December 31, 2008

It's New Year's Eve

and how much I had wished to post a cheery note of thanksgiving and joy to usher in a fresh new year.

But now as I write, it is in fact a 3rd day of sorrow. The 3rd day of Cheerio's departure from us. From earth.

I am very very sorry to all who've come to know Cheerio. To our team who have personally seen and touched her. To S and D who had met us and seen Cheerio for a short while. To N who has been so kind with all the sharing and encouragement and a big heart for Cheerio.

This is one of my most difficult posts cos this time, I am personally very sorry. For Cheerio was under my care since last Sunday, when I decided to take her away from her dirty environment and into my home. With the intention to give her a new lease of life.

For the first 4 days, she was happily playful at night and seemed to have settled down well, coming to us when we call, enjoying our strokes and scratches, staking out her fav spots for snooze, enjoying her hay, looking well, happy and inquisitive.

Then on Thursday night, she crashed. She was no longer active. Did not come out of her cage even with the door left open. Her breathing quickened and she no longer want to eat.

Upon vet check, fungal pneumonia was suspected. Likely caused from constantly damp living conditions in an unhygienic cage, high humidity, breathing in soiled, dirty leftover foods, shedded fur all over. Medication was prescribed to rid off bad bacteria. We also suspected a blockage in her intestines as Chinchillas have highly sensitive digestive system. And though her usual food was mixed with new food, she may have reacted unfavourably to the change, thus causing gut stasis, ie, the guts to stop working well and leading to a blockage that could cause bad bacteria to germinate, no food able to be digested properly, no poo form and eventual death. Blockage could also be due to ingestion of wrong stuff or her own hairball. Papaya enzymes were given to aid digestion and clear any blockage if any.

She was fed a recovery diet every 4 hours to slowly get her guts working, as grazers like Chins cannot have their guts inert/empty for long. She seemed to be recovering when her breathing slowed down to a normal rhythm as she took in the food by syringe-feed.

But on Sunday late noon, Cheerio left us. And she left me with a broken, painful, confused heart.

A post mortem revealed fluid buildup in chest cavity, enlarged adrenal glands and a partial blockage of furball in her small intestine. Dr G gave me a packet of her gut contents. I washed it and dried it out and saw that it was a clump of her own fur ingested.

Packet of gut contents

The top is what was gotten from the gut contents after being washed and dried. Compared with a portion of her fur.

The actual cause of death cannot be fully determined, it could be a combination of reasons. Fungal pneumonia takes 30 days to incubate and if it was that or a heart disease underlying, an animal can survive or merely exist for a long time in their old environment no matter if it was unhygienic, but it would have surfaced eventually when the body weakens with changes no matter how positive. If it was gut stasis, it could be due to the inappropriate longstanding diet she was on as she ate mainly sunflower seeds which was inappropriate for Chins. Dr G explained that usually gut stasis happens first before any blockage begins. That is, the gut must have stopped working properly first due to various preceding health reasons, then that causes the body to fail in proper digestion and passing out the ocassional furball/hard to digest contents, and thus a blockage results. Chins do not have a vomiting mechanism to throw up clogged contents.

The unfortunate thing is, prey animals like Chins tend to hide their pain/sickness until it is almost too late. Whatever the real cause of her departure, we don't know for sure now.

The pain of a loss is tough to accept and comprehend at first. The morning after is the worst. The crying. The questions. The thinking-back. The self-blame. The frustration. And then the sadness all over again.

I have personally seen my own pets die before. We have personally been present when our sickly animals were euthanised. And I realise each time, the pain is different and yet the same. The difference in intensity cumulates in the sameness of an ache that is physically real. The dull, painful tightness in the region we call our heart. The pressure of a heavyweight over an organ that gives you life.

The feeling of a death bringing a kind of death to your very own heart. For a time of mourning. When life around you seems to stand-still for a period as you grasp the truth of a soul going heavenwards. Where you know you should rejoice in that freedom but not yet, as all you feel were tears on your face.

Death mellows the soul. It quietens me down as I go off by myself to wonder whereof is the glory in this? When we pray for healing, whereof is the joy when death comes instead? When we thought we heard it right and go forth to do what we think is needful, whereof is the courage to continue when a plan seems to have failed?

I'm grateful for and understand the comforting words that "Cheerio had a happy few days with you and a taste of freedom". But this time, I somehow know this ending was not meant to be. I had not listened deep within. I had not seek clear directions. I think I had made the wrong decision by doing what I think was right. And I've let some people down.

