World Animal Day - Celebrating Dogs!

In case you didn't already know, it's World Animal Day on 4 October! And we at HOPE would like to dedicate this post to all the dogs out there.
Dogs have an endless optimism and unadulterated joy that we humans can only wish we had. Many a time we have seen strays with horrific injuries and scars that tell stories of immense suffering, expecting them to be tired and spiritless, only to have them bound up to us in joy despite their pain.

Mookie living happily in his factory
The loyalty of dogs is also something from which humans could learn a thing or two! Many of you may have already heard the story of Hachiko. Hachiko was a one-year-old puppy when Hidesaburo Ueno adopted him. Every day, when Ueno returned from his work as a professor at the University of Tokyo, Hachiko would come to the train station to greet him. The two of them would then travel the rest of the way home together. This daily routine went on for a year.
However, their happiness did not last long and in May 1925, Professor Ueno suffered a cerebral hemorrhage at work and died. He never returned to the train station where Hachiko was waiting. Although Ueno and Hachiko had only spent a year together, Hachiko continued to wait faithfully at the same spot at the train station each day for the next 9 years. Eventually, he grew sick from cancer and died on the streets near the train station. Even if you're not a dog person, you can't help but be moved by Hachiko's fierce loyalty and unwavering optimism and hope.
Hachiko's story is not unlike our very own Harry's. Harry was a dog that lived on the 6th floor of a factory building. His home was the space under a truck in a tiny workshop. The people there neither treated him well nor loved him, but still he thought of them as family, choosing to live at the factory for years despite not being fed nor cared for.  Finally, some months back, a new tenant moved in a few units from where Harry lived. They took pity on Harry and got him help. Now Harry has a new home where he is being cared for, for the first time in his life.

Harry - his very first walk on the sand

Café, one of the Coffee Pups. Now named Riley, he is enjoying life in his new home

Bailey, another Coffee Pup, previously known as Mocha. Now enjoying life as a little Princess!

A rescued street dog, Furry.
Dogs that have been hurt emotionally or physically by humans have also shown an enormous capacity for forgiveness. In a magazine published by a no-kill shelter in America, one article told the story of Roxie, a German Shepherd with a broken leg, abandoned in a box by the side of a highway. She was eventually adopted by Francis Battista, who wrote that "there is that sadness deep inside her that I will never be able to cure... she had a first family and people to whom she was devoted in the way that only a dog can be, but she was abandoned. Even though they left her to live or die by the side of a highway, Roxie still waits for them in the quiet of the evening. She could never in a million years begin to understand such betrayal, because it isn't in her." Despite the betrayal, she continued to trust our human species. Although she had developed separation anxiety and tore the house up when left alone, Roxie was learning and was clearly ecstatic to have a home once again.
All too often, we also find dogs that show clear signs of human abuse. Although they are frightened at first, it isn't long before they warm up to humans again, and display a level of trust in us that not even old friends would have for each other. It continues to baffle us that animals who have known such suffering at the hands of humans can be so quick to forgive us.
If you have a dog at home, you would definitely know how amazing dogs can be. Think how often your dogs forgive you leaving them alone for hours, days, and sometimes for weeks, with no stated reason. We don't know what they think about when we're gone, wondering where we are and when we'll return, but one thing's for sure - they are always genuinely happy to see us again, every time we return. Their capacity for hope, loyalty, forgiveness and love for their owners is something that us humans can never match.
We are truly blessed to have such amazing creatures in our lives, and if you have a doggy companion, remember to show some love to them this World Animal Day! Now go out and kiss a dog; they are born to be loved!

Written by Elena Lin
They mean the world to us! (Quotes from our volunteers)
Dogs are loyal and faithful regardless what you do to them. They see the good in you and discard the bad. . . .Justina
I love dogs as they are the most responsive and amazing creatures on earth. They love you unconditionally. -. . . .Lisa
Dogs are good friends, not snobbish or proud. They would never despise you, regardless of whether you are rich or poor, ugly or pretty, tall or short. The love you just the same. . . . . Patrick
I love dogs because dog are simple animals. They won't harm me , won't bluff me or laugh at me. In this world only human abandon dogs; dogs never abandon humans ... .. Mandy
I love dogs because they are loyal, do not bear grudges, and they say "thank you" without being taught. . . .  Mulyaty
No need to second-guess them, no need to read between the lines, no need to tread carefully around them. What you see is what you get - Sincere Doggies! . . . .  Chiew Guat

