It's another brand new year, another a brand new start.
And that calls for a new year resolution...
I know I haven't been too prompt in my updates.
And I resolve to work on that.
I am no natural born writer. For me, writing takes practice. Right now, I feel like I am extremely rusty at the edges.
So let me start off with a short update.
2012 started off with a blast. Furry day today was rather perfect. The weather was as blustery as it could be. The threat of rain seemed to hover over us but it never materialised.
If furry day ever had fervent supporters, it has to be the weather gods. Time and again, they have been extremely merciful. I can just imagine the group of them grinning from side to side as they look down on our excited pooches on their day out.
For that, we are absolutely grateful.
Another highlight of the day had to be the fact that we finally managed to bring Baby out to the beach. We have been organising this event for over a year and a half now. Baby has been with us all this time. Yet, it is only today that we managed to coax her to join the rest of her furry friends out at the beach.
From what I know, Baby and her good pal Buddy were rescued off the streets when they were little.
But they were handled by workers and were basically lacking the personal touch. To put it simply, they were neglected dogs, trained by experience to shy away from human affection.
They detested being leashed or touched.
For years, we were unable to shower or walk them.
Whenever we so much as advance toward them with a leash in hand, they would growl quite ferociously to warn us to stay away.
But recently, Florence made inroads with Buddy.
At the beginning...
Through time, she cultivated a relationship with this reticent wary dog. He was the first dog she greeted whenever she arrived. He was the first dog to enjoy special treats that she was giving out. He was the first dog to have the special privilege of roaming free in the small area outside our shelter. In many ways, Florence made Buddy feel special and loved.
And then we discovered that Buddy was slowly but surely reciprocating.
First of all, he allowed Florence to touch him. She could touch his face, clean his eyes and basically brush her hand across the whole length of his body. Soon, she was able to bathe for him. Then, his tail began to wag whenever he saw her. And he began to follow her around the shelter.
He loves her back
It was as if Buddy was slowly learning to trust.
Just like a flower blossoming, watching Buddy opening up was a very gratifying experience.
We are still unable to leash Buddy and bring him for a walk. But the progress he has made has shown us his potential for even more. We expect him to be part of our canine pack in the many furry days to come this year.
Then, there is Baby. Baby hides in her cubicle most of the time. I don't know how she whiles away the time in that sparse room of hers.
Baby for you
On good days, she will venture out of her room. She will be excited during meal times.
On bad days, she is cooped up in the room all day. When you feed her lunch, she would refuse to eat until she is certain you are no longer peering in to look at her.
Wee told me previously that it was easier to leash Baby than Buddy. But she would struggle and gnaw on the leash vigorously. Previously, we left her well alone because we did not want to provoke this rather temperamental lady. But some time ago, Wee decided to give it another shot.
He used a loose lightweight metal chain to leash Baby. As expected, she resisted and tried to bite through it. I think she soon realised that it was futile. With Wee leading her, Baby made her first tentative steps out of the shelter. It was her first time out in years.
Imagine the sense of satisfaction.
On the wings of victory, Wee even carried Baby up the van and drove her to the park.
Baby's first time out in over three years
With the ground work in place, we were more confident about bringing Baby out for furry day this time.
Our amazing Choo took up the reins that Wee had put in place. He leashed and led Baby out of the shelter. Another one of us, Feng, held on to Baby's leash and together they trawled the park.
Throughout it all, Baby's tail was up.
She was hesitant but we could tell she was curious and... happy to be out.
With a firm human hand and some determination, Baby experienced her very first furry day. In the crystal ball of her future, I see many more of such outings to come.
Baby, at furry day January 28 2012
Now, this dog can see for herself where her furry counterparts head to for one whole morning each month. Now, she knows what their excitement is all about. Now she is able to experience a world outside the four walls of the shelter.
We are so absolutely thrilled for her.
As for the rest of our dogs, furry day went without a hitch.
The spirits were high. The volunteers were marvellous. And I can't emphasise how glorious the weather was.
It's a good start to the year.
It was a great day today.
May every day be as wonderfully rewarding as this very day has been.
Happy chinese new year, one and all.
Picture credits go to Sebastian and Jialing.