Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Highs and Lows


The Rat Packs is back together again, minus Blackie. MamaBrown was the last addition and although initially very thin and afraid, she has responded well to the kennel and is eating her meals. She looks much better than when she first came and has been vaccinated and rejoined the boys and Cara in their stalls.

Cara was initially upset with a newcomer as she being the only Top Girl with Patches and Junior, she did not appreciate another female. She has since accepted MamaBrown in HER pack. We are beginning to see that Cara was not just devoted to her puppies, she is very defensive of the dogs she has become attached with and those she love. In the short time she has been with Patches and Junior, she has come to treat them as her own and would growl at the other dogs who bark or snarl at her precious boys. What a wonderful mummy dog she is. She makes up for the Packs' inadequacies as MamaBrown is much too sweet for that, Patches, much too goofy and Junior, well Junior is just a growing pup still looking for his roots and finding his way.

MamaBrown was delighted to see her friends again. She wagged her tail and looked like a million dollars. Patches yelped in excitement and barked when he saw her, his old friend - he was very very pleased to see her. Junior, released from his miserable quarantine was glad just to be out of that boring place. He was very stressed while in quarantine and we were actually afraid he would get sick again because of his depression. Now Junior will have 2 mummies to love and pamper him. One gentle mummy who will give him loves and licks and the other, strong and brave to defend him and teach him to be fearless.

So, in a way, our Rat Pack is reunited, in a different location but together. This was what we had always dreamed of when we first got to know them, when we started the Feeding Programme. We know them individually, one by one. That is why we have been working so hard with ALL, making plans with the Kennel, to secure a safe place for the pack. Our dream was that before the companies we are working for in Seletar, would start leaving the area as the government's redevelopment plans take place, we would take them one by one into a safe place. We wish we can take all the strays in this area but that is an impossible task. These four are special, we had met them in different circumstances and although they have never lived in a home with us, yet it seems as if we have known them for a long time. We know each one of them, their weakness, their strengths, their likes, dislikes and even their idiosyncrasies. We accept them for what they are, just as they have always accepted us.

We see Patches beyond his size, his goofiness and his coloring. If only we can tell the world that Patches is a sweet boy. He, more than the rest of the pack love to belong, demands attention because of the lack in his life. Once he had a family, then he had lost and he probably cannot understand why and still searching. Can you blame him for always looking for that lost love? Patch, he loves to romp, play rough, jump on you not because he is badly mannered but because he loves you. That is the way he expresses himself. Patches is 'loud', that is his personality. He means no malice. It is out of pure exuberance and excitement. In a classroom of kids, if Patches was a little boy, he would be the one who would talked the loudest, play pranks in class yet the first to volunteer in boy scout duties or carry the teacher's books. He probably would be the one sent to the Principal's office the most. Haven't you met kids like that before and were amused by them? Yet others see him in a different light, that he is too big, too noisy and just too much to handle. Must Patches accommodate to the world's specification of how a dog should look or behave? God made him different just as he made each of us different. If there were no Patches in this world, life would not be as colourful as the 'jokers' of this world would cease to exist. Yes, Patches does need to be accepted for himself, by his own standards and by someone special who would see the beauty in him. Our Patches - the most misunderstood dog. Who will love him and take him home one day? Who can see him through our eyes of love.

And then there is Cara, a loyal, devoted strong dog. Defensive of her tribe. What a great addition she would be to a family. We imagine Cara standing guard over the helpless children in times of trouble, just as she stood over her pups, or now for her pack. What a beautiful protective alpha dog she is. She is an example that leadership does not belong to the males, rather it is the qualities that make a leader. Cheers for Cara and her lessons on women's rights. Now we understand how afraid the workers who were mean to her felt. We had never been the brunt of her dislike or distrust as she probably understood we were there to help and feed her puppies but had she not realised that, we doubt that we would be able to save Zen, Silver or Raven. In the end, it all boiled down to Cara's decision, that she chose to allow us to pick up her puppies and follow us to a safe place. It was not our choice but hers. And thank God she made the right one, for herself and her puppies. Now, who says that dogs cannot think?

Then we have MamaBrown, well what is there to say about her that we have not said before. If there was an everyone's sweetheart, it would be her. She listens, she obeys, she doesn't bark, she doesn't quarrel. She doesn't try to escape and if the door of the kennel is open and all the dogs run out, she would still be sitting there, waiting, because we haven't called her yet. She is the ever peacemaker and the perpetual teacher's pet. A gentle soul that needs no reprimands, no cross word. Why anyone would give up such a sweet, loving and obedient dog like that, we can never understand.

And of course, there is young Junior, the small boy who thinks he is an adult. Sigh. Born in the wild, Junior never had a chance at a family. He does not know what a soft bed means and even a towel to sleep on is foreign to him. When he was not well recently, Cathy from the shelter very kindly gave him a basket with a towel to lie on, Junior had to be pushed on to the towel as he had no idea what ‘soft’ meant. In fact, he was a little sheepish and intimidated by the attention given to him. It was sad to see that something that most of our dogs take for granted, is so special for him. He has had to learn through hard knocks in order to survive. It was Junior's fortune to hook up with Blackie, who in turn ran into Patches. And the three found a safe place to hide while we fed them regularly. If Junior had not done that, we do not think he would have survived as he literally does not have any inkling of dangers, good or bad. He is just an overgrown pup looking for fun and adventure.

Junior, when he was not well, in his "soft bed a first time experience, Dry towel on basket - ordinary items but such luxury for our deprived little boy

And so, our three from the RatPack and one from the Farmway are now the RatPack-revisited. Not a wild pack but a domesticated one where food and shelter is available and no beatings or harsh words. We are glad that they are together and they are safe. We will try our best to find good homes for them. That is our ulimate desire and goal. We have already come far in our dream by rescuing them and giving them a safe place at ALL. Now we will strive to achieve the last order. We believe it is possible. We can't give up. We just got to keep trying. As long as they are healthy and we are around, we will keep trying.

Help us realise the dream for them. Isn't there someone out there looking for trustworthy and loving companians in their life? We can guarantee that these will be good and committed ones. We can vouch for their loyalty and love.