Dogs never ask us for much, yet they give so much in return.. All they need is love and care - and they'll shower you manifold with respect, understanding and true loyalty. . . . Jo-Ann

A dog is a creature with all the best character traits of humans, but in a much cuter package. . . . . Elena


Puppy On Death Row

It has always been my wish to do something for the society. Why choose to help those stray dogs instead of humans? Everyone knows about helpless, disabled, poor, old people but how many know about those dogs that have been abused, abandoned and the many strays that roam the streets?
For humans, they have a lot of people helping them and giving assistance but how many people actually help dogs? Stray dogs have no permanent shelter like us having a roof over our head, a bed or meals that we could keep ourselves going. Even handicapped people can find jobs, whereas a stray handicapped dog will probably be left on the streets to fight for himself, to try his best to survive and if his injury is severe, maybe even die a slow torturous death somewhere in the drain or bushes without people knowing.
People buy pets on impulse, for their cuteness usually. When they are older and less cute, sometimes they abuse and neglect them. When their dogs are young, they don't teach them properly and don't bring them up right and when their dog grows up and starts biting people, they give them up. Whose fault is it? It is always the human's fault, never the dog's fault. The dog looks up to you for guidance. If you didn't teach your dog well, you have only yourself to blame.
If you want to give up your dog, put in some effort to find it a new home or send it to SPCA and have them rehome it. If it can't be rehomed, your dog may be put down and it is your responsibility to answer to the dog, and tell your dog you let him down. Do NOT take the easy way out by abandoning your dog at the park or tying him at the void deck. If you throw your dog on the streets, your dog will not survive. Do you think your dog will know how to cross the road and where to look for food?
Cleaning the puppy after bailing her out from SPCA
Recently I heard about a 6 month old Jack Russell Terrier (JRT) on death row at SPCA. 6 months old only and due to be put down at SPCA? Why would SPCA put down a young puppy, a pedigree and a toy dog that can easily be rehomed? I wondered  . . . .maybe it had some incurable disease. I contacted Hope Dog Rescue volunteers and they agreed to go down with me to save the puppy's life.
Her right eye seemed sore

A scared little puppy

One-eyed Jack (no pun intended)
When we arrived at SPCA, they showed us this skinny little puppy who was very scared. What incurable disease did she have? She only had pneumonia! I never imagined a puppy would be put down for having pneumonia so we immediately bailed her out and took her straight to the vet.
Looking like a cute mousedeer

Having her eye checked

As I carried her in the car with Hope volunteers, she almost immediately fell asleep in my arms, She was so tiny and I could feel her wheezing and struggling to breathe. I felt so sorry for this frail little puppy. I also found out that she had been rehomed twice previously, in her short lifespan of six months! Her second owner surrendered her to SPCA. Imagine if I didn't know about her . . . . .

After the vet, I took her home to foster and I promised to take good care of her and nurse her back to health. She deserved my love and care after having gone through so much tough times in just six months of her life. She is now called Miumiu and I am thankful to Fiona and her team for providing me with assistance, guidance and covering the cost of her vet bills.
Thank you for saving my life

Written by Patrick Lim


Food For Hope (On-Going Project)

Hunger knows no boundaries. Hunger exists, even in a rich affluent country like Singapore.

As you read this, many dogs (and some cats) are waiting for night to fall, waiting and listening for the sound of our car in the distance, telling them this is the night they will be fed. For the many streets dogs, they may never know the luxury of a simple drink of water, or small plate of food. They will struggle through the day and wait for darkness to bring the sound of our car's rumbling engine.

A lonesome, stray puppy.
Feeding in teams, we usually hit the industrial streets after nightfall as the strays don’t usually come out that early. Night is when it is cool, safer with lesser humans and traffic. By feeding these street dogs, we hope to lessen their hardship of street life. Once they've had their fill, these dogs often return to their hiding places; at least for the next day or two, they will not need to wander the streets in search of food. Perhaps some of them will not be hit by cars; others will not become targets of human cruelty.

Packed food is not always available!

A female dog searching for food, with evidence of the many litters of puppies she must have had on the streets having not yet been sterilized.

A factory dog waiting patiently for his food to be prepared. Not all are this fortunate to have workers that care for and feed them.

