesday went by and eventually we met with the Police at their premises on Thursday. Karin, her housekeeper, a friendly solicitor we know and Pe’Took & I sat from 10am through till about 8pm going over & over the events of Monday.

It was a strange situation. The day before, local papers were showing front page headlines of Murder and pictures of Manuela in the pond. The stories elaborated and many facts distorted for good reading and increased sales. I had not slept well and the slight prospect of being accused of murder was never far from my mind against a back drop of brilliant white images in the dark and the earth circle in the back garden.

But as soon as we sat around in a semi public office, looking at photo’s of her body on the computer and handling documents & other evidence around like a treasure trove, I relaxed a little and felt a sense of therapy at work, discussing and airing my mind.

At one point I go very distressed as the Police wanted to listen to the cd which had been loaded on Manuela’s cd player in her home. It was a Cd by Tom Kenyon and was titled “Mary Magdalen Energy Meditations. As soon as they played it, the hairs on the back of my neck shot up and I needed to leave the room. I was incensed to think that we were expected to sit through this, something that related in my opinion as the vital tool with which Manuela reached a level of consciousness which allowed her to take her life. Not only did I think it too morbid, I also felt threatened because of the hypnotic monotone of the voice and the words being said were like an instruction to my inner self to follow. I imagined if I was so inclined, I too could let myself go and become mentally empowered to believe I was higher than my earthly being.

As I sat listening to Karin patiently deliver her evidence to the Police through an interpretation by our solicitor friend, I searched the internet on my Pda and looked up Tom Kenyon. Here is just a small excerpt from the intro on his website

Tom Kenyon is also a channel for the Hathors, Masters of Love and Sound. The Hathors are a group of inter-dimensional beings who come from an ascended intergalactic civilization. As they once helped ancient Egypt and Tibet, they have now returned to assist humanity’s current evolution. Their brilliant and transformative utilization of Tom’s four octave voice changes lives

And more …

The Planetary Creatrix
From the Hathors through Tom Kenyon, April 15, 2007
You are on the brink of an escalation of intergalactic energies coming to you from deep space. As we have indicated in previous communications, this wave activity, related to the expansion of consciousness, is on the rise. Specifically, the expansion of consciousness has to do with a greater awareness of the subtleties and complexities of your life as terrestrial beings, but also as intergalactic and interdimensional beings.

Now I apologise if I might sound bigoted or judgemental here but this stuff is not for everyone and should be kept under lock & key from folks who might be of an unstable mind or be sensitive enough to respond to it.

I pointed this information out to the Police and they thought I was crazy and found it difficult to find the appropriate translation in Thai for intergalactic communication. They then started asking me if I understood more about this ‘sect’ and I suggested they contact Tom Kenyon & ask him, let alone send a message to outer space.

Manuela had lived at this location for the past 5 years and it transpires that the little old lady’s husband committed suicide about 2 years ago by hanging himself.

More info was revealed that Manuela had gone by Songthaew to the airport on Sunday and when she got there, she claimed to have no money & got very upset. The Tourist Police were called and after hearing her speak and feeling that she was mentally distressed or unbalanced, they asked the same Songthaew driver to take her back home as a show of kindness.

Anyway, it transpires from the photographing of the body that she had several wounds, not just the cut neck we had seen. She had a cut on her upper left arm from a sharp knife, a wound below the region of the heart from a fork and a large cut on the top / back of her head. The Police said that they had found a cooking utensil with blood and hair on it in the kitchen and also a sharp knife near the pond. They said there was also a small card in the water which they showed us. It had a mythical picture of an angel figure and the words “Healing Angel” on it. On the back, the word “Grail”.(All those who read Davinci Code” please raise your hands!)

So at this time, the autopsy and medical reports are still awaited as are the details of any relatives and what will happen to her body now. Will we ever know for sure what caused her to take her life, or be the victim of murder or sacrifice? What will the verdict be? Will there be even more revelations to unfold in this mystery and will the truth ever be told in Thailand publicly?

