Tuesday, 30 June 2009

The making of Custard


Lately I have been focusing a lot of my attention on some different and unusual animals, which have been spending time at the centre: birds, buffaloes, piglets etc. Today I figure it’s time to turn our attention back to dogs. I want you to meet Custard.

Custard and TanjaCustard was made a centre dog way back in December 2006 following nearly three months in the kennels as a patient. He was brought to Animal Tracks by some friendly people who had seen him get hit by a vehicle (in true Goa fashion the driver of the vehicle simply carried on driving!) Luckily Custard hadn’t sustained any serious injuries and he was quickly physically fit again. During his treatment however it became evident that he was severely mentally traumatised. It was unknown whether the trauma was caused by the accident or some early experience in his life. He was only young - approximately eight months old – so it is possible he used to belong to somebody who didn't treat him well.

All staff at Animal Tracks embarked on the project of befriending Custard and making him trust humans again. It was not easy however and gradually more and more people started to doubt that he would ever get over his mental trauma. The vets were concerned about releasing him because of his nervous condition and Custard became the subject of severe debate. What could be done for him?

Custard and OliveAfter weeks and weeks of hard work Custard finally found a friend in one member of staff who forced him again and again to endure her company. It was painful at first and a very gradual process but the day came when Custard finally decided that he trusted her. He has since been released at the centre but he remains a very nervous and guarded dog. He doesn’t mix with the rest of us and keeps himself to himself a little off the centre property. He occasionally accepts treats from the hands of volunteers but will not go anywhere near anyone except the one person who did not give up on him. They remain close friends and still catch up from time to time.

I always thought Custard was a handsome fella and have tried on several occasions to wag my tail in his direction but so far all my advances have gone unnoticed. Maybe one day Custard will discover me and we can go down to the pond and watch the sunset together...

Lots of love

Monday, 15 June 2009

Introducing my buffalo buddies

Hi there!

Today I want to tell you about some really cool buddies of mine. I bet you think all I do is hang around Animal Tracks all day - and mostly you'd be right to assume that! It is not the whole truth though. I also spend quite a bit of time roaming around Assagao either with someone from the centre gang or on my own.

swimming buffaloesWe like to wander off in the cool hours of the evening for a change of scenery. Some of the other centre dogs go off to chase cars or stray cattle or to get up to some other kind of mischief. I like to go down to the pond and visit this gang of buffaloes that like to go for an evening swim there. For a long time the little natural pond was dry because we were approaching the end of the dry season but now that we've had a couple of storms and heavy showers it has filled up again so they're all really pleased. They don't seem to mind that I join them in soaking up the sunset... only I don't do it from inside the water. I'm happy staying on the shore!

Buffaloes cooling offAt the centre lots of cattle are treated for all sorts of ailments: horn cancer, maggot wounds, burns, fractures etc etc. Most cows, bulls and buffaloes have owners but usually the owner doesn't mind International Animal Rescue taking care of the animals if they need to be treated. There are those however who refuse to let their animal be treated at the centre. Maybe they're afraid they won't get it back. Or perhaps their religious beliefs prevent them from agreeing to let IAR take custody of their cattle. In Hindu religion cows are sacred and while it's great that this means you can't kill them, it sometimes means that they are denied treatment by the owner for fear that it will cause them to die. It's really sad because this means that animals are left to suffer. Luckily this bunch is fit and healthy so for now I can continue to indulge in a bit of sunset meditation with them down by the pond.

Love from me!