Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wishbone Wish Upon a Bone Event Finale

Participate in Singapore’s First Pet Mass Wedding by Wishbone
We’re Looking for 10 Pairs of Dog or Cat Couples
to be Wedded in WishBone Style!
21 August’10 . 3 – 6 pm . The Green Room Cafe (Bishan Park 2)

How to Participate?
Simply submit the following participating details via email to, titled “Wishbone Mass Pet Wedding” by 6 August’10!
Owner(s) Details: Name(s), D.O.B(s), Contact No.(s), Address(s), Email Address(s), Photo(s)
Pet Couple Details: Names, Breeds, Ages, Awards or Achievements (if any), No. Of Pet Children (if any), Photos

*All selected pet couples and their owner(s) will receive a phone call by 10 August. A selection trial will be carried out at Bishan Park Dog Run on 12 August at 8:30pm. Final contestants will be notified on 13 August. Each pair of participants will be entitled to an exclusive pair of invitation tickets.

This is a FREE Event Strictly by Invitation Only.
Registration Opens Now! Contact Wishbone at 6273 8981 for Enquiries. .

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pets – The Cure for Your Family

I vividly remember the day my family and I brought home 3 lovely bunnies in 2001. Being our very first pets, we were really excited and they changed our lives somehow. In a good way, of course! We eventually named them Brownie, Blackie and Doggie, with Doggie being the largest of the 3.

I saw a change in my 2 daughters, as they took on the responsibility of treating them with lots of TLC. Needless to say, grooming and playtime with the bunnies became a family affair for us all.

A year later, the bunny family extended due to the sweet union between Blackie and Doggie. Out came Snowie and he was all white, fluffy and insanely adorable! In time to come, Snowie soon had more siblings and we had to re-home most of them but kept Blackie with us.

One fine day however, we found ourselves adopting a 1 year old husky named Trusty. Lo and behold, Blackie actually played the big sister role with Trusty. Can you imagine how cute it was? To have a huge dog bonding with a bunny? Tons of photos were taken of them playing together and they were living proof that friendships could and would always cross boundaries. Having Trusty as part of our family kept us healthier too for we had to bring her for daily walks.

Time flew and in 2007, Blackie fell ill. Despite having brought her to the vet, she couldn’t be saved and died of a sudden heart failure at the age of 6. After so many years of bonding and loving one of their first pets, my daughters were simply devastated and we could tell that even Trusty missed her ‘big sister’ dearly. However, the loss of Blackie brought us much closer to Trusty. We treasure every moment with her and it’s great seeing our 2 girls valuing friendship the same way they bond with our pets.

My husband and I have come to the conclusion that pets can most definitely add a lot of joy and happiness to one’s family and believe it or not, their companionship can do wonders for the soul. While it’s inevitable that our pets will eventually leave us behind someday, somehow, no matter what, loving them and being loved by them in return make it all worth it at the end of the day.

*Story contributed by Doreen

Friday, July 16, 2010

NA Tea Party!

On 6th December, Noah’s Ark had their annual tea party at Nyee Phoe Flower Garden. It was my first time volunteering at Noah’s Ark and I was wondering what my duties were. The volunteers arrived earlier to set up the venue, arranging tables and chairs, and assembling the food line, both for humans and dogs.

Amidst all the preparation, the volunteers also took turns in taking care of the dogs and letting them walk around, especially Zeus who did not like being tied up. I guess he is used to running free in Noah’s Ark! He was especially interested in the different smells around him and in making new friends.

Very soon, owners and dogs started coming in. Food for humans was served on one side, and for dogs on the other side. On the doggie menu was fish, pork ribs, some biscuits and a choice of either a strawberry or durian cupcake. The pretty cupcakes were carefully decorated with doggie safe whipped cream. Some owners were really concerned about what they were feeding their dogs, even bothering to peel the meat off the bones for them. It was really heart-warming to see the extent of their love for their furry friends.

Yummy doggy durian cupcakes!