One thing is for certain, I am having second thoughts about talking to people whilst waiting at Vet Clinics, I will not enter into discussion with people about meditation and certainly not buy property in MaeRim.

Perhaps I will start to sleep easier now I have talked about this so much and also get back to a routine of daily chores, living & helping dogs.

Vet trip

The visit to the vet today is a mixed bag. We have 3 TvT cases ( should have been 4 but more on that later), a village dog with a problem on his scrotum, puppy Jammie ( was called Lek) needs a blood check update and Becky is along for a look at her left ear which is constantly dirty.
Also making the trip today was Noy, the Rottweiler cross(with a Jack Russell we think) who after biting so many dogs at the shelter and bullying everyone, we have decided to reduce the risk of further serious punctures by having his canine teeth cut down in size.

Phuky, the village dog who in last months diary entries was being neglected by her family, today gets her 2nd chemotherapy injection and from the photo it is obvious her treatment is working. Whats more, her weight is increasing which is a very healthy sign. Maybe its the removal of all those ticks and having regular meals.

Lucy, a casualty of Noy, gets her awful wound in her armpit dressed. Back at the shelter, she would previously hide in a corner, scared of her own shadow, now after her attack from Noy, she is in the same corner but shakes with fear as well. Anyway, the good news is that her wound is healthy and her weight is stable so today she also gets her 3rd TvT jab.

Panda, a black & white collie picked up by Karin last week, makes his first trip today. He has TvT in a big way. Big, because his willy is so big that his foreskin will not pass back over the growth underneath and blood drips constantly from within. Poor guy is a bit angry with us too, probably from the pain, so hopefully after some treatment he will relax a bit. He also has a bit of a cough and we are recommended to give him cefelexin.

Moom was meant to come along today for his second TvT jab but was nowhere to be seen at his home. The family where not their either, just Daeng (the originator of the TvT) looking at us from afar. We will need to arrange for him to stay at the shelter for a few weeks while he has his weekly treatments.

Bob, a hairy large bodied dog had a castration job done some time ago by the local government folks,who's work we often come across, offeringcheap treatments but sadly fail to follow through with meds, follow ups and aftercare. Today, Bobs scrotum was very sore and he has been nibbling at a slight infection there. The vet thought it could have been from a remnant stitch or poor hygiene.

Lastly there were the 2 pups. Becky it seems has a fungal infection in her left ear and needs Dexyrol and the blood test of Jammie was without incident, albeit difficult to find a blood vessel underneath all that fluff!

8 May 2007


Rain has not stopped for several days now & the once parched landscape around Chiang Mai is sodden and localised flooding is occurring on roads & paddy's. Grasses are starting to show signs of new growth, streams are near to their capacity and houses & roads are getting a well needed clean from the dusty times we have had these passed few months.

This all sounds rejuvenating, spring like (indeed birds can be seen carrying their nest building materials for the last week), refreshing and young. Frogs are calling 24 hours a day and they seem to be practicing their symphony in ever varied pitches & tones. And the views of the mountains are lush green, misty and more appealing than ever. Indeed at times I look out across the swelling ground behind my home and think of the new bright future that people could make here in Thailand.

At the shelter its a different story. The residents stand where ever they can find shelter from the rain under straw thatched huts we have erected and there are constant skirmishes for space and best position. About 30% of the ground area is covered with pools of water from the constant downpour and although this will soak or run away quickly, the mood is a little depressing.

The mud that was refreshing and cool on their bodies last week, is now chilling and unsightly. They were too hot last week, this week its too cold from having constant wet coats. Wet dogs spells problems ahead we fear. Maybe some coughs & colds coming.

When I visited the shelter the last few days, I have come away with a heavy heart for all their sad eyes and pleading faces. To see their coats soiled and wet made me cry and feel low. I spent a while with as many individuals as I could, trying to give each one their fare share of attention, without all the others barging in.

The puppy's Happy & Sleepy were best off in an area screened off from all the bustle out front and they were getting along with living, looking bright, interested and above all active, which is more than can be said for them 2 weeks ago at their family home!