Questions. I'll wait patiently for all His answers.

How much we need to be quiet within, to hear His way for us. Not of our own mind. No matter how good our intentions. Not of our own hands. No matter how willing we are. We fail when we seek our own personal glory even unknowingly in all areas of our life. So shall we have good success when "I" am removed from the picture. It's not about me. It is not about you. If it ever had been, I have veered off course. At the expense of Life. And I am very very sorry.

It'll take a little while more for the emotions to settle off into memory. Remembered as Life's growing journey to treasure and learn from, so a death is not in vain. For now, the body goes back to the earth. And the soul is free.

For this new year, above all well wishes, I wish for your and my heart to come alive. To fully come alive. So that in our journey with people and animals, a journey all about the heart, we learn to listen more closely, to see more deeply and most of all, to retreat within when we feel pulled to go forward.

For the answer lies within.


December 29, 2008

Of one mind

For the criticisms about the tension between animal welfare groups in Singapore... the elderly caregiver who weeps and wails over her stray dogs... the one who hoards too many cats in her apartment... the American lobbyist who splashed blood-like grape juice on celebrities donning fur coats outside fashion conferences... or, the advocate who persistently philosophizes in his own world... We need to be 'steady' and banded in our continual work in animal welfare.

I am sure many of us 'started out' from somewhere; we began involved in the cause from a previous state of not knowing, of being uninformed or from plain ignorance. And true enough, we have been tagged as a bunch of emotional, irrational animal fanatics or animal lovers who have too much time on their hands to be caring for animals, when there are many humans who need help.

At this point in the night, I am reminded of what a pal told me that as educated, informed activists, we need to be banded together and demonstrate to society at large that we aren't a bunch of animal fanatics but individuals moved to do something that has its value.

From rehoming, interacting with prospective adopters to speaking to the public on animal welfare messages to lobbying the government to change laws to coordinating with volunteers to helping out senior stray feeders to learning from the vet... we need to be level headed in dealing with myriad crowds, calm spirited in handling the operations of our work. To a large extent, we have to manage expectations and handle EQs across various levels and personalities.

With tact.

A quivering heart of compassion needs to be complemented by a firm mind.

Let us thus fulfill our joy by "being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind."

December 27, 2008

Appeared in Weekend TODAY Dec 27-28, 2008.

40,000 from Singapore signed petition to end animal cruelty -- the most in Asia so far. So help spread the word to fulfill the mission of the Universal Declaration for Animal Welfare.

Log on to

December 25, 2008

Timothy hay time

Fav spot under bookshelf

Sleeping Cheerio ...

Snooze corner

Snooze box

Fav out-of-cage snooze spot

As today is a very cool day, she is at this very moment snoozing on a mat just next to me, as above. She's getting used to me now as I'm getting used to her. She likes her little pats and scratches on her head, ears, below her chin. Her ears are ragged off at the edges from previous lesions. The roughness is being smoothen out by the ear cream, and new fur is growing out around the ears. She let me snipped off some matted balls of fur around her head and upper back. Will get the rest done at groomer.

Matted fur

Last night when I carried her into her cage before we went out, she threw a tantrum. Hopping mad about the cage for a few minutes, pushing her hay holder about, gnawing on the metal bars. Certain moments, she was on the hammock, head hanging off slightly and teeth clamped over the metal bar ... looking quite a sad sight. "Let me out.....", she showed very clearly.

So when we got back, we let her out for her much-loved freedom. The cage door is now open for her to go in when she likes. For food and water. But her fav spot is still under the bookshelf.

Freedom. As all animals love. The free will to come and go as you please. To eat when you like. What you like. How you like it. To live with whom you choose. In a habitat you are born for. To vocalise and be understood. To live fully and to leave only when it's your time.

It has been good learning about Chinchillas. The immense variety of creation always amazes me. Reading is beneficial. But nothing beats a real live animal teaching you all you wish to know about their kind. I'll treasure this time with Cheerio. For now, I will give her the freedom she enjoys. And I will expect that from her new owners too.

Blessed X'mas everyone

"And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

Luke 2:14

December 23, 2008

And ... it's a girl!

The Chinchilla that is. :) Took her to Dr C who confirmed that and did a general health check on her.

