If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. Mark Twain

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tiger's Pain In The Butt

Warning. Some of the pictures may upset you.

More often than not, animal rescue volunteers release animals back to the streets, with very heavy hearts, when the animals have fully recovered. Lives as strays or industrial animals are full of danger and uncertainties, plagued with fights against other strays for food, being set upon when they are on heat, or even constant encounters with ignorant humans.

Tiger's pain in the butt

Tiger was initially found in the industrial site in July. He was badly injured with a bleeding scrotum, most likely from a typical dog fight. Not only that; he also had been hit by a car and suffered from a broken leg. After sufficient treatment, Tiger was sent home to the factory to recuperate. 

Tiger's huge gaping wound from his 3rd accident

All was well during the subsequent feeding rounds until one day in September; volunteers discovered that Tiger was injured again. They saw that his anus had been bitten so badly that it was protruding and bleeding profusely. He could not pooh as it was too painful and blood dripped onto the roads.

Tiger's second injury had his anus protruding
Again, the volunteers had to bring him to the vet and after cleaning him up, the doctors found his wound infested with more than fifty maggots. Tiger must have been in extreme pain for a few days. Had the volunteers not rescued him in time, the maggots could have bombarded his vital systems and might even cause him to die. Tiger was treated and this time round, the vet bill amounted to $800. Friends raised enough money for the bill and discharged Tiger back to his home at the factory hoping that such misfortune would not befall him again. Little did they know that Tiger would be injured for the third time! Volunteers lovingly called him a “pain in the butt” as all his wounds were at the back; his scrotum, his anus and now, a huge chunk of flesh was ripped off near his anus. Volunteers reckoned that Tiger is too old to run and because of his previous car accident and broken leg, he can’t outrun the other younger dogs. As such, he is often attacked from behind. Drs estimate him to be about 6 or 7 years old.

His wound was the size of an apple, deep and huge
Two weeks ago, the workers at Tiger’s factory called to inform us that Tiger was hiding under a lorry, refusing to come out. Knowing Tiger, we knew at once that he was in pain. Tiger loves his food and will only hide away from everyone when he is in tremendous pain and feeling miserable. The pet transport was called immediately and the workers helped put Tiger into the pet carrier. This time, his wound was so bad that you could just imagine the degree of pain he was experiencing.

Tiger's private ambulance

The wound was so huge and deep, it measured the size of an apple! It was just below the anus and looked like it had been a week old. Think about how much suffering Tiger has been through; getting bitten in the behind THREE times in just four months!! At the vet, Tiger cried and whined so badly, it was impossible not to feel sorry for him. Even pain killers did not ease his pain. The doctors found almost 200 live maggots in his wound; could have been more but the vet tech said after 150 maggots, they lost count. . . . On top of the huge wound, Tiger was also found to have two strains of tick fever. His gums were almost white and he looked as if he would go anytime. Had the workers not called us for help, it may have been too late to save Tiger. 

Maggots from Tiger's wound
The volunteers have been so busy helping Angel and Salma that it is only now that they could find time to update the blog on Tiger. Doctors estimate that he would have to stay at the vet for about two months as the wound is still raw and huge. Also, he needs injections on alternate days for his tick fever. Despite strong pain killers, Tiger is still whining and crying very badly. A two-month stay at the vet will incur a huge bill of up to nearly $2000 to treat his wound, tick fever and low blood count.

If you would like to help us and contribute to Tiger’s vet bills, please email Fiona at dogs_ink@singnet.com.sg  Your contribution will go a long way!

Tiger feeling extremely miserable
If you would like to adopt Tiger, please sms Lynda at 9199 6247. He will be easy to take for walks; he definitely won’t be dragging you as his legs are way too weak! Tiger can't go back to his factory because for a street dog, he is not terribly street smart.

We thank Ms June B. for generously contributing to Tiger's vet bills.

Written by Jo-Ann (16 yrs old)

Friday, November 26, 2010

No Way Out.....

Anyone who walks into our regular vet would hear poor Angel howling away for her owner. You would think that after being separated for more than two weeks, Angel would have been resigned to the fact that she would have to be separated from her owner, but that is the furthest from the truth. As the days go by, her howls have become more continuous as she pines for her owner. In fact, her howls are so mournful that you can’t help but feel sorry for her and know that there isn’t very much that you could do, except to either give her a big hug, assure her everything would be fine, take her for a walk or to visit her owner. Her howls would send shivers down your spine; not because it’s eerie, but because it’s so sorrowful and you can hear the deep loss and pain in her cries.

Angel walking around the estate
Angel has lost 3kg since her rescue

On Saturday we visited Angel and took her for a walk around the estate. She was delighted to see us and it was nice to know that her eyes lit up a bit when we visited. We took her to the nearby hawker centre and I guess her owner would have taken her to many hawker centres, where they would share food together, with what little they could afford.