Paul is still not moving his back legs but has managed to find himself a dry corner to hang out and BuunRod is trotting around on 3 legs and sometimes 4, hiding under any bench, away from humans which frankly I tend to think is not such a bad practice.

We have last weeks sterilisation girls, wearing their plastic funnel collars (to stop them licking & damaging their wounds) sitting & standing in another enclosure, wondering what the heck is going on!

Phuky is not happy and constantly wants to escape, climbing the internal area 6 foot high wire fencing, despite her weakness from the TvT and the neglect, she wants to be free & roam. Her external tumour is already showing signs on the edges of drying and shrinking and that is just after 1 injection.

Sherry (the dumped Bull Terrier) is running round like a playful child, wearing an England 7 sports shirt and Misha, clearly the elder resident, has taken to sitting in a shelter far from the others all on her own. She has seen all this before in her troubled life & is probably as cynical as I am.

But getting back to a brighter future..... sadly that is not something that all people share. Tragically it seems, one person found things all too much and ended their life yesterday. As I write this I still have images in front of me of our finding the body of a woman who called us to help her but we were too late. She had taken her own life in a bizarre way at her remote home location in the hills of north Chiang Mai.

I will not discuss this too much here as I am still in shock and maybe it is not the right place to do so either.

However, looking out through the rain, at the mountains and listening to the birds & frogs, thinking of the shelter residents, with views of hope and prosperity, I cannot get it out of my mind that one person had yesterday felt so committed to kill themselves.

6 May 2007

Sorry for break in service - We have been so busy!

Routine diary updates have not been high on my agenda recently as we have been so busy preparing for yesterdays Adoption Fair, as well as dealing with the non stop Care for Dogs rescue, sterilisations, medications & other doggy activity that is essential and our highest priority.

So.... Yesterday

The Adoption Fair at Chiang Mai Airport Plaza was a tremendous success and thank you to all the readers of this diary that were able to come along.
We manged to raise money on the day, in excess of 30,000 baht through donations & sales and achieved 9 adoptions with many other people expressing interest to adopt in the future. It was also an ideal opportunity for people to talk about their animal welfare issues with us, discuss doggy interests, offer their services as volunteers and enable us to communicate with the public about the work of Care for Dogs.

Airport Plaza, for those readers not familiar with Chiang Mai, is a Shopping Arcade / Mall / High Street under one roof and it is the biggest in the north of Thailand. We are not sure how many people visit Airport Plaza on a Saturday but from a rough estimate of flyers handed out at, it would be in excess of 8,000 to 10,000. This was big time exposure and as far as we know, a first for Airport Plaza. We are so thankful to the facilities management for allowing us to hold the event.

At first, there seemed to be some concern that live puppies were in their environment, foreigners setting up a stall that, when compared with adjacent big name retail outlets looked slightly shabby but above all, a very busy attraction.

The puppies were ferried in from the shelter in several shifts, ensuring that they were not over stressed and allow them to have a break. Those dumped in a sack at a temple 3 weeks ago were all adopted, so too were the poor things that people had taken to temples in Maejo, throwing them out of their cars and driving away.

We watched young children touch the puppies cautiously as many have never seen a puppy other than a Poodle or a Shih Tzu and these puppies were trusting and forgiving of people to let them hold them, wag their tails and hold hope for a brighter future. We saw families browsing the picture gallery display of available adoptions, rescue cases and a selection of happy adopting families, some showing paricular interest in Sherry the dumped Bull Terrier and we may even have some good news for the future of Paul who's legs are currently paralysed. (note the expression of hope).

Some individuals talked with me for a long time, about their individual efforts to care for the many dogs in the streets near their homes, sharing experiences of the complexities of dealing with homeless dogs and passing on particular details of cases that needed our assistance to deal with. Another useful contact made was a young trainee vet who wanted to discuss possibilities of assisting us and hopefully we can assist him to progress with his future.

The euphoria of yesterday is still with me as I right & I know the team of 20 volunteers will be feeling the same way.

Below are a couple of pics taken of the event, I will post more (from other cameras as I get them ah hum!)