Tuesday, April 27, 2010
[Dated April 27th]
The intention when Noah’s Ark CARES sent the message out was to clarify that this rescue has been carried out by a private group and any queries or donations should go directly to them and not via Noah’s Ark CARES. This was to ensure that any requests would be dealt as speedily as possible given that we have had issues with our email accounts. We are very mindful that these rescued animals have suffered greatly and would hate to see their agony prolonged due to administrative delays.
Noah's Ark CARES has and always will have the welfare of our companion animals regardless of which society they belong to. The sanctuary is home to many of such animals - puppy mill dogs, stray dogs and cats, both cats and dogs from the street, abandoned pets to name but a few.
There is obviously no doubt that Noah's Ark CARES would always do the right thing by their companion animals.
[Dated April 26th]
Dear Supporters, Members and Volunteers of Noah’s Ark Cares,
Many of you have written to say that you received requests for contributions to assist in the re-homing and medical costs of the recent rescue of puppy-mill dogs.
The efforts of this private group are to be applauded. We understand the suffering of these individual dogs, and we are glad that individuals in their own capacity are called to help them.
Noah’s Ark Cares is not involved in such rescues. We feel that they will not solve the problem of puppy-milling, and in fact may possibly exacerbate them. The mission of Noah’s Ark Cares is to educate the wider public on responsible pet ownership, which includes the multiple factors to consider when adopting a dog as a new family member. We believe that such efforts will have a greater impact in reducing the number of puppy mills, and ultimately putting all out of business.
We write this in the hopes that in reiterating and clarifying the mission of Noah’s Ark Cares, so that we will not lose sight of the common focus and understanding as to how to reduce the number of “discarded” animals as well as your continued support of our cause.
Chew Gek Hiang
President of Noah’s Ark CARES
Monday, April 19, 2010
Day 1 of Junior's Dog training.
Meeting Junior for the first time today, I felt a sense of anticipation and uncertainty. This would also be his very first dog training lesson of his life. Once I saw him, I could tell that he too was feeling a sense of anticipation and uncertainty. He took quick glances at the other dogs, at the other people in the group and walked around tentatively, trying to figure out what was going on and who we were.
Junior was found about two months back wandering the streets on his own. Though he had a collar on, no one came to claim him. Estimating his age at two years or so, I could imagine if he had stayed with someone for most of his life, how terrifying it would be to lose his family and be left to fend for himself, uncertain of what tomorrow holds.
Since this was Junior’s first lesson, I was tasked to teach him how to focus. This is a technique that hopes to achieve two things: firstly, to gain the trust of the dog and secondly, to encourage the dog to focus on the trainer and ignore his surroundings. I must admit it was a tad challenging when I started the training. For one, I am not used to holding a big dog, my dog being a pug. Next, Junior do not know me at all and I had to find out what would make Junior find me interesting enough to look at me and listen to me.
I tried to talk to Junior to let him know who I was and that I meant no harm. I tried to pat him but he pulled away while glancing around nervously. Being new to learning how to train a dog, I dug into my memory to try and remember what was taught in the first lesson and what would be useful with Junior. I took out my lamb treats and tried them on him. He took one look and did not find it interesting. Drat! I took out my second ammo, chicken treat that looked like “san cham bak” and he took some! Fantastic! I thought I scored one and tried to coax him to follow me and look at me with the treats.
Unfortunately, he lost interest in the chicken treats quickly and started pulling me around the garden. Lynda seeing that I was flailing offered me her dried chicken meat treats. By this time, Junior was wandering everywhere in the garden and ignored me mostly. I soon realized one of the main reasons why he was so distracted though. He pulled me to a corner of the garden and squatted down. He needed a place to poop!!!!
Half an hour into the training, I must have looked really tired as Sharon offered to take Junior and give it a try. Remembering what Adrian (the trainer) said in the first lesson that we need to keep to one dog for the night, I kindly declined and persevered. Hey, come on, the dog has pooped; surely he can now give me a bit of focus, right? I did however, take some of Sharon’s chicken liver and Junior gobbled them up but not having enough to share, and I started looking around for treats again. The maid at the house took pity on me and even went to dig up some cooked chicken meat for me to try. Junior smelt it and jumped happily but when he licked the chicken, decided it wasn’t for him! I was perplexed!