A very old stray whose legs were too weak to carry him.

Stale food that we could smell as we entered the factory compounds.
There is always much heartbreak in the types of scenes and situations we witness. The unbearable heat poses a hardship beyond our understanding on stray dogs trying to survive. Can any of us imagine going for weeks without clean water to drink? Of course, street dogs never actually drink clean water, but at least regular rainfall flushes out some of the filth from the puddles they go to for relief. With no rainfall, a stray must drink whatever they find, and I can tell you from my experience of seeing it, what they drink is sad; but they drink it anyway, because they must.

Drinking muddy water to survive

Drinking whatever water they can find
Feeding the strays is a commitment because they have come to expect the food you bring for them on a regular basis and each night of feeding takes us a few hours to complete. However, if you feel that feeding them is hard work, how much harder it must be for them trying to live there and survive?

Giving a starved stray a meal

Puppies caged up. We provide food to the workers, feed the puppies and deworm them. They will be sterilized in a month's time.

Signs of how hard her life must be

Life is hard enough for them. Help us provide them with regular meals.

Preparing their meals during a feeding round
One factor of our work that will never change; as long as there is a presence of stray dogs who need our help, we will continue to do what we do. One might question why we continue to travel industrial estates, night after night (at no small risk to ourselves) and shoulder ever rising expenses such as medical bills, food to feed the strays, petrol costs, etc? How do we weigh or measure the work we do? Together with volunteers, I have rescued puppies trapped under metal beams, a dog with an ear wound so huge that she eventually lost her ear and a puppy with huge tyre marks across his back, just to name a few. Had we not been there to take these dogs from the streets, to the vet, they would have been left to endure that pain and suffering and eventually die a slow death.

The stray who lost her ear and hearing

I see their faces and I cannot forget. And so I will return again and again because I have looked into the eyes of those who need us and, no matter what it takes, we cannot refuse them our help.

Puppy crushed by metal beams; she had to be put down.

So, in answering the question as to why we continue to pound the streets feeding these stray dogs - I recall their faces, the look in their eyes, the sound of their little paws running to greet us when our cars pull up, and my answer is to ask a second question: How could we stop?

If you are wondering whether or not to contribute, try to imagine the many faces of the street dogs, all starved and in that moment you will see in your mind what we see during the course of a single night on the streets.

Enjoying the food you buy for them

"I don't need a bowl for this!"
Remember as you prepare to retire for the evening, that our volunteers are busy cooking and preparing to go out and hit the streets in industrial estates, after a hard day’s work.

Let’s all give these street dogs HOPE for a better future.

To buy canned food for them, these are some of your options:

1. Pets HQ - Blk 221, Boon Lay Place, #02-112, Boon Lay Shopping Centre, S(640221) 
Tel: 6265 8510 (Peggy) (You may call Peggy to place your orders, then send them a cheque.)

2. PolyPet - Blk 109, Clementi Street 11 (off Sunset Way), #01-29, S(120109)
Tel: 6779 5309 (Marcus) (A direct fund transfer is possible.)

Nature's Gift Canned Food (700g) - available in beef, chicken and lamb.
$30 per carton of 12 cans or $2.50 per can 

For purchase of dry food (kibbles), we have a very special deal with a pet food supplier.

For more information on how you can help us help the animals, please email Fiona at pops_snaps@singnet.com.sg

Thank you for giving them HOPE.

Photo Credits : Jamie Chan
Poster Credits : Chua Xinyi and Yip Jie Ying


Animal Cruelty

TODAY newspaper 16 Sept 2011
(Click to enlarge)

Why do people get a dog only to dump it when a baby comes along? And this isn’t a one off situation - we receive so many calls from people wanting to give up their dogs when their baby is on the way. The excuses range from “my wife is pregnant and we can’t keep the dog”, to “my wife is giving birth next week and if you don’t take our dog, we will send it to the SPCA”. Did you not know your wife was pregnant for the past nine months? Could you not have made the effort to find your dog a new home in those nine months? We also get calls telling us that their dog is black and for superstitious reasons, they must get rid of their dog, or that their baby will have asthma if they don’t get rid of their dog. Excuses? These days nothing amazes me anymore.