Teeth are the normal yellowish-orangey tinge. Nose is clear of sniffles. Eyes clear from discharge. Her feet pads are a bit sore due to constant contact with wire cage floor. There was evidence of old lesions on her ears, which are pretty rough to the touch. Her fur is matted all over in tight clumps, likely due to lack of proper Chinchilla sand baths and possibly dampness from rain that came through her cage. Fortunately, she does not have fungus on her skin. Poo looked good and firm.

So overall, she is in pretty good condition, considering the unhygienic environment she came from. Dr C shared some wise words - that often, some home pets are in less than good condition cos of 'over-attention' to them - too many treats, too much handling, too much medication etc... whereas animals left pretty much on their own, like our street dogs, in environment that many dog owners will squirm at if their pooches are to live there, are very often much healthier and sturdier than pedigree home pets.

Animals are born to live a natural life. A life of sun, sky, sea and wind. Of trees, leaves, grass, sand and dirt. Being squeaky clean is not their top priority. Neither are fancy clothes and studded collars. I believe their whole being is liven up by long, good walks in the park. By free roams in the dog runs. By the beach. Swimming in the sea. A natural life.

For now, little Miss Chinchilla is with me for this period before she's rehomed. To finish of her ear medication. And soon to go for her full grooming to get all that matted fur out. We'll letting her settle down well in a new environment first without laying on additional stress of new experiences.

Smart gal she is. Was sharing with some people how she actually created steps!

You see in the pix above that her sleeping box was at the top left corner. After I put up a hammock (improvised from a cut-out bag), she was standing inquisitively on hinds to sniff it out. She hopped onto the low box but was probably unsure of hopping right up into the hammock. So she hopped off. I thought she wasn't interested in the hammock when she started playing with her sleeping box instead, nosing it about, pushing it off its corner, till it almost touched the lower box.

And guess what ... she hopped onto the lower box....then onto her sleeping box....and then right into the hammock. She had just created a 2nd step! I pushed her sleeping box back to the corner to see if that was her intention, and again, she nosed it to the centre and used it as a stepping stone, smart.

Let her out to explore the study room last nite, and our playful girl till now refuses to go back into her cage. She had a field day jumping over furniture, tunnelling behind the couch, snoozing under the bookshelf, chewing a bit of the floor rug, good thing she leaves the wires alone, hopping over human legs and kneading human arms when she felt comfortable around us.

Time out - snoozing on her side under the bookshelf which I read means she's feeling comfortable and at ease, or she may be just tired out from her romping! (you see her head here, body in the shadows towards the right, she's resting on her left ear, facing inwards).

She's still a bit skittish at times, with loud noises and sudden movements. Naturally. Most of the time, she'll come to you when you call her or lightly tap the floor with your fingers, getting close to ground level so she doesn't find you too threatening huge. She'll come, sniff your hand, and sit there for some scratches behind her ears, on her back (notice her tail wagging like a dog!) and also that particular spot under her chin and around her chest, she'll turn her head so you can give her the best scratch there. :)

Today, I heard her vocalisations for the 1st time - she was hopping towards me, paused abit and sorta chirp 2 times, then continued towards me for a scratch. Interesting little fellow. She's nocturnal. So you earlybirds out there would miss out on all her antics! I think I'll call her Cheerio for now.

December 21, 2008

Pets affected by recession

Armed with a drive to sterilise a target area of

cats today, we set off on a day intended to end with a fruitful mission. But alas all was not to be as we are reminded and relearnt that (a) it's a matter of timing and patience for target cats to appear in order to be caught, and (b) a sterilisation plan considering all available resources needs to be in place, as opposed to a random grab-and-go attitude.

But YES, 'twas indeed a productive day for we managed to, in a span of 9 hours:
** Plant the idea of sterilisation in a farm uncle who is a tad unwilling to let us sterilise his supposedly now-pregnant female cat
** Send a Chinchilla for medical checkup and kickstart a viewing session for its prospective adopters
** Bathe three mange-afflicted dogs
** Handle payment matters and their documentation
** Gain more trust from extremely human-wary dogs by gingerly offering bits of treats and reinforcing the idea of comfort, food and all things good we'd like them to associate with a spot to stay put in
** Remind a fellow caregiver to utilize a structural resource intended to support her feeding job and pass food resources to her
** Kickstart communication with yet another potential adopter for, at least, a few of our dogs