Again, Desperately Seeking Blackie....
who remains isolated, at large and still running, this time with her puppies as last we saw her, she was no longer pregnant so have given birth. We still cannot find her nest nor do we know where and what time she comes for her food. All we can do is go faithfully to the area we know she usually hangs around, morning, afternoon, evenings and nights and hope to see her waiting for us. Some of you may think, wow, that is a lot of effort for a dog. Yes we agree, it is but Blackie is precious to us. It is worth the wait, just to see her walk slowly towards us and enjoy the sight of her eating, which is not often. There are a few of us who take turns, weekdays and weekends to feed Blackie as she, to us, is the most pathetic and saddest of all the dogs, Rat Pack included. She deserves the highest sympathy and understanding.

She was the original Seletar Stray from Day One, when she hung out with her sister - born in a drain and left behind as their mother was caught and put down. The two little black pups, sisters all alone, looking out for each other and always looking for food, rummaging through rubbish heaps and overturning dustbins. We remember the days when Blackie and her sister would visit one of the feeder at her work place and wait patiently for their food, at the same time every day. They were intelligent and seemed to understand the timing well. The sister became familiar and would come near and allowed to be touched but Blackie never really caught on that 'touching' scene and was always standing isolated, looking from the background far away, much like now. It was a sad day when we saw only Blackie alone, waiting in the distance for us to feed her. Her friendly little sister was caught too and her life was ended just like their mother. Can anyone blame Blackie for being so afraid of people? She has seen horrors only we can imagine. One by one of her loved ones have been caught as they trusted and became friendly. In Blackie's mind, being friends is not a good thing as having friends meant death. And so it has been hard for her to make friends even among the dogs.

It was an unlikely friendship when we found her with Milo. Milo is a strong alpha male, a loner who does not follow but lead. He does not take kindly to new members in his Pack, nor would he allow stragglers, however he not only stayed with Blackie but loved and protected her. We remember how Milo would chase away the crows who would eat her food because she was also afraid of them. How he would stand by her while she ate. Unfortunately that friendship was not meant to be as Milo very nearly perished with the wire noose incident, in part because he was friendly as well and trusted people. We were just fortunate to have been there at the time he needed us most, to rescue and relocate him for his safety. (see blog entry

: ). We tried hard to find Blackie after that, thinking we should relocate best friends together but she was nowhere to be found.

That time, we drove around the whole area every morning, noon and evening, calling her for a few weeks and when we thought we had lost her for good, to our relief, we sighted her later, running with several other homeless dogs in short spurts. The other dogs disappeared one by one. The longest and safest time for her was with Patches, Junior and MamaBrown in that fenced facility but even that is no more. The place has since been sealed and unable for even other dogs to access. The other three of the Pack have now been relocated to the kennel. When we drive by the facility, it is remniscent of the days when we would see them run to us in response to our calls for them to have their meal. It is an emotion of mixed feelings.

In the end, Blackie is alone, just as she was before, every dog that she has loved is gone - or not quite as she now has her pups to nurse. But we are worried for her pups and what will happen to them. They are still very young but eventually they will be old enough to run around and will be discovered. This whole area have been slated for re-development and already many places that we once could access have been sealed. Even the feeders working around here might have to move as their companies relocate starting from the latter half of 2009.

Again, we start off with Mission Number One, where is Blackie and how do we catch her. Will she survive even if we can put her in a kennel? With her history of how badly humans have treated every friend she knows, Blackie has a tenancy to starve because she doesn't trust. Who can blame her - Trust can be a dirty word. What will we do even if we find her pups? Where will we put them? We currently do not have a place for them and even if we do, will we be able to find people to adopt them. Already we have so many on our plate.

Our beautiful HoneyBunch puppies are still looking for homes and every day it gets harder as they grow older. They are very sweet with wonderful temperaments but the number of private homes who are able to take them are limited. To our regret, the current licensing ruling restricts ownership of them in public housing, much as we would love for them to go to these loving homes, we are hampered by this restriction. The Kennel which has accommodated us many times is finding it harder to help us again.

Yes we worry. We worry as it rains everyday in December. How are the young puppies surviving in the cold and wet. It gets very damp in the area they are hiding, slick mud and waterholes. Will her pups fall in. Then there are snakes and rats, danger lurking in every corner for young puppies. Do they venture out to play when Blackie goes out to look for food so she will have enough milk to nurse them. We worry constantaly all the time.

When and if we do see her, she usually eats a lot, more than her usual - gulping down 3 to 4 cans and lots of kibbles. We give her whatever she wants as we know she needs to sustain herself so that her puppies can survive. We wish we can pack food for her to bring back to them but canned food and kibble are hard for her to carry so lately we have taken to giving her portable food - buns and sausages and she has caught on very quickly. For stuff that she can carry in her mouth, she would disappear with them and come back for more. We know it is food for her puppies. There was one time when one of our feeders reportedly threw quite a lot of buns for Blackie and she kept picking and picking till there were more buns than she could carry - she dropped more than she picked. It was as if she wanted to carry all in one go as if afraid they would be gone by the time she came back, but with only a mouth, it isn't easy. We wish then that we had hands for her. But she disappeared and kept coming back stuffing her face full with buns for her pups. What a lovely gesture and so tearfully heartbreaking as well. For one we are sad at the situation she is in although we can see her and feed her, on the other we are helpless as we can't do more, and the next we are happy we can feed her. Mixed feelings cloud our minds each time see her. Her survival is a grim reminder that we must do something for her and quickly too as time is running out.

The other evening on a dark day, some of the feeders managed to quietly trail her when she was carrying food back to her nest. Up to a point from the darkness, when Blackie appeared and growled and snarled at them. We must be near her nest. Who can imagine that our sweet, quiet, extremely and very fearful, timid and distanced Blackie growling? Blackie who would not come near us when we have food no matter how hungry, who would wait till we stand at least 5 metres before she would venture near. Blackie who is afraid of the crows who swop down to eat her food. Blackie who at the slightest gesture would run fleet footedly. We did not expect our timid meek lamb to turn into a snarling lion. Again, this is a mother's devotion. Like Cara, Blackie is single mindedly standing guard over her puppies, and no matter what happens, we know she will not leave them. Just as she would rather starve than come near us for food, she would sacrifice her life for the safety of her pups.

