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.

16 July 2007

Dog Dilemma

At the last Adoption fair we were approached by a local gentleman who expressed his wish for Care for Dogs to help him to sterilise his dogs. After discussion with him, it transpired that he had over 30 dogs at his home, which he cared for lovingly but had no funds to get them sterilised so was forced to keep the females enclosed away from the males.

We had not had chance to check out his home ( he lives a long way from our usual area and besides, time = dogs !!) but had got a genuine dog loving feeling from the man and the vet he would use seemed respectable. After many phone calls pleading for our help, 2 weeks ago we agreed to assist him with his struggle and help him to sterilise 5 of the 7 females he had, the other 2 would need to wait as they had recently given birth.

Today we visited his home.

I took along a friend who had persistently nagged me to visit the man, as she wanted to help him and he was calling her daily. She speaks fluent Thai, so I felt a little easier about the language barrier I would face with this man as this would no doubt be eased by a Thai speaking companion.

At first I was greeted by the sight of so many friendly and sociable dogs running freely in a garden, who wanted to lick & hug me, as if they knew me forever. We walked around some old cars with their bonnets up, awaiting repair but rust had set in & the doors seized shut in the meantime. We saw many puppies on the floor, on, in & under workshop benches staggering about in what seemed a drunken daze.( the ones that were 'on' fell off during our stay ) There was also a cage with an old rice sack as a bed which was caked in faeces old & new. The 5 pups inside were just a bit bigger than my hand ( ok I have big hands ) and rather than staggering, these were laying motionless but breathing.

I asked where the sterilised dogs were and one by one he showed me by picking them up by the elbows and carrying them to me. The first one I saw, a gorgeous Dalmatian mix who just wanted me to tickle her tummy, I noticed the wound had healed and asked when he had taken the stitches out. He was surprised at the question and asked "what stitches". I looked closer and could see 8 tiny red dots and under them lumps. The wound had healed completely over the stitches and now they were left inside. I asked him to show me the medication the vet had given him for the dogs and he showed me half empty bags. When I asked him about why he hadn't taken the dogs back for removal of stitches, he said the vet had not told him to. And about the medication? He told me that they didn't eat it when he offered it to them. I showed him how to open the mouth of the dog with one hand and pop the tablet at the back of the mouth and then hold the mouth closed while rubbing the neck and he was astounded. He rushed over to his wife and made sure she witnessed how easy it was and she was equally surprised.

I looked at all 5 of the dogs and found them in varying degrees of healing. I was able to remove the stitches of the remaining 4, not without a great struggle to get the knot of the catgut out through the remaining small healing wound of the stitch. Surprisingly, only one of the four had an infection to worry about and this stitch was a nightmare to remove. I 'operated' on the bonnet of one of the cars, well it was my height & available and showed the man what I was doing at every step. At one point the string which kept his spectacles firmly wrapped to his head, dangled into my line of sight between me & the stitch, because he was so inquisitive and interested in what I was doing, getting an up close look. To be honest, when later he took the spectacles off, I hardly recognised him because he had lost his stretched, slant eye, fighter pilot look.

Anyway, I sifted through the collection of other problems the dogs showed and as well as the severe flea & tick problem, found a dog with a serious case of bacterial infection, another Dalmatian mix with blood dripping from her vulva and a couple of mange cases. The major worry was the pups.

After several attempts to motivate my companion to instruct the man to take the pups , the Dalmatian mix, and the bacteria case to the vet, and another hour of trying to rationalise why I was there, why we were helping and where we ( Care for Dogs ) should go from here, I loaded the pups, the bleeding vulva & the bacteria case onto the truck and told the man we would be away a while.

I drove a 40 kilo round trip to a vet I am confident with. I explained the circumstances of each dog & their home surroundings. The vet tested and confirmed the bacteria case and suggested that the Dalmatian mix might have an infection of the cervix.