The poor Mini Schnauzer when he was just rescued - a living skeleton

Has the dog not given you companionship and unconditional love when you were lonely or in need of a friend? Now that you have a baby, is it right to just “throw” it away so heartlessly? What does it say about you as a person? And what kind of values will you impart to your child? That it is perfectly fine to treat a living sentient being like an inanimate object, like a chair that you just discard when you no longer want or need it?
He was so weak and frail, he could hardly stand or walk; but like all the dogs we 
have rescued over the years, he is very sweet and trusting.

This is what happened when a young couple had their first born and decided to confine their Miniature Schnauzer in a small cage in the toilet and conveniently forgot all about him for six months. Being confined in a toilet cubicle for six long months was bad enough but this was IN A CAGE, in the toilet cubicle, for six long months. The poor dog was confined to the cage and fed only water by the grandfather who came to visit his grandchild and finally, when the grandfather could no longer tolerate the way the dog was treated, he told a friend, who came to take the poor malnourished Mini Schnauzer away. By this time, the poor dog had wasted away and was just skin and bones.
Thankfully, the dog is now safely in the care of a foster; but imagine the pain and suffering it had to endure during those six long lonely months? Not to mention its hunger pangs of surviving only on water for that long period? Now he just needs lots of nutritious food and TLC to rebuild his life again.
How could a human possibly do this to a living creature and not feel any remorse?

The couple apparently felt no remorse whatsoever and thought nothing of what they had done. And to top it off, the husband is a policeman who should know better because under the law, what they did to the dog is an act of animal cruelty that is punishable. As a policeman, he is supposed to uphold the law and protect the weak and helpless (including animals) but instead, he broke the law in his very own home by neglecting and abusing a helpless animal. Shame on him.
Animal abuse is not limited to physically abusing an animal. Neglecting your pet by not giving him food, water and his basic needs (for example if you have a dog, it is your duty to walk him) also constitutes as neglect in the strict sense of the term.
We hope he will realize that what he has done was cruel and totally unacceptable. We hope that he would never repeat such a shameful act again. Better yet, he should never be allowed to ever own a pet.
He is safe now and is waiting for someone to give him the love he has missed out on.

The Miniature Schnauzer has put on some weight and is now with a foster. He is extremely intelligent and is a fast learner. These are his details :
Breed : Mini Schnauzer (white)
Age : 3 years old
Sex : Male
Health : Low blood count and mild kidney problems from malnutrition
Temperament : Gets on well with humans and dogs, extremely intelligent and a fast learner.
Should you wish to adopt him, please email Fiona at pops_snaps@singnet.com.sg


Volunteering With HOPE (no pun intended)

Warning! Volunteering is rewarding, contagious and highly addictive!

Share your time, talent and skills for the interest of the animals. I am sure most of you would have a few extra hours to spare in a week? A soft spot for helping animals? Skills that need an outlet? Or are you a couch potato and need motivation to get off that couch? Well, we may not have the perfect “job” that you want, but if you start by doing small things for the dogs, you will soon realize that it is extremely gratifying, time well spent and you may even think of new ways to help them!

We do get quite a few volunteers who would love to have a dog but mommy says no; so this would be the best avenue to be able to work with our rescue dogs, gain that experience and work towards being committed to your future pet.

I remember my first rescue some 5 years ago. It was a stray I happened to see while driving. She was standing by the road looking at me as I drove past. I had initially thought she had a red collar on, but as I drove closer, I almost threw up because it was NOT a red collar she was wearing, but a thick red wound cutting into her flesh, revealing her muscles!

The incident didn’t immediately inspire me to be an animal activist, but it did make me want to help her and I did. I could not catch her that day but I paid some Bangladeshi workers to set a trap using some scrap metal from their construction site and taught them to put food inside to lure her in. It took two days but they did finally trap her and called me at 7am to inform me. I remember rushing down to get her and sending her to the vet. She had a thick wound around her neck, and I could see her muscles. She seemed young and her wound looked as if she had been chained round the neck for a long time to be that badly hurt. Her wound took some months to heal and she was eventually adopted by a kind lady who took pity on her and I am grateful for such people in our lives.

My very first rescue dog, found with a severe neck wound.

She was put under GA right away, to have her wound cleaned.

She was young and she recovered quickly.

