Please ADOPT Moose

I wrote to HOPE as part of a school assignment to ask if I could feature them in a photo essay. Although I am someone who loves dogs, I was not familiar with strays and was a little afraid because of many awful things that have been said about them. As time passed, I learnt that these dogs have really big hearts. No matter what bad experiences they have had, they don't judge and will eventually trust again.      

When I first started, volunteers Fiona and Lisa taught me a lot about these dogs. About what kind of lives they lead and how HOPE helps in giving warm meals and sterilizing them. These are indeed valuable knowledge, but nothing beats the experience I had seeing a rescued dog for the first time in my life. 
Moose was the first rescue dog I helped. 

18 January 2012
Today after school, I rushed down to the vet to meet Fiona. She reached the vet, went straight to the cages and brought out the most malnourished dog I had ever seen. I was so shocked that I was only able to stare at the tiny dog, forgetting my “job” as a photographer. Moose’s eyes caught mine immediately and as I continued looking at him, I felt a wave of emotions overwhelming me. Feeling angry, heartache, confusion and disappointment all at the same time.
Little Moose has ringworms but is getting much better.
I was angry with the person who did not care for him properly, for abandoning him. I felt pain and sorrow at the sight of his injuries and how he winced and moved his head away in fear when I raised my hand to try to pat him. I was confused at how someone could mistreat such a sweet dog and felt disappointed and ashamed in humans, including myself, for not being able to understand dogs well and for believing the awful things said about stray dogs.

I asked myself many questions like what kind of suffering had Moose gone through and the thought of him being abused, his mouth could have been tied up as it has left a deep scar running round his muzzle. He would have been cold and hungry, wondering the streets and these thoughts just made me shudder in fear and I was just very grateful that fate had allowed us to meet Moose and to help him find a loving home.

The deep scar running round Moose's muzzle
Fiona carried Moose and I started to take pictures while waiting for his turn to see the vet. We noticed the many injuries that Moose had on him. We held him and told him he that everything will be fine now and that he was in safe hands.
After consulting the vet, we went into the treatment room where the vet tried to draw blood from Moose. He was so skinny that she had to try 3 times before enough blood was collected to do the necessary tests. As someone who hates anything to do with needles, I could not imagine the pain that Moose went through as the needle prodded him in his thin legs. He was really brave and obedient, not moving a single inch.
Dr Teo went on to examine Moose’s injuries and found the wound on his stomach to be infected. As she attended to the wound I found myself looking away, hiding behind Fiona. Moose was in so much pain that he whimpered and tried to wriggle out of the graps of the vet technician. That poor boy! However I was still able to muster some courage and continue taking pictures.
His wound is healing well
I got to take Moose for a walk afterwards and tried to carry him as he did not want to return to the clinic. When I tried to pick him up, I was really worried that I was going to crush him because of his small build and how his ribs were protruding from his sides. He was grossly underweight.
I noticed how nice Moose was to us, even to strangers. Although he was never loved by his previous owner, he allowed people to play with him and pat him. Despite how much he went through, he was trusting and all he wanted was someone to love him. 
2 February 2012
I went to visit Moose at his foster home today and was pleasantly surprised at how different he was. The quiet and sad looking Moose was gone and in his place was a different Moose that was jumping around excitedly when I entered the house. His eyes, which lit up at the sight of the leash, were so different as compared to the first time I saw him. Amazing what a little love could do!

Moose is a curious little dog who isn’t yet familiar with his new name. He responds well and will tilt his ear sideways to listen to conversations. We went for a walk downstairs and he was just full of life and was walking ahead of me excitedly. It is really amazing to see the difference in a dog; time, patience and love is all they need to make a positive difference.
Moving On
I had heard from Fiona that they had just taken Moose to the vet for the follow up and although his weight had gone up from 2.4 Kg to 2.5 Kg, he still needs to put on almost a whole kilogram to be within the healthy range. Moose also had his eyes checked and found that his right eye is not producing enough tears and will need application of eye drops twice daily. Additional diet was also bought as he has bad flaky skin possibly due to poor nutrition.

His eyes are not producing enough tears
Moose also has rotten teeth and inflamed gums and needs to be stronger and to put on weight before any dental procedures could be done. When he is stronger, he will be sterilised as well.
Moose is very affectionate and loves pats and cuddles. We spent some really good times together. He makes great company and loves the attention that people shower on him.

Give him a chance to be your best friend. Take him to a place where he is loved, a place where he can call home. Do contact fiona@hopedogrescue.org

Breed  :  Miniature Pinscher
Sex  :  Male
Age  :  Estimated 7 to 8 years old
Temperament  :  Good with other dogs and children
Toileting  :  Almost paper trained. Patience and time is still required
Diet  :  Soft food as his gums are badly inflamed

We would like to thank Karen Soh for fostering Moose and Ms Effi for helping Moose with his vet bills.
Written by Joceline Loo (17 years old)
Photo credits Lisa Goh and Joceline.