Monday, May 30, 2016

MY PET STORY-RAICHU'S STORY(PART 3-BRINGING HOME RAICHU) How it went sooooooooooo wrong!

If you hadn't read part one and two, click here:-Part 1(The Wish)Part 2(The Rescue)

        Thinking back, boy was I crazy to take on a case like this without a scrap of foster experience. By right, first time foster carers should start with puppies or elderly dogs from shelters and that was exactly what I was picturing/wishing in my head to begin with. However, I always had that excuse, maybe when I have a steady income or when I have less than 3 dogs then I'll start foster caring.

        We all know what happens next right. The opportunity/situation presented itself, and so I acted upon it thinking this is it. 

        When we reached home, our welcoming committee was the opposite of warm. My dogs(I only had 3 at the time) were barking crazy, and my mother was very unhappy with what I've just done. She was shouting angrily, complaining about how stupid and crazy I was to my dad because 3 dogs was the maximum limit at the time. 

         I felt horrible and I can't imagine what my friends must have felt; but worst of all, how the dogs felt. John was inside the house while Sonnig and Keiko was tethered up before I drove into the compound. 

          Being stupid at the time, I allowed Raichu to have a feel of the environment for awhile once he was out of the car. He walked around nervously and marked at a few places before I placed him inside the outdoor cage/kennel. One stupid mistake after another, I unleashed the tethered hounds. They rushed to the cage and it was bad. There were growls, snarls, barks, raised hackles and a lot of aggression between the boys.

         I had to pull my dogs away and got them tethered up again. As if that wasn't bad enough, my mum kept on threatening and ordering my friends and I to dump the newcomer at a market or temple. I don't really want to write bad things about my mother or mothers out there, but the reality is... this is how the majority thinks and when you are not part of the herd, you will be criticized. As harsh or mean it may sound, but everything happens for a reason and God presented me with this as to strengthen me for harder battles to come. 

         I felt like giving up, breaking down and just killing myself. It was really bad. I'm sorry my friends if I made you guys feel guilty and bad, but it was my decision and my action, so I am the only one to blame. I knew what I was getting myself into. Whats done is done and I'm a wiser more experienced person today thanks to this experience. 

        Moving on, once my dogs were tied up again, I asked my friends to take Raichu out for a walk around the neighborhood while I prepared Sonnig for the walk as well. The plan is to introduce the dogs on neutral ground. I didn't try this method to begin with even though it's the most recommended thing to do while introducing two adult dogs cause I never had any serious problems before when introducing new dogs to the pack. 

         Reflecting back, I've only introduced puppies into the pack, so yeah. Adults are different-lesson learnt! 

         I tried to remember Cesar Millan's words of wisdom:-stay calm, assertive and relax. Sonnig was having non of that. He was excited, focus and kept on pulling on the leash. Once I got him to calm down a little and focus on me, I tried to let the two dogs meet, but he would start getting too excited and I would need to refocus him again. 

         The process went on and on till I felt Sonnig was at the right state. They started out fine, sniffing each other and all, but I was starting to second guess myself. Is this right? Will they fight? Mum is going to kill me. Oh, how I wish Cesar could tell me what to do. 

It felt like forever and I just wanted it to end. Being impatient, I committed the worst mistake in dog introduction history. I tugged on the leash and that action itself sent Sonnig into fight mode. Thank god it wasn't serious, but I had to come up with a different plan now.

      Turmoil, guilt and a whole lot of depressive thoughts came to overwhelm me. I was tearing up and fighting to put up a brave face for my friends, but I was really loosing it. 

       In the end, I decided I've had it. I set a new plan in motion and did what I felt was best. When Sonnig was tied up again, my friends helped me give Raichu a good bath. Once that was done, we called it a day. 

One of my friend had her boyfriend come pick her up from my place, as for my other accomplice, I had to drive her home. Instead of returning Raichu to the outdoor cage/kennel, I tethered him to my bed and left him in my room instead. As I drove my friend home, I was praying so hard for my parents not to take the dog away and dump it somewhere. Thankfully, that didn't happen and so, Raichu slept in my room that night.