Looking for her Mama

As we walked towards the hawker centre, I observed Angel’s behavior; she behaved like a sniffer dog, sniffing every scent on the ground, trying to pick up her owner’s scent. It was absolutely amazing that what went through her mind and how much she loved her owner and how badly she needed to be with her. Throughout the walk, her nose hardly left the ground! What was even more interesting was as she walked past the rows of tables in the hawker centre, her eyes scanned for her owner. You could see her desperately searching. We told her that her mama was not there, but she ignored our words. Salma often spoke to Angel and called herself “mama” so we used the same words with Angel. 

Sniffing for her owner's scent
Checking out the hawker centre. Look how thin she is
Each time we walked past a dark skinned person, Angel would drag us with all her might, towards that person, thinking, hoping it was Salma. So we had to let her go up to the person, to see and to sniff and know that it was not her owner. The walk around the estate actually turned out to be a pretty emotionally painful walk as we watched Angel sniff out all the scents, check out every dark skinned person or pull us towards a tubby person.

Once when we turned round the bend, Angel refused to budge and she stared straight for the longest time. We went down to her level to try to figure out what had caught her attention. Rows down the hawker centre tables, we saw a Chinese lady of about Salma’s size sitting, eating. Angel was actively seeking out anyone dark skinned or tubby to check if it was her owner. Believe me, her intelligence was amazing. She stood rooted in that spot and we had no choice but to bring her to that Chinese lady, for her to sniff and be convinced that it was not her owner. She was excited to walk towards the lady but we saw immediate disappointment as she approached. In the past few weeks I have questioned myself many times, had I done the right thing helping Salma get off the streets, but in the process, separating her from her dog? I wish it didn’t turn out this way, that they somehow could still remain together but deep down inside, I know the streets is neither the place for Salma, nor Angel. I do know that Angel would have been much happier living on the streets with Salma, with no food, no water and no proper shelter; and she would have been the happiest dog on earth being with the only love of her life.

Salma cleaning Angel's eyes
This past week we had arranged for friends and volunteers to take Angel to visit Salma at the home. We thank Jeannie, Chiew Guat and Mun Ee for taking time out from work to do that for Angel. They observed that Angel seemed more attached to Salma, than Salma was to her. This was perhaps due to the fact that Angel felt that it was her purpose in life to protect and be with Salma and so she needed very much to fulfill her responsibility. Angel had after all found Salma when Salma needed a friend.

The love of her life
Salma still calls me every day, crying and asking when she can be released from “prison” and when Angel is visiting her again. In fact, as soon as Angel leaves the home, Salma calls to ask when she will visit again. We discovered Angel likes eating Cesar (a dog food brand) and a friend had generously ordered 100 cans of Cesar for Angel, in the hopes that she will eat. Angel has lost 3 kg on her already thin frame and now has her bones protruding from her body.

Saturday when Angel visited Salma, she ate 3 cans of Cesar and two fried chicken wings. She even seemed to prefer the Cesar more than the chicken wings! Jeannie had bought fish & chips for Salma as Salma had mentioned she didn’t like the food at the home. As soon as Salma sat down, she opened her food and offered it to Angel first, asking Angel why she was so thin now, why wasn’t she eating, and told her not to think too much. She then asked for water for Angel and also lovingly cleaned Angel’s eyes. It was heart wrenching. In many ways, Angel is a reflection of Salma.  

After two hours, it was time to leave and as Salma walked down the hall back to her room, Angel let out her saddest howl, as all the officers stood watching. Even a non-animal lover would feel for Angel. Jeannie had a tough time getting Angel to head towards the car, so they had to ask Salma to walk them to the car. At the car, all Salma had to say was “up” and Angel hopped into the car. Needless to say, Angel cried and howled all the way back to the vet. Even as Jeannie left the vet, she could hear Angel’s cries from the car park.

Pining away again
As the weeks go by, we will try to wean Angel off Salma and not have her visit so often. Salma has been transferred to a new home where she will live permanently unless an alternative can be found for her. She called again to inform me that she was at the new home and convinced the officers I would be there today “to bail her out”. So convincing was she that the officers believed her and waited for me! I had to tell them I had nowhere to house Salma, although I knew how badly she needed to be out, to have her freedom again, to be with Angel again.

We thank everyone for contributing to Angel’s boarding at the vet, for visiting her with various types of food to entice her to eat and for taking her to visit Salma. And Lynette, who has been faithfully delivering food daily since Venus' stay at the vet.

What Angel truly needs now is a foster. She needs a new human in her life, in the hopes that she would slowly attach herself to the new person and pine less for her owner. We plead with anyone who has room for Angel – even if it means that Angel spends time only with your domestic helper, it is still better than being caged up at the vet, spending her days crying and wasting away.

We have a dinner event coming up on 18 December and we hope you will buy tickets to attend our event, to support our cause. Since Zeus Communications was formed in April 2010, we have rescued and helped many animals; Angel, Tiger, Lady Dawn, Little Joe, Venus, Marcus to name a few; in the hopes that their lives on the streets will be a little more comfortable. With your continued support, we will be able to help many more animals and will continue to give our best to them.
As I was typing this, Salma called again and asked why I sent my friends to visit with Angel and why didn’t I go, so I promised her I would visit her on Sunday, together with Angel.

We thank Ms June B. for generously contributing to Angel's vet bills.