** And perhaps a task of mighty investment in every sense of the word, managing our pack at the shelter by:

* Laying sacks of granite chips on mushy ground to prevent soil clogging and mosquito breeding that impacts the health of the dogs
* In a semblance of orderliness, allowing our dogs to have a free roam -- to a few of them perhaps for the first time -- of the field and test out their future integration to the rest, thereby realising even more learning points about canine social dynamics
* Laying, as a matter of physical labour and coordination, wooden planks over soft ground for the same aforementioned purpose
* Treating Ben, Jamie, Tiger, Junior and co. pieces of chicken, together with their pals in neighbouring kennels, and
* Just having a rollicking good time with dogs with whom trust and loyalty is our bridge

So hey, a Saturday well spent for a truly meaningful cause. On hindsight, still milestones of achievements for all of us here. THANKS for today!

Ben looks as though he's willingly posing for us in an image that spells contentment

Clustering with Junior outside their enclosure. Junior, in red harness

Jordan 'testing water' of the pool for the 2nd time

Jonah seeking shady refuge under a bush in the field

Ben wringing himself after an experimental dip. Not to forget where the pack was born, there was a marsh-like mini creek they'd grown up dunking and playing in

December 19, 2008

In the midst of the day,

an older post came to mind.

"Pondering on the existence of Project JK, how it came about, what we are doing now and what we are going to do next.

Project JK was never meant to be a 'project' to begin with. It is not a 'come, do, leave' kinda project with a beginning and a final closure. This does not happen in the reality of stray groundwork.

Just one day spent on the road in one area, and you will know that the task of 'cleaning up' an area is beyond the ability of a small welfare group, how much more for a team of 3?

We never endeavored to achieve big accomplishments when we started. Very simply, we see a need. We see a person needing help. And we followed our hearts to step out and help that person and the strays along the way.

I know from the start I myself will not be able to sterilise all the strays, even in just one area, for there are many who will never come near us, no matter how long we have fed them. And there will always be abandonment cases that add onto the stray population, more so if the abandoned animal is not sterilised.

It is a pity, for a country small and contained like Singapore, we seem to have failed so obviously in an area that can be resolved if there is priority given.

We have a "Do Not Abandon Your Pets" campaign, but cases of abandonment could not be charged. In Singapore, to share a fact, there has not been a single case of abandonment charged, we were told by an authority.

.........we know for any kind of work your heart calls you to, anything at all that involves people - there will always be comments. Good or bad. Comments on how you should have done this, why did you do that, when are you going to do this, how could you let that happen? Is this worth it? I don't know.

In fact, I sometimes don't even know if this blog is a good idea or not. Who are the people reading this and what are their true intentions with us and our work? But then I think again, what is there to hide? Even our mistakes I will be willing to share openly. We are no perfect beings but we always remind ourselves to walk with a sincere heart. We may not create miracles but the least we can offer is KINDNESS.

We may fail miserably with Project JK. The number of strays in the areas may boom beyond our control. Many more may be culled. We may not be able to save and rehome another litter of pups. The situation may well go back to square one when we are gone.

So what are we doing this for?

For 1 single dog called Ruby. And for yet another called Puppy Boy. And another one called Shadow. For Junior. For Ginne. For Lucas. For Doby. For Jean-Paul. For Maggie. For Eliza. For Bicycle. For Abbie. For Coca and Cola. For Grey. For Billy. For Ashley.

More recently, for Anne, Big Ben, Tiger, Jordan, Jonah, Jamie, Tommy, Star, Comet, Sarah PP...

There are many more Rubys out there whom we may fail to reach. But right now, I am happy we reached one.

She is who we are doing this for."

December 17, 2008

On behalf of someone who found

a Maltese on 14 Dec at Balestier.

"A male Maltese approached them when he was having training. Long nails & matted fur. Brought to shave down at groomer and also seen vet yesterday. Some yeast infection and redness on paws but not very bad. Now on medication. Very manja & active boy. Super friendly & good with dogs & kids. Estimated to be 5 to 7 yrs old by vet. He's not sterilised.

Rescuer cannot take care of the doggie as he needs to travel quite often and wife can't cope as they have 2 very young kids. We had checked with SPCA and AVA, no one reported lost of maltese. Please email or if u or anyone u know can help to foster or adopt him if owner not found. Thanks in advance!"

Interesting read shared by PP

On behalf of Rick Tan

who has lost his cat.

