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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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