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.


GG said...

I find your work and location fascinating. I'll keep an eye out for updates, as animal volunteering is a major part of my life.

Olivia T. said...

Please continue to work for the dogs as they need you so much.
Recently, I have been reading your Ally's Care for Dogs Diary almost everyday; I am so impressed by the love you, Amandine and Karin give to the needed dogs.
Thank you for all you've done for them and I will continue to follow you and Care for Dogs through your diary.

Karin Hawelka said...

Ally, thank you for your sharing openly your feelings and thoughts with many readers. A big big Thank you for all the tremendous help you have done for homeless dogs and for Care for Dogs in the last 12 months. I miss you dearly, your great commitment,your reliabily, your enthusiasm, and, last but not least, your wonderful British humour. Take a break, recharge your batteries, and get in touch with us again whenever it feels right for you. All the best, Karin, Care for Dogs

Ally said...

Thank you all for your encouragement.

Kerrio said...

Ally you are an inspiration!

Snogs from the dogs

Kerrio & co