"A Ginger domestic short-hair cat, DoDo, microchip 985120005558500, missing since 1 Dec. She has a cute Garfield look. Last seen at Eng Kong Garden. Reward for anyone who returns her or can provide info that leads to finding her. Please call Rick at 90998511."

December 16, 2008

What do you do

when you discover an animal in a less than desirable situation?

Do you immediately report the owner to the authorities to have him/her charged with animal neglect? What about ignorance? Do you choose to remove the animal at once and failing an immediate place for it, would you surrender it to the SPCA, to possible euthanasia? Death when there may be a possible new lease of life? Do you stay to educate the owner on proper animal care and assist promptly to improve the living conditions of that animal? To come to a longer term outcome of learnt responsible animal care? While monitoring the situation and waiting for the right new home to come along? Do share with us your views.

Today, we spent about an hour to thoroughly change the old living conditions of the Chinchilla we discovered in less than desirable conditions.

The old cage was a self-made wire mesh square, littered with old food and a toilet tray long needed of a change. For lack of a clean area, the Chin has taken to sleeping in her dust bath.

We changed it for now to a larger bunny cage. Clean and with more space for her to run about.

Timothy hay which she has not had for a long time now.

We're still learning about Chinchillas and there are areas we can improve on for her present cage. Like she would enjoy a wooden box hideaway to sleep in. Wood-based litter/shavings to cover the cage floor. A small metal tray where she'll learn to pee/poo in to make cage-cleaning easier. A hay stand to hold the hay in. More toys to cheer up her time while she's most awake at night.

She's about 3 to 4 years old. Still a good long life ahead as Chins can live up to 15 to 20 years in captivity. Her fur is clumped up at certain parts due to lack of grooming/brushing. Not sure if her mottled ears are natural, guess it could be.

She was actively checking out her new home, sniffing each corner and enjoying her vitamin gnaw block and hay. Friendly gal, will come to you for pats and scratches before hopping off to prance around again. We've some potential adopters for her. Will arrange to have her sterilised before adoption.

All the best to this Chin - do send in a name for her!

December 15, 2008

If anyone of you are familiar

with Chinchillas, and would consider adopting one, please email us at

Meanwhile, if you have a suitable Chinchilla cage, Chinchilla food, toys and accessories which you do not need, please contact us too. Thank you.

We have an adorable

young female pup whom we will try to rehome.
A sincere commitment of the next 15 years to this sweet bundle of fur now who will bring with her all the joys of puppyhood, bearing in mind it comes with lots of dedicated care and efforts in training and discipline into the teethy teenage years before she grows up into a stable, confident medium-size adult.

Email us at for further discussion.

No more Porky

Sarah Pei Pei she shall now be. :)

Getting close

Car ride to vet

Awaiting check-up. Sniff-sniffs.

Rusty choke chain, now removed.

Sarah Pei Pei now awaits her hope of a new family. Someone who preferably knows the temperament of Shar Peis and is confident, patient and understanding of the non-life Sarah Pei Pei has been through for the past few years.

Email us at Thank you.

Drivers and volunteers

In need of a few (reliable) volunteers to help in animal welfare work...

This season, a number of tasks have crossed my mind that require, yes, more help. Essentially manual support. Some from other caregivers who have asked us to appeal for helpers, as well.

* Driver (passed with local license) to drive vehicle while caregivers place food strategically to feed community cats
* Volunteers to help pick poo, bathe dogs, remove weeds, tidy up areas at non-profit animal shelters. Courage to interface with hordes of large breed dogs and willingness roll up your sleeves to do groundwork
* Cat feeders to help senior caregivers in feeding once a week. About one hour per feeding route

Do email us at Specifics of tasks will be conveyed in terms of location, duration, workload and so on, to tailor to caregivers' individual needs. Of course, as with almost all animal welfare work, this is completely voluntary.

Just sounding out to garner as much help as we can at this point to support the network of animal welfare groups and caregivers in Singapore. Thank you.

December 13, 2008

The first time we met this Shar Pei,

we could not go close enough to touch her, cos within metres, she would be growling deep-throatedly at us. At anyone who walked down the lane leading to her living spot.