Updates by Fiona. Photographs courtesy of Jeannie.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Good Music, Good Times And Good Food . . . For A Good Cause

Zeus Communications Presents Animal Lovers Night

A night of good times, good food and good friends . . . .for a good cause.

Love all animals. Support animal welfare

Whether you are a rescue volunteer, animal rights advocate, pet owner or animal lover, you can lend your support by attending our dinner and be entertained by hot performers, Riem de Wolff of The Blue Diamonds fame, and Vernon Cornelius of The Quests.
Riem de Wolff in his heyday

Vernon Cornelius of The Quests
Zeus Communications is proud to present a night to remember, an event at which we would be honored to have you join us. Tailored for anyone who loved the music of the 1960s and 1970s, or if you love animals and support animal welfare. This event also celebrates 50 years of the hit song, “Ramona”, so do come on down with your dancing shoes and sing & dance the night away - all for the benefit of the animals!

Riem de Wolff

Vernon Cornelius
Attendance to this excellent event includes a scrumptious 8-course Chinese dinner. Seating is assigned, and based on a first-come, first served reservation by emailing to dogs_ink@singnet.com.sg  A vegetarian option is available upon request.

Fiona, Vernon, Riem and Lynda
This exciting evening gives you the opportunity to meet and mingle with the performers, as well as with fellow animal lovers. If you’re in the mood for a song, you could even take centre stage with Riem or Vernon! Don't forget your dancing shoes and come join us for a night of fun, laughter and good music down memory lane!

Date : Saturday, 18 December 2010

Time : 6.45pm to 11.00pm (Music starts at 7.00pm sharp)

Cost : $100 per person
(includes an 8-course Chinese dinner. Vegetarian option is available

 Venue : Keppel Club, Ballroom. Bukit Chermin Road, Singapore 109918

Hurry! Seats are limited and we expect them to go like hotcakes!

To book your seats or a table, please email Fiona, dogs_ink@singnet.com.sg with the following details:


Email Address:

Contact Number / Hp:

Number of people attending:

Do you require a vegetarian meal?

Would you like to pay by fund transfer (POSB or OCBC) or cheque?

Please note that seats will only be confirmed upon receipt of payment. Good seats will be allocated on a first-come, first served basis.

All proceeds will benefit the street animals we love so dearly and the projects we believe in; Sterilization of Street Dogs and Cats and animal rescue work.

Know that whilst you're feasting and merrymaking, the street animals will benefit from all your song and dance!

Come celebrate Christmas with us! Happy Christmas everyone!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Angel Is Back At The Vet

Reminiscing the days gone by
A light-hearted tune but the words resonate what both Salma and Angel feel for each other.

A concerned reader, Irene, helped us discharge Angel from the boarding kennel and fetched her back to be boarded at our regular Vet. Angel seemed slightly happier being back with some familiar faces and attempted to eat a little. She has lost quite a bit of weight from her 5 days of being on a hunger strike, pining for the love of her life; the only friend she had ever known.

Angel looking terribly forlorn

Keeping Angel at the Vet costs quite a huge amount of money; in fact almost three times more than boarding her at a commercial facility but we didn't want to be in the situation where we had saved her, and in the midst of finding her happiness, lose her or her health. Boarding her at the Vet or the boarding kennel is not a long term solution either, but for now, it's the best we can do for Angel. We are appealing to anyone who feels for Angel the way we do, to please offer your help. We require help in the following areas ;

1) monetary contribution to her stay at the Vet. Please email Fiona dogs_ink@singnet.com.sg
2) someone to foster or adopt her (she is not very good with other dogs, but friendly with people)
3) volunteers who can take her to visit her owner on weekdays. To pick Angel from the Vet, visit her owner for an hour or so and then return her to the Vet. This can take place anytime during the weekdays, as long as Angel is returned to the Vet before they close for the day.

For #2 and #3, please sms Lynda at 91996247 to make the necessary arrangements.

Angel desperately needs a friend
Thank you everyone for being there for Angel. We appreciate your kindness, suggestions, help and contributions. I guess, we too, were all touched by an Angel.

Updates by Fiona. Photographs courtesy of Irene Ong.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Angel Needs A Friend

Latest Updates

Angel still has not eaten and we are extremely concerned for her. During her week's stay at the Vet, although picky with food because she had never eaten kibbles before, she at least had her meals. She has lost weight and is extremely depressed and yearns for human companionship. We will be transferring her back to the Vet and hopefully she will be slightly happier, and will start eating again. We had initially discharged Angel from the Vet because it was a lot more expensive boarding her at the Vet, as compared to a commercial boarding kennel but with the turn of situation, we have to put her back at the Vet as we are concerned for her health and welfare.We appeal to anyone who has a garden or yard and can help foster Angel as this might help her gradually detach herself from her owner.

The post below is written by Theresa who is a missionary coordinator; she is both hearing and visual impaired and is her early 60's.

Now it is my turn to blog back in full reply to your question on the blog, "why nobody stopped to help and why nobody bothered to care??" The fullest answer is one word: heartless... briefly in my opinion as a counselor for 17 years, I know what to say.