To be continued...
For part 4, Click here:Fostering Raichu

P.S: Sorry for the long essay and lack of pictures. I didn't take any pictures that day, but I will try to reenact some when my friends are around to help out. I know by posting this story, some may want to criticize my actions and accuse me of animal abuse. I'm taking the risk anyway because I don't want people to make the mistakes I've made. Actually gives me a new subject to research, compile and write about, 'Proper ways to introduce a new dog into your pack'. Live and learn.  

Happy days!
Steph 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

STREET DOG AID-RIVERSIDE STRAY FEEDING

         Some days, I really wish I could just quit my job and focus entirely on helping the strays. The population is exploding, parvo virus is spreading and no one is doing anything about it. It's when things go out of hand, authorities step in and might start shooting down strays again. When I say shooting, I really mean guns and violence. It's brutal, but it happens here in Malaysia.

         If I am to realize my dream, I might as well try again. Few days ago, I got a message from a small time animal welfare activist about a mother dog and her puppies running dangerously by a highway. Even though she was a Muslim, she had rescued puppies before and would go feed the strays too. The puppy I'm currently fostering was also actually rescued by her. 

         She asked if I could help or knew anyone who could help relocate the dogs or just keep them fed. I told her I would do what I can. The plan I came up was to search for the dogs, feed them, get a few pictures and share it on social media to see if anyone could help further. The next day, I contacted a couple of my friends and was so relieved and happy that they agreed to come with me on the mission to help the strays.

       Searching for the dogs proved to be very difficult indeed, and the hot weather wasn't helping much either. After almost an hour of searching-mostly at all the wrong places and a phone call later, we finally found some stray dogs along with some puppies near the area we were suppose to be at. I'm still not sure if they were the ones we were looking for, but there wasn't any other dogs in that area.

Apprehension from the pups upon our arrival. Scho cute!
          Turns out, there was a homeless Indian uncle living with them and he along with a guy who occasionally shows up there were feeding this group of strays. It's so sad for both the homeless uncle and the dogs. If I knew about it, I would have brought some things for the uncle too. 

What got me worried most was the dog with the bloody ears. So sad.
The uncle said this one likes to fight and that's why he looks the worst.
            I should have asked more questions, but at the same time I just wanted to feed the dogs, take some pictures and get out of there. The safety of my crew came first and we were all girls in a secluded area with a stranger we may or may not trust. 

Finally warming up to our presence. After being fed, they were so friendly.
          All of the dogs there were male except for one black puppy which was a female. It worries me a lot since two of the dogs there were already fighting among themselves. Spaying and neutering them was always on my mind other than treating the skin problems, getting them vaccinated and finding them good homes. I have to accept the fact that this is all I am capable of doing right now and it's still better than nothing at all.

Shy eater.
Not so shy anymore.
The one with the light brown eyes was the most insecure compared to the others.
           It was difficult to leave them in the end, but there was nothing else we could do for them. I've just sent out the message not long ago to a few communities about their plight on social media and I pray they get the help they very much deserve. I and the girls might go back there in a months time to feed them again, but hopefully we don't have to. One thing for sure is, I'm never going back there without a man in our crew. Safer that way.

Din din.
         Never wanting to end an experience on a sad note, I treated the girls to some delicious dinner. Couldn't have done it without them. :)

Happy days!
Steph

Thursday, May 19, 2016

MY PET STORY-RAICHU'S STORY(PART 2-THE RESCUE)

If you hadn't read part one, click here for part 1:-The Wish

        On August 28, 2014, I somehow managed to convince two of my best friends to help me with the mission of rescuing Raichu off the streets(they were willing and loved the idea actually, but I still feel bad for troubling them). We drove to our friend's(Raichu's angel) house in the evening and caught up with her a little bit when we arrived. 

         She was actually still studying at the time and only came back home due to health issues or study break. I can't really remember cause that conversation happened like 2 years ago. She told us about the first time she noticed the dog and how good his behavior was till she felt she had to do something to help him. In one of her messages, her exact words were:-
"I can't stand watching him super friendly and nice, but now he looks depressed because no one would hold him. That's why I need to find someone who is willing to take care of him"     
         Her father was in on it too and I wonder if she was her Father's accomplice or vice versa. So cute! They have been providing the dog with food, water and shelter from the moment it mysteriously appeared.

