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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Decision Which Changed My Life Forever....


I was reading Tia's blog and saw this photo of a Shih Tzu named "Russell" (by his rescuer), who had been abandoned sometime in March.
The previous owners had tied him to the void deck and left him there for a day with no food and water. God only knows what human beings are capable of.
For some reason I felt compelled to do something. I've always loved dogs and have always wanted to have a dog of my own but I never took the plunge because I knew having a dog is a huge responsibility and a serious commitment and back then I wasn't sure if I was ready.
I asked Tia to bring Russell over to my place because I live alone and I was more than happy to look after him.
Initially the plan was to foster Russell, while we search for a good home for him.
On the first day, I changed his name. Because he was not responding to the name "Russell" at all. I started to randomly call out different names and he seemed to respond to "Cookie" only. So on 13 April 2011, he became Cookie. Cookie Darling!
Within a week, I knew he was not going anywhere.
I fell in love with Cookie.
The first night he was here, he vomited 6 times.
Tia and I freaked out. We guessed maybe he was car sick, or perhaps he over-ate or maybe he was really sick. The next day we brought him to the vet and it seemed that the vomiting was due to stress/ anxiety and not because he was physically unwell. The poor baby had to endure painful injections, taking blood and paw scrapings. I will never forget the sounds he made crying out in pain while the vet scraped his paws to check for parasites.
When he first came to me he was underweight, according to the vet. Only 6.5kg.
I started feeding him dry dog food mixed with wet food (canned chicken dog food), and as an attempt to fatten him up, I mixed in one whole square can of chicken meat mixed with the dry kibbles for every meal.
The rest of the week was horrible.
He had severe separation anxiety and I could not leave his sight, not even for a few minutes. I could not even go and take a shower without him peeing all over my living room floor. I could not go downstairs for 5 minutes to buy food without him peeing all over.
I basically could not leave his sight AT ALL.
I did not have a cage or a pan to confine him so he would end up peeing all over my house. I was tearing my hair out in frustration and having OCD certainly did not help. I was mopping my floor so many times a day that my hands started peeling.

After grooming, he looked like this
a happy and healthy dog.
My friends brought me a cage with a pee tray at the bottom and it was GOD-SENT. Thereafter, I would put Cookie in his cage whenever I had to go out, even for 5 minutes. He would pee but the pee would end up on the newspapers in the pee tray, so I no longer had to clean my floor like crazy any longer and I only had to change the newspapers. My house no longer reeked of dog pee. as the smell and stickiness took some effort to get rid of!
The second week I brought him for grooming.
After the first few difficult weeks, things got much better.

We settled into a very comfortable routine. I would feed him in the day and I would walk him at night. He would get so happy and excited every time I asked him, "Cookie, wanna go gai gai?"
He understands "gai gai" = going out for a walk, and "mum mum" = food!
I really enjoy walking him too and he gets quite a lot of attention from strangers. Whenever some people stopped to pet him, he would bask in the attention and wag his tail enthusiastically.
One amazing thing about Cookie is that he NEVER barks.
He has only barked twice since the first day he arrived and neither does he chew on random stuff, except for his toys. He will only whine a little if he wants to go out or needs attention. I consider him to be an extremely well-behaved dog and I am very lucky, indeed.

I love his face when he is sleeping
I had no experience in caring for a dog. I was so afraid I'd do something wrong and hurt him, or worse end up killing him! The first time I bathed Cookie, I felt like a new mother! But I just had to do it.
And surprisingly, it was rather easy.
I bathe him every 3 to 4days, depending on how dirty he is. He gets dirty rather quickly, since I walk him every night. After every walk, I wipe his paws, boy parts and backside with a clean wet cloth.
We forged a very special bond within the first month.
He sleeps in my room every night and has his own bed under my bedside table. And I am always beyond amused to hear him snore and woof in his sleep in the middle of the night.