Throughout the tea session, there were fun and games carried out on the stage. Our host started everything off with a short skit, with Prince acting as an abandoned dog. Another game included Coco looking for money hidden in towels, just based on her sense of smell. She successfully found the money after 3 tries. However, the game that garnered the more enthusiastic response was when all the schnauzers and their owners were invited on stage. The game was based on how well the owners know their dogs. The owners were to be blindfolded and had to feel a specific part of the dogs lined up, the tail or the front right paw, and find the dog that belongs to them. Despite the all the schnauzers being so similar, the owners had no difficulty recognizing their own dogs! To end it all off, the owners took turns persuading their dogs to go through a long red tunnel. It was really amusing to see the owners enthusiastically encouraging their dogs to go through the tunnel, hence increasing the dog’s confidence.

Prettyyy Coco!

One sweet dog I met that day was Pudding. Pudding has bladder cancer and was wearing diapers, but that didn’t affect his pleasant disposition at all. He is so sweet and lovable! Oh, and greedy too… His owner affectionately calls him the vacuum cleaner. Overall, I had a really fun time serving food and walking the dogs. I went home feeling very contented in knowing that all the dogs I met are in loving homes.

Pudding enjoying a belly rub

Monday, July 12, 2010

A time for JOY

Joy came to our office in Jan Year 2008 while she was still pregnant. She came in to look for food and appeared to be very scared. The moment she sees me, she will quickly run away. Until one day, she gave birth to 9 lovely puppies. She was very skinny but she never forget to feed her puppies. Our office staff was so happy that she chose here to give birth to her puppies. We also felt pity for her and started to feed her with food.

When the puppies started to open their eyes, my colleague and I always pay them a visit. We even named these puppies, Milly (with fractured leg after being knocked down by forklift. Now having a good life cause she was adopted by a German family staying in Semi D house), Antenna, Tai Tai, Fatty, Handsome, Ah Girl (now called Nancy. She now stayed at a temple), lady (she was taken away by another animal welfare organization). She was also adopted) and Blacky. My boss also voluntarily gave some money for me to arrange for vaccination for all these puppies. Before these puppies were vaccinated, one of the female puppies passed away. And since then, we have started finding a place for these puppies because it is rather dangerous for these puppies to roam around with Joy at my workplace due to the nature of our business (a lot of big trucks, vans and even forklift at my workplace). As time passes, I managed to get them adopted and now is the time I get Joy to a place that she can enjoy and no need to worry about food. Joy has been with us for so long and I feel it is an obligation for me to give her a good home.

- Chong Mei Yee

Joy when we first met her

Milly at 2 months old

The puppies above are all rehomed in factory and rescuer has even made the effort to get them sterilized and licensed.

Noah's Ark: Mei Yee has shown how one's initiative to help strays living in factories can really give the animals a new lease of life. We would like to thank her for being a personification of kindness to the other people. If only Joy, the dog she rescued, could talk, she would thank her for giving her newfound hope at NA!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

NA Rescue - Update: Bruno

It has been more than two weeks since Bruno came under our care, and though we have been busy with other rescue cases, we have been monitoring Bruno closely to ensure that he is recovering well. We are pleased to update with more than good news – that Bruno’s wound is healing wonderfully, and that he does not need ear surgery at the present moment!

Initially, when trying to nab Bruno, we noticed that many dogs near the coffeeshop area he often hung around at, chased after him the moment they saw him. He might have ventured into the “territory” of the others, or it might have been a fight for food or even females on heat that caused his injury. Though the workers at the factory whereby he stayed in knew of it, they did not bother to treat him. This has always left us wondering why are people indifferent to the suffering of the injured animal – is it due to ignorance, or because he is just one of the many strays they see daily on the road, where no one bothers about their existence and life or death?

Each time we visited Bruno at the vet, whenever he saw us, he would start to smile cheekily, and that really made us feel our efforts have paid off. From the first time we spotted his downcast self, the sight of him gleefully greeting us now is rewarding enough.

The vet estimates him to be about 3-5 years old, and he has been given a clean bill of health, albeit on the thin side as most rescued strays are. Bruno might look tall and big, but like all our very own animal companions, he is a darling at heart. Give him a slight rub on the muzzle and his eyes will slowly flutter close as though he’s enjoying the “massage”. He must have never felt this kind of love before.