(If you find her living condition unacceptable, remember the many home pets who are also living in situations none better then this, in chains and improper shelter, some who are fortunate to have been spotted and rescued/have their living conditions improved. And the many puppy farms out there right now, with living conditions far worse. With breeding dogs hardly let out of cramped cages, sun-less enclosures, poor food, no socialising, no vet care when needed. Dumped/put to sleep/left to die when they outlive their breeding ability. Puppies born who do not conform to pedigree standards are also immediately destroyed.

The message is: ADOPT.

REDUCE buying from pet shops (locally bred and imported dogs) and DO NOT buy from breeding farms. Many of the dogs from pet shops come from the farms anyway. You just don't see the living conditions of the puppies' parents.)

The closest we ventured to her was within a metre. Just squatting down to be close to her, letting her sniff us out. But still, with her unceasing deep growling and raised hair on her back, and the farm owner's warning that she is quite fierce towards strangers, we chose not to touch her. (The Shar Pei's temperament is stated as being very strong-willed, stubborn and territorial)

Today, we visited her again with plans to bring her to the vet for a health check first while we ascertain her temperament for rehoming. Her name is Porky. (not very flattering ...)

As we turned into her lane, metres away, her strong barking started. As we moved within 1 metre from her and squatted down, her deep growls started. And it went on for a good few minutes while we tried to assure her of our good intentions.
(From a Shar Pei website: Aggression toward strangers - Many Shar Peis have protective instincts toward strangers. They need extensive exposure to friendly people so they learn to recognize the normal behaviors of "good guys." Then they can recognize the difference when someone acts abnormally. Without careful socialization, they may be suspicious of everyone, which can lead to biting.)

Nothing helped till we brought some chicken meat and started feeding her bits. Bit by bit, nearer and nearer. And finally after a few minutes, she relaxed enough to eat from my hand. Surprisingly, she was a gentle eater. Unlike some dogs who may unintentionally chomp down on your fingers as you hold out food for them. Not her. She comes close tentatively. Gently. And I would feel her rough drooping muzzle folds rubbing against my hands before she lightly takes the meat from me. (Shar-Pei translated in mandarin means 'sand skin', thus the roughness)

Then, finally ... after some minutes ... a gentle wag of her curled-up tail! And she allowed us to stroke and pat her head and back. Once that fear barrier was broken, you can see that Porky's true nature is good. Friendly. Her seeming aggression is socially learnt from lack of human contact for 4 years.

So off we go, leading her out. Once out, she had her nose perpetually glued to the ground. Sniffing at all the new things beyond her little lane of a world -- every nook, every corner, grass, flowers, boxes, pails of water. We gave her some time to enjoy the new smells before carrying her into the car. First car-ride after 4 years.

She was good in the car, sitting up and absorbing every scene, snorting now and then from a runny nose. And we know her innate nature is sweet when after a while, she turned towards me and initiated doggy kisses.

Diagnosis at the vet: dry flaky skin, slight fever, flu, ears full of wax but not badly infected. Heartworm negative. Good weight. She hated the ear-clean and showed it clearly by pulling us away from the clinic once we got out. I experienced the strong-will of a Shar Pei then. When we alighted back at the farm, she walked around a bit and then u-turned and tried to jump back up the driver's seat....she would have liked to go with us, I guessed.

The farm owner has been advised to improve the living area for now, while we find a good home for her. We're assured she is let off leash every evening for her run around the half-side of the farm. Medication given. We will monitor her situation.

* Given the unique Shar Pei character:
The Shar Pei is often suspicious of strangers, which pertains to their origin as a guard dog. In general the breed has proved itself to be a loving, devoted family dog. The Shar Pei are also very independent and reserved breeds. Nevertheless, the Shar Pei is extremely devoted, loyal and affectionate to its family, and is amenable to accepting strangers given time and proper introduction at a young age. If poorly socialized or trained, it can become especially territorial and aggressive. Even friendly and well-socialized individuals will retain the breed's watch dog proclivities (such as barking at strangers). It is a largely silent breed, barking only when playing or when worried. The Shar Pei was originally bred as palace guards in China. While this breed is adorable it is also very protective of its home and family, a powerful dog that is willing to guard its family members. The breed is amenable to training, but can get bored from repetition. Overall, the Shar Pei is a dog that is loyal and loving to its family while being very protective & independent. (Wiki)"

We would prefer a family who is familiar with the breed. Someone confident and firm with a breed who can be strong-willed and stubborn at times.