He is so sticky that he will follow me every time I leave my room, be it the bathroom or to grab a quick snack from the kitchen. If I went to the bathroom, he would wait outside for me and walk back to my room together. He is such a sweet boy.
Would a boyfriend do that? I dont think so.
One of my favourite photos of him
Before I had Cookie, I was either home alone all the time, facing four walls and the TV. Or I would go out and come home to an empty house. Life was dull and monotonous.
I had gone through an unpleasant period in my life and had completely lost all faith in love and relationships. I became an empty shell, devoid of heart and soul. I forgot how to laugh and even stopped believing in love.

I was mostly angry - at myself and at others. I had no appetite and I couldn't sleep at night.
When Cookie came into my life, I felt my soul coming back to me. Slowly, but surely.
My friends noticed that I became a lot happier and more cheerful person.
I mean it when I say- I did not save Cookie. Cookie saved ME.
I think God sent Cookie to me for a very good reason. He was lost and heartbroken - so was I.
God probably wanted to let us know that there is still love and hope in this world.
I wrote this in my blog to Cookie:

When you first came to me, I promised you I would love you and look after you.
I looked into your eyes and talked to you.
 I tell you I love you everyday so you won't ever doubt it or forget.
I have accepted you into my home and my life, and now into my heart.
You bring me so much happiness and joy I don't know how to describe.
I have a good reason now to wake up every morning- I need to feed you! I love watching you eat, I love watching you sleep.
And Cookie Darling, I look forward to the many more days I will spend with you.
And I promise you, no man will ever replace you in my heart because nobody can love me in such a simple and pure way like you do.
I love you Cookie Darling. I promise I will always look after you and you never ever have to be worried or frightened again.
Love always, Mummy.

Written by Lynette

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Animal Communication Workshops: October 2011

Learn how animal communication can help enhance our relationships with animals, bringing clearer understanding about their needs, behaviour, wishes, humour, wisdom and purposes in our lives. It's amazing what our wise and loving animal companions have to teach and share with us.  Truly feeling and respecting an animal in such a way can reveal the most wonderful and insightful information about them. They have so much to share, and it can be a lot of fun healing and understanding them along the way.

We will be organizing our Animal Communication Workshop in October with renowned Animal Communicator, Ms Rosina Arquati and our classes are kept small to allow students to have lots of practice and Q&A.

To find out more about Animal Communication please click for more details,

Register now to avoid disappointment and your place will be confirmed upon full payment.

Animal Communication Workshop - Level 1 (Foundation)
Date: Sat, 15 Oct and Sun, 16 Oct, 2011 (2 Full Days)
Time: 10.30 am to 5.30 pm
Investment: $500
Animal Communication Workshop - Level 2 (Intermediate)
Date: Tue, 18 Oct, 2011 (1 Full Day)
Time: 10.30 am to 5.30 pm
Investment: $480

Venue for Animal Communication Workshops: Hort Park Function Room (located at Alexandra Road/Hyderabad Road)
Energy Healing for Pets - Angelic Healing for Animals
Date: Wed, 19 Oct, 2011 (1 Full Day)
Time: 10.30 am to 5.30 pm
Investment: $450
Venue for Energy Healing Workshop: To be advised

To know more about Energy Healing for Animal please click for more details.

To Register, please provide us with the following details:
Workshop Details (please tick the workshop you wish to attend)
(A)  Animal Comm. Workshop - Level 1 (Foundation) on 15 & 16 Oct   [       ]
(B)  Animal Comm Workshop - Level 2 (Intermediate) on 18 Oct           [       ]
(C)  Energy Healing for Pets on 19 Oct                                                      [       ]

Do you own a pet/pets?   
If yes, what type of pet/pets? (Breed of Dog/Cat, Rabbit, Bird, Fish)

Please print this page and issue your cheque to: "Zeus Communications LLP" and mail it to 8 Raffles Avenue, #02-04, The Esplanade, S(039802) to confirm your place for the workshop.

Certificates of Attendance will be awarded upon completion of the course.
For more information please send your queries to dogstalk@starhub.net.sg

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lost & Found: Male Maltese

A male Maltese was found on Sunday, 14 August '11 by Fangyi at Jalan Mastuli (Charlton Park Estate). Its a young dog between 2 to 5 yrs old, in good health and without a micro chip.

