July 24, 2008

Getting on the concrete path of things,

we have been going grassroots with our street animals, tagging along our caregiver, but no real action of sterilisation has been carried out yet. We never got to meet together with V at one go, but each of us met with her individually on separate occasions.

J blended in up-close-and-personal with our pack of 8 and observed:

"Had a close look at each of the dogs' personalities this afternoon. Jonah seems to be the most tolerant and amicable among the lot though all are friendly.

They can be food-aggressive among each other, but amazing thing is they'll growl and bark snappishly, but no teeth on each other yet.

Jordan is big but playful, like a kid, Ann loyal, Tiger unsure and mellowed a lot, Ben and Jamie loners, Star dominating and Jonah friendly in a shy way. Tommy is big but thin now, and a little low on the hierarchy."

At this stage, save for J, we can't distinguish who's Jamie, Jordan or Jonah among our cream-coloured brothers, but one of them looks increasingly thinner and perhaps needs medical attention.

At Scruffy's side, this pack remains human-wary but confidently strut across the roads and empty park lots even though strangers throng in and out of the farm compound.

At another farm, this mid-sized black female ate from my hand and is on top of my list to grab for sterilisation. She's a mother of a pack already and my speculation is that in a few months' time, she'll be ready to mate. This Saturday, I'll pop by with V. Along with this mummy are six other pups, thankfully friendlier, and can be sterilised soon.

Mama Rock and the three siblings surround V as usual.

Mid-sized black mummy with her puppies.

Gaping wound on the thigh of one of the three siblings at Mama Rock's area. V treated our boy with antibiotics and he is doing much better now. When we saw him, he was nursing his wound by licking it.


July 19, 2008

Untamable Tongue

James 3: 5-12

  • the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity... it is set on fire by hell.
  • It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
  • Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My bretheren, these ought not to be so.
  • Does a spring send forth freshwater and bitter from the same opening?
  • Thus no spring yields both saltwater and fresh.

A careless word may kindle strife,
A cruel word may wreck a life,
A timely word may lessen stress,
A loving word may heal and bless -- Anon

July 16, 2008

A man and his dogs

A scene that warms the heart. Of Junior and her connection with KZ. All along our way to the vet for her vax, all she wants is to be as close as she can to him. No matter how awkward a position she placed herself in. Hind legs on back seat, front paws on the floor. The turns and swerves of motion. She stood her footing with a clear determination that no amount of calling or coercing will diminish. It's closeness that she wants. And she got it.

A dog doesn't belong to you by sheer outward ownership. Not merely cos you paid a price for them and they are living under the same roof as you. A dog belongs to you by that strong heart connection that is so clear in the eyes of others. They choose you.

As for Ginne, poor girl, she got carsick like the very first time she got onto a moving vehicle to the house of the people who abandoned her and Junior couple of years later. Twice she puked but recovered from wooziness to have a splendid romp at West Coast park.

Awaiting booster shots to protect them as they live on in the dog shelter with 100 others. We still have hopes of them being adopted to a good family.

Off to West Coast!

Little joys that last.

Have fun. Run with joy. Laugh. Eat with gusto. Rest with a grin on your face when body is tired but heart is so alive.

Like a song by Chris Tomlin:
"I wanna live like there's no tomorrow. I wanna dance like no one is around. I wanna sing like nobody is listening. Before I lay my body down. I wanna give like I have plenty. I wanna love like I'm not afraid. I wanna be the man I was meant to be. I wanna be the way I was made."

There's nothing complicated in life. In relationships. The dogs know love. And they sure know how to show it.

July 14, 2008

"Few men have enough virtue

to withstand the highest bidder."

"Yet that's what we must do to develop the kind of character that will sustain us. It's not easy to do the right thing when (a) it will cost you, (b) the wrong thing is more practical, (c) no one but you will know. It's in those moments that your character becomes strong.

Cowardice asks: is it safe? Consensus asks: is it popular? Conscience (character) asks: is it right?

So do the right thing and keep doing it. Even if it doesn't help you move ahead in the short-term, it will protect you and serve you well over the long-term."

A timely read for now and anytime.