There were lots and lots of passers-by all over Orchard and Little India; surely, especially rich folks, but why nobody looked at this suffering person?? They surely can give her five dollars surely especially those who are working, but none gave. Why?? The only answer again, is heartless. Or shall I add, loveless?? Maybe both heartless and loveless, why? Because how do you love if there is no heart? So because heartless means no heart and no heart means no love, is there love without the heart to love?? Remember, my friends, love comes from the heart only. Therefore, nobody bothered to stop or help because they are heartless. If anyone cared, at least I think, could surely report to the welfare office to inform them that there is someone in need. So far so many years went on and nobody love or cared; poor Selma lived a very sad and lonely life, but Angel has another mind to help Selma by going off seeking. Why did Angel do this? Because she has a heart and she knows how to love Selma... she, Angel is a model of love to teach the heartless to love. Therefore, I hope with my own heart of love that people will think again how to love others. I thank especially for God's help when I first heard, I prayed and here we are happy ending. Selma is fine now, but we need you to love angel, so come forward and show your love. Adopt Angel and love her.

Written by Theresa Chan in reply to the blog post.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Touched By An Angel

On Saturday, we discharged Angel from the vet and took her to visit her owner. She was happy to be out of the cage and willingly walked with us to the car. It was as if she knew she was going to meet her owner.
Angel leaving the vet and walking to the car
In the past one week that she had been at the vet, she has had some visitors who brought toys and treats for her but she somehow only had one thought on her mind, her owner. There was no life in her eyes and she spent her days howling and pining away for her owner. Numerous walks outside the clinic didn’t help very much; even the clinic staff felt extremely sorry for her.

On the way to see her owner
In the car, on the way to visit her owner, Angel was extremely alert. She sat upright and looked out of the window, as if memorizing the route we were taking so that she could take that route on her own. This is one amazing dog! And when we stopped at the petrol station and a car pulled up next to us, Angel barked and growled at the person outside – despite not knowing us very well, she was protecting us and the car she was in. Suddenly I understood what the people at Rowell Road meant about Angel; they had said she would protect Salma while she slept. I had never seen this side of Angel and was impressed by her fierce sense of loyalty and responsibility.

Alert in the car
Years of hardship shows on Angel's face and body, even though she is estimated to be only 3 years old
When we arrived at the welfare home, Angel instantly knew that her owner was near. She pulled and walked quickly towards the building. Dogs and photography were not allowed inside the welfare home and security was tight, so we got permission to carry the chairs out of the building and sat near the car park so we could chat freely and Angel could be with Salma. Chris and his wife, Su San, met us there as well. Salma could not remember who Chris was, despite having spoken to him on the day that Chris found Angel wandering along Orchard Road. Chris had to relate the entire incident to Salma again.

Fiona and Lynda with Angel
Chris chatting with Salma
Salma giving Angel a treat

Looking at her hip bone jutting out, Angel could sure do with more nutritious home-cooked food
Angel jumped and licked Salma’s face continuously and it made me tear knowing that they had to be separated. Salma cried too and she asked who was taking care of her dog, was she eating well, when can she see her again etc. She also pleaded with me to “bail” her out saying that she promised to feed Angel well, she promised not to live on the streets and begged to be released. It made me cry harder because there wasn’t very much I could do. Salma, like a child, gave all kinds of excuses to leave the Home. She didn’t like the TV programmes they were watching, she only liked Western food, which they didn’t serve and the Home was like a prison etc. Her comments must have been rather similar to what Angel was feeling; Angel didn’t like her food (kibbles) because she had never ever eaten kibbles, she doesn’t like what she sees from her cage, she would much rather see the real action on the streets and she hated being imprisoned (kennel).

We stayed at the Home for about an hour before we had to leave because Angel had to be boarded at a boarding kennel and it was near closing time. Angel whined and started crying again as we led her away from Salma. Salma made us promise that we would “bail” her out within the week and she also made us promise to bring Angel to visit her on Saturday again.

The New Paper, 14 November 2010

The New Paper, 14 Novermber 2010
e observed that when Angel was beside Salma, her eyes were very different. Look at the photo below. When Angel is with Salma, there is a sense of purpose in her eyes, as if she was working, on duty, guarding Salma. She was alert. When they are apart, she has no life in her eyes at all.
Can you see the difference in her eyes?
Angel has been miserable at the boarding kennel. She is not eating well, she is depressed, she misses her freedom and most importantly, she misses her owner; an owner she devoted her life to. We hope not to have her live in the kennel for more than one month. We hope someone would come forth to adopt or foster her.
Look at the joy in Angel's eyes when they are together
We have not given up hopes that they will someday be together again. We spoke to an officer at the welfare home and understood that where Salma is, it’s what they call an “intake centre”, where she will remain for a maximum of one month. After which she will be transferred to a permanent home and ANY TIME we manage to find a Home that would accept Salma AND Angel, we are free to discharge Salma and transfer her to that new Home. So dear readers, please do continue to help Salma and Angel. Help us by calling up various welfare homes to see if they would accept the both of them, entry requirements into the Home, etc and let’s see if we can change this story from a bittersweet ending, into a happy fairytale ending because dreams do sometimes come true.

