Monday, 26 January 2009

Billie and Bob

Hello hello!

Wow, do I have a great story for you today! Although we witness lots of unusual, strange, heartbreaking, and unbelievable events on a daily basis, every now and again a particularly unusual occurrence brings lots of commotion to the centre.

Billie the BoxerRecently the centre became a temporary home to two beautiful pedigrees who have come to Goa from far far away, namely France.

We do not know their names but I like to call them Billie and Bob although I'm sure that their real names are far more sophisticated, being from Europe and all that. Billie is a female Boxer and Bob is a male Mastiff and both are full of vigour and energy. Sadly their owners fell prey to a terrible accident whilst visiting Goa and are presently unable to look after them. There is a big investigation going on and we have agreed to look after the dogs while this is going on.

Bob the MastiffIt was lucky that International Animal Rescue was permitted to take the dogs as otherwise their fate could have been too tragic to contemplate, but now luckily they can be returned to their owner once all the formalities have been settled. In the meantime they are sure to meet lots of new friends at the centre.

They don't seem to be snobby which some pedigrees are when they mix with us local breeds. I guess that's a good thing but I'm a little bit scared of them because they are so big and boisterous. I do wish them all the best though. Arrangements are currently being made to reunite them with their owner in France and hopefully it won't be too long till they can go back home.

Bye for now!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Daisy's puppies

Hello friends!

Daisy's pupsLook at these little fellas. Aren't they adorable? They were born right here at the centre. Everyone's jaws dropped because no one knew the mother (called Daisy) was pregnant. She was brought in for sterilisation by her carer - who also didn't know - and suddenly one morning she had become the proud mother of these three lovely fluffballs! Daisy is such a small dog herself with very slender limbs and body and she was showing no signs of being just about to whelp so it escaped even the vets' attention.

DaisyDaisy is the best mummy any puppy could wish for. She's very loving and protective and pays attention to every need of the little ones. If one falls off the bed or crawls too far away she makes sure she picks it up gently and returns it to its place. She loves being taken out for walks by the volunteers but is equally keen to return to her kennel so she can look after her babies.

Everyone's biggest worry is whether or not the puppies will survive. Being so small and frail it is always risky to keep them in an environment where they are exposed to disease. Their immune systems are not developed to resist the various bacteria in the air so they are constantly at risk.

PuppyThe carer has agreed to take home the whole family once Daisy has been sterilised. As wonderful as it is to witness such a miracle right here on our doorstep we don't want Daisy to have to litter again. Every puppy born adds to an already critical dog population in Goa and unless they are sterilised in a few months they will go on to breed even more puppies without a home.

I just wish I was allowed in the kennels so I could spend some time around the pups. I love little puppies and when volunteers take some of them out to play I always tag along to see what they all get up to and join in the fun.

I'll be in touch again soon!

Lots of love

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Rodney, Blackie and Toffee

Hello everybody!

Before Christmas I told you about all the lovely puppies that we have at the centre for adoption. We’ve seen an increase in adoptions during the past three months and it's wonderful to know that so many abandoned pups get a second chance in a new home.

Today I want to tell you about Rodney, Blackie and Toffee. They are also waiting for a loving new home but their situation is slightly different: they are adult dogs aged between one and four years. They have been abandoned by their previous owners and unfortunately IAR have no details of these people. To think that some one would just leave their dog to fend for itself when it has never known life on the streets before is just heartbreaking!

RodneyEvery year - especially at the end of the tourist season - we see several cases like this. Many tourists come and stay in Goa for several months at a time during which they pick up a puppy and bring it home and make it their pet during their holiday. When they leave India they may have been unable to find a new home for the dog, they may have realised that they couldn't afford to bring it back to Europe with them after all, or they may just assume that the dog can go from being domesticated to living on the streets without a problem and leave it somewhere at the mercy of other dogs occupying that territory. These dogs often end up at the centre and are put up for adoption.

Rodney is a male local breed dog. You may remember him from my earlier newsletter. He is approximately two years old and was admitted to International Animal Rescue in September following a bad road accident in which he fractured both a front and a hind leg. He has successfully undergone extensive orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation and is now back to being a healthy and active dog. Rodney is friendly and very active and loves to play with the volunteers.