These are pictures she sent me 2 days before I went to get Raichu. Friendly depressed looking orange dog deprived of hugs and pets.
He has been out there all alone for quite some time now for his fur is quite dirty. Still a beautiful dog though...
       Right off the bat, we hit our first problem. The scene was right but the main character was missing. Before I left the house, I texted Raichu's angel  to tell her I'm coming to get the dog and she confirmed with me that the dog was on site. Now that I'm here, the dog is nowhere to be seen and she told us that the dog was there like 5 minutes ago. 

       We started to search for it. Her dad got on his motorcycle and we got into my car and drove around the neighborhood. After making a few rounds around the neighborhood, I think it was a good 6-10 minutes before we finally gave up the search and decided to try to wait for it to come out again at the main site. Honestly I was worried of loosing daylight before the dog decided to show itself again. Raichu's angel then suggested we wait in her house and she happily welcomed us in. 

       The girls went in before I and as I trailed behind them, I took a step past the main gate. One step was all it took for me to see something out of the corner of my eye. That ORANGE tail! You know what the joke is? This sneaky little cheeky dog was resting in the neighbor's house all along. 

       It looked like the dog in the picture, so I asked my friend if that was the dog cause I don't know if her neighbor had one or not. She was laughing and confirmed the dog was the one we were looking for. He just wanted to be home with a family, and any open gate was his chance at it. Oh poor baby...

        I squat down and made some 'tsk tsk tsk' sound to get it's attention. He responded immediately and approached a little unsure. I evaluated his condition and learnt a few surprising things about our little friend here.

      First thing I noticed is that he had a collar impression around his neck. I'm guessing he used to belong to someone else, but judging from the absence of a collar, it could only mean one thing. Whoever owned him, dumped him and not too long ago too. When I told Raichu's angel about this, she didn't think much at first but that info registered with her because that night, she sent me a message saying she found out that one of her neighbor had moved out and instead of bringing the dog with them, they just turn him loose instead. 

      They were considerate enough to not leave him in the property all by himself to starve to death, but obviously didn't love the dog enough to bring it along. This dog was obviously loved and well taken cared of, but in the end of the day... I got nothing to say. I don't know the full story and there are no shelters or organizations here that could help, so most people would just opt for the easiest way out. 

       Dog found and evaluated, we got prepared and loaded the dog in the car. He was very scared and kept burying himself under the driver as well as the passenger seat. Good thing I have my friends with me to keep him secure. Raichu's angel's dad was even so kind and generous to donate a bag of dog food to help us out. I'm forever grateful for their compassion and love for animals. 

       Now that the easy part was done, I knew I was heading for a storm the moment I got home. 

To be continued...

Happy Days!
Steph       

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

MY STORY-HOW I STARTED THIS BLOG AND HOW IT IS GOING TO BE (Prequel to all the stories???)

          It's close to 3a.m. in the morning and it's pouring outside. Normally this is the most wonderful weather for sleeping, but I'm wide awake. I don't know what to blame. All I know is, I have too much brain activity and it hurts to close my eyes-like physical pain on my eyelids.

'Tree leaf water drops in the lake after rain'. Taiping my beautiful rain town. This picture is credited to Ashwinie Nageshwaran. Thanks for the pic!
          My last post was on December last year and a lot has happened since then. First, my work picked up and most of my free time went into household chores, pet care, music practice and a lot of gaming due to the stress that came with work plus responsibilities. It seems that I only get the mood to blog when I have a life changing pet story to share. This usually means... more pets have entered my life.

          The story I'm about to tell is a story so unbelievable you'll think I'm just making things up as I go. I myself find it hard to believe to be honest. I don't know if it's fate, or God's will, or the Butterfly effect or just the Universal Law of Attraction or an epiphany. Call it whatever you like, but the story I'm about to share with you had already begun. That moment you read about Sonnig's adoption was the beginning of the chain of events that lead me to where I'm going today. 

He is my gangster dog as always. Haha!
Right now, the story is at a pause with Raichu... but let me backtrack a little. All the way back to Sonnig's adoption.