Blackie, the nearest we can ever get to her so far.
She eats but not in peace, she gulps her food hurriedly,
Always watchful, looking around,
Food is survival, no time to enjoy.
Eat fast so she can run, to return to her pups

Poor Blackie, Still skin and bones despite eating the food. She sacrifices her nourishment to nurse her pups. Her malnourished body is a testament of her love for her puppies and their welfare.

And we know the danger is very real. If her pups get caught, Blackie might stay to defend them and in turn be endangered. It will be the ultimate sacrifice for we all know how fast Blackie can run, and at the slightest gesture too which explains how she has managed to survive for so long in this area, but we know she won't. She will probably choose to stay with her pups for their sake, just as Cara did, and that is when we think we will lose our precious dog.

For now, Sweet Blackie, it is ok, It is all right. We won't go where you don't want us to. We will just be there faithfully for you, with food, with buns, with sausages and hard boiled eggs and paos - stuff that you can carry so that you together with your pups can survive. We will give you milk so you can be strong and we know how strange you found milk was but you did enjoy the milk, didn't you.

We remember the first time our feeder gave her milk, Blackie was curious. She had never smelt this in her entire life. She stood there sniffing and shuffling the bowl for a long time, hestitant on whether to lick, drink or bite. And when she started drinking it, there was an almost bemused look on her face as she enjoyed the taste of what we call an ordinary bowl of milk but it was not ordinary to her, it was luxurious, divine food almost Ambrosia. Poor sweet deprived Blackie. Yes, we will continue to nourish her as she deserves it, it is her time. Let it be her chance for a good life.

And after that... well we will leave it to God to help us decide what we can and should do next. With no no idea how to catch her and no plans where she should go and when to catch her (as she is nursing, and her pups need her for now), we don’t know what we will do next. All we can do is to go back to our fundamentals and feed them.

Feed them so they can be strong enough to survive. Feed them so they can run when people come to catch them. Feed them so that they can defend themselves. Feed them for another day.... if there is another day.

As the New Year approaches, we do not have resolutions for those made are usually broken. Rather we have hopes and we have dreams. Our hopes and dreams are for good homes for our rescued Pack and rescue for 'lost' Blackie.

May 2009 be a Wonderful year for you and your family. Inspite of the world's economic troubles, remember, you still have your loved loves to treasure and to treasure you. Love the ones that you have.


Shep’s adoption (briefly known as Bobby now known as Lucky)
Remember our little runt, ‘lionheart’ Sheppy boy otherwise popularly known with his sister as the infamous “Temple pups”? He has recently been adopted by a family living in a house with a patio who also have a wire coat Jack Russell, Jimmy. Our Shep, the charismatic sweetheart have always generated interest with his charming good looks and pointy ears. When we first asked other rehomers to blog his adoption, we received comments also from them on his cute looks. He remains as he always was, goofy, licky and active when we visited him at his new place last week. Yes, he still remembers us and yes, he is still the same-o, same-o, licky, slobbering little poster boy – still as kaypo and as greedy. Shep has since been renamed Lucky and here is Ming’s story ………

Baby Shep, when we first met him,
Brave little LionHeart, protecting his sisters,

charming looks, trademark muzzle and pointy ears

On the first day, when Lucky arrived with Lady (his sister) to our house for a viewing, my mother and I who were the only ones home at that time, was initially shocked as to see they are actually big dogs. We currently have a 2 year old male wire coat Jack Russell (adopted as a pup) and had expected to see them around that size especially since they were puppies. But we were both happy as Lucky and Lady were very well behaved and Jimmy our JRT enjoyed playing with Lucky.

After discussing with my family, we decided that we would adopt Lucky as he would be a good new family member and a great companion for Jimmy. Two weeks later, Lucky came to visit us again, with his sister. After leaving Lucky with us, it was sad to see Lady leaving alone but we were unable to take in another dog as we already have two. That night, Lucky was very sad. He kept sitting in front of the gate, whining and crying. I think he missed his sister, his rescuers and fosterers who have looked after him since his rescue from the wild. It took a long time to comfort him and I was worried that he would not be able to stop crying. My father took him into the living room as we were afraid he might try to escape through the gate as he is still quite small. I sent out sms and emails to the fosterers of what was happening and reassured by them that eventually, Lucky will stop crying when we pay more attention to him.

Heart-throb Shep,
Looks to die for with eyes that melt
photo as taken by his fosterer, S, before the adoption

As days went by, Lucky has adapted well to my place and very quickly too. Jimmy, after his initial love with Lucky doesn't like him as much as he used to, in part I think it is most probably Jimmy is jealous of Lucky especially since Lucky is a puppy and a lot of focus and attention has been on him. It gets worse when my Mum calls out to Lucky as Jimmy considers Mum to be his first love. Jimmy will snarl and try to bite Lucky and we have to separate the two. This is more obvious during feeding time so we tie up Lucky as he eats quicker than Jimmy and tries to eat Jimmy's food. The good thing about Lucky is, he is very well tempered he doesn’t retaliate, and he doesn't mind how Jimmy treats him or bullies him and still carries on playing with him. I think when Lucky gets older and not so playful, Jimmy and him will eventually sort out their hierarchy.

Lucky is an active and playful pup now (due to his age, only 5+ months old). Most of his time is either running around, trying to play with Jimmy or is zzzzz and more zzzzz but whenever there is any slight noise outside he will open his eyes n ears pointed and fly out to investigate .... if it is someone he knows he will jump up to the person happily (jumping up, learnt from Jimmy....), if is a stranger he will bark (also learnt from Jimmy). Jimmy has taught Lucky well, the good and the bad..... haha.

Lucky as he appears now,
Mature but still as good looking,
those eyes and those trademark black muzzle and pointy ears

Lucky has grown tall too, and thin as he is a teenager and his activeness burns up all his fats, no matter how much he eats (his share and Jimmy's too). But in time, we are sure he will grow his muscles and become well built as he grows into an adult. My family and I are very happy with our new family member - Lucky...but if he can master the art of toileting, it will be perfect. HAha ...

Lucky goofing around with his brother Jimmy
May they grow to be bosom buddies to the very end

Last piece of advise to all..... Don’t buy pets, adopt instead and after you adopt don't abandon them. You have to experience how sad they will be when you leave them .. Just like when I adopted Lucky he cried the whole night.....they are your best and loyal friends.... (written by Ming, dated December 16, 2008).

