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

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.


  1. Oh man...Angel, plsssssssssssss eat....my heart aches for u, my dear gal...... =(

  2. Hi there. How do we go about adopting Angel if we are interested?

  3. Hi Evelyn, could you please email Fiona. dogs_ink@singnet.com.sg Thanks


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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