Over the recent Hari Raya holiday, Gentle Paws and Friends collaborated with the Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) Animal Lovers Society for a furry day outing exclusive to NTU volunteers.
I reckon our dogs were pretty surprised to see us that day, seeing as it was a Tuesday and it was so early in the morning! For them, the boisterous humans only appeared on weekends. During weekdays, they were content with having just Wee around in the afternoons to clean the place, to feed and play with them.
As Florence, Edwin and I piled onto Choo's van which rumbled along to the shelter, we received an unexpected phone call from Wee.
I need help, he said.
I was walking my dogs when I found an old cocker spaniel. He is in a terrible condition. With the help of a kind lady, I've managed to leash the cocker spaniel and tie the leash around a post. But I can't get any closer to the poor boy because my hands are full with my own dogs.
And so after dropping me and Florence so that we could get Furry Day on the road, Choo and Edwin made the detour to Woodlands, where the old cocker was found.
As I was walking an excitable Dribble at the park that day, I couldn't help wondering what happened to the lost cocker spaniel.
What kind of condition was he in? Just how bad was bad?
When Choo and Edwin got back to the shelter with the boy, I found out for myself what Wee meant by "terrible".
Meet Doodle. We don't know if he is lost or abandoned. We are holding out hope that it is the former. Whatever the case, we christened him Doodle, so that we didn't have to keep referring to him as that poor boy.
We don't know how long he had been roaming the streets, but boy was he starving. Whatever we fed him, he lapped it up like there was no tomorrow.
From afar, Doodle looked normal. But upon a closer inspection, his skin was in a downright horrible condition. His neck, his hind leg and his tail were completely devoid of fur.
Wee remarked that Doodle was in the condition that Doris and Dollar were when they were first dumped by the breeder farm.
Could Doodle have been thrown away because of his skin condition?
But there were signs pointing to the contrary as well.
Doodle's fur appeared as if it had just been cut. He didn't smell too bad. He didn't look malnourished. His ears weren't too dirty. He was also not tick infested.
Because of all these little signs, we held on and are still holding on to a flicker of hope that Doodle is merely a lost dog, instead of an abandoned one.
For the rest of the day that we were at the shelter, save for the short walk that I brought him, Doodle curled up by himself looking insecure and just plain sad.
We have put up notices online about Doodle. It has been four days and we have not heard any news. Was Doodle cruelly abandoned? Or is he merely a lost dog with an anxious owner on the other end who is desperately looking for him?
Perhaps we will never know.
Doodle isn't a young dog. We estimate him to be around six to eight years old. All we can do for him now is to provide a place for him to recover and rehabilitate.
After his trauma, this dog needs all the patience in the world to learn to appreciate the joys in life again.
We're located in the far eastern side of Singapore. Doodle was found far north. Of all the people in the world, Doodle met Wee. Fate intervened to bring him here to Gentle Paws. Perhaps even the heavens up above had enough of seeing this poor soul suffer.
But the tides have changed now. Things can only look up from here. We will be sending him to the vet for a full check up and do whatever that is necessary to chase the sorrow from his eyes.
Doodle was found on 31 August 2011 around Block 635 Woodlands Street 52. If you have any news about his owner, we look forward to hearing from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!