Lucky, stray dog no more,
Kennel dog no more
Now part of a family
He will have a wonderful Christmas and New Year

We thank all those involved in the fostering of Lucky before his adoption - W and S for their love to this little dog. For giving him a chance at living with a family and in turn getting him ready for the ultimate rehoming. The fact that you have visited him after his adoption and enquired endlessly about his welfare has show how much devotion you have for him. If Lucky could say thank you, he would. Instead he will reward you with his licks and jumps. We are sure he will not forget the pleasure and joy he had while he was living with you and the wonderful personality and temperament he has now, is attributed by your love and touch.

Thank you Ming and your family for giving Lucky a forever, loving and committed home. He will return your gesture with his love and loyalty, that much we can guarantee.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Two worlds

The Contrast
Next to Pets Villa (run by ALL) there is a Dog run and just before the gate to the Run there are tables and chairs for people to sit, relax and admire or play with the dogs that come and visit the run.

Sunday is the best time to be there. Many beautiful dogs come by. Some are breed, some are cross, some big and some small but all with their families, happy and excited. After the run, many dogs are washed and shampooed as owners diligently towel dry, comb, brush their pets. It is a beautiful sight to behold as we see how devoted the owners are to their pets. Some families make it into a picnic as kids get involved in this bonding activity.

As one watch the dogs enjoying the attention from their indulgent owners, the contrast over on the other side is stark. Just steps away are the rescued strays staying at Pets Villa. Over here, dogs are fighting tooth and nail for attention. They do get visitors and some people are nice to pass treats through the fence for them but the treats are never enough. The fronting has a selection of a few dogs, there are some over at the back who do not come to front because of territorial rights among the dogs, more at the back and even more in the kennel proper.

The dogs squabble with each other not just over treats but the soft words, the pats and the strokes. As hands stretch through fencing to pat them, the dogs bark in excitement nudging each other for that precious touch. Sometimes fights erupt as a small or weaker one lose to his stronger rival. Back at the cattery, it is no better, every cat wants a stroke, every cat wants you to look at them, to coo at them as different ones curl their tails around your leg as you move along. It gets hard to stop and say hello to one as the next just comes by followed by another. One never know when to stop as line is never ending.

For these at the Kennel, they are their luckier ones, many of their compadres have since perished in the wild, though these are homeless, at least they still have shelter and food at the kennel. They are safe. The kennel staff try to give as much attention to each one but there are many of them. This is the only home they now know. Some of them were abandoned a long time ago and ALL has rescued them and have brought them to safety. Some have been abandoned while at the Shelter as the people who have taken them here no longer pay for their boarding nor do they visit. But all have the same desire, to go home to a family where they do not need to fight for attention, where they can belong to a family.

How is it some people would go through thick and thin for their beloved pets while others would dump them at the slightest change in their plans.

Over at Seletar where we feed, there are still many dogs to feed. We are not as familiar with them as our old Rat Pack but there is always a different pack as the new dogs replace the old ones. Many of these dogs were left behind when their families relocated and some were driven here and left to die. We have seen Retrievers and Spaniels, looking confused and puzzled. Recently we received an email about a nine year old Springer Spaniel being put up for adoption as the family is moving and not intending to take their pet with them. There was a timeline given and they would put it down if not rehomed before they left. How do you explain that to a dog, that his family have moved on and so he had to move out.

Don't we teach our kids that we need to treasure family. That's the whole point, we suppose. Whether you regard your dog as family. For those who do, it would be unthinkable for us to leave a member behind when we relocate or migrate. Or dump it when it got sick. Can anyone imagining putting our kids in a hospital or orphanage just because they had an illness, never visit or take them home again. But that is how it appears to those of us who have been doing rescuing and rehoming. We have seen dogs thrown out because - they grew older? Talked a bit too much. Ate a bit more than they should. Didn't look so cute anymore. Didn't match the newly renovated house. Given up over trivial matters that one does not know whether to laugh humorlessly or cry miserably. Families don't quit. If that is the only thing we have learnt, we know that we can count on our family to be by us and support us. And one beloved member of our family is our dog.

We know our dog will be there when we are happy or miserable and down. That we would be loved whether we deserved it or not. That the licks and hugs we get would not be measured by the amount of kibble given. We know when we walk into our home, she would be waiting as she always does, with a big smile, a big wag and wuffs of joy and definitely prancing around in excitement. It will not matter to her that we had just left to go out for a short while or a long time. The fact is we are back and she is happy to see us and announcing to the whole world that we are home. And we are proud to be hers just as she is to be ours.
Because we are family.

From the Kennels
As Christmas approaches, we appeal for sponsorship for those who are staying at the kennels. Our own rescued strays have boarding and medical bills that we are finding hard to cover.

Here is a message from the dogs in the kennel:
Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town,
every shelter is full - we are lost, but not found,

Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,
we hope every minute that someone will care,

They'll come to adopt us and give us the call,
"Come here, Patches, come here Junior - come fetch your new ball!!

But now we sit here and think of the days..
we were treated so fondly - we had cute, baby ways,

Once we were little, then we grew and we grew
now we're no longer young and we're no longer new.

So out the back door we were thrown like the trash,
they reacted so quickly - why were they so rash?

We "jump on the children:, "don't come when they call",
we "bark when they leave us", climb over the wall.

We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed,
now we suffer the consequence of the errors THEY made.

If only they'd trained us, if only we knew...
we'd have done what they asked us and worshiped them, too.

We were left in the backyard, or worse -let to roam-
now we're tired and lonely and out of a home.

They dropped us off here and they kissed us good-bye...
"Maybe someone else will give you a try.

"So now here we are, all confused and alone...
in a shelter with others who long for a home.

The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat,
with so many to care for, they can't stay to chat,

They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer...
we know that they wonder how long we'll be here.

We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads..
of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.

Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears –
our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear

If you can't adopt us and there's no room at the Inn –
could you help with the bills and fill our food bin?

We count on your kindness each day of the year –
can you give more than hope to everyone here?

Please make a donation to pay for the heat...
and help get us something special to eat.

The shelter that cares for us wants us to live,
and more of us will, if more people will give.

