October 30, 2008

Our dear Little Anne


is indeed one of the blessed ones to be safe and loved by her family now. She's doing very well. Her digestive issue, which probably arose from the days of fast-gobbling on the streets (likely a survival instinct of 'eat-fast-eat-as much as i can' before her brothers) has improved much with regular smaller meals.

We believe the attachment between the humans and Little Anne is growing closer and closer both ways with each passing day.

We give thanks for this miracle. And pray for many more to come.

October 29, 2008

Balance has also been healing

very well. He now has to wear an e-collar cos the wound is starting to dry and close up, and that's the itchiest period, so the e-collar prevents him from disturbing the bandages.

Good boy is looking cheerful and affectionate as ever. His bandages will need to be change once every 3 days, no longer daily. Give him more time to heal and thereafter he can be scheduled to stitch up the wound, pulling skin from his thigh area to close up the gape which is too tight to be stitched back the way it is. We are very relieved that he was not given for amputation from the start. I'm sure Balance will regain his agile balance on all fours very soon enough!

He is now with a caregiver, as we look for the perfect family for him.

* Will share photos soon.

Quite a bit has happened

in the past week.

Firstly, Ben and Jamie are looking good as new. Both have made it strongly through the heartworm treatment and had their 3rd and final jab last Friday to kill off whatever larvae may be lurking in their bloodstream. We are all so humbled and joyful especially by Jamie's recovery as at some point in time, there was some doubt if he could make it thru. But he did!

Ben, on the other hand, we were not worried at all, for his boisterous being is so full of life, we know he will be speedily all well. You could never tell he had those worms in him.



Another car ride to the vet....


Waiting to leave the clinic after their final jab.

As of now, Ben and Jamie are reunited with their pack - Jordan, Jonah, Star, Tiger. Ben has no problems at all integrating, in fact, from the minute he stepped in, we could sense this atmosphere of solemnity, almost as if the rest were thinking (as JT put it) ... "Oh oh...He's back....". That is cos, good 'ol Ben is no sauve gentleman. He is an overgrown pup in a big dog's body. He strutted in with welcoming growls for everyone. Pranced up on one of the dog shelter and plonked his big self right in the middle, making a fierce face at anyone who tried to come near. He made himself very much at home from the word go.

Of cos, we disciplined him promptly at the sign of rudeness and raised lips, stopping any ensuing scruffles at the tip. Well, with Ben back, Tiger is noticeably toned down. Someone on par is now here!

Jamie on the other hand, was his usual cool, laid back self. He was abit grumpy at Star and Jordan before he entered the enclosure, as they were sniffing out and remembering one another. But otherwise, after abit, all settled down.

There are plans to relocate a few of them in the long run, and to steadily release one by one to join Tommy in the main area where they can have a bigger space and access to the pool for warm days. For now, our 7 are safe. Also for Junior and Ginne. And Little Anne, the most blessed one now, in terms of having her own loving humans and PP as a canine companion.

Thank you for all your concerns and queries. If you wish to visit our 7, just email us at projectjkteam@yahoo.com.sg and we'll make arrangements. We look forward to your continued support in their boarding.

* Will post photos of their reunion soon.

October 23, 2008

Balance is looking happy and well,

not bothering much about his injured leg which is being cleaned and bandaged daily. A very good boy he is. An easy and accommodating patient. He's beginning to gingerly place his leg on the floor as he walks. Now, it's still not entirely certain that his leg will fully heal, but I would say it is looking good. He is in good spirits, always a positive sign.

What Balance needs now is a caregiver who will take him in, change his bandage once a day and administer antibiotics. We will bring him back for vet review once a week until it is certain that the leg is safe and whole. He will be a pleasing companion and home pet.

You can email us at projectjkteam@yahoo.com.sg to be part of Balance's future.

"If your dreams do not scare you,

then you're probably not dreaming big enough."

October 21, 2008

Just a random appeal that

a duo of senior lady caregivers are seeking a helper to support them in feeding the stray, sterilised cats in an estate in Upper Bt. Timah. Ad-hoc basis.

Where these ladies cover, the cats are a very manageable lot and had been -- thanks to a team of compassionate caregivers with a strong community spirit -- sterilised and ear-tipped.

It may not mean much to the random neighbour who walks by the feeding points with our community cats swirling around the ankles of these senior ladies at work, but it will definitely mean a lot to these volunteers toiling hard every day for the cats.

Our heroines are past their sixties; one who's already in her eighties, mild-mannered and with such a glowing heart of gold each time I see her trooping along the pavements with bags of dryfood, I have nothing but respect and admiration for her, her very being.