Angel has not eaten since we put her at the boarding kennels on Saturday evening. She is depressed and feels she no longer has anything to live for. We plead with anyone who can foster her for the time being, until we work out a better solution for her to be with Salma. In the meantime, friends and volunteers are taking turns to visit her, to try to coax her into eating and to take her for walks so she does not feel too depressed caged up. PLEASE, if you can help in anyway, please email me at dogs_ink@singnet.com.sg or sms Lynda at 91996247. We urgently need a foster for Angel.

This song is for Angel; for her love, dedication, courage and loyalty to her owner.

Written by Fiona

Friday, November 12, 2010

Reflections For An Angel

Since Saturday, everything has whizzed past so quickly. Finding “Singapore” in a shopping mall, looking for her owner, realizing that the owner was a vagrant, constantly updating the blog with new developments, receiving numerous calls from the Press and concerned animal lovers, and replying hundreds of emails each day. I never had an opportunity to stop and reflect, like I usually would.

Often after a rescue, we would relook the situation, assess how the dog / cat got injured, why it happened, how we can help, what we learned from the situation and the dog etc, so last night I drove down Rowell Road to feel how Selma and Angel lived. As I drove down that stretch, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of emptiness, pain, loss and sadness. This must have been how Selma felt, living on the streets for years, with nothing in her life except her Angel and nothing to look forward to. I was overcome with grief.

I thought about the lives they led; was it a miserable existence? Why was it that Selma was made to live this way? Did she make a mistake and was punished for it, to suffer for the rest of her life? Did she choose to live her life this way, on the streets with no food nor shelter and not a friend in the world? So many years, why didn’t anyone stop to help her? All she needed was someone to go out of their way to show they cared, to offer a friendship, a helping hand.

Animals are intuitive. They know your thoughts, your feelings, your emotions. Angel probably knew how desperate a life Selma led and she wanted to help her owner, the same way that Angel roamed the streets and found Selma on that fateful day. The fact that Chris found Angel wandering in Forum Galleria was not a coincidence. I believe Angel had wandered off to look for someone to help Selma. Chris chanced upon Angel and from that instance, Selma’s life changed.

Angel knew Selma needed help and she went to seek help, even if it meant sacrificing her own life, happiness and risked being separated from her beloved owner, whom she had devoted her life to. Selma is now in a welfare home where she receives regular meals, has a roof over her head and perhaps along the way, she will have friends . . . .people who will genuinely care for her and her well-being. As for Angel, she sacrificed her happiness so that Selma would have a better life. Angel has been howling and crying because she misses the one person she truly loves, yet she did what she did, for her owner. Isn’t the human-animal bond absolutely amazing? It’s The Power Of Love.

Note : Angel will be visiting her beloved owner tomorrow (Saturday).

By Fiona

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Worry for "Singapore's" future

Yesterday evening from 6.00 pm, we combed the streets along Orchard Road, and then Rowell Road, looking for Selma. We approached the shop which Selma frequents and the aunty told us that she had not seen Selma all day. Someone said that they saw her at Tekka Market that afternoon, but we felt that there was no way we would find her at the market at that hour. We continued to walk along Little India till 8pm hoping to spot her, but as it got later, we decided to call off the search.

This morning (Wednesday) at 9.30am, I received a call from Chris, our friend who found “Singapore” and also a call from an officer from the Ministry of Community Development, Youth & Sports (MCYS)informing us that they had found Selma and taken her to a welfare home. We were so happy to hear that Selma will now have a roof over her head, proper meals, warm baths and a place for her to call home. I understand from the officer that initially Selma hesitated to go with them but when they asked her if she wanted to go to a nice place – she thought about it for a while and decided to go with them. When Selma arrived at the home with the social welfare officers, she saw how happy the people were and she decided that she wanted to stay on. What is nice is that the home will allow "Singapore" to visit Selma. However, "Singapore" will not be able to live there with her.
Angel will be at the Vet for another day or two
Interestingly, Selma told the officer that she was going to see her dog today at 6.30pm. That was what both Fiona and I agreeded to do and had promised to meet her at 6.30pm to bring her to see her dog at the clinic. The officer even knew where the dog was staying at because that evening, Selma took the clinic’s name card and she passed it to the officer. The officer asked us when we could bring Singapore to visit Selma and we told them that we will make the necessary arrangements with him for Singapore to meet Selma soon.

We know Selma is in safe hands, but we have to worry about the future of 'Singapore'. She is obviously very attached to her owner so she will try all ways and means to escape to look for and be with Selma again. Their bond is so strong that nothing can break them apart. The dog is down with diarrhea today, possibly from the stress and anxiety that she has been going through and being separated from her owner. We asked the vet to do a blood test on Singapore and good news is that despite living on the streets for the past three years of her life, she has a clean bill of health, free from heartworm and tick fever.

