Monday, December 14, 2015

A Time to Pawty

Some dogs have all the luck. Others? They just don't. 

This is Deckie. He is a senior dog with a serious arthritis condition. On bad days, he doesn't get up at all. Deckie is overweight and is facing difficulty losing the extra kilos. We found ourselves sending him to the vet, having to watch his diet and coaxing him to go for short walks. Life could definitely be better for Deckie who is growing so much more mellow and loving in his later years. 

This is King. He has recovered from the host of ailments that plagued him upon rescue from a forested area. Unfortunately, he was rendered permanently blind in his right eye. He also has a heart murmur condition which requires him to be on life long medication, twice daily. He is not able to go for long vigorous walks which may trigger an underlying condition and be potentially fatal. He doesn't ask for much - just a good dose of health and happiness this holiday season.

This is Denny. He is calm, easygoing and quietly affectionate. Despite everything, he has had rather poor luck with adoption. He left the shelter for a number of trial home stays, all of which failed to work out through no fault of his. The families either decided they were not ready for a dog, couldn't deal with his thunderstorm anxiety or that they were allergic. Denny is seven years old now. When will his lucky break ever come?

This is Dai Xin. She is about eight years old. She was rescued as a stray puppy with two sisters who have since passed on from illness. Throughout the years, Xin has neither been on a trial home stay nor seen the inside of a home. Perhaps it is because she isn't dog friendly and can be quite fiery with other dogs, especially the females. She is also more independent than affectionate. This year end, we hope she is given that rare chance to prove what we already know - that all dogs belong in loving homes and their innate potential as wonderful companions at home. 

Finally, we have Darcy who walked up to us in a forested area and asked to be rescued. She was famished, dehydrated and her skin condition was terrible. Repeated bouts of aural hematoma have caused her once upright ears to droop down like wilted sunflowers. Though Darcy's skin has healed tremendously, it is far from perfect. In this world with an abundance of dogs looking for homes, we hope someone is able to see right through to that playful and affectionate fur kid who lies beneath.

I took the liberty of choosing these five dogs to be the faces of our shelter this year. Because they have spent years with us and will continue to do so indefinitely. They represent voiceless shelter dogs who may never get a ticket out of the shelter. We are very likely going to have to provide food, shelter and medical care for many of them for the rest of their lives. The going will only get tougher as they start to age and ailments begin to set in. 

Every year, we organise a Walk a Paw event to wrap up our year. This is a mini dog-a-thon whereby we sell goody bags and organize a dog walk at the scenic Lorong Halus Wetland Park. Interested members of the public walk our shelter dogs under supervision and in the course of doing so, get the opportunity to know the dogs better. The participants get to spend Christmas in a meaningful way, our dogs get to have fun and we are also able to put together some funds for the shelter as we embark on a brand new year ahead. 

This year, we are faced with the happy problem of having too few "walkable" dogs. Prior to the extension of our lease by a year to May 2017, we put a halt on accepting more dogs. Because with no new premises secured, our future was uncertain. In the meantime, we worked hard - and rather successfully, to find homes for our existing dogs. We are happy to share that many of our charges who have lived for years at the shelter will be spending this festive season with their new families in their warm homes this year. Just look.

It was only recently, when news of the lease extension came to light, that we began taking in dogs once more. To us, an extra year's time to find homes for our new entrants was significant. 

We took in five retired k-9 dogs and a new batch of mongrel puppies from the wild. The puppies are too young and the k-9 dogs may be walked by experienced handlers only. A handful of our existing shelter dogs also require a firm and familiar hand because they do not walk well on leash.

In view of the number of shelter dogs that we could safely allow to be walked by the participants, Walk-A-Paw did not seem very feasible this year. Yet, we still hoped to raise funds for our dogs to tide us over the next year and a half before our lease is up and we have to make further arrangements for the remainder of our dogs.

So this is what we came up with and we fervently hope you will lend us your support.

Spread some joy to our shelter dogs by buying our Paw Pack at $50 each! Each Pack consists of a Singapore Special tote bag and a dri-fit T-shirt designed by our volunteer artist, Adeline Tan, as well as a beverage voucher (as for what beverage - buy a Pack and find out yourself!). 

We reckon these items will make meaningful gifts. Because you will not only be lending a helping hand to us financially - just by using them, the bag and shirt can help spread crucial messages about mongrels and dog adoption. 

We need at least 60 orders in total to kick start this project. We will also need a lead time of about 2.5 weeks from confirmation of the order for printing of the shirts. If you are interested in buying a Paw Pack or (hopefully) more, please email us at by the close of 20 December 2015 with the subject title: "Paw Pack 2015" together with the following details: 

- Your name
- Contact number
- Quantity
- T-shirt sizes 

You can refer to the size chart over here for assistance:

When we receive your email, we will respond with payment and delivery details accordingly. Modes of delivery include postage (which will incur additional cost), meet-ups at specified train stations or self-collection at the shelter on pre-arranged dates. Payment is only required after we have confirmed that at least 60 orders have been received.

Long-winded, I know. But we need to emphasize that we require at least 60 orders for this project to take off. If we do not manage to get 60 orders, we will inform you of the same as soon as we can. 

Our year end fund raising is important to us. Because we are privately run and not a registered charity, our fund raising options are rather limited. We hope you know that your support means the world to us. Please note that all proceeds (minus cost) from the sale of these Paw Packs will go towards the long term care of our shelter dogs.

Running a shelter is no rocket science. But running a shelter in the long term for years on end requires an extraordinary kind of resilience. We need all the help we can get. 

Here's to love, peace, dogs and a successful Paw Pack sale.

Thank you for your yearly support.

For all and any enquiries, please direct them to Thank you.


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