The nurses cleaned his wound a few times daily, and they commented that he is a very co-operative boy, except for the part whereby he always tries to escape! We guess that having been a stray all his life, Bruno is not at all used to being confined and restrained. Nonetheless, he showed no signs of aggression at all, despite how the wound cleaning would have hurt. Considering how deep it was, it would have been really painful.

The poor boy always looked at us with such sorrowful eyes whenever we turned to leave, and he would howl as if begging us not to go and not to leave him there! Eventually, Bruno was discharged after staying for a good five days at the vet, but try as we might, we could not find a fosterer for him and he was transferred to a boarding kennel. As you can see from the picture, the bottom of his ear (right side of his wound) still looked quite puffy and when pressed lightly, one could feel it was accumulation of fluid (in this case blood) inside.

At that point of time, the wound was still extremely raw and we did not want to decide on needle aspiration or surgery as yet. We wanted to wait for the wound to heal further before making any decision, plus the fact that there have been cases of aural hematoma eventually healing on their own.

As the days passed, Bruno’s wound healed with ease. The swelling of his wound went down, and our wish was also granted – that he needed no surgery at the present moment as the puffiness of his ear also subsided. The vet was pleased with the progress of his recovery.

Lucky Bruno passes his time now chewing on raw hides and playing with balls inside his kennel. It is fun to see a big boy enjoy playing with his toys, apart from his other daily habit of biting the grilles of his kennel and causing them to bend! Right now, we are looking for a forever home for this fine-looking lad.

Do you have a space in your house and most importantly, a place in your heart for this special someone who will be your loyal companion for the rest of his life? If you do, drop us an email and we'll hook you up with Bruno. Please help us spread the word!

Last but certainly not least, we are really grateful to everyone out there who has offered help to Bruno in one way or another. The support from each and every of you keeps us going. :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Boy Boy by Susanna Gan

The scorching heat was beating down on the dog. It was lying down, uncertainty and fear in its eyes as the cars moved by in the carpark. I spotted it at a distance while sitting in the lobby waiting for my son to return from school. Samuel was very excited and couldn’t wait to see the dog after he alighted from his school bus. We approached the dog with food but it quickly hid under the car, probably afraid we might hurt it. The dog was starving and gobbled up the food but refused to come out despite repeated coaxing. It was a light brown coloured mongrel and it had a cut on it’s leg. It was thin and dirty. Oh dear the first thought that raced through my mind was maggots. What if the wound was not treated and maggots start to infest his wounds. I must save the dog! The dog disappeared when we returned for it and I realised it had been chased out by our security guard as one of the residents had complained about a stray dog hiding in the carpark. My heart ached and wondered how it would cope without food and an open wound.

2 days later, I spotted it hiding behind the swimming pool bushes when I went for my daily morning swim. It was starving and looked at me pitifully. I fed him some food but it was still very wary of me and refused to come out of the bushes despite coaxing. I named him Boy Boy. How apt as his eyes resembled my mum’s dog called Boy Boy who just passed away. Boy Boy finally came out of the bushes after I fed it for a few days and decided to follow me home. I had difficulty coaxing him into the lift and was so glad when we finally made it to our home. I gave him a good bath. It must have been his first bath as he was extremely nervous and his fur was streaked with oil stains and dirt.

That night itself, we brought Boy Boy to the vet to be examined. The vet treated his wounded leg and we were happy to hear that Boy Boy is in fact a very healthy 2 to 3 years old mongrel. We had him microchipped and applied for a dog licence as soon as we could, as we didn’t want to run the risk of him being caught as I realized the security guards had initially planned to call AVA to round him up.

Sadly, Boy Boy suffered from fear aggression. He didn’t respond well to my 6 year old son. Initially he would growl and chase after Samuel whenever he looked at Boy Boy in the eye. I had to be firm and corrected his behaviour. At the same time I discouraged Samuel from looking at him in the eye as Boy Boy probably felt insecure and viewed it as a challenge. I encouraged Samuel to go for walks with Boy Boy and served him his food and treats. It took a few days before Boy Boy accepted Samuel. They became best friends and played together.