In all randomness, this is a simple sound-out to anyone, anyone who can offer time and manual assistance, especially if you live in the vicinity. Do get in touch with us at projectjkteam@yahoo.com.sg

October 20, 2008

Balance



video

Some of you may already know

of the recent fire at Joo Chiat that wrecked the home of an elderly auntie and her animals. We're posting an appeal below from another animal rescuer.

"The house that concerns me is 210 -A Joo Chiat road where an elderly lady Mdm Teo, a general cleaner lives. (I call her joo chiat auntie.) I have been helping her for more than 15 years.


Although she managed to escaped from the fire, it killed 12 of her cats and the rest managed to escape by leaping out of the windows. Out of around 50 to 60 cats and 4 dogs, only 30 or so cats were left. One of the dogs is also dying due to smoke inhalations while a few cats iarerecovering from the fire. Due to the fire, she has lost most of her personal belongings, electricals and animals feeds.

Any one of you willing to help in any way could visit her at 210-A Joo Chiat Road. Electrical lines and phone lines are out at the moment. However you could call me first and I shall create that link. My tel is 93822138. Email duchess22003@yahoo.com.sg . Please pass the word around for the sake of these animals."

Brought Balance for

a second vet opinion this morning. Main reason is I personally do not wish to opt for amputation as the first resort, without seeking another confirmation, and without trying other less invasive methods.

Good thing is, Balance is still looking happy, cool, manja. He was cosying up to the vet after awhile when he got more comfortable on the examination table. A real good boy, he is. When the vet was giving him a check-up, he was so well-behaved, letting her handle his injured leg as she felt it all over, crying only a bit when she touched a sore spot. It's a positive sign that he still has feelings all over his leg and paw.

So we will follow the vet's advice, hospitalise him for the next few days as his wound is cleaned and dressed regularly and applied with a healing cream to aid his self-healing process for the wound to close up as well as it can. We will be able to know in 3 days time when his healing is looking positive enough to put amputation out of consideration.

We'll be on the look out for a good home for this boy. We've got a pretty good feel about Balance's recovery and future.

October 17, 2008

Visited Balance over lunch time.



He was resting in his sleeping basket, peaceably limping over to meet me when I arrive. A sweet boy. Will make a good companion for the family who chooses to adopt him.


As you can see, his left hind is held up gingerly.


Tendons and bones exposed.


Balance is under good care now and will stay at the vet clinic while we decide the next step for him.


We appreciate you sharing Balance's story with fellow cat-lovers, keeping an eye open for a good home, whether it is decided to amputate his leg or not, as it would be safer for him to be rehomed with his current physical disadvantage. Any contribution to his vet bills is also greatly appreciated. Email us at projectjkteam@yahoo.com.sg Thank you.

Last Tuesday, after some discussions

with stray feeders around an area, we brought a male cat called Balance to be sterilised. A very mild-mannered, gentle boy. He was later released on Friday after some indoor recovery time.

Unfortunately, last night, a stray feeder found him, looked like he had been run over by a vehicle - his left hind leg had a long wide strip of open flesh, exposing tendons and bones. There are also some bruises on his right hind. In spite of that open wound, Balance is still affectionate and quite co-operative when we brought him to a vet just now.

Upon first review, the vet advised for amputation as she thinks that even with orthopaedic treatment, recovery for Balance may not be good with the present state of injury. But to opt for amputation, it means Balance would need a permanent home cos it is not advisable to put a 3-legged cat back on the streets, with other territorial strays around.

Somehow, I do not feel the go-ahead for amputation. So we have not decided yet. Balance is now at the clinic having his wound cleaned and dressed up. We'll bring him for a 2nd review before making a decision for him.

Will visit him later and get some photos to share.

"You don't have to do big things....

You just have to do great things, in small ways."

Greatness is not seen in how much you do. But in how you do the little things in life. We remember and respect the person who does one thing very well, than another who goes about doing many things but with no depth nor heart.

October 14, 2008

We decided yesterday

to let Tommy out into the outer enclosure, to join Junior and Ginne and the rest who have sort out their territory around the pool area.

Main reason being Tommy had been the unfortunate pick for big bully Tiger. A scuffle too many from burly Tiger has caused Tommy to walk away bleeding slightly from bite wounds on his legs and ears. And his demeanor was noticeably quite dejected, always separated from the other 4, on his own in the one shelter while the rest hang out in the other.

On his own, Tiger is a most affectionate boy. But in their own canine culture, he and Tommy just don't get along.

Seeing Tommy being pinned down by Tiger again on Sunday, I didn't think we should wait any longer. It is kinder to Tommy to move him away from Tiger. And we sorta know intuitively that Tommy would do fine with the outer pack as he doesn't have a pushy character about him.

So yesterday noon, we opened the gate to his enclosure and walked him out. Keeping a close eye on him and all the curious dogs sniffing him out.