He then ran tests on the pups and said he was puzzled why some were so lifeless and others were swaying from side to side. At this point, my companion interjected and said that the man had told her that he had injected them with Ivomec to deworm them. With a slight sense of frustration I walked to the water fountain and took a long drink of cold, refreshing and above all, calming water.

The vet recommended that one pup who appeared weaker than others, should stay in for drip treatment & observation. The others should be given vitamins and allowed to overcome their condition naturally.

My companion stripped off her latex gloves and asked me if Care for Dogs would be helping the man with the payment of this vet trip. I politely suggested she could seriously help the man by paying for the bill herself.

On returning the other dogs to the man's home, we were introduced to their pet Tshi zoo & poodle, ( don't ask! ) and gave him some food for the pups and strict instructions on the future use of Ivomec. I also brought flea & tick spraying solution and demonstrated that process to him as well.

I came away feeling so disappointed in the man for causing the suffering to these dogs he obviously loved & cared for. I was upset that we had not visited earlier, before agreeing to allow him to take the 5 dogs to a vet who we would then pay. I felt I had met a genuine dog lover, of which there are so many in Thailand but this man had no basic common sense or education about health care. The dilemma - help these dog loving people finacially or not. The resolve - educate and improve their understanding and help them help themselves.

14 July 2007

Thank you Chiang Mai Expats Club

Today we were given a tremendous opportunity to present to the Expat community at the Chiang Mai Expats Club meeting at the Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel.

We set up a show / stall outside the meeting room, greeting visitors to the club with a selection of cute puppies and displayed our show stand photo's and wares for sale. The post cards we recently had made with shelter dogs as the stars, were very appealing to people as were the selection of other doggy products available to raise money for Care for Dogs.

The venue was packed out and we were able to demonstrate the work we do, why we do it & provided suggestions about how people could assist to improve the life of dogs giving a PowerPoint presentation and showing a couple of short video's.

After the talk, many folks asked questions and showed interest in helping Care for Dogs both physically & financially. What is more, one of the puppies was promised to be adopted by a family who had just retired to Thailand from the UK.

Thanks again to Alan, Philip, Charles & Jim & the rest of the committee for their support and accepting our request to talk at this forum.

12 July 2007

Big hearted people & very wise dogs

These scenes are typical from my experience when around Karin & Amandine who as you can see pour their hearts out to the dogs they meet and give them so much care.

I know there are many folks like this in the world like these but currently I am blown away with how totally focused & dedicated they are towards the improvement of health of homeless dogs on the streets and in temples here in Chiang Mai.

Well done girls and I am so proud to know you and witness the differences you make to these beautiful creatures.

I have just discovered an interesting observation that will now stay with me for a long time. Photo's like these are precious and whenever you see a photo of a dog that is homeless, there is a story behind that photo that would take a page or more to write.

Sometimes we don't know all the story, there is no way we can but when we know dogs over a long period the history builds up. Not every doggy comes into this world with a healthy mother, soft warm bed and plenty of food to give them a good start. And when they are up on their feet, the dangers they face from everyday life, although making them very wise for their young shoulders, marks them for their life. They find homes(shelters) where they can and move from one food source to another in a hope that this place will be more safe & secure than the last. Maybe they are remembering the car than dropped them off at the temple and constantly listen for that similar car or see the headlights in the night & hope the car will come back for them. Maybe they just turn their backs on the world that deserted them and pledged to fight the rest of their lives to survive.

Whatever their story, its a long battled and embittered one that few humans could possibly relate to.

5 July 2007

Thursday Vet Run

Once again we took along the TvT cases currently with us and all are doing fine. Also coming with us on the morning trip for sterilisation, are 3 girls Fai, Nak & BoonRod. They will spend the day there and after their afternoon nap we will pick them up again & return to the shelter for a week of TLC.

I was asked by friend recently, who I thought was fairly street savvy "what does TLC in your blog mean?" Silly me, I assume too much. Anyway, for those others I have wrongfully assumed knew the meaning, its Tender Loving Care.