Better yet, make one of the Kennel dogs, your family so that there can be a special package for them under the Christmas tree with their names on it. While you are enjoying Christmas and a special dinner and opening Christmas presents, there will be none for them. No stockings with treats nor that special turkey dinner.

For those who are thinking of getting a pet, do consider carefully if you are ready. A dog (or any pet) is not a commodity nor is it a toy. It has life, it has feelings. Please discuss thoroughly with your family members before you embark on an additional member in your family. While we wish for our dogs to go to homes, we want them to go to committed loving homes and live there till their end. They will be around for the next ten to fifteen years and you must be committed to their care as they become your responsibility. If after much thought and you are ready, please consider adopting as there are many dogs out there looking for homes.

Our beautiful HoneyBunch puppies are looking for homes. They are now 4 months old, adorable with wonderful temperament. Still young enough for you to train them to fit your lifestyle and watch them mature into adult dogs. This is the best time of their lives and yours too, as you enjoy their youth and romps and be with them into their growing years. Don’t let them grow up in a shelter as puppies need lots of cuddles and hugs.

Friendly Buddy, Male

Playful Oreo, male

Loving Latte, female

Give a chance to our mature dogs too. They may be older than puppies but no less sweet nor lovable. Mature dogs can learn as quickly too, to adapt to changes. These are smart dogs and have great personality. They are good with people and children. They have been abandoned before by their families who have moved on without them. Yet they have survived ... for a reason. Can you give them that reason? They are looking for a chance at a new family who can give them the love they are missing so much and they will repay you with their loyalty. It is not their fault they grew a little bigger and a little older than they should – they couldn’t help it. Time and tide waits for no man nor dog.

Handsome Milo
2 plus years, Male

Awesome Patches
5 plus years, Male

Playful Junior
Less than a year, Male

Sweet MamaBrown
1 plus year, Female

Devoted Cara
1 plus year, Female

Our mature dogs also need sponsorship for boarding and medical as they will be harder to rehome than puppies. If there is anyone out there who may not be able to give them a home but is able to contribute some amount, please remember them. No amount is too little, every donation count. Your contribution will go a long way into their welfare. Help us to help them. Email us at or or call 98383820.

Remember the dogs in the kennel this time of the year…-
a season of giving and sharing.

And a Blessed Christmas to One and All.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Promise Fulfilled

Beautiful BROWN EYES
She appeared out of nowhere, this brown beautiful dog. It was as if she was their muse, for our 3 Seletar strays. One day there were three dogs and the next there were four. As some of you may know, our original feeding started with Milo and Blackie. After Milo's rescue, Blackie hooked up with Junior and subsequently Patches, our Hound look-alike who took upon himself to be the next leader of the pack. For a while, these 3 ran together, ate together (or not quite as Blackie is always far away, distanced but not isolated) from one location to another on the run from lurking danger. Then one day, to our relief, they found and stayed in a fenced up building which they call temporary sanctuary and it was there that she appeared.

First sight
When we first saw her, waving her lovely tail, she looked straight into our eyes with a huge smile and trusting face, the words from a song "Beautiful, beautiful brown eyes, I'll never love blue eyes again..." came into my mind. Such a lovely looking dog, so sweet and friendly with big, hazel, almond shaped, long lashed eyes, looking at us, in wonderment that she would get food from us and not harsh words, no beatings, no chasing away. Where she came from we didn't know. Was she a stray all along, we doubt as we have been by this whole area and have never seen her before. Did she belong to a family, we don't know too but she fitted in with this new pack so easily it was as if she always belonged. Most pack would not allow a newcomer in quite that fast but in this case, she fitted in like a glove from Day One.

We call her MamaBrown. What a strange name, some people said. Yes, we agree, it is, but to us, she looked like she was once a mama, a dependable mother dog and she is brown. And she became that - she became what we call the big sister, the Rat Pack's mama not in age as she is pretty young, estimated to be less than two and not in size but in the dignified way she carried herself, her quiet and elegant demeanor, her caring behaviour. She is that sort of dog you could count on, to give love to a newcomer, a mentor, she was a trusted companian to confused extremely fearful Blackie, a middle bridge between boisterous Patches and playful Junior. She behaved like a mama to young Junior who always needed licks and nudges, faithful follower to leader Patches and loyally stayed by Blackie's side when the latter was later found heavy in pregnancy.

Our good girl
Just as in a family or in a classroom of kids, there is always that one you can depend on – to "follow instructions", carry the teacher's books, clean the blackboard, be home on time, a classroom monitor, an obedient child, MamaBrown was that to us. Everytime we went to the fenced facility, she would be there waiting never coming out till we call her whereupon she would obediently head towards us. Sometimes the other 3 would disappear to roam the streets, play truant or hunt, MamaBrown would not leave with them, she would be there waiting for their return and our appearance.

During the three dogs' long disappearance, as reported in our blog
entry of October 31 (, she was there alone, scared but waiting and hopeful, came to us when we called but reluctant to come out from the facility, with her huge eyes pleading with us to look for her friends. And only when the 3 finally came back after many days, did she emerge with them to eat.

MamaBrown smiling at feeders.
Her trademark, Her sweet smile,
Her beautiful eyes wide and lighted up in joy
She is always appreciative, affectionate and obedient
This photo taken in October 22

Our usual routine after every feeding, would be to round them up and make them return behind the fenced facility where it is safer. Junior always pranced around in a game of 'catch me if you can', Blackie was always the odd one out, sitting far away, isolated and distanced, Patches would never move, whether you had a stick in or hand or not, he would disobey and instead try get into the car, but MamaBrown, the most obedient of the lot would always head back. We never needed to tell her what to do, she'd come out to eat when we call her and once we started clearing the plates, she'd turn and walk slowly back, a completely no-problem child, the most kwai (obedient) of the lot. And always, after she reached the end of the pathway, she would always turn back to give us a long look, a wave of her tail as if saying "Thank you for coming and see you again." That was her trademark, that look, her eyes, her thankfulness, her appreciation, her gentle spirit, her motherly behaviour. Sidetracked
It was always our original intention that when we had to relocate them, MamaBrown would be the first as she was the easiest to manage. So we would tell her, wait Mama, when we get another location, you'll go there first, keep the place safe and then the boys and then Blackie, if we could catch her. But then things changed, because of the boys roaming and chasing people and cars, the immediate and very real danger to their lives

(see our blog entry of November 20 -, we somehow ended up relocating them first. One emergency led to another and with the rescue of the Honey Bunch puppies, the problems with adoption for the temple dogs and helping with ALL's weekend expo sale, our plan to relocate MamaBrown got pushed further and further back. There didn't seem to be enough hours in a day to finish doing what we had set out to do.