Looking lost and worried
Singapore has been Selma’s guardian angel and her only friend when she was down and lonely. We believe that everything happens for a reason; Chris found Singapore walking along Orchard Road looking for Selma and worried that the dog would get hurt while crossing the road, he took the initiative to befriend the dog and brought it to a safe place. Chris called us for help and we took the dog to the vet to check if it had a micro chip, while everyone tried to gather more information from the shop owners at Forum Galleria. After many hours of walking around and asking, we managed to track her owner. If we had placed a missing dog ad in the newspaper and informed the authorities – no way we could have found the owner because Selma would not know to read the papers.

Singapore will now have a new identity and name. As of today, she will be called Angel, she will always be Selma’s angel and guiding light. Angel never judged Selma and she accepted her for who she is – dogs don’t care if their owners are famous, ugly, rich or poor. All they want from us (humans) is love, companionship and compassion. Angel has indeed taught us something – she is truly a Man’s Best Friend.

We would like to thank Dr Vivian Balakrishnan for his swift action and kind assistance in this matter.

We would like to thank all our readers who have been reading about Selma and Singapore @ Angel. Their stories have touched many hearts and you have been very kind and supportive towards them.

If you have contributed to Selma's food etc, we would like to inform you that we will be using that to pay for Angel’s vet bill and her boarding till we find someone to foster or adopt her.

We urgently require someone to foster or consider adopting Angel. She is about 3 yrs old and apart from some skin problems from living a hard life on the streets, she is in good health, obedient and extremely intelligent.

We will plan for Angel to visit Selma soon, please stay tuned for updates on their reunion.

By Lynda

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Singapore Angel. Fate brought them together.

“I don’t on my phone because nobody call me. Nobody care for me. Only my dog listen to me and my dog love me. I talk and she listen.” Those words pierced through my heart with so much pain that I was at a loss for words.

Singapore jumping for joy!
Often we take our friends, our family and even what we have, for granted. We assume our friends and family will always be there for us. Do we stop to appreciate them and tell them how happy we are to have them in our lives, as our friends? Selma’s words made me realize how fortunate we were to have what we have and what a sad life she had – no friends, no means to even survive, no money for food, no shelter and only a dog to love her. If she had disappeared today, would anyone have even noticed her absence? Probably only her dog, Singapore, would have missed her and pined away for her, like Singapore's version of Hachiko.

Last night after work, we had gone down to Orchard Road, searching her usual haunts but there was no sign of her. We then drove down to Rowell Road and found her in the Aunty’s shop. Aunty was chiding her for losing her dog, but caringly giving her a sandwich to eat. We told Selma we would take her to visit Singapore and she was extremely excited. She kept asking if she could take her home today but I told her the dog was terribly tired and needed another 2 days of rest.

While walking to our car, I asked the Aunty how Selma got the dog. According to Selma, her friend had adopted the dog from SPCA and given it to her. But we figured a more accurate story would be from Aunty; not because Selma would intentionally tell us a tall tale, but simply because she reasons like a child. Aunty told us that the dog belonged to a man who lived down the street but when his work contract ended and he left the country, he left Singapore on Rowell Road. As fate would have it, the dog found its way into Selma’s arms and heart and sealed their fate together. It’s been said many times that dogs or people enter our lives for a reason, and in this case, we know it to be true. Selma had nothing in her life; no one cared and Singapore knew that Selma needed her, so she sought her out.

On the way to the vet, I asked Selma about her life, etc – most of which would not be mentioned here but all I can say is, saying she has had a hard life would be an understatement. I asked her how she lost her leg (in case she was diabetic and needed help – what a busybody I was!) and she told me she was in KL when she was much younger, someone beat her up, took her passport and wallet and pushed her onto the road, where she was hit by a car and lost her leg. She started crying and asked me why would people do that to her . . . . .I was sorry to have brought up that subject, so I decided to chat about her dog instead. Her eyes lit up immediately. I told her she had to take good care of her dog because her dog takes good care of her and when it rains, she should seek shelter, not sit at the park in the rain. She promised she would do that. I also told her that she had to bring her dog to Aunty’s shop for food daily and we will buy canned food etc to leave at Aunty’s shop.
Singapore and Selma at the Vet during visiting hours
When we arrived at the vet, she was so excited that she walked really quick into the clinic. The sight of Singapore jumping on her and licking her face made all my exhaustion and stress disappear. The vision stayed in my mind all night – an elated dog and an equally elated owner. It was priceless.

We stayed for about half an hour. We put on Singapore’s new collar and bought chicken treats for her. We also taught Selma how to use the new leash – strapped across her shoulder so she need not hold on to it and Singapore will be beside her. This dog is a really amazing dog – the love between them is unshakeable. Singapore is extremely obedient and intelligent. She comes when called, sits, and gives you a kiss if you ask her for one.

Singapore Angel, looking slightly less tired
I told Selma that she had to meet me on Wednesday evening and we would go together to discharge Singapore. We gave her some food money, enough to last till the next time we meet, then we sent her home. While walking out of the clinic, Selma turned to me and said, “I call her Angel. She is my Angel.” Those words couldn’t be more true.

