It was a regular weekend evening that one of our volunteers R was straying in an industrial estate. When R's friend drove past one particular factory, R caught a quick glimpse of a small dog loosely tied to a tree. It must be a puppy, she thought. But somehow, R felt something was not right. R asked the friend to make a detour and what she found was an old shih tzu sitting there blankly. The shih tzu's eyes were greyish, and he was on the thin side. R found out from the security guard that the owner did not want him anymore, and he was initially rehomed but returned. She was also quite upset to learn that he has actually been at the factory for a whole eight months, just sitting there aimlessly day by day.
First sighting of Tian Tian
R scrambled around for a fosterer and at long last managed to find one, but the fosterer sadly had taken ill and had to be hospitalized. On and off, R went back whenever she could to see and feed the poor boy. R found another temporary fosterer and off the poor boy went, at least to a home environment. It was ironic that though the owner no longer wanted the dog, R still had to wait for the owner to revert with consensus to give up the dog. Yes, he was the one who bought the dog and is somehow still providing for his very basic needs (food and shelter) but is this really acceptable? The dog was still being fed, but with leftovers.
Subsequent visits while Tian Tian was still at the factory
Unfortunately, Tian Tian’s eyes started to show signs of infection. He was brought to the vet and the vet advised he was already totally blind. However, his eyeballs were getting inflamed and enucleation (eye removal) of both eyes was necessary. His teeth were really bad and the vet could not exactly tell his actual age but R was initially told Tian Tian is about seven to eight years old only. The vet ran a blood test on him and his blood work was thankfully all clear. They made arrangements for eye surgery alongside with dental scaling and sterilization.
Tian Tian at the clinic
But alas, another call from the vet came. There were maggots behind Tian Tian’s left eye which were pushing the eyeball out of the socket. The maggots were not visible to the naked eye and they were between his eye bone and eyeball. His optic nerves had already been damaged. It was highly likely that there was already an earlier injury prior to this and Tian Tian was not properly treated. Our main worry now was whether the maggots already eaten into his brain. The vet advised it was hard to tell but behavior wise, he was functioning normally and eating fine. However, she did say he must have been in a lot of pain earlier.
The vet let Tian Tian settle down in the clinic for one night and started him on medication and eye drops before proceeding with the cleansing and maggots removal procedure the next day. The staff at the clinic commented Tian Tian has a very trusting temperament and he is a fuss-free boy. Tian Tian was subsequently discharged and he was to continue with his medication, daily cleaning and eye drops first before going back for a pre-op assessment on coming Wednesday (3rd July 2013). The vet also advised for Tian Tian to be slightly fattened up before he is good to go for the surgery.
Tian Tian at E's place
Over at E’s place, Tian Tian seemed contented to keep to one corner and curled up to sleep most of the time. E’s rescued mongrels were curious about him and they have had their greetings but Tian Tian still has to be cordoned off in case the big dogs accidentally hurt him. Tian Tian sleeps a lot but is becoming slightly more active now. He keeps his area clean and makes noise to alert the humans whenever he needs to discharge himself. He loves his food but is not greedy. Tian Tian also loves neck scratches and for people to touch him. He actually surprised E’s husband on the second day by letting out low grunting sounds when E’s husband took a bit longer to prepare his food! Tian Tian had already smelt the aroma and was getting all excited. It did sound like grumbling though!
Tian Tian's close-up
Tian Tian also has extremely bowed legs. Somehow, we might not want to know what he went through even during his prime or when he was just bought and still a novelty. To some people, a dog is sadly just a possession. The bill for Tian Tian will no doubt be a hefty one and at this point of time, the thought of euthanasia might practically be on some of your minds. We have weighed the pros and cons ourselves but Tian Tian is fully healthy other than his damaged sight, and we see no reason in not helping him.
Tian Tian waking up from a nap
We can understand the insecurity Tian Tian is currently feeling but we do believe he knows he is being rendered help now, as E managed to sneakily snap a photo of him sleeping very soundly just on the second night. We constantly have to remind ourselves and tell friends and supporters that our sanctuary NANAS is always our topmost priority as we have to ensure the thousand over animals are adequately provided for but for sterilization work and rescue cases, we will always try our best to take them on within our means.
Tian Tian sleeping very soundly!
We hope to get your help to help poor Tian Tian go through this tough period and we strongly believe a blind dog can have quality of life too! Your support keeps us going, please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help in any way – be it financially or fostering for this sweetheart. Thank you.