Safe Haven No More
And in the meantime that safe quiet fenced up haven suddenly became a hive of noise and shouting, with workers moving around, painting the building, putting up fences, heavy trucks rolling in and out and our 2 remaining girls, MamaBrown and Blackie hid further and further in the facility, confused and afraid with the new happenings. All along, ever since the Pack discovered this facility to stay in, we had no way of going into to feed them and depended on them to come out to get food but with the strange noises and heavy activity, the girls (without the boys as we took them to a safe place), were reluctant to come out, sacrificing their food and water out of fear. With no brave Patches to lead them out or playful Junior to run to us, MamaBrown and Blackie hid themselves in, and looked troubled. From far, we could see their tails tucked and ears pull flat back. They continued to miss their feeding day after day, as the rats and crows helped themselves with the food we would leave behind since they were too afraid to come out when we were there.

Things became worse, big trucks and more uniformed persons started rolling in. The whole area became sealed. We could still see the building but not our precious dogs. It is normal for Blackie to be missing as she loves to roam but not MamaBrown. She does not wander, it is not her style, even when the other three would would go missing for days, she never followed them. Like an obedient child, she always “stayed at home”. It was a shock to us at that time that she was not there. Like a foundation pillar, she is always there. Even when she didn't eat, we can always count on her being there, remaining, waiting. Our pillar is gone.

In desperation, we spoke with the Head guy in charge but was refused entry into the facility. We called our friends from SPCA to try speak with him hoping that they would have better chance but they too were turned down. More than two weeks have already gone by for her without any food. Where can she be. Is she missing or just hiding? Could she have followed Blackie out to roam, but this is unusual, it has never happened before and we have seen Blackie in another area recently but where is she. She must be so hungry and weak. Is she still in that building? Can she get out from a different exit? Did she get out? Is she even alive.
Operation MamaBrown
We passed word around to all the nearby workers, Indian, Bangladeshis, Myanmese, road sweepers, anyone and everyone in that area that our dog is missing and we continued our search. The day we received the call that she was spotted in another area was a joyous one. Without hesitation, the nearest feeders in that area, rushed out to meet her. From a distance MamaBrown saw and recognised the feeders and waved her tail. Even the workers in that area clapped in happiness when they saw the emotional scene between a lone thin dog and the feeders. She wagged her tail till it looked like it would drop off but she didn't walk much, she looked too weak.. When the feeders had to leave her to go home after spending an hour with her, after giving food and water and a lot of pets and hugs, she looked up with both pointed ears (usually her ears are one up and one down) as if asking "must you leave me alone again?" But the feeders no safe place to relocate her, no plans had been pre-arranged and had to regretfully leave MamaBrown behind, who is looking, waiting, puzzled.

A Promise Fulfilled
That's when we all decided in the next 24 hours, we need to mobilise the team and this time we will relocate her. On December 8 that became a reality. However with so many feeders around, MamaBrown panicked and ran. But because she is very weak and malnourised, she cannot run far. We did eventually catch her, with some difficulty as she is afraid, she is defensive, she has seen much cruelty and she doesn't like the leash. The leash reminds her of the noose and the wire and screams in the night. What horrors her lovely eyes have seen during the weeks in the wild we can only imagine and too troubled to narrate in this blog. When she was finally in our arms, all the feeders cried. It was an emotional time as SMS ran out to our other concerned parties. She looked at us with those beautiful brown eyes, as if in apology.. "Sorry for the trouble. so sorry to cause you hurt, sorry to worry you."

"No MamaBrown, it is ok, you don't need to apologise. You are safe now. A promise made is a promise kept. We are sorry it took so long. You just waited and waited, didn't you, all these months and weeks you waited just like an obedient child. You kept your part of the bargain. We did say we will come back for you one day although we took a little too long." we kissed her over and over again on her muzzle and her beautiful brown eyes.

MamaBrown is now in the shelter but quarantined from Patches and Junior as she is very thin and very weak. She can barely stand. For her to run from us during the capture must have entailed every ounce of her remaining strength. She eats very slowly, very weakly but she is alive. She has been a long time without food and drink but she is alive. Eventually we will release her to be with her old buddies. She will be happy to see them just as she is happy to us feeders who have been visiting her. With a wag of her tail, she makes every effort to stand up to greet us.

A Plea for sponsors
We are asking for sponsors for MamaBrown as she embarks on this journey of recovery. Is there anyone out there who feels like we do, love her and cherish her and want to give her a better life. She has waited patiently all this while, don't let her wait be in vain. Help us to help her. No amount is too small. Your sponsor wil go a long way for MamaBrown.

Email us at or
Hungry and thin.
Can barely stand but still appreciative, still obedient.
Still our good and darling girl

In quarantine. MamaBrown looks very afraid but she is safe

Beautiful MamaBrown with those brown eyes need you. Those eyes though still beautiful are no longer big and wide with joy and excitement. They are now tired from the running and fear, so tired from being lost and alone. Will you help those eyes light up with like they once did, just like when we first met.

Honey Bunch Pups

Buddy, oldest and biggest, his ears are beautifully pointed

Latte on the left and Oreo on the right

The honey-hued puppies are growing well and healthily and very very adorable. They will make super additions to the family as they all have very good temperament, loves cuddles and licks.

Buddy, the biggest and probably oldest as he is the most calm has been fostered temporarily and already knows how to use the newspaper for his pee and poo. He is so cute and sweet that fosterers find it very hard to let him go after they short term time with him. We too wish that the fosterers can keep him as they have been excellent in their care for him and he in turn responds well.

Oreo is the youngest but just as adorable and playful. Latte the female, with a slightly darker fore brow is so sweet and round. She seems to be fatter than Oreo, which we cannot understand since Oreo doesn't allow Latte to eat faster than him. They are so cute, these smaller two. When they share a bowl of food, Oreo will not allow Latte to eat faster than him, then when we scold Oreo and carry him away, Latte will not eat at all. She will run around us while we are telling her, ok your turn now. It's only when we put Oreo down, then both Oreo and Latte will rush for the same food and again the whole thing starts again.