Taking her chicken treat from Lynda
After Selma left the clinic, we heard the loudest, saddest most pathetic cry I have ever heard in my entire life. It was so loud, and there was so much pain and sadness in that cry. It was Singapore, already missing and pining for her owner. Dr said that Singapore had been rubbing her nose on the cage all day trying to get out and her nose is really read and sore. She also commented that owner and dog should not be separated as all they have is each other. They NEED to be together. For that reason, we will try our best to “rehome” owner and dog together. If they were separated, Selma would no longer have anything to live for and Singapore would probably just pine away . . . .

We would like to thank everyone for writing in, offering help, ideas and suggestions. We appreciate all your kindness and concern. Selma would be happy to know that she now has many friends and many people who care for her and worry about her well-being.

Chris, the friend who found Singapore in the shopping mall, had written to Dr Vivian Balakrishnan (MCYS) and Dr Krishnan has replied, assuring us that his colleagues would look into the situation and that they would try their best to find a home where Selma would still be able to see Singapore. We are hopeful, but we expect that would take some months of looking into? Till then, with all the kind contributions, we will help with food for Selma and Singapore. We are still trying to find a room for rent, perhaps for a month, just so they have a shelter over their heads.

On a another note, we concluded why Selma calls her dog "Singapore". Singapore wears a AVA license that says "1***** Singapore" so Selma must have thought that was the dog's name :-)

Thank you everyone for showing that you do care and I will be sure to let Selma know she has friends.

You’ve got a Friend

Written by Fiona

Monday, November 8, 2010

We Need Your Help!

Homeless in Singapore?

We often bring you stories of homeless stray dogs, cats, abandoned pets etc but today I write this with a heavy heart wrought with concern and confusion.

It’s about a homeless lady in Singapore. Did you know that there are people in Singapore who have no homes, no food nor shelter? That they sleep on benches in parks, or on cardbox boxes on the sidewalks? What’s more – this homeless lady has a dog with her. Is it good that she has a dog for companionship? Or is it sad that the dog has to go through the life of a vagrant with her? 
Leaving Orchard Road and going to the Vet
On Saturday, around noon, we received a call from a friend, Chris. He was out shopping in the heart of Orchard Road when he saw a mongrel wandering INSIDE the shopping mall, seemingly looking for its owner. He called us for advice and we adviced him on how to approach the dog, catch it, hold on to it and we would go by to meet him. The dog was relatively calm and easy to approach so he managed to catch her within 20 minutes. She had on a collar and a tag with her AVA license number. Who would abandon a dog; firstly in a shopping mall, and with a AVA license? So we figured it was most likely a lost dog.

We had plans to discharge Venus and Little Joe and take them to their new factory, but this felt urgent so we headed down to the shopping mall where we found Chris sitting on the steps outside, holding on to the dog’s collar.

When we saw the dog, her eyes were tired, she had discharge from her eyes and her hind legs were trembling as if she had been walking for weeks or months on end. She was also thin and her coat and skin were not too good. She was friendly and we managed to lead her to our car and carried her in.

We headed to our regular vet and scanned her for a microchip. She had none. Dr Ang examined her and checked her teeth. Dr Ang commented that although the dog looked about 7 or 8 years old, she was in fact only about 2 years old and she was underweight. Did the effects of leading a vagrant life with her owner take a toll on her? Did she go on for days and weeks with no food, no water nor shelter?

As it was a Saturday, AVA’s office was closed for the day, so we decided to keep her at the Vet for a few days. Anyway, she looked really exhausted and lay down at every opportunity she could get.
Outside the Vet. Look at her tired eyes.
Chris stayed on and walked around the mall and Orchard Road, asking shop owners if they had seen this particular dog before and if they knew its owner. Two people told him it belonged to a lady on crutches and they told him where she was usually spotted at.

He went over and true enough, she was there. When he told her he had found her dog, she kept telling him that her dog was sleeping and will come join her soon. Despite attempts to communicate with her about her lost dog, his attempts were futile; she did not seem to comprehend. He left shortly after.

The rest of our day was spent settling Little Joe and Venus into their new factory etc and their story would be up next week.

While at the Vet, this dog kept looking out the glass door, as if she was  desperately looking for her owner and she seemed really worried that her owner was out there alone. Despite looking so thin, tired and weak, she refused all food and water.

Sunday. We went down to Orchard Road again and found the lady with crutches sitting on a bench. I asked her where her dog was. Her eyes reddened as she answered “I don’t know”. I spoke to her for about 20 minutes, and after a few minutes, I realized that she suffered from a slight intellectual disability. Her answers were sometimes reasoned like that of a 10 or 12 year old child. After asking for her name a few times, she finally told me her name was “Selma” and that she was a Muslim. She said she lived with her “Chinese Aunty” in Rowell Road. I asked her if she worked, she said she could not get a job. I asked her if she fed the dog because she was very thin. She told me that if people gave her money, she would buy food to share with her dog but said usually she had no money.

I asked how she got from Rowell Road to Orchard Road daily; she said she and her dog would take the bus or taxi. This did not make sense as we know dogs are not allowed on buses and that she probably could not afford the taxi fare – considering we were told she would sit at the same spot in Orchard Road everyday.