If you recognise him and you know who his owner is, please inform his owner to contact us at mailto:dogstalk@starhub.net.sg or SMS 9199 6662 or 9199 6247.

Thank you.
Zeus Comms.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Its Time for Changes for Our Street Dogs

Dear Friends,

The following article was sent to the Straits Times, Forum.

We would like to share with you that a group of passionate people who are involved in animal welfare are voicing their views from their hearts on behalf of the dogs who have shared this universe with us. 

We are hoping that the authorities will hear their views and it's time to make changes to our system.

We want more compassion for the animals; do not cull the dogs and cats that have been sterilised. Caregivers have spent thousands of dollars to have them sterilised, so why should our hard earned money go down the drain?  Sterilisation is the only key to reduce unwanted dogs and cats on the streets.  In no time - these sterilised animals will eventually pass away one day from old age and the number of dogs will eventually be reduced.

Abandonment is the reason we find strays living on the streets. Is this how we treat our animals who were once part of our family members? Just because their owners are sick of them and dispose them, we kind souls end up feeling sorry and bring them home?  Abandoning their pets will only create bad karma for them and they will have to live with guilt for life! 

That said, how many of these abandoned pets can we actually rescue? How many can be kept alive?  A pet is a lifetime commitment and even though AVA keeps promoting Responsible Pet Ownership, there isn't much improvement. So what has gone wrong with our system?  I have come to the conclusion that we need not educate and convert responsible pet owners, but instead it should be the non-pet owners who should be fully educated.

Every year, animal welfare groups have been appealing to AVA and HDB to let Mongrels be HDB approved.  Years have passed and we still see no change in the system.  If pet owners are responsible, why can't we keep Mongrels in our HDB apartments?  I have seen some Mongrels staying in HDB flats and they are just as well behaved and obedient as purebreds. Fearing neighbours' complaints, these owners have to take their dogs out in the middle of the night just to play safe. The fear resembles sneaking a mistress into the house! Why should we live in fear?  What we want is change - we want HDB to relook into the system and to allow responsible pet owners to keep a Mongrel in their apartment. 

Many people do not mind adopting Mongrels, however they do have one concern and that is - "Mongrels are not allowed in HDB flats." Majority of us Singaporeans are HDB dwellers, so can you imagine how many of our special breeds would have a home today if they were finally HDB approved? 

We hope that you will take time to read Anita's letter to the forum.  And let's start referring to our Singapore Specials as "Cross Breeds" instead of "Mongrels", for they are special in their own ways and have their own inner beauty which we can appreciate.

Yours sincerely
Lynda Goh

Letter to the Forum by Anita

Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD)

We are a small group of friends who have been actively feeding and rescuing  stray dogs  at different locations in Singapore for many years.  I am writing in to highlight the plight of these dogs.

Due to the recent development of the Lorong Halus Wetland, many of these harmless dogs have been trapped and culled. Some of us have been working tirelessly to rescue as many dogs as we can. But to do so, requires a long period, effort and finances on our part. To date, we have managed to rescue more than 20 dogs in the last 4yrs, a very small number, as compared to the hundreds that have been trapped and culled indiscriminately by the authorities.

All those dogs that had been rescued, were treated by the vet, sterilised and vaccinated, some have been successfully adopted. For those that aren't so lucky, are housed in various boarding kennels or released back to where their original habitat were. These unfortunate dogs (due to no fault of theirs) have faced insurmountable odds to survive. Hundreds of these dogs have been culled through the years, to make way for the fast growing expansion and development in this nation. Most are trapped inhumanely, suffering horrific injuries before they are culled. We implore the MND to intervene. Stop the culling of these harmless dogs. AVA (the government agency  ~ AGRICULTURE and VETERINARY Authority) charges a hefty sum of S$400 +, for each dog to be released to volunteers like us. VET and boarding are a astronimical cost to us. We would like to make a request to AVA to waive this fee. The waiver of this fee will be a reflection of AVA's true commitment towards animal welfare and humane practices.