A couple of youngsters came to the vet today for checks. One was Cindy, a puppy brought in from a temple for check as she was acting very strangely. She just seemed to cower in corners and stay away from others, and not eating or otherwise acting like a typical puppy would. After a few visits now, it seems there is nothing the vets can find wrong, apart from the fact she is extremely scared and needs to relax & accept food from strangers.

Cheeky, this cute bundle of fun, is one of 8 pups born to a dog named Dok. She is a very antisocial thing but her pups are well fed, appearing quite healthy and getting the early safe & secure environment they need in life to get a good start by way of food, water, de-worming & vaccination.

Cheeky it turns out has an outbreak of fungal infection on her foot and a couple of the others have got it too on their bodies. Cheeky is the guinea pig today and we shall give the same treatment to the others, pink anti-biotic syrup and seborectic showers.

In the waiting room, I met Sua who was very keen to see our pups but was not going to get too near! No thats not a hair band, its actually a (paid for) hair cut style. The owner of this dog wanted to practice his English with me and reminded me of some of the awful experiences I witness when holiday makers ( and some long stay folks ) talk to Thai people. Why is it that people assume that people that cannot speak their language are also deaf?

Later in the day I met up with another Cindy, who is far less shy and accepts food from anyone!

3 July 2007

Some other dogs we met today

First of all today's photogenic dog award goes to Wan. She just needed to cool down!

Today I had the pleasure of meeting up with Amandine who has just flown from the USA for a 2 month holiday to work hands on with Care for Dogs.

Amandine founded Care for Dogs with Karin a year ago and is currently working & studying veterinary practice in America whilst at the same time trying to raise funds and awareness of our efforts to help the dogs here in Thailand.

We visited a temple in the city where we have been helping the health of the dogs there, vaccinating, feeding and dealing with some TvT cases. Amandine set about taking ticks off as many dogs that would allow her, much to the amazement of the school children who were fascinated that foreigners would get down on their hands and knees and de-tick so many dogs.

We saw the deteriorating state of some pups that were born about a month ago. More worrying, are that 4 more pups have been born there this week. This is so sad. A month ago we rescued a pregnant dog from here back to the shelter & she too has now had her litter at the shelter. This temple has been in need of help for so long. Lets hope we can now make a difference and sterilise all the females as soon as possible.

Our next stop was to check on a couple of dogs Amandine had helped when she was last here. We called in at Big C & met Valentino ( along with his friend Diane). Unfortunately his condition has deteriorated and the mange that plagued him before has returned. Amandine gave him some mackerel & Ivomec and made a deal with him, that if he took the medicine, she would visit him regularly to give him the mackerel.

Next we visited a temple near to Big C, Wat Don Chan. This was the site of an awful massacre of many dogs about 2 years ago, when the labourers killed, bar-b-q'd the dogs and left their heads for all to see. Apparently the number killed was thought to be well over 20. Today we found a few dogs there. A couple in a bad condition with Mange and a monk who wanted his pet Tshizoo vaccinated.

After giving appropriate medication and making another promise to return regularly, we made our way to Wat Doi Kam. I haven't mention the situation here recently, mainly because I have become so upset by the treatment the dogs were receiving by the monks and staff there but also because the numbers of dogs had dwindled away from 15 in February this year to 3 last month. Then out of the blue, some of the dogs that I feared killed or otherwise missing returned. The Doi Kam Pack has now reduced to 11 but this is made up of 4 new faces. Nik & Nak are 2 little cuties dumped about 4 weeks ago. They are obviously from a family environment and are quite affectionate. They have short legs, smooth brown coats and very kissable heads. 1 is female, so we shall sterilise her but today we took both of them to the shelter in a hope that someone might like to adopt them.

Whilst at the temple, we tried ( & failed !!) to blow dart a female that had now finished nursing her single remaining pup. Never did know how many she had, she hid them in the forest and only recently has the scrawny female pup ventured out for food along with her mum. Hopefully we can catch them both soon.