Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Meet Rod, a true survivor

Hello everyone!

It's time for a little update from life at our rescue centre in Assagao, Goa. It has suddenly gotten very busy around here now that the tourist season has started and more people bring animals and visit the centre. We have a wonderful team of volunteers who come daily to walk all the dogs and care for the puppies and kittens. They always find time to play with me and give me a cuddle and they also bring treats so we're getting spoiled rotten up here these days!

Rod receiving treatment at the International Animal Rescue centre in GoaI want you all to meet Rod who was brought to the centre in September with multiple fractures to his front and hind legs. He was in a really bad state but his caretaker had pleaded with our vets to do their best to save him. He has undergone orthopaedic surgery and had his legs pinned. He was unable to walk for so long but is recovering well and should hopefully be able to go home soon.

The astounding thing about Rod is that despite his physical and mental trauma he is still a happy and friendly dog thanks to all the care he has received from our volunteers. In the beginning he was frightened and his fear turned to aggression. He started associating people with pain because every time he saw a human being it was a vet or a nurse treating him or a kennel boy scrubbing his cage. He lacked loving attention and started growling at everyone.

Luckily a volunteer, Jan, took him under her wing and has spent countless hours pampering him and taking him out for a bit of exercise and playtime. Rod has started to love life again and he is the happiest little dog again.

Rod, on the road to recoveryIt is still uncertain when Rod will be able to go back to his caretaker but hopefully it won't be too long. His pins have come out so now he just needs to build up the strength in his legs again. Until then no doubt Jan will continue to ensure that his time at the centre is the best it can be.

Things have finally picked up in the vet department again (we have been short of vets since spring and unable to find suitable replacements for the ones we lost) and we are almost back to a full team of vets. That means that the wheels have started turning faster again and more dogs get sterilised, which is great. I'm busy making sure the new vets pick me as their favourite centre dog and they already seem to love me.

All the other centre dogs are doing great although we all suffer a bit in the heat these days. Hopefully the weather will cool down soon. Moti has been treated for a urine infection which caused her to be incontinent but she's fine now.

Boris has finally settled in properly and has stopped fighting with everyone, although he still tends to throw his weight around a little too much for my liking!

I will be in touch again soon.

Lots of love

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Welcome to my blog!

Hi there, my name is Olive Oyl and I'm a member of the family at International Animal Rescue's centre in Goa, India. You may have met me before - I've become a bit of a celebrity during the past couple of years - but in case you haven't, I'll tell you a bit about myself...

Me having a well deserved meal at the IAR centreI was picked up by an IAR rescue team in the town of Mapusa in the autumn of 2005 - just one of thousands of stray pups born in India and left to fend for themselves. I ended up at the local rubbish dump where I tried to stay alive by eating anything I could find that was remotely edible.

My chances of survival were slim - I'd been hit by a lorry as I tried to dodge through the speeding traffic on a busy road and was weak from the terrible pain in my leg. It’s hard enough to stay alive on the streets at the best of times, let alone when you’re sick and injured.

Luckily one day the IAR ambulance crew spotted me. By then I could hardly move and was lying curled up, waiting to die. But my rescuers gently picked me up and took me to the clinic in Assagao where I received immediate treatment and lots of loving care to get me back on my feet. Then - as if things weren't bad enough already - I became really sick with distemper (a viral disease that affects the nervous system and can be fatal). It's a highly contagious disease and staff at the centre were scared that I might infect the other dogs. I was kept all alone in quarantine and given loads of different medicines and a special diet to help me fight the virus.

On the road to recoveryI can't deny that my first month at the centre was really miserable. Not only was I frightened by the unfamiliar surroundings, I also had to undergo orthopaedic surgery on my leg, fight a lethal virus and deal with the fear and pain without knowing if I was ever going to get better. The staff and volunteers at the centre were great though. They pampered me and gave me endless cuddles and words of encouragement. I have to say I didn't like it much at first. I wasn't used to human contact so I was baffled by their constant need to pick me up and stroke me! But I soon learned what a nice feeling it is (and not just for the humans!) and I gradually craved more and more love and attention.

Enjoying life at the IAR centreToday I've recovered completely from all my illnesses. My leg is fine now - I can run, jump and play just like any other dog - and I managed to fight the distemper virus. I’ve been left with a slight twitch in my neck but I’m used to that now. If nothing else I find it gives me more pulling power when the cuddles are handed out. People can’t help but look at me and go "Awww….and who’s that little darling!?" I love it!

Anyway, enough about me. I'll be posting regular updates on the comings and goings at the centre. Hopefully you’ll find it interesting reading. There’s going to be loads of gossip about the dogs and cats and cows and... so check my blog regularly.

Bye for now!