Not all volunteering experiences are this dramatic. Please don’t let me scare you into not volunteering. If you don’t have a strong stomach, there are many other ways you can help the less fortunate doggies :
  • Writing stories / creating an awareness of their plight / education
  • Designing of adoption and other posters
  • Thinking of and organizing fund raising ideas to help us pay our vet and food bills
  • Sharing our work with your friends either via email, blog or Facebook
  • Feeding the strays and befriending them so we can sterilize them (you need your own transport to feed the strays)
  • Providing pet transport – when we need to take the strays to the vet. For this, you would need a SUV or a van as the carrier is too big and would not fit into your boot nor back seat. For smaller dogs, a normal car would be fine. If you are not fussy about the strays sitting at your back seat, then we have absolutely no issues with that!
  • Photography – to go down to the vet to take pictures of the dogs that are at the vet. As most of us hold full time jobs, we do sometimes need volunteer photographers during the work day.
  • Visiting our dogs at the factories, bringing food for them and ensuring they are well
  • Taking the strays to the vet – this might take a few hours (inclusive of traveling and waiting time)
  • Do house checks for adoption and rehoming (although rehoming isn’t our top priority) – our main priority is sterilization of the street dogs and feeding them in the hope of befriending them
  • Calling and coordination of vet appointments
  • Calling companies / factories in industrial estates and educating them on the importance of sterilization - and asking them to help catch the dogs in their compound for sterilization

We do have friends and fellow dog lovers who love dogs but can’t bear to be directly involved as they would be too upset by the animal rescue experiences. Fear not! You can help by contributing in other ways – helping with their vet and food bills! 

HOPE Dog Rescue does not have a shelter because our rescued dogs are either with kind individuals who have offered to foster, or the dogs have recovered and have been released back to the streets.

Please don’t feel that because you don’t work directly with the animals, you are not involved. You are! Help in any form is needed and much appreciated. Without dedicated volunteers, we won’t be able to help as many doggies as we do.

Allow me to introduce to you some of our core volunteers :

Save a Stray - Fiona with darling Café

Mul bathing a rescued stray

I have always wanted to help out in some way but did not have the time to spare like a regular weekend volunteer, due to my personal commitments. Previously, I've chosen the simple way of donating money. Recently, I asked if I could follow them on one of their "feed the strays" routine on a Sat night. It was an extremely gratifying night out and I got hooked. Why? Just look at the smiles on the dogs' faces and the many thank-you's received from Fiona and team. Instead of feeling bad for not being able to be there on all weekends, I feel good knowing the doggies appreciate any minute I can spare.

HOPE Volunteer, Mul

Our young volunteer, Elena showing some love to two rescued puppies, Cocoa and Mocha

For some reason, us humans have been lucky enough to climb to pretty much the top of the food chain. We have somehow managed to become the dominant species on this planet. And with great power comes great responsibility. Since we now have all this power, it's really important that we do right by all the other animals that share this planet with us. The life and death of many animals are at the mercy of Man, and I choose to help them live. Although I am only one, I believe that every bit of effort counts and I'm proud to be able to help what little I can. Here's a story I want to share.
One day, a young man was walking along a beach. Off in the distance he could see an old man gong back and forth between the surf's edge and the sand. Back and forth, back and forth the old man went. As the young man approached, he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as a result of the receding tide. The old man was picking up starfish one by one and throwing them back into the sea. The young man was struck by the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish and most of them were sure to die. As he came up to the old man, he said, "You must be crazy! There are thousands of miles of beach covered by starfish. You can't possibly make a difference." The old man looked at him. He then bent down and picked up one more starfish, and threw it back into the sea. He turned back to the young man and said,
"It made a difference to that one."
HOPE Volunteer, Elena (21 yrs old)
Chiew Guat with Cocoa

"I can and I want to."
HOPE Volunteer, Chiew Guat

Lisa visiting Mookie at the factory to ensure he is well and to also clean his ears

When I first started helping animals, I did not think so much into feeding or sterilizing them. I had not yet understand or know what feeding or sterilization entails or how I could help. All I thought of doing was very simple; I just thought of loving them, that's all. I do notice that many people do not like street dogs, and I don't just love them for the sake of doing it. I truly feel for them, I genuinely love them - even if they are old and many people term them as "ugly". No dog is ugly - all of them are precious and beautiful.

