While all was quiet on the blog front, lots was happening behind the scenes at Gentle Paws.
I have a huge exam ahead of me and I am prevented from sitting down proper to do my usual entry. But let me just use photos to briefly share what has happened over the past month.
I haven't properly introduced our DUSTY to you. He was a stray rescued by our regular, Cindy. The curious thing about Dusty is... he doesn't appear to be your usual stray dog. Despite being of local breed, he is perfect on the leash and he seems at ease in the car, as if he has experienced all these before. This pricked our suspicions immediately. Was this dog lost or abandoned? A visit to the vet revealed, however, that there was no microchip embedded in Dusty. Also, despite being on the look out for lost notices, we have heard nothing about a lost dog remotely resembling Dusty. It's been nearly two months and Dusty has now undergone the required vaccinations. Next stop for him? Sterilisation!
Next, I am immensely proud to declare that Destine, our pasar malam dog, has been successfully rehomed. To think that just over one year ago, he was a stray wandering the streets. Destiny does indeed have plenty of tricks up its sleeves. It's so rare for an adult local dog to be adopted and I can't emphasise just how thrilled we are about this.
Adoption is no easy task. Adopting a dog is a lifelong responsibility. It cannot be forced. This is why we advocate trial homestays before adoption so that adopters have a clearer idea about what they are in for. Sometimes, the homestays just don't work out and there is nobody to blame.
We don't judge. We don't complain. We respect the adopter's decision and move on in search of a more suitable home for our dogs. Doodle's adoption almost went through. In fact the adoption agreement was already signed. Unfortunately, just days into the adoption, his adopter observed that Doodle started showing aggression over his food and toys.
So back Doodle goes to the shelter, where we will monitor this "aggression" problem that he might have. If you notice from the picture below, Doodle's condition is much improved. All his fur has grown out and he is becoming more gorgeous by the day. We are confident that in the months that lie ahead, we will be able to find a home for this boy.
As October drew to a close, it was time for us to submit our proposal on pet ownership and stray management to the Ministry. The list of people supporting our proposal filled a whopping 23 pages. We have many thanks to give to everyone out there who took the time to read through what we had to say. It was a lengthy document and we are humbled by the response.
Although we haven't received word from the Ministry regarding our proposal specifically, the government just announced the launch of a pilot program for ownership of stray dogs in HDB flats. Being a pilot program, this is just a baby step. But it is a step nonetheless. The pilot program faces some opposition from non-animal lovers who have some valid concerns. We are hoping that this can be worked out civilly and graciously. The reality is... this world does not belong to the human race alone. A compromise must be reached for the good of homeless dogs (and cats) out there.
With the help of some very kind individuals, an advertisement for the adoption of our Dooney was placed in the TODAY paper. It received a marvellous response. There were so many families who emailed and expressed their interest that we had to shortlist them! Till date, we still have people writing in and inquiring about Dooney. We are pleased to announce that following his homestay with John and family, Dooney's adoption has been completed.
This retired working dog is now enjoying his wonderful new home and his new lease of life. He is kept busy with outings to the beach and endless games of fetch the ball. When John brought him back to the shelter to sign the adoption agreement, Dooney didn't want to be back. He has settled comfortably in his new home and life as a shelter dog is now behind him.
And for more happy news... Dozer, the gorgeous husky, who was boarding at Gentle Paws, has recently been adopted as well. In fact, his adoption was just confirmed a couple of days ago. Because his rescuer/boarder oversaw the whole adoption process, we don't have much details about his new family. Regardless, we are extremely happy that this dog, who was seen being cruelly pushed out of a car and onto an expressway, has finally found a home and family to call his own.
Over the past month or so, during the course of my absence from this blog, our ever loving Qiqi underwent a hip operation to correct her painful hip problem. Qiqi hasn't been very active of late because her hip made walking extremely painful. Even during Furry Day, we were extremely cautious not to overexert her. With the successful hip operation, Qiqi now leads a pain-free life. Walks are once again something to look forward to! We thank the heavens for the wonders of medical science!