To see is to believe and this is not a gimmick. It is not easy to see such cute, replicated, similar coloured looking pups. They need good homes to take them in. They also need your help in donating to their fund because as they grow older while at the facility, we will need to pay for their boarding as well as send them for vaccinations. It does not end and the pups are growing without a family. A kennel is a safe place but a kennel is not a place for puppies to grow up in. There are too many dogs around needing love and like human babies, puppies need more than just that, they need human contact. To have a mommy and daddy is every dog's dream, we know but for puppies it is much more. It is akin to a child waiting for Santa Claus to leave him presents under a tree on Christmas eve.

Buddy, Oreo and Latte need their Christmas gifts too, remember that as you shop for yours, the little pups have no one to shop for them. There will be no presents under the Christmas tree for them because Santa will not come.

Be the Santa for them, remember them in the sponsorship or better yet, make them your family so that there can be a special package for them with their names on it.

Please email us at if you wish to view them for adoption or to contribute to their fund.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Black Dogs and their Woes

This is an article we received some time ago from our "Dog Magazine" from the US.

Is it true no one loves black dogs? isn't "no one" that loves black dogs, but there does seem to be an issue with the adoptability of black dogs. According to Susan Smith of the Franklin County Dog Shelter, black dogs are less adoptable. Ms. Smith says, "If you have two similar dogs - one black, one light colored side-by-side with similar temperaments, both well behaved, both house broken and friendly, the light-colored dog will be adopted before the black dog". Why are black dogs less adoptable?

It is hard to know for sure. For one, dark hair is a dominant trait. There are more brunettes than any other hair color. In fact, in people, they estimate that 100 years from now, there will be no red-headed people in the country. Is the same true in dogs? It is hard to know for sure but that seems to be the case on a smaller scale. There may be more black dogs to choose from.

In addition, many shelters are in older facilities. The lighting is often suboptimal. Most people that go to shelters to adopt will find a dog by making a connection with a dog. That usually starts with eye contact. Dark dogs in dark cages are harder to see. It is possible because they are hard to see that eye contact is not as obvious and frequent.

Regardless of the cause - WE LOVE Black Dogs. We think they deserve every chance at a good home as any other dog.

So...if you are looking to adopt - don't overlook the black dogs. If you can't see them well, ask the helper to take the dog out of the cage so that you can see him or her better and interact. It is true as statistics have shown that black dogs are harder to rehome .. and in Singapore, especially the black ones with white paws.

For dog lovers like us, black, white, brown, red, blue .. local cross, unlocal cross, special, breed, no breed, local, stray, mongrel, mutt, we don't care, a dog is a pet, a friend, a lifelong companion. His blood is as red as the other colored ones. They wuff, they wag, howl, bark, whine, whimper, sigh, nuzzle and muzzle, pricke their ears, lick, drool, eat, sleep and most importantly – love you death and repay you with their devotion – they are exactly the same, created and aptly called Man’s Best Friend.

No higher homage has been to made to a pet than a dog. Any dog, your dog and mine. So love it, love it till it dies, don’t abandon it. Because it will NEVER abandon you. Never judge you, never discount you.

Here's to all the Beautiful Black Dogs, or otherwise, and the loving homes that have taken them in.

For those who have adopted a black dog, thank you for taking them in, color is no restrictor of love and devotion, for those who are looking at adopting right now, do have a care for them in your heart and give them a chance. We have some black dogs for you to consider. Prove the stats wrong, that black dogs are adoptable.

Some of our lovely Black Dogs for Adoption

Shy Lady
Female, around 5 months old.
Docile and shy
Wonderful temperament
Very friendly with children and other small pets

Playful Junior
Male around 8 – 9 months old.
Small in size but Huge in personality
Friendly, fun - likes people and dogs.
Will be an excellent addition to family with children

Devoted Cara
Female around less than 2 years old.
Loyal, devoted, caring
Sweet and gentle with people and children
A little afraid initially but warms up eventually and when she does a jewel is discovered
Cara has a white patch on her chest. Her special star.

Cruelty of Puppy Mills

This is something that is close to our hearts and we have been campaigning for a long time against - Puppy mills !

Do you know what is puppy mill? If you don't -- and even if you do -- then you've got to read this wepage:

Please watch the video clips in these pages. While these undercover clips were taken in the US and Canada, think it doesn't happen in Singapore? Sorry guys - As long there is demand, there will always be supply.

Puppy mills are large scale operations that force breeder dogs to produce litter after litter to support consumer demand for puppies. Puppies sold in pet stores or through Internet sites come from places filled with suffering, disease, malnutrition, and loneliness. Even the puppies themselves are often prone to a variety of diseases. Some die within days or weeks of purchase.

The breed dogs are in cages stacked one on top of another, never seeing a day of freedom or sunshine. Their sole purpose in their short miserable life is to breed. Some are shaved hairless, for easy maintenance, they are feed through cages and never get to interact or socialise with humans or other dogs. The puppies they birthed are sold as soon as they can be separated, and once that happens, the process begins till they are too old to produce "good stock" and tossed aside, abandoned. Some are fortunate to be rescued and rehomed, to enjoy a second chance in life, but majority never make it.

Various dog organisation are working hard to stop puppy mills and they need your help. Oprah Winfrey did a series on Puppy Mills recently and even she was appalled with the situation. She, was one of those who didn’t realise how lucrative and cruel the business was and ended with a note that from henceforth, she will never buy the next pooch, she will adopt instead. Even President elect Obama has declared he will adopt from a shelter, the next First Dog.

You can help support against Puppy mill even right here in Singapore by 1) Stop buying pets as far as you can.

2) If you really need to buy a breed, do buy from reputable breeders - but ask yourself first, do I need a "top notch category pedigree" in the first place Next question - Why? Will a top notch pure pedigree breed love me more than the next mutt? Is love measured by the dollars it cost. Don't get us wrong, we have nothing against those who breed, for competitions, to keep the strain pure, that is fine but for many of us ordinary folks, a dog is a companian and we do not need the high dollar kind.