I asked her for her handphone number or her mom’s name but she answered “my mother says cannot tell you Ma’am”. I merely wanted to contact a family member to take her home and to ask if they needed help feeding and caring for the dog.

I told her we had her dog at the clinic and that her dog was fine and resting. Tears rolled down her face and she turned away. I bit my lips and tried not to break down too. It was clear she loved her dog very much and it seemed like all they had was each other. I told her I would take her to see her dog on Monday if she waited at the same spot for me. I am not sure if she understood what I said, but I will go and look for her. She also told me her dog’s name was “Singapore”.

We took a drive to the “Chinese Aunty’s” house in Rowell Road. We just wanted to verify Selma’s story before returning the dog to her, and to also see their living conditions and how we could help. The aunty’s house was a shop house in Little India. There was no one by the name of “Lee Hwa”, whom Selma mentioned. However, this Chinese lady knew of Selma but when I asked if Selma and Singapore lived with her, she said no. She said that Selma would come into her shop once a week, sometimes once a month and this “aunty” would buy chicken wings for “Singapore”. Aunty told us that Selma used to rent a unit nearby but was asked to leave when she could no longer afford the rent. She said they slept at the park nearby, usually on the park bench. She told me sometimes people would give Selma $2 and she would buy food to share with “Singapore”. We know how much food we can get for $2 these days – hardly enough to fill a human, let alone a human and a mongrel.
Selma & Singapore's home

I asked aunty if she would let Selma and Singapore live with her, she said they had no extra space. She told us that Selma has been living at the park for some years now and that she had lost one leg in an accident some years ago.

Think about this - a Muslim female, about 45+ yrs old, mentally and physically disabled, cared for and protected by one loyal mongrel – sharing what little food they can get every few days, sleeping at the park and walking from Little India to Orchard Road everyday. I would think with a physically disabled person and a tired and hungry dog – they would take at least a FEW hours to get to town. Then she would sit along Orchard Road all day, watching the world go by, while Singapore roams around scavenging for food. That must have been how she ended up inside the shopping mall. Come nightfall, the both of them would walk another few hours back to Little India to sleep in the park.

Did you know such situations existed in Singapore? Why is it that no one has referred Selma to social welfare? She is unable to care for herself and she is homeless. Isn’t that enough grounds to offer help?

On another note, if social welfare did take her into a Home, she would most likely be separated from her dog and that's not what we want. They NEED each other.

We used animal communication with Singapore and she communicated with us that they did not have a home, they slept at the park – which was true and we already knew. Singapore asked why she was locked in the cage (at the Vet) and that she needed to get out to be with her owner. She said when it rained, they just continued sitting at the park and got drenched because her owner liked sitting in the rain. Singapore also told us that her owner was in a world of her own and the dog was all Selma had.

We have been in a fix on how to help Selma and the dog. This is a true case of a fellow human being needing help and a loyal dog taking care of her owner, living a life possibly worse than a stray. This is not a life; neither for a dog, nor a fellow human being.

To help the human being or to help the dog? We would like to help both, if we could. We would be glad to provide food to the dog on a regular basis but where can they live? The dog should not be separated from her owner because they only have each other and they mean the world to each other.

We have asked the vet to microchip the dog, vaccinate her and we’ve bought her a leash as she didn’t have one. We got one that can be hooked round Selma’s waist, so that they could walk together side by side, as she holds on to her crutches. We also got her a water bowl and some treats to keep with her. Singapore’s new name tag with be arriving in a week’s time – it has our telephone number on it, in case they lose each other again.

We are at a loss on how we can help both Selma and her dog. If you have suggestions, ideas on how we can help them – be it offering Selma a simple job so she has an income, or to provide both of them with regular meals and a shelter over their head, please email me at dogs_ink@singnet.com.sg  We will be returning the dog to her soon as we do not wish to separate them for too long. We're just holding the dog at the Vet so she gets some much needed rest and food, while we think of solutions for them both. PLEASE HELP US WITH IDEAS OR SUGGESTIONS. We would truly appreciate that.

Don't you think it's ironical that the dog's name is called "Singapore"? Yet here they are, living in their own "garden city" receiving no kindness, hope nor welfare.

Our young volunteer, Jo- Ann, did some surfing and found this article on Stomp! It was in July 2010.

The sight of this disabled woman sleeping on a cardboard box caught STOMPerTrempest Humphries' eye. The STOMPer noticed that this woman has cared the dog for at least two months despite having only one leg.

The STOMPer said:

“I took this picture at about 1.30pm on 22nd Jul because I saw this lady for the second time.

“The only difference this time is that she's sleeping on the walkway outside shop houses along Rowell road.

“Next to her is her loyal companion, a mongrel, which the lady shares a large portion of her cardboard 'mattress' with.

“When I first saw her about two months back, I thought to myself, ‘Steady! Just one leg and with crutches, she’s still able to walk her dog’.

“Now to me, there's so much more to this lady.

“She cares for her dog even though she's homeless.

“This is an example to all those people who give up their pets just because they've decided to move from a piece of landed property to a condominium.”

Written by Fiona.

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"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."- Unknown