October 31st was Halloween day. It was also the birthday of our prankster Dakdakdei. Haha. Besides pulling at your shirt in excitement, this boy is actually a very loyal friend. He is very lovely to walk and is always game for a jog by your side. I can never understand why those keen on adopting never rest their eyes on this beautiful boy.
When we brought Dada along with Dooney for viewing by potential adopters, not one of them considered bringing Dada home. This pure breed-mixed breed conundrum is one that I can never understand. Dada has so much love to give but it seems like there isn't anybody to receive it.
Dakdakdei looks very similar to his siblings, Darzen, Jake and Cookie, who were adopted as puppies and have never known life at the shelter. It is lamentable how the equally beautiful siblings can be dealt such different hands in life.
Regardless, we were extremely happy to have him with us on his birthday. We hope the year ahead holds nothing but good things for this very special dog.
October was a festive month. There wasn't only Dada's birthday to celebrate. Big Girl and Small Girl were also born in the month of October, the exact date of which is unclear. They were born and grew up in an industrial estate. When Suat, their rescuer, had to go away for a month, she was worried they would be captured by the authorities and sought boarding at Gentle Paws. Because of their gentle nature, the Girls are quite popular with our volunteers. We are extremely lucky to have them with us.
Upon the invitation of White Room Studio and Pets Magazine, we brought six of our dogs to the studio to be photographed. The photo spread was for an article to be published in Pets Magazine on the adoption of our dogs. The article would feature Dada, Waggy, Oscar, Dribble, Drizzle and Donna.
White Room Studio is located in the city central. It sure was a bizarre experience trooping into town with our dogs. But we had fun watching the furkids take in the sights and sounds of this very new, very foreign part of Singapore.
Because Doris is getting on in years, we are very cautious about her health matters. It had been some time since she last saw the vet. With some trepidation, we decided to bring her for a check up so that if any condition surfaces, we could treat it in time.
Much to our pleasant surprise, the vet gave Doris a clean bill of health. And so here we are, sharing this very wonderful piece of news with you.
Because conditions at the shelter leave much to be desired, it isn't easy for a dog to ward off all ailments. The latest victims at the shelter are Benji and Jasper, affectionately known as the two cows of Gentle Paws, for their black and white cow-like markings.
On normal days, these two have a voracious appetite. They gobble up every meal that is served to them ever so hungrily. At mealtimes, when you approach their compound with plates of food in hand, they would jump up and down behind the gate in excitement. And let me tell you, they jump very high indeed.
This makes it very easy to detect anything wrong with them. And something has been quite very wrong. Benji and Jasper haven't been eating properly. Given their usual zest for food, this was extremely worrying.
Benji and Jasper are now both warded at the vet for suspected tick fever. Although we send all our dogs to the vet for regular checks for tick fever and heartworm, the vet advises that there is a strand of tick fever that cannot be detected by test kits. It is this particular strand that is suspected to have struck Benji and Jasper. We don't know how many more of our dogs are affected. We now have our hands extremely busy limiting the damage and doing the necessary to protect the dogs.
Such is the life of shelter dogs. While we do the best we can, the reality is that the shelter can never be a suitable replacement for a proper home.
This is Jasper when we went to visit him yesterday. His eyes were slightly bloodshot and he appeared quite lethargic. Even the cheesecake that I brought did little to tempt him. Benji joined him at the vet later that day.
And that wraps up what I have to say. It was a busy month. Between going down to the shelter, organising furry day and studying for my upcoming exams (sigh), I found little time to update. I do apologise. Silence on the blog does not equate to silence on the shelter front. We are still very much at the frontline, helping to make life better for the 40 dogs at Gentle Paws. Please refer to our Facebook page for timely updates! We have some very exciting events in store in December and I will be back here sharing with you just what they are.
Before I go, let me just shout out that the Gentle Paws 2012 calendar is still for sale at $10 a copy. Interested in letting our shelter dogs accompany you for each month of the year ahead? Please drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All proceeds go towards our dogs. We thank you in advance!
This entry turned out to be not so brief after all! Until next time, I'm over and out.