Here are some of our thoughts on how the government can be more pro active in controlling the stray dogs population.

Finding homes for these dogs are mired by a huge obstacle, one being, that a large population of Singapore live in HDB flats. We implore the HDB to review it's current policy and allow these dogs to be adopted into HDB homes. Non-profit organisation like The Singapore Kennel Club can help. The SKC provides a wide range of courses, including obedience classes for dogs. These classes are essential tools to help rehabilitate and train these dogs to better intergrate and co-exist in our society.  

A big contributing factor to the stray population is irresponsible pet ownership. The government should legislate compulsory micro chipping and licensing and advocate sterilisation of pets. Heavier penalties should be meted out to owners if they are  proven to have abused or abandoned their pets.

If the above measures, are taken into consideration, we are convinced that there will be significant and visible results in the stray dogs (and cats) population. We strongly urge for the government to initiate change in our nation and strive towards a more compassionate and humane society. May I quote BG TAN, (Minister Of State for Ministry of National Developement)  6th Aug from the online portal ~ "people must acknowledge that pets and strays are inevitably part of the living environment and should find ways to best live alongside them".

We would like to salute the founders of the various animal welfare groups, Ricky (ASD ~ Action For S'pore Dogs), Ms Cathy Strong (ALL ~ Animals Lovers League), Raymond Wee (Noah's Ark CARES), Lynda Goh ( Zeus Communications ).  Many thanks to Mr Ong, Mr Han and Mohan for rescuing a stray dog (named Xiao Hei) that had lost mobility on his right leg, and giving him a chance to live instead of putting him down; to Alysha and Tara who donated all their birthday 'ang pow' collections to Zeus Communications (animal shelter); and to the many other volunteers island wide who have dedicated their whole lives to saving our street dogs.

Let's note that ~ "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated"  ~ Mahatma Gandhi 

Xiao Hei was rescued by Mr & Mrs Ong and Uncle Han who have been feeding strays for the last 5 years with the help from Mohan of Animal Lovers League .  Xiao Hei disappeared for 2 days, the caregivers were so worried that they did not give up and kept looking for him.
Xiao Hei fell into the canal that was almost 5ft deep.  Mrs Ong in her 60s used her heart to search for Xiao Hei by sliding into 5ft deep canal - she did not even think of her safety or danger by doing what she did.  We are thankful that it did not rain when Xiao Hei was stuck in the canal. Stay tune for Xiao Hei's story...
(Picture was taken before Xiao Hei's surgery, his right front leg had to be amputated)

Dr Teo attending to Xiao Hei's wound.  Part of his bone could be seen.  Xiao Hei was in great pain and frustration for days.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Vicky The Shih Tzu

More often than not, we cross paths with irresponsible pet owners who claim to love their pets but neglect them. Or love them for a while then that love dies when they find new interests in life.

I recently found out about an 8 year old Shih Tzu, Vicky, through a friend. Vicky's owner has a full-time job and the poor dog was often caged up at home for long hours while she was at work, losing most of her paper-training concepts. The friend who contacted me knew about Vicky's situation of being locked up for long periods and tried persuading the owner to put the dog up for adoption. The owner could not bear to give Vicky up and promised to re-train her, love her and bring her for her due vaccinations, sterilization and necessary medical assessments.

One year later, still nothing was done. The owner was way too busy with work to care about poor little Vicky. During her frequent trips overseas, Vicky would be left alone at home, caged up with just a huge bowl of food and water. Did the owner expect a dog to know how to ration her food and water intake for a week??

Vicky's cleanliness, hygiene and health were neglected to a great extent. When my friend contacted me to help the owner, Vicky already had skin and ear infections. I talked to the owner and she decided that she couldn't handle the responsibilities of owning Vicky. The owner felt that Vicky was already 8 years old and an old dog could never be taught new tricks – and in this instance, could not re-learn her paper-training and basic commands. The owner also admitted that a dog that is caged and neglected is a "poor thing" and finally gave up ownership and thus, ending Vicky’s suffering.

