Monday, 22 December 2008

My friend Boris

Hello hello!

Can you believe it's Christmas already? Time just flies and before you know it another year has gone by. We are bracing ourselves for a challenging year in 2009. I hear everyone talk about global financial trouble, terrorist threats in India scaring tourists off and I fear this means that we won't see as many new faces at the centre as we're used to and that makes me really sad.

BorisI have my own personal challenge to face with my 'friend' Boris. Boris was abandoned outside the gates of International Animal Rescue in August and was admitted to be sterilised and then put up for adoption. He was in the kennels for ages and gained the sympathy of all the volunteers so when no one had adopted him after a while they convinced the staff to make him a centre dog. That's where the challenge started as far as I'm concerned! Boris very quickly decided that he wanted to be the leader of the pack around here and subsequently he gave the rest of us loads of grief. Sometimes he’d even attack us for no apparent reason! I tried to put him in his place a couple of times but with no back up from the others I soon had to realise that he's much stronger than me and back down. Even Tina, who normally is the last one to approve of a new arrival – if indeed she ever does! – has accepted him and has sometimes even been seen succumbing to his verbal warnings for her to back off.

OliveThree months on and we've all come to accept that Boris isn't going to give up on his claim to the top position in the hierarchy and I must admit that he seems to have mellowed a bit. He can be quite fun sometimes actually because he's very clever and knows lots of tricks on how to chase stray cattle or monkeys for a thrill! He climbs up on the surgery roof and cuts off the path of the monkeys and it's so much fun to watch the monkeys trying to escape his attention so they can get through. He's too smart for them though. These little games have us all up and running and we have a great time. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that although Boris can be a bit of a handful to deal with at times, he’s also livened things up a bit around here, which I guess isn't such a bad thing.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. I look forward to staying in touch with you all in 2009!

Bye for now!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Puppy love at Christmas

Hi there!

Well, Christmas is drawing near and as always this is a busy time for all at the centre in Assagao.

Happy puppy We have lots of volunteers who come up to walk the dogs, care for the puppies and play with us. We currently have three girls working in our puppy section making sure they are all treated for worms, fleas and ticks and to pamper them to make their stay at the centre a fun and comfortable one. They also help the people who come to adopt the puppies to make sure they pick the right puppy. The pups all have different personalities and some people want a lively and naughty one and others want a gentle and loving one.

Puppy in food bowlAll the puppies adopted from the centre are sterilised and vaccinated free of charge by IAR and they also get free treatment for a year if they fall sick. After all, we want to make sure the little ones have as good a life as possible once they leave the centre so we need to support the new owners. We also want to encourage local people to adopt a local breed dog and save a life, rather than seek out breeders who charge a bomb for a pedigree pup that will continue to cost the owner a lot of money in special care. After all, we local breed dogs are sturdy and used to the Indian climate. We're not fussy about what we eat and we rarely fall sick. We are very loyal and excellent guard dogs so there is absolutely no excuse not to pick one of us!

Kitten and puppyI feel so lucky to have been saved by the people at the centre because heaven knows what fate would have been in store for me had I not been rescued. It sends chills down my spine just thinking about it. What's worse is that I am but one of the lucky ones. Far too many pups are abandoned to fend for themselves, few of which survive, so naturally it warms all of our hearts when a puppy finds a loving home.

Oh look, the bone man just arrived! That means we all get a bone to chew but only if we get there before he runs out so I’d better run over and make sure I get mine!

Will be in touch again soon!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Goodbye Sandy and Sfinx!

Hello hello!

I’m just so excited about sharing my news with you today. As you know I’m just one dog in a big family of dogs who live at the centre in Goa. We were all rescued either as pups or as adult dogs and because we had nowhere to go or couldn’t fend for ourselves owing to injuries or other ailments the staff here in Assagao decided to take us under their wing and give us a second chance. All we have to do in return for food, shelter and lots of cuddles and treats is to protect the centre from intruders and make sure we meet and greet all our visitors with lots of enthusiasm.

SandySometimes a visitor will fall in love with one of us centre dogs and offer to take us home. Although life as a centre dog is great, the prospect of going to a loving home to be someone’s pet is very special. The staff are very protective of us because we are part of the family here, so they always make sure that the new home is a good and loving one. On one hand it is a happy occasion when one of us gets selected for adoption, but on the other we are also a bit sad to see a good friend go. Recently we said goodbye to not just one but two of our centre dog buddies - Sandy and Sfinx.

Sandy had been rescued by an English lady as a small puppy and she had kept her until she left to go back to England. The lady promised to come back for Sandy and she went to a temporary home in the meantime. Sadly, the former owner never returned for Sandy and she ended up back at the centre when her foster home couldn’t keep her any longer. She had survived the parvo virus twice, as well as overcome the mental trauma of being abandoned and so she became a centre dog because she deserved some happiness and peace in her life.

Sfinx was admitted at the centre as a small puppy and instantly captured the heart of Israeli volunteer Gal who spent every day at the centre making sure that all puppies received 5-star treatment. Gal was distraught to see Sfinx grow bigger and bigger with no one turning up to adopt her and she was concerned what her fate would be once she went home to Israel. She asked staff about the possibility of making Sfinx a centre dog but because she was so young it all boiled down to whether or not Sfinx could stand up to the much older and bigger centre dogs. Luckily Sfinx turned out to have the right combination of tough cookie and a gentle nature to make her able to get on with the others just fine.

Sandy and Sfinx struck up an instant friendship and became virtually inseparable. The played together, slept together and stuck up for each other. Now I have to admit that I thought they were a bit too much and I didn’t particularly get on with them because their friendship got on my nerves and they never allowed me to play with them, but nevertheless it was good to see them settle in so well.

One day it looked like the perfect friendship was about to be broken: a lady in Assagao had asked if she could adopt Sandy. She was alone in a big house and wanted a dog for company and protection. Luckily staff recognised that breaking Sandy and Sfinx up would be heartless so they had a word with the lady who agreed to take both of them. So the story saw a happy ending for all parties and since Sandy’s and Sfinx’s departure the centre dog group have welcomed Boris, Stella and Stevie into the gang. There is a limit to how many dogs the centre can support so, whilst it’s always a bit sad for everyone to say goodbye to our friends, it’s great to know that with each one finding a new home a space opens to give another abandoned dog a second chance.

As for me, some one has to stay around and keep the rest in order! Must dash, bye for now...