Thursday, December 22, 2011

One day with Bert

This is a story left to be told, and in loving memory of the animal we will never forget. Having worked with so many over the past few years, each animal has a place in our hearts, and heart wrenching ones like these, will only push us on to pursue our causes even further.

Note: The writer finally took time off to write this blog post, so that when she grows older and looks back, these beautiful memoirs will make her smile no matter the tears shed.

Seems like it never rains but pours. Having been more active on cat cases and sterilization recently, this discovery was nonetheless shocking and heartbreaking. This story involves an extremely young kitten named Bert. The lifespan of this little kitten was only less than twenty-four hours, but still, we needed a name to remember him/her by. Unfortunately, we did not even know was Bert a boy or a girl, but still, he/she will be well remembered.

Dumpling Festival was fast approaching and E’s grandma was boiling dumplings on a charcoal stove just outside her flat. They have just taken the first lot of dumplings out from the pot, and the pot was left there to cool for a while before the water was poured away along the gutter just outside the corridor.

E’s auntie suddenly heard some soft sound, alike whimpering. She glanced up and down the corridor, but did not see anything or anyone. The sound seemed to get softer and softer, and she was sure it was not her ears playing tricks on her. She searched high and low, and finally, saw a small shadow moving under the fish tank outside the neighbour’s place.

E’s auntie walked towards the fish tank, and realized it was meowing. A kitten! What was it doing there? The stray cats at that block have all been sterilized with tipped ears. E's auntie did not know what to do, and hurriedly rushed into the flat to get E's help. E stretched her hand under the fish tank and carefully lifted the kitten out. He was already wet but luckily not badly scalded. The poor baby’s eyes were unopened, and he was crying nonstop. E immediately brought him into the house and dried him.

E and husband swiftly went to a pet shop nearby, and returned with kitten milk and feeding equipment. Bert was fed, kept warm, and fell asleep very shortly after. Though E knew very well that Bert’s survival rate was low, E still wanted to give him a chance to live.

It was actually a working day the following day and E was thinking hard about how to manage Bert as he needed regular feeding every few hours but she decided to deal with that later. E brought Bert home and kept him cozily tucked away in an A4 paper box with towels, a stuffed toy and a clock. She read online that the ticking of the clock is similar to the heartbeat of a mother cat, which would help the kitten settle in easily.

E’s dogs could sense Bert but they were not allowed to go near him at all. The eldest dog was seemingly aware of what was going on and he would jump up from his sleep whenever the kitten made any slight noise even though it was in the next room. When E woke up every two hours to feed the kitten, he followed suit but waited outside the room door obediently. In the wee hours of the night at about 4am, E's husband felt the dog’s cold nose constantly touching his arm as if trying to wake him up. E's husband immediately sensed something amiss and went over to Bert. There was no more heartbeat.

E was devastated though she had tried to mentally prepare herself for it. We all know how young kittens seldom make it, but it was a life lost after all. E wrapped Bert up and chose a safe spot to bury Bert, and made a little cross to remember Bert by. It gave us comfort that this cat passed on in the comfort of a home, warm and fed, not alone, cold and starving on the cold cement floor.

This could have probably been a case of irresponsible dumping due to household pets not being sterilized. A spayed pet is a healthy and happy pet, why allow your pets which you treat like your own children to go through unnecessary pregnancies? As much as many of us out there involve ourselves in helping stray animals on the streets, we need pet owners to take responsibilities for their pets too.

Don't forget to sterilize your pets today. You're not only helping them, but you would be helping society at large – to reduce the stray problem.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

You are my PoohPooh Bear!

On 20 Jul 2011, NAC asked if I was willing to write about our recent adoption of a female dog. I agreed readily even though I do not know what to write. Afterall “she” was only with us for a couple of weeks, I had no idea what should I focus on writing.

Finally today I found the inspiration to write something, so I went to the Noah's Ark blog to have a look and below was part of the very first article I picked to read.