HOPE Volunteer, Lisa

I want to be a volunteer with animals because I have read HOPE Dog Rescue's blog about stray dogs. Many of the dogs die because of those people driving heavy vehicles and those who are speeding. Some are also even eaten up by people, or they starve to death on the streets. I want to save as many of their lives as possible, and find good homes for some to live the rest of their lives in safety. I have also been influenced by my friend, Jo, who has already been volunteering in animal welfare for HOPE Dog Rescue.

HOPE Volunteer, Jasmin (17 yrs old)

Being a volunteer touches the lives of many individual animals and enhances skills you already have or develop new ones, but the greatest benefit of volunteering with animals is knowing that you are part of a team providing care to so many animals in need and you will soon realize how valuable you are to the animals.

After some time, you will find yourself wanting to do more for them and they will warm your heart the same way you touch their lives. Who knows? You might even take a stray home for keeps.

Hope Dog Rescue is made up of amazingly dedicated people who spend their time and lives trying to 'make a difference' in the sad, lonely lives of abandoned, abused, homeless and generally unloved dogs and without them, there will be no HOPE. I am truly blessed and grateful for such a wonderful team of dedicated, passionate volunteers.
Volunteer with HOPE Dog Rescue and you will find your love returned with interest; that the more you do for them, the happier you feel and it’s the best therapy and coping mechanism to all your problems.  I know it works wonders for me.
To offer help in any form, please email Fiona at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg
On behalf of all the street animals out there – Thank You!


Just When Harry Finds True Love

Behind each pair of eyes, lies a story of abuse, neglect or simply, an unfortunate circumstance.

Despite his poor health, Harry still has hope in his eyes; a real fighter, he is.

What if you live your entire life without ever being special? What if you lived for over ten long years with one simple wish; to be loved - and it never ever happened? Imagine waiting every single day to be part of someone's life; anyone's - but you never had that chance? There you are, waiting... just waiting and waiting...  no one ever stops by, not even to say hi, not even a pat on your head.

Welcome to Harry’s life. The only world he has ever known. Imagine how Harry felt... simply waiting to die, before he had even lived.

This was Harry’s reality, his truth. Abuse, torture, neglect, cruelty.

You can never imagine the life Harry has lived. Imagine what it’s like to slowly starve to death... to have no one to care about your suffering. Imagine living your life on a leash, never free to roam, chained to a destiny that you could not rewrite. Imagine the loneliness and sadness of living his entire life under a lorry; no one noticing him gone if he were to cease existing.

Imagine Harry’s unbelievable fear and pain, the heart-breaking knowledge that his life mattered so little and death was his goal.

I left as co-founder of an animal welfare group some two months back and was intending to take a back seat from animal welfare, mainly tired from working with humans, as well as exhaustion from the years of animal rescue. Then came Harry; he needed help. Turning down an animal in need is something I find hard to do and so I dragged myself back into animal welfare and started a blog called HOPE Dog Rescue to share Harry’s story. Harry was the first dog rescued under Hope, and Harry turned my life back round, reminding me of my journey in life.

Harry had been waiting for years for someone to help him.

Harry means so much to me

 From the moment we set eyes on him, we have done our best for him. We provided food, medical aid, Reiki healing; taken him for car rides and walks, bathed him as he had requested and even took him to the beach. Many volunteers and generous animal lovers were involved in Harry’s life and I am indeed thankful for their kindness, for helping to build his faith in mankind again. I am thankful to Hailey and Bryan who have been fostering Harry for the past 3 weeks and loving Harry as part of their family.

Last Thursday evening, we rushed Harry to the vet as he was panting for no reason and his breathing was extremely laboured. He didn’t want to go for his usual walks; neither did he have a good appetite. Mul and I took him to the vet while four other concerned volunteers met us at the clinic. X-rays were done and Dr Ang told us to be prepared for the worst. His blood count had dropped slightly, his ears and paws were cold from poor blood circulation and his gums were pale as well. Harry’s heart was beating irregularly; his lungs were filling with water, making him feel as if he was drowning, hence the laboured breathing. She said there could be a few days or a few weeks left for Harry; she couldn’t gauge but he wasn’t doing well at all. Tears welled in my eyes and I could only pray for a miracle.

We conveyed this to Hailey, who then asked us to make an appointment for Harry to seek a second opinion and she would pick up the tab for this.