July 12, 2008

Followed SB on a home visit

for Wilky's (or rather now Viki) potential new owner. All went smoothly in my opinion and it was uplifting to be involved in an animal's life.

Glad to see that Viki still has a playful, happy spirit despite being dumped by her previous family after 4 years with them. For the sheer reason of house-moving...the family had originally intended to release her on the streets. The incomprehensible nonsense of the human mind at times is both puzzling and disappointing.

Viki has grown attached to SB within just 1 week. Her attentiveness to SB, eagerness to play, to go for walks, simply to enjoy life - I can imagine what solid companionship and loyalty she brings to her permanent guardian.

Many many more happy healthy years to Viki !

July 7, 2008

With respect to our eight

dogs subject to physical hazards from the sealing-off, several people have stepped forth to offer their help and sounded out to us that if need be, they can chip in to fund for the dogs' migration to another refuge -- temporary or permanent.

A few hours ago, an elderly worker on the land informed water supplies have been cut off and tenants are gradually moving out of the plot, even though the contract is good until year end. V also updated that a worker whom she's been paying to keep watch and help her feed our dogs has left.

What we foresee is that the authorities could move in anytime.

A few weeks ago, a long-time tenant assured that nothing will happen until year end. Now, the the stopping of water supplies and the disappearance of others tenants.

We are only THANKFUL for the positive responses we have got so far; nothing at this juncture beats a supportive network of armchair believers, as well as the heroic few who go grassroots with our street animals everyday.

Stretched...but fulfilling, for this is what keeps us ALIVE, to feel our hearts race for challenges to come, to feel we're able to get up and do something about it, to be on the move, to respond, act, breathe and see. See for ourselves the possiblities of life, witness the fallen earth, but yet experience grace in turmoil, peace in chaos.

We are in no way a registered society, nor do we endeavour to establish ourselves as one. While I have turned into a full-time employee in the corporate world, my counterpart is a potential full-fledged vet student. The few pals we rope in every now and then are working professionals who lend their time to help out and in the midst of it all, like us, find solace in doing something meaningful.

Animal welfare.

When we decide to personally know a stray puppy or bring a cat back home to nurse, we cast our faith in a world of possibilities. Same thing when like-minded individuals hear our stories and chip in with their donations, they cast their faith. Faith.

Because we are by no means a registered society, we are unable to issue any official receipt. Donors could or would usually either send cheques to our mailing address, or do a fund transfer to either of our personal bank accounts.

In return, we show the donors actual receipts, itemizing expenditures of pet transport, veterinary fees or food supplies, to account to them where their money has gone to, and if possible, a couple of pictures of the street animal in question.

This constant flux of paperwork and communications derails us from our work, but gladly, they are the encouragement that keeps us going in sometimes uphill-ish battles.

We can't do this by ourselves, and we share our experiences of straywork with whoever's out there with the heart to hear us, and to educate. There are no measurable outcomes, maybe there need not be any, but if writing a post means embedding a fraction of the message into the psyche of one more person, it is worth it.

V keeps telling me to move out of country and cautions against getting emotionally embroiled in individual animals, like herself. Softness of heart weakens the continuity of straywork. And as a veteran in the animal welfare circle, her nuggets of wisdom shed light, sometimes just too clearly, on the obstacles stemmed from human pride, scepticism and irrationality.

Continually, I step back and look at the bigger picture, the greater scheme of things to enact make-or-break decisions for the animals. It is a tough passion.

There are sometimes no hard-and-fast rules to saving an animal. Sometimes, a balance of objectivity and emotions; a melange of tacit and explicit knowledge; a combination of precision and intuition.

Does the trick.

July 3, 2008

Home / Foster for Wilky

"Temperament of dog, Wilky is mild, toilet train (usually poop outside the house). Original owner used to live at Bukit TImah but decided to give up dog with the move to HDB. Original intention of the owner was to release her on the street (such irresponsible and terrible behaviour) but LL took in the dog after knowing the situation. However, she could not foster the dog any longer and would need to urgently find a reliable foster/new owner for dog. She is a beautiful and mild dog and will be good if we can rehome her to a good home."

Posting on behalf of SB. Pls contact us at projectjkteam@yahoo.com.sg. Thank you.