Unfortunately, bringing Boy Boy for his walks 3 times a day soon became a nightmare. He would growl, lunge and bark at the sight of dogs, cats, toddlers, children, moving objects including vehicles, plastic bags, strollers, trolleys, sounds of shops opening and closing their shutters and children playing. The list of stimulus that triggered his aggression was endless. I received cold hard stares from passersby and had to apologise profusely when he behaved aggressively towards them. Putting on the muzzle didn’t help either as he tore away at it and half the time we were struggling with it while walking him.

I had Boy Boy neutered hoping it would tame his fear aggression and when it didn’t improve, I hired an experienced dog behavourist and trainer. She confirmed he suffered from fear aggression and it will take a lot of patience, time and effort to help him overcome it. Choke chain was disallowed as it would aggravate his nervousness. Instead, I was advised to adopt the treats and rewards training method to deal with his fear aggression problem.

We continued to shower him with lots of attention, love, toys and good food. I brought him out for walks early in the mornings and at midnight to avoid crowds but his condition didn’t improve. He became extremely nervous at the sounds of passing vehicles, sight of people and dustbins in the dark and would lunge and bark at them.

He would react at the slightest sounds he heard outside our door. It could be neighbours passing by, opening their doors, voices and cleaners mopping the floor. We had sleepless nights as he barked at wee hours of the morning. To minimize disturbing our neighbours we closed all our windows and doors. Climbing out of bed to comfort him at odds hours of the night when he barked became a norm. It was exhausting and my health was taking a toll as well. I had an operation done a few months ago and his lunging and pulling during walks was causing unbearable pain.

I consulted the vet again to seek help for his fear aggression problem. The vet prescribed behaviour modification drugs but to no avail. His behaviour continued to be very erratic. I surfed the net desperately searching for an answer. I was prepared to persevere and give him more time. His fear aggression probably resulted from him being abused when he was a stray. Neighbours gave negative comments about Boy’s Boy’s behaviour. Some residents suggested I surrender him to SPCA or just dump him back onto the streets. I am appalled as it’s simply an irresponsible and heartless act. Abandoning your unwanted dogs on the streets would subject them to disease, accidents and starvation. I would never do that. I was simply facing too many odds.

I finally cracked under pressure when my mother-in-law came over to stay with us during the weekends after she was discharged from the hospital. She needed help and someone had to look after her. Being extremely fearful of dogs she didn’t take well to Boy Boy and freaked out when he barked at her. She wouldn’t stay unless Boy Boy was removed from the house. Her health was at risk and we had no choice but to search for an alternative home for Boy Boy.

I was desperate for help. Housing him at pet kennels would not be an ideal long term solution as he would be locked up for long periods. This might aggravate his fear aggression behaviour. Putting him up for adoption was impossible as it was unfair to pass on his fear aggression issues to the next owner. I decided the best place for him at a second chance at life would be Noah’s Ark. I believe and respect them for their commitment and dedication to help the strays. I approached Noah’s Ark and I am extremely grateful to them for all their advice, encouragement and help they had given me. Without Noah’s Ark, Boy Boy would never have been able to experience a second chance at life in Noah’s Ark.

I strongly believe we should all act responsibly and try all possibilities to help our pets. We should continue to pay and provide for them at Noah’s Ark. It is simply irresponsible and callous to just abandon them and wash our hands off when we send them away. I will continue to be a dedicated supporter of Noah’s Ark and their fund raising activities to help the homeless animals. Thankfully, Boy Boy had settled down well and had not displayed any signs of fear aggression. I am sure he enjoys the tranquility, fresh air, freedom and love showered on him at Noah’s Ark.

Many thanks to everyone at Noah’s Ark,
Susanna Gan

*Photos and Article kindly contributed by Susanna

Beneficiary of Animal Merchandise :)

Noah's Ark CARES Supporters