Growls surfaced as he ventured bit too near some marked territories, particularly shelters that have been staked upon. Together with the caregiver, we walked him all the way out to the front area where another pack stays and more barks, sniffs, growls surfaced. But nothing serious. Tommy took everything well. Walking on with a stoic face. Occasionally turning back with a warningwhen someone came too close or sniffed too long.

One round we made and returned to the pool area where I let him off leash after a while more of wait and see. A few tries at scuffles particularly at other males, a little chase here and there, and under the shelter - and then all settled into quietness as everyone returned to their late afternoon snooze.




Junior (left) watching Tommy as he checked out the pool
Junior and Ginne was following me all around, so Tommy sorta ended up hanging around them too. I guess there is too much male energy in our pack of 5 boys. Some girly attention for Tommy should do him good!


Ginne and another girl have staked out the first hut with a homely mattress


Tommy picked the 2nd hut as his resting place

All is well for today too. No commotion, as C said. There is just so much we can have in our control anyway. There will come a point where you just have to let go, and let them sort things out among themselves.

Without our interference. In their very own canine language.

Just a quick update to share



Another car ride to the vet! Jamie all patient and settled. Ben ... well, he was just being his usual Big 'Small Boy' Ben self - licking, stepping, whining, pacing ... all over the place...what can I say? :)

that both Ben and Jamie are well and good, after their vet review yesterday noon. Likely just a one-time off allergy flare-up for Jamie, quite impossible to determine by what exactly. But all the red hives-like sores and his swollen right eye lid completely subsided overnight, which is a great relief. Will share more later.

October 12, 2008

Visited Ben and Jamie

this evening.

Ben is well and good except for a lump developed at the site of the injection, which is not an uncommon reaction for heartworm treatment and will subside after a few weeks. Other than that, he is looking well and active. Clingy as usual.

Jamie, on the other hand, looks a bit listless today. He seemed to be having some sort of allergic reaction - swollen right upper eye lid and raised up red hives-like sores on his underside, around his groin. Nothing out of the norm was administered to him, so we are unsure of the cause. Just before we left him, the redness on his underside subsided, though he still looked listless, tired, resting silently on his side as we left.

It's said that the period of 7-14 days after a heartworm treatment is the critical timeframe where the adult worms are dying off in the heart, as the dog's body works to the best of its ability to eliminate the dead parasites.

"Heartworms live in the right side of the heart and the large arteries running from the heart to the lungs (the pulmonary arteries). The heartworm treatment medications kill these worms. When they are dead, they are still in the circulatory system and their dead bodies have to be removed by the white blood cell system.

When large collections of white blood cells are working in an area, they cause heat and swelling as well as being the major constituents of pus. This is irritating to the affected area. All of this is going on inside your dog's lungs right now. This irritation and inflammation leads to the coughing.

It is also the major reason why keeping your dog quiet works to help prevent death during the heartworm treatment. The less his lungs have to do other than fight their way through the effects of the heartworm treatment the better off they are. The better his lungs do, the better he will do during the treatment."


We will bring Jamie to the vet for a review tomorrow. Just to make sure what he is going through now is not out of the ordinary. And to get whatever medication that can help ease his recovery during this period.

Will update more after the vet review. Keep Jamie in your prayers for now. He shall be fine.

* We continue to wait in HOPE for the perfect family for Jamie. We believe together that his miracle of his very own home is fast coming his way.

October 8, 2008

Found some older photos


of our 7. When the streets were their home.



One of my favourite pix: Mother & son. (Goldie & Ben)

Remembering words from "The Invitation"

.... "It doesn't interest me what you do for a living, I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstacy fill you...without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.


It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself...

I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn''t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments."

Life. The moments of true Grace.

October 4, 2008

Doghouse




We're constantly learning from the animal welfare cause. Building this doghouse came as a preclusion to moving our 5 to the enclosure, and in so doing, we learnt from the management about how important it is to construct a doghouse that is sturdy and durable, and good for use for at least the new few years.

Not just for our pack, but for future generations of dogs seeking the shelter as their refuge, when eventually, our dogs will be let loose from the enclosure and blend in with the rest of the groups on the shelter premises. This is what we hope will happen.

It wasn't merely getting the best deal, but understanding 'carpentry' as a fundamental, the nuts and bolts, the [more affordable] materials needed, dimensions, and spatially imagining how our dogs will take to the doghouse. That it will be something to offer comfort to each of them.

At close to $1,000, this doghouse doesn't come too cheap but it is necessary, in fact mandatory, which is why we achieved this privilege of an enclosure. Thanks to the kindness of the shelter, and thanks to the people who had donated to our 8: with Lil' Anne at foster care, Ben & Jamie at another boarding and the rest of the boys at the enclosure.

