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

Monday, October 24, 2011

When Will My Next Meal Be?

By Jeannie Yang

This is Dexter when we first met him at Lim Chu Kang fish farm.
He was such a happy camper. He was delighted to see us, completely oblivious to the fact that he was severely emaciated.
There wasn’t any sign of Dexter feeling sorry for himself. Though extremely scrawny, he was living each day with exuberance and joy.
Seeing Dexter has taught me about optimism in the face of adversity.

It must have been months as a vagabond with little food to eat and fresh water to drink before Dexter wandered into a fish farm at Lim Chu Kang.  Dexter (as we have named him) was skin and bones when he was found inside the toilet by AG who was renting part of the fish farm. One can literally count the number of bones on his rib cage. Dexter was shivering badly when he was found, shaking from hunger and cold as it was pouring heavily that day.
AG had no idea how he managed to get there because there were guard dogs at the fish farm and they were not too friendly towards other dogs.
“Hello boy, why are you here?  Did you lose your way? Are you hungry?” asked AG.  Dexter responded by wagging his tail as hard as he could and followed her everywhere she went. Fearing that he would be attacked by the other dogs at the fish farm, she led him back to the toilet by giving him canned food.
She was astonished that it was finished in seconds!  Dexter was literally gobbling it up.  He must have been famished!  Filling up the food bowl with dried kibbles to the brim this time, again it was devoured in last than a minute.  For the third time, she filled the bowl again and this time around Dexter finished half of it.  Can you imagine how hungry Dexter must have been, to have finished one huge can of dog food and one and a half full bowl of kibbles all in a matter of minutes!?
AG gave Dexter some water and asked him to stay where he was. Sweet Dexter obeyed.
“He is very trusting and sweet.  I wanted to help him because he is very pitiful.  I felt that he trust us and seem to understand what I am trying to tell him.”  AG told me. That was when she decided to call us to help Dexter.
Dexter is probably a Cross Weimaraner/Labrador.  When we found him, he only weighed 14.9kg.  A dog his size should weigh between 25 to 30kg. 

Dexter is thin as a rail, literally skin-and-bones.

Seeing the condition that Dexter was in, we immediately brought Dexter to the vet for a health assessment.
Dexter at Mount Pleasant (Redhill), waiting for his turn to get his health check. Seeing how thin he was, Dr Teo offered him a bowl of dog food but Dexter was more interested in the dental treats at the vet clinic and chomped up every bit of it.
At the vet, tests were done on Dexter.  He was having a slight temperature, his blood count was a tad lower than normal (which could be the result of malnourishment and starvation).  His white blood count was elevated which indicated infection of some form.  But we were relieved that test showed that he was free from tick fever and heartworm. 

Dogs have given us their absolute all.  We are the center of their universe.  We are the focus of their love and faith and trust.  They serve us in return for scraps.  It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. 
 ~Roger Caras~
Dexter is the sweetest young man.  Undemanding, easy-going, optimistic and warm. He is estimated to be about 1 to 2 years old.  We are not sure how Dexter became so emaciated, whether he once had a family or was a breeding dog that has outlived his usefulness.  We can only feel his emotions - but one thing for sure, Dexter is a fighter and he wants to live life to the fullest.  He doesn’t give up on life. He feels no self pity and like a soldier, he trudges along bravely and optimistically.
Recently, while cleaning his teeth, Dexter’s fosterer found a bamboo stick of about 3 inches long, lodged in the upper soft palate of his mouth.  No wonder, there was a foul smell in his mouth despite numerous brushes over the last few weeks.  Because of how deep the stick was embedded, it wasn’t spotted during the last 2 vet visits. It must have been there for some time and the gums have eroded.

This is a testament to the great endurance that Dexter exhibits. He was a contented and happy boy that no one would have guessed that he had a painful wound on his mouth.
There is light at the end of the tunnel for Dexter.  A kind family has decided to foster him and he has since gained 2.3kg with nutritious meals.
Despite the tender loving care that Dexter receives and sumptuous home cooked meals which he eats heartily every day, Dexter’s blood count dropped from 31 when we first found him to 26.  The vet will be doing another blood test in a week’s time and we are keeping our fingers crossed that his blood count will improve.  If the blood count continues to drop, further tests need to be performed.

If you would like to help us to defray the cost of Dexter's medical bills or would like to contribute to the medical expenses incurred during the course of our animal rescue work, you can write a cheque to "Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre (Redhill) Pte Ltd.  Kindly indicate behind your cheque "In Aid of Dexter" and mail your cheque to 8 Raffles Avenue #02-01 The Esplanade, Singapore (039802).

Or join us as volunteers and help us in caring for the less fortunate animals like Dexter. Simply drop us an email at dogstalk@starhub.net.sg

I would like to share with you the Rescuer's Creed.

By Susan M. Pearson

I shall be a believer of all that is good in man and of all that is deserving in animals.
I shall plead for their lives, campaign for their safety and uphold their right to a natural death.
I shall seek out the injured and the maimed, the unloved,
and the abandoned and tend to them in their last days.
I shall not forget their place in the hierarchy of life, nor that we walk in each other's paths.
I shall bear witness to the wonder they bring into our lives
and to the beauty they bestow upon our souls. 
I shall renew their spirits when they are waning, bind their wounds when they bleed, cradle them when they whimper, and comfort them when they mourn. 
I shall be near them in their hour of greatest need - a companion and friend when the time has come.
I shall watch over them and console them and ask that the angels gather them in their arms.
From the creatures of the earth, I shall learn the fruits of compassion and undying love, and I shall be called the beloved of God.
In their company I shall indeed be blessed.

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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