Look at Vicky now!

Vicky was fostered by a kind family and has been through thorough health checks. Besides being on medication for her skin and ear infections, Vicky has been given an excellent bill of health.

We are pleased to let you know that Vicky has seen found her forever home and we are so happy for her new family has accepted her after what she has gone through.c.

Why keep a pet when you’re not going to care for it?

Don’t leave your furry friends in the lurch.

Pets are like children, they need accompaniment, trust and most importantly, loving care.

Contributed by Ruo Hui

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Story of Terrible Feline Suffering & Incredible Feline Bravery

This is Crystal. She is a very petite and sweet natured cat of less than a year old. She is still very much a toddler and ought not suffer what she has been through. Read about her ordeal below.

Last Monday night, Zeus Communications received a call from a young lady, SY to request for help. SY remembered Lynda from one of our talks and googled Zeus Communications for our contact details.

SY asked us to help her with a cat that has a “wound” but we were not given details on how big or severe the wound is.

Apparently, SY’s father – Uncle Yap has been feeding Crystal on a regular basis but for 2 days, Crystal disappeared. When she finally reappeared, it was one of a plea for help. Crystal was seriously injured. A third of her body was covered in a deep open wound.

Crystal before when she was first rescued, body arched in pain.

We could only imagine the tremendeous pain that Crystal has to endure and is continuing to endure.

As it was already very late at night, we advised Uncle Yap on what needs to be done and on our end we made all the necessary arrangements for Crystal to be attended to first thing in the morning at Mt Pleasant Redhill, which included arranging for pet transport for Crystal to be rushed down to the vet clinic quickly and safely.

In the meantime, Lynda communicated with Crystal to let her know that help is on the way and for her to hang in there.

Crystal was attended to by Dr Teo JW who performed all the necessary blood tests to ensure that Crystal was in good health before we proceeded with the general anaesthesia to clean up her wound.

While we do not know what exactly transpired, through animal communication, Crystal showed Lynda that someone had poured blistering hot liquid on her and she screamed in excruciating pain. We just cannot imagine who would ever do such a thing to a defenceless cat.

Crystal's horrific wound - still looking very raw and inflamed. We are glad that Crystal sought help from Uncle Yap who found us through his daugher SY. Without treatment, Crystal's wound would have been very badly infected and skin rot may set in, possibly putting Crystal's life in danger.

Crystal is currently hospitalized at Mt Pleasant Redhill. Although her wound is recovering under the care of Dr Teo JW, it is estimated that she is likely to have to be in the hospital for 1 to 2 more weeks as her wounds are still extremely raw and inflamed.

Crystal resting in her little "hospital" ward. Her movement is limited at the moment as her huge wound causes her pain when she moves around.

Antibiotics, anti-inflammation drugs and pain medication are being administered to Crystal and her wound has to be cleaned daily.

The vet technician has all but praises for Crystal. Although, the pain must be excruciating, Crystal is taking it like a brave little feline.

In spite of her horrendous pain and injury, Crystal exhibits tremendous fighting spirit and the will to live. She seems to know that the vets and technicians are helping her and would doggedly endure the pain, being very sweet and cooperative during her daily painful regimen of wound cleaning.

As Crystal is a very young cat, her chances of a full recovery is good. She is also FIV and FELV negative. Blood tests also shows her to be in good health.

Here’s three cheers and a round of meows for our brave little feline - Crystal.

Crystal would need to stay at the vet to be nursed until her wounds are healed. Her hospitalisation bill, including medication and medical procedures would cost est. $900. As of 31 July, the medical bill was $728.80.

If you would like to help Crystal, you may write a cheque to “Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre (Redhill) Pte Ltd". Kindly indicate behind your cheque “In aid of Crystal the Cat” and mail your cheque to:- 8 Raffles Avenue #02-01 The Esplanade Singapore (039802).

Or if you would like to adopt/ foster Crystal, kindly contact Lynda at dogstalk@starhub.net.sg

Thank you so much for giving Crystal hope.

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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