Having spent a day in close contact with Porky, we have witnessed her strong-will and also her sweet nature. Her take to us and her doggy kisses assured us that all she needs is someone who will be patient with her from the start. No rushing her. Giving her time to be relaxed and be secure in your presence. In her own time. Forgive her stubbornness in her walks as she is making up for all the lost years of nature sniffings.

Email us at if you are or you know someone who is right for Porky. We do appreciate your contribution towards her medical fees and her upcoming sterilisation fee too. Thank you.
(Will share more photos of today's outing with Porky soon. Do email us a better name for her, if you've one in mind!)

December 11, 2008

We have plans to rehome a Shar Pei

as her current living conditions are not desirable.

She's estimated to be about 4 years old. Not totally sure about her temperament yet as our time with her has been limited. She's yet another pedigree taken in when she was probably an adorable pup. And later on, whether it was planned from the start or just a scenario that developed from lack of time, sustained care and interest -- she is now nothing more than a chained up animal.

She looks quite well and of an acceptable weight. We guess she spend her entire day chained up to the long noose. Her 'home' is a makeshift zinc shelter that doesn't seem to be able to keep her dry in heavy rain, nor cool in scorching noonday sun. Her company is none but passing vehicles and flying birds. And the man who comes maybe once or twice a day to give her food that keeps her body alive. Her soul? Long dead, we believe.

We were told she is released every evening for free runs along an area. How true is that, we cannot ascertain.

It is frustrating that current regulations do not penalise against dogs in chains. So long as certain criteria are met - like food, water, shelter.

What kind of life is it - if you live every minute of it in chains?

Where your little world ceases at that tug around your neck. And a fight to break free just results in a painful restrain about your throat. You circle round and round and round, with nowhere left to go ... you sink down on all fours and breathe a deep sigh of surrender.

It's sad. Very sad. Life in chains is no life at all.

So, help us keep an eye open for a potential family as we move ahead to rehome her. We'll share more after we see her again this weekend.

Balance is now back

at his temporary caregiver's home after a week of dedicated treatment at the vet. The bandage is off, his wound has closed and is drying up well. Amputation is definitely out of the picture now. Will update more on him later.

He's a young (about 9 months), healthy, very affectionate boy.

It'll be his most wonderful Christmas gift to go to his very own home. Help us ask around for a good family for Balance. Email us at Thank you!

December 9, 2008

A learned man emailed me

"The economic and financial crises have hit everyone everywhere- reminding us how integrated we are with the citadels of capitalism and that we are inescapable inhabitants of the global village."

In simpler layman's terms with respect to animal welfare, we are seeing an increase in the number of owners giving up their pets -- what I gleaned from adoption channels, online portals and forwarded emails.
- Expats relocating to home countries
- The down-and-outs who can't afford to keep their pets anymore
- Families downgrading to smaller units
- Employees who have been laid off and would rather spend time getting their lives in order

Pets that come as the easier targets to be given up in such times. If there is, ever, a chain of priorities (in ascending order) residing in the remotest corner of one's imagination, it could be: dog-car-condo-kids

Maybe I'm just imagining things, but the sheer volume of dogs being put up for adoption, with these appeals accompanied by some form of deadline, is a gross reality to many.

December 8, 2008

It was Jordan's turn

to have a romp around the pool area. Being a bright, sunny noonday, he took to the pool almost immediately, after some prompting from us. Ben had his time out at the pool area too, just a short while to get him accustomed to the ther dogs who have already staked out their patches of territory.

Chilling out

Checking out new pals

All thanks to you, supporters of the animals, we have secured Guardians (sponsors for their monthly boarding fees) for Ben, Tiger, Tommy, Jordan, Jamie and Star. Such great news to shared! For now, we still have Jonah awaiting his Guardian - someone to give him that assurance of protection and provide for his stay while he and the rest await their very own permanent home.


We also seek Guardians for Junior and Ginne. They still hold faith and loyalty for us humans, though heartlessly abandoned by their previous owners.

Email us at for Jonah, Junior and Ginne. Thank you.

Junior - blissful


* As the weather turns cooler towards year end, we, warmed by your big hearts and genuine love for the needy animals - wish you a blessed Christmas ahead. May your days be filled with love, peace and joy -- the greatest gifts of all, which you yourself have given to the animals your heart has touched.

On behalf of all the animals we've been privileged to know - "THANK YOU so much for being with us this year. It will never be the same without you, as a part of our life."