Thank you for your patience with all the “flood” of blogs this week.
OK, so the Buddhist temple seemed spartan in puppy care, and we still hadn’t made contact yet. It is becoming less and less an option. Newas suggested another location since the Elder Care Center couldn’t take any more animals.
No, this is NOT the part of the ICC local Cricket Team, the Garden Club Ladies Tea Party, nor the running of the bulls! We met these gals yesterday, before reaching the Animal Welfare & Protection Association, and went around this jam in the road…
Yesterday, Hossein, Newas’ uncle, took me a long convoluted way to the Animal Welfare & Protection Association (PAWS or APAW would have been a better acronym if they could have worked it a bit). I took pictures, and we could not get past the front gate as there was no one about to let us in or give us information. It was looking grim, too, with about twenty barking adult-sized dogs in the front section. I leave the pictures speak my 1,000 words.
A bit later, a man came who told us he was the keeper of the dogs, though it was tough to do for over 200 dogs and by himself! He told us that several people donate food for the dogs, from doctors, and vets, to general people in the area. It was so depressing, and crude, I had no heart to tell the man that no way was I going to hand over a puppy. There are only two pups, and they are 6- and 10-months-old. I was off the hook when the keeper said that the youngest dog they could accept was 6-months-old. He said any dog younger would be killed by the older dogs! As we left, Hossein suggested I give the keeper Rp.100, but I gave him Rp.600. He looked like he could do with some donations, too.
Though we will not give Hodi over to this association, we will donate a large bag of deluxe dog food to them (Rp. 1,200, ~$12) of Pedigree – which I was told was pretty high class for this bunch apparently. Hossein later kidded with Madu about splitting the bag up between them and giving the dogs what they usually get – rice. The 3 kg bag of adult dog food probably won’t last past the first twenty dogs!
So, now we’re desperate to figure out how to get Hodi to the States as it is unlikely anyone here will adopt her, though we would need someone or someplace to care for her and take her to the vet for the next 2 months until she’s old enough, and prepared to travel. I’ve called Nayana’s sister, emailed Hakeem and family, who we met here and have kept in touch, and will also ask the vet for help. Many in Sri Lanka wonder why we would go to this much trouble for just a mere mutt puppy. Odd, as many people here are Buddhist, and life is sacred to them, whereas the Muslims discourage any dog to live inside a home.
It’s the starfish parable – one little puppy more may not matter to anyone, but it does matter to the puppy! And to us.
Here is Hodi’s progress report! As of today, March 7, 2011, Monday, she weighed 1.75 kg (about 3.85 lbs), is bigger than an A4 piece of paper (sorry, no ruler or standard way to measure). In anticipation of having her leave us, I took pictures of her with the idea of using for identification for later, when she’s bigger. It’ll be difficult, as she’s pretty evenly colored right now – though she has a wee bit dark part at the tip and on another spot halfway on the tail. I think I’m falling in love, too … (blush!) Hodi was truly cooperative while I traced around her on my A4 elephant dung paper – she fell asleep!
I feel that Hodi’s grown significantly in the one week we’ve had her! She seems a bit longer, less wobbly, and has learned fairly quickly not to bite except for the dog treats, pees and poops on newspaper as of yesterday (Amy did a mini celebration – she worked hard cleaning up each day after breakfast), and absolutely loves attention, but is good at asking for it by licking us!
I asked Amy after one hot day of cleaning up after several Hodi messes if she’s rethinking about the Shiba Inu farm and raising pups. Amy pshaw’d that thought, and said that she would do it better once she had her own place, and didn’t have to worry about offending someone (she doesn’t agree with the Muslim owner that dogs can’t go inside a house), and would have a large yard to allow the dogs to run around. For the past two days, Hodi has been kept on the shared balcony running alongside our room and the one next door. Amy tied Hodi to her leash yesterday, letting out only enough for Hodi to reach the newspaper, in order to not encroach on the room next door when she noticed they were Muslim! What a thoughtful touch.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Perhaps Amy and I woke up late on purpose – we didn’t want to leave Hodi at the Animal Shelter. Well, since we DID have a 10 am appointment and were going to donate a large bag of dog food, we drove with Hossein there. A woman who was helping the man I saw yesterday came out and spoke to Hossein. We gave her the food, she cuddled the puppy and seemed reluctant to let it go, and then we headed to the vet’s for Hodi’s distemper shot.
At Dr. Thilakanarathna’s clinic, we asked him his help in locating a place for Hodi to stay for two months until we could have her shipped to the States. [NOTE: Somehow, both Amy and I came to this decision after I showed her pictures of the animal shelter.] He surprised us by saying that since it was only for two months that he could take care of her! We were greatly pleased as we like “Dr. T” as we call him since his name is so long. He drew up how much it would cost, and for two months of shots, food, health care, and boarding, shampoo-tick removal, plus emergency margin of funds, it came out to Rp. 30,300 for two months. That’s about $150 / month. He also gave us his email address, as we already had his phone # and address. We gave him our’s as it was on the back of the Puppy Pet Passport record of shots. We asked him about spaying, too, and he said it could be done as early as 2-1/2-months old. It would cost Rp. 5,000, due to anaesthesia ($50).
A bit about Dr. T; he has been a veterinarian for eight years, and loves it, though he makes enough to survive. He tells us that few people here can afford to spend money caring for their pets, and those who do spend, can’t spend much at all. He thinks spaying and neutering is a good idea as he sees so many uncared for dogs, and knows the animal shelter well. He’s probably one of the donors of food for the shelter, as well as services. Dr. T is a quiet sort of guy, who is competent and considerate. Likeable and trustworthy. Coincidentally, Nayana’s sister also recommended him to us through a colleague. So, he has a reputation as well!
At 5 pm, the people at Tropic Inn said their “Good-byes” to Hodi.
We brought Hodi back to the doctor’s clinic, along with a red bucket of her stuff – new bag of puppy chow, medicines, vitamins, calcium solutions, chews, toys, and food/water bowls. He showed us her little room off his exam room, and put her into a house-shaped wire cage. Very cute size, but definitely not for long-term stay. He said he would take her out in fresh air and let her run around a bit several times a week. It was bittersweet in leaving her, but both Amy and I felt comfortable where she was going to stay. We paid for the two-month stay, and will pay for the spaying the next day, when we return to say, “Good-bye” before we leave to India.
Now Amy’s homework is to setup the shipping of Hodi from Colombo, Sri Lanka on May 10th or afterwards, to California! Would like to get that setup before we leave, but that might not be possible, though we’ll try! Chris has been sending emails and posting notices that he wants the puppy! Well, when he returns from Europe in mid-April, he’ll have a few weeks to prepare to receive her, and begin … POTTY TRAINING her! Lucky him.