In the past the only way to obtain a dog is by buying but that has become obsolete. There is now no necessity to. One click on the internet will show there are many many dogs for adoption, breed or no breed, small or big. The thing is to check around and ask. You will be surprised at the number of dogs up for adoption each day. Some as young as a few months, bought on a whim and later unwanted as not much thought had gone into the purchase.

If you need information on how and where to adopt, call us. It may take a while sometimes but eventually we believe there is always that right dog and a forever home for each dog, some find it earlier than others, and unfortunately some never live long enough to get the chance.

So the next time you walk past a pet shop with those cute, sweet, adorable puppies for sale, remember how much the mother/father of this adorable ball of fluff suffered, the price they had to pay or still paying, to birth this fluff is a very high one - in that dark, damp cage they call home. Thanks for reading and taking action!

Spread the word - Stop puppy mills, Don't buy - adopt instead. We have lots of lovely dogs for adoption, some are younger, some are older, different colour, different size, different shape, different gender but with one purpose – to be man’s best friend. What a great gift we have been given.

Some of our lovely Dogs for Adoption
Playful Junior,
Male around 8 – 9 months old.
Small in size but Huge in personality
Friendly, fun - likes people and dogs.
Will be an excellent addition to family with children
A little shy with people he is not familiar with but he warms up later

Handsome Milo
Our Noose Dog, our Mascot.
Much as we want to keep him with us forever
Home for him should not be in a Shelter,
Milo deserves a good home and a family
he can protect and call his own
Male, around 1+ years - A leader, classy dog, Quiet and well behaved.
Very friendly with children and people. Will make an excellent family guard dog.

Awesome Patches
The Hound look alike
Male, 2+ - Gregarious, friendly and affectionate,
Charismatic dog with an interesting character.
Starving for love and human contact.
Patches loves people and getting into cars for car rides
He is Big, Strong and Friendly
Scratch his tough veneer and discover a softie at heart.

Beautiful Mama Brown
A sweet female around 1+ years.
Docile in nature, well behaved and obedient.
Very friendly with dogs and children.
Will fit in easily into a home and family

If there is anyone who is looking for a loving companian and friend, and wish to adopt our lovely dogs, do let us know and drop us a line at Or if you would like to sponsor any of them for their boarding or medical, please let us know too. Any amount is appreciated and your contribution will go a long way for them.

SAYANG (formerly known as Charlie) the Chihuahua–A formal request
In our earlier entry,
promised we would keep you updated of little Sayang (formerly known as Charlie). Yes, our little troubled Chihuhua is settling very well. He is no longer troubled. His new owners, F and family have constantly kept us updated with SMSes and photographs on how well he is coping. To our pleasant surprise, we received a call the other day from them that they wish to formally adopt him. In our minds, we had always viewed F as Sayang's new owners as we have seen how well he responds to them and they to him. Catering to his every need and change in temperament, taking both the good days and the bad.

This singular, precious request from F to seal the pact with us on Sayang's permanency in their lives confirms their final act of full love for this little chihuahua, who came to them with nothing to live for. They are now not just giving him a home but a rightful place in their hearts, as only a parent can give to a child. Sayang now dines on fresh steamed chicken pieces, which we have been told is his favourite and chicken liver pieces as treats. He snuggles up to each of them in the family asking to be carried, cuddled and petted. We were told on the second day of his arrival, he had already allowed F’s mum, his favourite person, to pet him and carry him.

This is pretty astonishing considering that when we left him with them the first day, he was snarling and growling and snapping at everyone and everything he saw. Nothing could pacify him. He would hide in his cage and each time one of us moved, he would yelp loudly and growled. But we do remember F’s mom saying “Don’t disturb him, he had a long tiring journey, let him rest in our peaceful house and I promise he will never be troubled anymore. I will take good care of him as I did with all our previous pets. We just need to give him time and when he is ready, he will come to us.”

Charlie when he first arrived,
Always hiding in the cage.
Barking and snarling, Afraid and tormented

How true they have become, with these words still ringing in our ears – all Sayang needed was time and healing of his mental wounds. We now see a transformed little dog, now understanding that not all humans are bad and cruel but some can extend love. Some like F and his family. Sayang has his own new lovely bedding, bought specially for his arrival and not an old hand me down. He even has 3 persons waiting on him hand and foot, F, his mother, the maid. They all adore him.

Zzzzz, in my new bedding.
It is all mine.
I love it here where it is quiet and peaceful.

He goes out for walkies and is reported to be very well behaved with the other dogs. It is apparent this new love has restored back his pride and confidence, no more rejected and dejected, miserable and lost, confused and frightened little chihuahua but one lovely little owned pet, a treasured member, a Sayang to his new family, as it was meant to be, yes, as it should rightfully have been.

Patiently waiting for walky-walk.
Sayang is well behaved,
such a credit to his ‘parents’

This credit must surely, surely go to F and his family. They say miracles exist and we are seeing one right here. If you have followed Sayang from Day One when he didn't even have a name, travelled with him on his journey from a "nuisance" locked up in a small inhumane cell to his life now, you must surely marvel with us, how changed his personality is. F's family were patient, were kind. They just tried with tested love and in the end, their love won. Sayang still has his bad mornings but this has become an accepted part of his life which we hope will eventually go away. The furless ring around his neck is a grim reminder of his tortured past. We do not wish for any of our dogs to travel this same journey, as Sayang's was a hard and horrific one.

A weaker spirit might have just given up but rescue him we did. Hui Ling's timely fostering bought us time and enabled us to put up his dire situation on the web (thank God for friends and emailing contacts)... and the rest is history. Not all our tortured souls get reprieve but for Sayang the nightmare is finally over. At last his journey has ended in a dream, but unlike all dreams, this one is realised and permanent. Thank you to all of you who have made this possible.

I am happy now. Can you see me,
Cheh Cheh H.L.?
Can you see me happy now?
I am still wearing the harness and bells you gave me
You don’t have to worry about me anymore.
I finally got a home, with a mummy and daddy.Thank you. Cheh Cheh. Come visit me soon.

The Honey Bunch

Our call for the 4 lovely honey toned pups, have drawn numerous calls about their welfare and donations from kind souls. Our Honey Bunch fund will be used for the pups medical vet fees.

We thank you for your generosity and kindness. If you too wish to donate and be part of the Honey Bunch drive or adopt the lovely puppies, please email to: /