ToffeeToffee is a male local breed dog of around three or fours years of age. He was brought to the International Animal Rescue shelter from Anjuna in October with a hip injury.

He has recovered well but can't be released because he had strayed into unfamiliar territory and no records exist about his original location.

Toffee is a very affectionate and gentle dog and he loves to receive cuddles and treats.

BlackieBlackie is also from Anjuna and is currently receiving treatment for a maggot wound on his shoulder and neck.

He is a male mix breed dog and was brought from Anjuna on 15 December 2008. He is a friendly and playful dog and a real family pet.

If nobody comes to adopt Rodney, Blackie and Toffee there may still be hope in sight. Many of our permanent centre dogs have similar stories to tell of how people who once cared for them suddenly abandoned them. We're keeping our fingers crossed that they find loving new homes though.

Bye for now!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

All about Khali

Dear friends

Hope you have all recovered after the Christmas and New Year festivities. I am pleased to say that all my friends and volunteers have made sure that all the dogs at the centre have had a share in the joys of the festive season. We've been spoilt with treats and goodies! Lots of volunteers bring out gifts for the centre and all the animals and especially the puppies love to play with rubber chews and choo sticks. If you're planning a trip to Goa and a visit to the centre please remember to check out the needs list on our website. It's packed with ideas of stuff to bring out.

KhaliToday I want to tell you about Khali. She was brought to the centre with two of her friends for sterilisation from Vagator Beach where she was roaming with her pack. She was looked after by one of the local shacks and the people there were only too happy not to have to worry about her having litters of puppies.

All seemed to be well with Khali and she was returned to the beach after her operation but sadly she fell very ill just two weeks after being returned. Two dedicated IAR volunteers who had followed Khali's progress ever since she was brought to the centre the first time made sure she was admitted for treatment but things didn't look too good for Khali. She was diagnosed with distemper and put in quarantine. Distemper is a killer virus among dogs in Goa and once they catch it their chances are slim. Khali however wasn't going to give up and her determination to survive combined with the efforts of IAR staff and volunteers helped her to recover and she was returned to the beach. The IAR volunteers continued the treatment of her for two weeks after she was returned and today she is a happy and healthy dog once again.

Khali's caretakers have followed Khali's progress and have seen first hand the difference International Animal Rescue can make to a dog's life and since their experience with Khali they have recognised the need for dogs to be sterilised and treated if they're sick. With every local resident in Goa who gives their support to International Animal Rescue we get one step closer to solving the stray dog problem in Goa.

Lots of love

Friday, 2 January 2009

Happy New Year and welcome to 2009!

This year I'll be turning four which makes me nearly 30 years old in human years. Unlike most humans though, we dogs don’t tend to get too depressed about getting older. As long as we have food in our tummies, a roof over our heads, friends to play with and kindness and affection from the people around us we’re happy, regardless of age.

SophieI want you to meet Sophie. Sophie is actually one of our old patients. She was brought in by the drivers in the monsoon with bad injuries and a broken leg following a road accident. She was barely more than a pup and naturally the experience had left her quite traumatised. Her leg was mended and she was sterilised and vaccinated but the recovery time was long owing to the extent of her injuries. One of our volunteers, Jenny, fell in love with Sophie and spent a lot of time with her, giving her lots of love and reassurance to make sure her time as a patient at IAR was as happy as it could be. Jenny gained Sophie's trust and they soon became pretty much inseparable. I still recall the anxious cries of Sophie when Jenny would leave her and her joyful howls when she returned the next day!

Jenny lives in Goa permanently and has been coming to help at the centre for more than a year now. She has cats at home but her love for Sophie was so strong that she decided to adopt her and see if she could make it work. Luckily the cats soon got used to having Sophie around and today Sophie is a happy and healthy member of Jenny’s family. She has recovered from her injuries and lives a life most dogs in Goa only get to dream of.

Sophie is definitely living happily ever after!

Lots of love.