Vagabond Sunday

Updates (25 Feb) -  "Sunday”, a rescued stray, urgently needs a foster home. She has been discharged from the vet and staying at the boarding kennels for the past 3 days.

She doesn’t like the kennels. She is sad and scared. “Sunday” has not eaten or drank water for 3 days and we are pleading for anyone with some space in their home to please foster “Sunday” for a few weeks till she starts eating and feels secure again.

She has just been sterilized, some loss of fur from malnutrition and conjunctivitis. She has no contagious diseases.

(22 Feb) - Sunday will be discharged from the vet on Thursday. Will a kind soul please foster her for a few weeks till she finds a permanent home?

I was born at the back of a factory some years back. My mommy, brothers and sisters all live in the factory and its vicinity. They go out late at night in search of food but I have always been a timid and shy dog, so I chose to remain at the back of the factory, often going hungry or eating metal and wood shavings when my hunger was too much to bear. Occasionally the workers would feed me with leftover curry rice or fish bones – they were the best meals ever, but these meals were few and far between.

My greatest fear was coming in heat and I dreaded it tremendously. As many as ten dogs would be fighting to have their turn on me. Some days they would hurt me and make me bleed. I cried and cried in pain, but they wouldn’t stop. Sometimes I collapse from fatigue and they would guard me till I stood up and they would start again. I would walk for miles when I was in heat, never daring to stop and rest, search for food or drink from the water puddles on the streets, because as soon as I slowed down, they would be on me again.

Over the years, I have lived my life in loneliness, sadness and pain. I spend my days just lying at the back of the factory, keeping out of harm’s way and waiting for my time to go. I have had many litters of puppies, but most of them die before they even reach a year old. I think I am about 4 years old but my body feels much older and terribly tired. I have white fur on my muzzle and my body is exhausted from the years of living on the streets. I have lost many of my front teeth from poor nutrition, living off garbage scraps and the fur on my lower part of the body has also fallen off.

Fur loss on half her body
Look at her poor body, the result of malnutrition, filthy living conditions, and many births

With her front teeth missing
In the past two weeks, I have started venturing out to the main road in search of food because I was pregnant yet again. The pregnancy was taking a toll on my frail, weak body and I have been feeling extremely hungry. I heard from the other dogs that a lady and her friends have been coming around to feed us for years, but I have always been too afraid to venture out, even though I could smell the delicious food in the air.

On Saturday night I was in so much pain and hunger that I decided to go out in search of scraps. It must have been my lucky day! I saw the lady and her friends that all the dogs talk about – she had come round to feed us again. I prayed that she would stop and offer me a nice warm meal. I was shy and scared because with all my fur loss, I didn’t look pretty. I heard her telling her friends to look at that poor dog with no fur. Then I heard her comment, “Looks like she is bleeding from her private parts”. Her friends came over to take a closer look but I was scared and moved away. The lady didn’t give up, she took her torch and squatted near me. She said, “It's blood. We need to take her to the vet tomorrow." Then she ran in to speak to the workers and asked them for their help in catching me. I heard her telling her friends that she would come tomorrow (Sunday) at 9am to take me to see a doctor. I was scared so I quickly gobbled my food and ran back in to the factory.

The next morning, when I was hiding at my usual hideout, I heard the van stop in front and that same lady came out and spoke to the workers, who told her I was nowhere to be found. She must have waited over half an hour, but finally the workers found me hiding under a truck. I allowed myself to be caught as I was tired of living the life I led. Two Indian workers carried me into a huge carrier, which was loaded into a van. Then we were headed straight for the vet, the lady talking to me most of the way, telling me not to worry, that she would not hurt me and she would get me some help.

Lady Sunday arriving at the vet 
Look at the sadness in her eyes

No life in her

Waiting to see the doctor, feeling scared and confused
At the vet, the doctor took my blood sample and ran some tests. They said that I had ehrlichea and my gums were pale.  I had very bad conjunctivitis too. My blood count was rather low at 23, with the normal reading being 35. They did a skin scrape to see if I had mites but I didn’t, so the doctor concluded that it was probably from poor nutrition and living in a filthy environment that has caused me to lose my fur. They warded me, and the next day, the doctor put me under anesthesia and sterilized me. They informed my rescuer that the blood they saw the night before dripping down my fur was the result of a miscarriage. I had lost my precious babies.

Trying to draw blood from Sunday

Checking if her eyes are producing enough tears

Severe conjunctivitis
The white dot in her eye is from an old injury, probably poked by a sharp object

Feeling very miserable and depressed from the loss of her babies

Sunday feeling shy and not wanting eye contact
It has been a week since they saved me, they named me Sunday because they wanted my days to be bright and sunny. They visit me almost every day with the most delicious food any dog could ask for. I had mutton, eggs, beef, liver, food fit for a queen. I lap it all up. The doctor said I was ready to be discharged but the rescuer senses my fear of going back to the streets and so she has kept me at the vet longer than I should. I am grateful to her for this is the only time in my life that I am not scared. I feel secure in the cage. Some days the nurses let me out to walk around the clinic and they smile when they see me curl up next to the cats for a snooze. I like cats. I like animals smaller than myself. Big dogs terrorize me.

Mutton stew for Sunday

This is probably the first time Sunday has ever tasted eggs
Sweet Sunday
Cleaning her eyes

Sunday resting safely in her cage

Allowing herself to be loved at last

In the past one week at the vet, many people have come to visit me; they pet me and bring me food. I am confused and uncertain but it feels nice to have them care for me. I long to be out in the sunlight again, to smell the flowers and to walk on grass again, but I am scared. The feeling of being raped has left a deep impression on me. I have lived all my life as a stray but I long for a home, for love, for security. I get on well with cats and I am sweet and submissive. Please don’t put me back on the streets. I am tired of that life.

Editor’s note: I have been feeding this location for the past few years but have seen Sunday only twice in the past two weeks. She is shy and usually keeps her distance. I am grateful to the workers for helping me catch her and allowing me to take her to the vet. Like all the dogs we rescue, these street dogs are usually the sweetest. They trust.

Sunday has been sterilized and is on medication for ehrlichea and conjunctivitis. If you can’t help financially or physically, then please help find Sunday a home. That’s all she needs in her life. Helping her is just a click away.

To adopt / foster Sunday, please email fiona@hopedogrescue.org  Sunday is a rather small mongrel and is HDB approved.

Written by Fiona Foo
Photo credits: Lisa Goh