A bold step for us and a bold step to safety for our pack. Join us if you'd like to help in contributing to the costs of:
* doghouse
* monthly boarding fees of each of our pack
* health maintenance/veterinary fees required to upkeep
* sterilisation of other strays
* food for dogs managed by caregivers


A leap of faith for all of us. In the hope that good things will happen for our pack and all the animals at the shelter. Thank you for your prayers, moral support and encouragement. Keep them flowing =)

October 2, 2008

What a star smile !

Star - son of Ebony, from Mama Girl's first litter.
Jonah (background), Ben, Anne, Jamie, Jordan are Mama Girl's second litter,
newly born when we were informed of their whereabouts more than 2 years ago.
In time to have them all sterilised then.
Now, they just ask for the decent right to live out their life. In peace.

October 1, 2008

TODAY, we visited the privilege of

the enclosure where 5 of our initial pack are now housed and spent our afternoon, sweeping dead leaves, pulling weeds, picking up sharp objects and poo, and cleaning up our dogs; deticking, feeding deworming tablets and flushing out dirt from their ears. General housekeeping to keep the living conditions in order.

While Ben and Jamie are recuperating from their heartworm treatment at another shelter, our 5 have now staked their claim of ownership of their newfound territory, i.e., this privilege of a rectangular enclosure consisting of two wooden doghouses.

In all, we spent close to $900 on the construction of the new doghouse that came as a preclusion before our 5 could move in. A little cozy, and a place that guarantees visual elevation of a field-- where our 5 are perched for their respite. Spacious enough, not too close for comfort.

Silently, we breathe relief for this is the blessed outcome of migrating the dogs from one location to another, and then another. Away from the homeground where their lives were threatened. Away from the woes and worries of street life. Away from human clashes between those who wanted to save the lives of the dogs, and those who wanted to extinguish them.

We have come a long way in this. Every bead of sweat, every effort, every commitment out of our professional schedules to ensure the minimal right to life for Ben, Jamie, Jonah, Jordan, Tiger, Tommy and Star.

X had been dedicating themselves so wholeheartedly. It's no simple task: coordinating with contractors and shelter management for the successful construction of the doghouse; sourcing for the best deal; negotiating with contractors and carpenters; getting our hands on the medicine; ongoing research on heartworm conditions; walking the dogs during their kenneled-up phase; raising funds from the public; transporting the dogs to and fro.

A single-minded pursuit taking its course from a real passion for the animals.

TODAY, we followed an uncle for possible dwellings where our dogs can be put up for some time. For the plain reason of cost, we are exploring to separate the pack and place a couple of our 7 in these disparate locations. There's no way we can go on raising funds to sustain their maintenance for the next 10 over years, and so this is the practical thing to do.

While they romp around the space of the enclosure and doghouses--reunited partially as a pack--we have to think of the LONG TERM, how we can go about sustaining the dogs, sustaining the work we do.

As always, we're on the lookout for good permanent homes for these ultra human-friendly pack, so spread the word and share the life-stories of our pack, the realities of street life and the animal welfare scene to those around you.

HOPE reigns for these potential family pets. Email projectjk@gmail.com if you would like to:
* provide a good home for life for any of our dogs
* contribute to their monthly boarding fees at the shelter, or any other expenses to animal welfare work
* learn more about how you can help in an animal welfare movement that is progressing slowly but surely in our society.



27 Sep 08 - Moving our 5 from one shelter to another


Our 7 in their temporary shelter after leaving their birthplace. Housed in separate kennels. Picture taken from the window with Jonah standing right on his hinds, excited as ever about our presence.


Ben and Jamie fresh after their second heartworm injection at the clinic. Walking them along the pavenments of a suburban neighbourhood reminds me of how fitting these dogs are to a home environment. What we've always wished for them


Side profile of our wooden doghouse adjacent to the shelter's existing one. This will shield our 5 from sun and rain and is good for, we reckon, a good few years for all dogs that will take the enclosure as their home. X & Y were fantastic help with moving our dogs on this day.


Our dogs popping themselves out from the doghouses with Tiger dashing out to bark any other dog that comes close to the enclosure. We're almost certain that if any of US would to adopt him, dear ol' Tiger will be our guaranteed fervent Guardian. Just so protective!


1 Oct 08 - Enclosure Housekeeping


Jubilant faces, beautiful moods: Tommy and Jordan


Spreading themselves out in the doghouse.


All of them, i.e., the five, cozying up in one doghouse.


Ginne and Junior poking their noses from the other side of the fence, observing eagerly as we cleaned up the enclosure.


Another shot of our dogs: there's something dignified, respected, eager, wild, carefree, stoic about this pack.