The last time we had a whole batch of puppies to rehome, it was almost 3 years back.
They are family
Everyone makes mistakes and I guess this was ours.
We accepted a desperate new entrant into the shelter. His name was Dakula and he was a lost husky found wandering at a park.
Facing space constraints, we had no choice but to put Dakula in the same compound as Debbie, at least temporarily.
Debbie was one of the rare few in the shelter who was not sterilized.
Unfortunately, Dakula was similarly not sterilized.
And before we knew it... wham bam! We found Dakula stuck to Debbie, screaming away at the top of his lungs.
This single accidental union with Debbie produced a litter of nine puppies a few months later. Two puppies died at birth.
We call the remaining seven the Dakubbies (Dakula + Debbie).
We felt responsible for the consequences and the very real need to find seven homes for these seven furry creatures. We owed that much to them.
Problem was, at that time, we didn't have even a tenth of the volunteers or contacts or resources that we do now.
I remember desperately drafting an email about adoption of our puppies and sending them far and wide in our attempt to rehome them aggressively.
To our surprise, people actually responded.
To our surprise, people actually responded.
Fast forward three years...
Where have all these puppies gone?
These dogs are siblings and were at one point in their lives, one another's only playmates. Now, they are each leading very different lives.
All of them are full grown and with the exception of Dada, have families to love, protect and call their own.
Even Dada is currently on a home stay with a view to adoption.
He is home with one of our regulars who loves Dada with all his heart. It is obvious that the feeling's mutual.
This is Cookie, the only girl from the litter and a very elegant beauty. She only lived a fraction of her life in the shelter and has become an integral member of the Lim family.
The only girl of the litter... our delicious Cookie
This is Jake. He was the last puppy to actually leave the shelter but what did that matter? He never had cause to come back to the shelter and probably has no idea he was once a shelter dog.
Jake (right) with his companion Summer
This is Darzen, the most active pup of the litter and Florence's absolute favourite. Given Florence's go getter nature, she made sure he was the first puppy to be adopted.
This is Java, who together with Dillon, is one of the two in the litter to have a rare dark coat. He was a naughty puppy who loved destroying shoes. But his family never did give up on him.
This is Daelle and Dillon. They had a more tumultuous journey toward finding their home. It took a few unsuitable adopters and a two year wait for them to find their human family. But every second was worth it. They not only have a family who loves them, they have each other as companions for life.
It's funny what life has in store for our dogs.
I call them our island puppies because they were found on an offshore island where a company is currently carrying out some works.
We were informed that the island is a vast barren land not fit for habitation, least of all puppies.
All water is imported. The dogs survive on rain water. There is no water on hot days, not even in the drains. Due to a no feeding policy on the island, the dogs survive by consuming rubbish disposed by workers on the island.
Given such terrible living conditions, it was peculiar how the group of 10-20 dogs found their way to the island.
We don't usually take in puppies. But this time around, we were persuaded to make an exception.
Unlike stray puppies on the main island, there were no stray feeders to lend a helping hand in their quest for survival. These young lives needed an intervention.
Together with the help of the employees of the company and pet shop/grooming centre Takara Pets, we relocated five puppies to the main island, de-ticked them, vaccinated them and gave them the first taste of stability they had in all their lives.
First stop after touch down on main island: the groomers at Takara Pets
They used to lap up their milk and gobble up their food as if they had to eat enough to store away sustenance for the next three weeks.
Now, they are still constantly ravenous. But they have slowly learnt to grasp the concept that each meal they receive will not be their last.
With their relocation out of the way, we are now looking to re-home the five island puppies.
They received the short end of the straw in the lottery of life. We are hoping to turn the tables around.
We have four black puppies and one brown puppy up for adoption. We estimate them to be about 4 months old.
We are praying that just like the Dakubbies, these little ones will be able to find their happily ever after.
If you're interested in providing a home for these island puppies, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would be very happy to hear from you.
Rest assured that we are now ever conscious of the need to sterilize the dogs. All the dogs are sterilized and vaccinated at Gentle Paws, safe for new entrants whom we are careful to house separately.