“This Chow Chow was abandoned by its owner. She is 10 yrs old and her name in Yuki. Her irresponsible owner opened the gates and let the dog out. When the dog was picked up by SPCA, the owner told someone to lie that he was out of town and to put the dog down. Fortunately we got wind of it in time and Yuki was bailed out from SPCA and is now living in a boarding facility, waiting for someone to love her again. After some tender loving care in her foster home, this is how she looks like today. The next 3 pictures show Yuki cleaned & groomed. According to the Vet, she is in perfect health and is now with a fosterer.”

Coincidentally the dog in this very first article I picked “How Could You?” is the one my husband and I just adopted through Ruth.

After moving into a “Kampong”, the first thing my husband and I did was to adopt two dogs, Trevor a Golden Retriever from SPCA and Fat Fat Mongrel from the landlord.

Together with Coco an English Cocker Spaniel we had with us since 2001, we magically reached the maximum number of dogs allowed within 1 week from moving into our new place

Never had we thought of adding one more since 3 is the limit.

Two weeks after we moved in, my in-laws came for the house warming and my husband casually described the type of dogs he liked to his sister.

My husband loves dogs with a grumpy face (a Neapolitan Mastiff being his favorite).
We actually went to SPCA for Athena (the Mastiff with SPCA in Jun 2011) but she had tick fever so she was not suitable for adoption so that’s how we got Trevor instead.

After hearing my husband’s description of the type of dogs he likes, my sister in-law went home and started searching the Internet.

A couple of weeks later, she sent us a mail with a link that’s when we saw Yuki for adoption.

We were both so excited and I contacted Ruth immediately. We invited Ruth to our place for a house visit within the next few days and Yuki came to our place for good within a week from we first saw the advertisement.

The first day Yuki ignored us, preferring to sleep alone in the living room so we let her be.

The next day we invited some friends over and a friend brought this.

Another day passed..I was in the study room doing my work when Yuki came to pay me a visit.

It only took her two days to get used to living with us and she climbed up this bed (with my permission) to be with me.

Life with Yuki is a joy!

We brought Yuki to the vet for a check up and that’s how she looked in the car. HAPPY!!!!!

One day I was at work and I received an MMS from my husband. This was what he sent.

Yuki is definitely a dog with a heart.

Despite being cruelly abandoned by her previous owner and having to go through the stress of moving from shelter to fosterers to eventually our home, just like most dogs, she still never stops loving.

She loves us humans in her own quiet way, following us in and out of the room, walking double steps to the gate to see us off, standing there looking at us with her tender loving eyes, lying in our room snoring softly enjoying the cold air..every now and then, she will try to get her crumply body lifted up, and walk briskly to us to ask for a little pat and a little sayang.

Yuki is so lovely that I don’t understand which part of her became a nuisance to the previous owner.

(For that matter, Trevor and Fat Fat too are so lovely that we often wonder why Trevor ended up in SPCA and Fat Fat confined to the back yard for 7 years)

It probably only takes a split second to buy, and definitely another split second to dump.
However by the time Yuki found us, or we found Yuki, it was a good two years after she was being cruelly abandoned.

I always believe in fate and fate has brought Yuki and us together.

Nothing was a pre-planned move..the house moving, the email from my sister in law, the adoption of the fourth dog and the surfing of an article to read on Noah Ark’s website. Yet everything that had happened pointed Yuki to us.

Oh yes, we did apply to AVA for a license for a fourth dog which they approved after visiting us.

Ruth told us she was almost going to give up searching for a permanent home for Yuki, a 12 years old Female Short Coat Chow Chow with just a slight joint problem which can be resolved by a simple jab once in two months costing only S$25.

Yuki is an old dog, that’s why she is not always the first choice for adoption.

Because of Yuki, my husband and I decided we would continue to adopt only older dogs.

We love them all the same; they are as cute as puppy if not even cuter, without the teething problem and the toilet training nightmare.

Yuki, you are my Pooh Pooh Bear.

Beneficiary of Animal Merchandise :)

Noah's Ark CARES Supporters