Harry saw Dr Anthony Goh on Saturday evening and the conclusion was the same; Harry’s heart is not good and he is likened to a walking time bomb. A normal doggy's heart beats at 60-160 beats per min while Harry's heart is beating at 200 beats per minute! He has been given medication to slow his heartbeat, in the hope that he will feel a little more comfortable and he needs to go to the vet every 4 to 5 days for checks and ECGs.

Dr Anthony Goh listening to Harry's heart "beating ridiculously fast"

Harry undergoing a blood pressure test, amplifying the blood flow

Harry on the x-ray table 

He is such a darling that when you leave him on the x-ray table,
he stays till you tell him he can go down

Measuring Harry's blood pressure

Harry undergoing an ECG - his heart beat fluctuates between 
irregularity and beating too quickly

Harry longing for plants and Mother Nature again. Perhaps he also likes the feel of the plants on his back, as if someone is patting and caressing him, something he longs for.

Harry has lost a lot of weight

Dr Anthony Goh checking on Harry

Harry truly loves the company of people. 
Despite the tests and jabs, he still goes on smiling

Over this past 3 weeks that Hailey and Bryan have fostered Harry, Harry has grown extremely attached to Hailey. He spends his days lazing by her side and goes for walks with her. He is contented just being by her side and the family dogs have accepted him as well.

What pains and saddens me most is just when Harry has finally found love, a home and true happiness, his joy may be short-lived. Why can’t he have a few more weeks or months of happiness? To experience the love and family he never ever had? I know life is never fair, but for Harry - it seems so much worse; just when he found happiness.

I know I have altered Harry’s life, although I wish there was more that could be done for him.

We are indeed glad that Harry finally has the chance to experience real love – a love he longed for and deserved all his life; a family to call his very own. HOPE Dog Rescue would like to thank you for supporting and joining us in this journey of Hope. We will indeed keep bringing light and hope to more dogs just like Harry, who are still living in their lonely worlds of pain and suffering – but we can’t do it alone. Please help us to help them.

If you would like to contribute to Harry’s vet bills or to our on-going animal rescue missions, please contact us at pops_snaps@singnet.com.sg . Any amount of help would be greatly appreciated – and Hope would be brought to other deserving animals so that they may live life knowing that someone did care.

Written by Fiona

Below is Hailey and Bryan’s contribution about Harry:

It was Fiona's words and Harry's pictures that moved me to help Harry. I have been feeding strays in my neighbourhood whenever I could, but they are usually in a pack and are always happily playing and running together. Harry was different; he was alone with no human or canine companions.

Perhaps it was fate that I chanced upon Hope's blog and learnt of Harry's plight. I felt so sorry for him and really wanted to bring him home. I hesitated at first, as I already have my own dogs and was afraid that I might not be able to handle having Harry as well. But with my husband Bryan's support, I contacted Hope.

On the first day that Harry arrived, he was wary of his new surroundings and all the new faces. He kept scratching at the gate and wanting to leave. But it has been a few weeks here, and he is definitely feeling more at home. He has not been near the gate at all, except when it's time for his walks, or when Bryan comes home and Harry will greet him with a wagging tail.

During breakfast and dinner, he usually finishes all the healthy dog food we give him - yippee! Earlier this evening when he woke up from his nap, he even sniffed the air as his food was being prepared, and followed the aroma into the kitchen. This is the first time it's happened; usually he would lie in the same spot and let his food be brought to him.

When my sister and her kids came to visit, it made Harry very happy and he kept wagging his tail. He really does love the company of humans. Today he did not sniff the plants like he usually does, but instead sniffed the things around the house. His limbs are pretty weak, and it is not easy for him to get up from his sleeping position. His nose is still running, although not all the time any more. He is definitely more courageous though, and will even walk to the bedroom by himself to sleep. Even now as I'm writing, Harry is fast asleep in the bedroom...

In fact, he usually spends his days sleeping, and is free to roam around the house. The other dogs in my house have accepted him and don't bother him at all, especially since Harry is so sweet-natured and mild-mannered. He really is a gentle giant. I really hope that Harry can put his sad past behind him, open up and feel the love and care that we and the volunteers are giving him. I hope that he can have the will to live to a ripe old age. He deserves a good life from now on, and we have promised him that he will no longer be alone, ever again.

To read all the stories written about Harry ever since his rescue, please click here.

Photo Credits: Lisa and Mul