Adrian suggested that maybe my pitch of voice was not high enough so I started squeaking like a mouse. Man, if I started talking like that in the office tomorrow, I would be a laughing stock! But I had to try. I did not believe that Junior cannot be trained. He just needed to learn to trust me a bit more. Already, he was allowing me to go nearer to his head but not yet ready to let me pet him.
Desperate, I went around asking if anyone could spare me some treats and Ruth came to my rescue with her pork sausages treat. They smelt delicious! If they did not work, I may need to go search the supermarket to see what kind of meat I can find and make a meat platter the next time. Trying a few pieces on him, he was enticed but yet he was still distracted, walking around the whole compound. Finally, he settled on a spot and pooped a second time! No wonder! Letting off a bounce after he finished his business, Junior trotted around merrily. Surely, he cannot have any more poop! Time to try!
Using the sausages and coaxing him, I walked Junior round and round the compound till he looked at me and started following me around. Finally! A breakthrough! I was ecstatic! During the next break, I sat down on the floor and talked to Junior. Even though he wanted to walk around, he stood with me and when I touched him this time, he did not pull away! I wanted to give him a great big hug but knew I should not push the limit. Instead, I scratched him at the side of his ear and continued talking to him (yes, in that high pitch voice that made Sharon laugh at me).
My proudest moment of the night was when we were tasked to take a walk around the group and make sure the dog focused on us and not be distracted by the other volunteers and their dogs. Junior performed like a star! Even though there was one spot he got a tad distracted but he focused back on me when I called him and we finished the circle! I felt such a sense of pride and achievement.
We sat at a corner waiting for the rest to finish their turn and he lay down on the floor beside me. By now, he was allowing me to smooth my hand down his head and back. Even the other volunteers remarked how calm and well behaved he was tonight. He looked like a million bucks and I felt like that too because he taught me that by showing the dog you care, being patient and persevering can reap results! I learnt more in tonight’s lesson then on the first lesson learning the same thing.
From tonight’s experience, I believe that Junior can be a wonderful companion. He never once growled at the other dogs and even though he was apprehensive with me, he never showed any hostility and within the short two hours, he learnt to trust me and allowed me to train him and be trained by him. I will not take full credit for tonight’s achievement though. It was through the dedication and hard work of the other volunteers and the love shown by Ms Chew’s household that allowed Junior a second chance and let him have a more settled feeling so that he can learn how to love again.
I hope that Junior will continue to learn and let us learn with him and that he will go to a wonderful home soon as he is a wonderful dog and deserves all the love he can get.
Day 2 of Junior's dog training.
Today was Sharon’s turn to take Junior for his training. When he came out, he looked as happy as a lamb. I found out from Sharon that over the weekend, she took him out for a run and the other volunteers told me that Junior is now staying together with Shin, the Husky! I was so happy! Seems like the step to let him try out a session of training helped open his mind and heart to more new experiences.
When I called his name, he looked at me happily and allowed me to pat him and play with him. I could put my arm around him and he would stand there with a smile on his doggy face and just look around curiously. Gone was the apprehensive nature and fear I remember from the first time I met him.
My greatest amazement was that even though Junior barely took any lessons, he managed to pick up each part of the training from focusing, sitting, lying down to heel and sit, stay in such a short time! I cannot help but feel a deep sense of pride for him.
I hope more training sessions will open his heart more to learn how to trust people again. One day, he will make a family complete. I am sure of it.
*Story contributed by Mary Chye
*Photos contributed by Sharon
Monday, April 12, 2010
1) 44 Cartons Unagi & Seaweed (Dog) 185g x 24 Cans
2) 44 Cartons Salmon & Potato (Cat) 185g x 24 Cans
3) 40 Bags Wild Kangaroo & Apple (Dog) 15Lbs Bag
We are grateful for your contributions and our animals at NA can’t wait to get their paws on the food donated… check out the pictures below!