Little Dog With A Huge Courage (Harper's 1st Update)

Today is the 5th day since Harper’s rescue and we are happy to say that she’s doing much better in just these few days!

Together all the way!
In the first two days over the weekend, Harper was still rather quiet and spent her time sitting and staring at nothing much, not stimulated and lively at all. Perhaps, in the short weeks since her birth, she only knew one thing; struggle to survive, and is momentarily lost now that she’s in safe hands, without a gnawing hunger to preoccupy her. Or perhaps, she is disoriented by the gentle human touch and the foreign environment, surely a far cry from the dusty, noisy and harsh worksite where she eked her survival on her own. Harper definitely also lacked proper nutrition and this probably contributed to her underdevelopment and small size.

Her head fits into a styrofoam cup. That's how tiny she is!
Lisa and Lynette putting Harper in a box and bringing her out for some fresh air.
Little Harper did not poo over the weekend but on the third day excreted a big amount of live worms, confirming our concerns over her belly. At the moment her stomach still looks distended and feels like a balloon when we gently press it. We are concerned.

Poor baby Harper looking like a giant rat with her distended tummy.
We did another X-ray yesterday to check if there are still gravel and metal pins remaining in her intestines and the Vet said they don't see any foreign body in her at this moment. Hopefully it has been passed out. We were concerned that her intestines and colon might be punctured, and were advised to look out for vomiting, which indicates some kind of blockage in Harper. At the moment, Harper is eating very well and loves milk, though she would also gladly drink water when given some.  
The callous on her chest has dried up
The vets cant conclude if her weak hind legs are caused by spina bifida or from trauma at an early age. An MRI might give us a better insight but we don't feel that it's necessary. The money could be better spent on her therapy and early intervention instead.
Trying to make her use her hind legs
It is a pity that Harper is still wobbly on her feet at the moment, because her cheeky face surely belies a really playful nature! One of her hind legs is weaker than the other – her right hind leg is noticeably thinner, shorter and has no muscle tone at all. It is literally skin and bones and we noticed Harper does not rely on this leg to crawl about.

Baby Harper sound asleep on the chair while the volunteers spent time with her

Her left hind leg is slightly stronger, and reminds us so much of Matthieu. However the hind  legs are still not strong enough for her to push herself up to stand. Harper is all wobbly and falls within a few seconds although this is a far cry from when we first rescued her, where all she could do was crawl and drag herself. 

When we visit her, we would bring her out for some fresh air. We put her on a towel so that her tiny paws can have better grip on the flannel surface. This sweet puppy never stops trying and seems to be stronger day by day!! We can also see that she’s much more active, livelier, hopeful and there’s always the tell-tale cheekiness in her eyes! It’s only been a few days but Harper has already endeared herself to us so much. How could we not do our best for this tiny fragile puppy?
Her tongue is not as pale as before and is no longer anemic. Her health should continue to improve with the better nutrition she’s been getting.
Her favourite meal for now!
Harper is still leaking pee and doesn’t seem to be able to control her poo too, although we’re not sure if this is a transient puppy condition, or incontinence. We would continue to observe her for a few more weeks.

Harper is too young for her vaccinations at the moment; we’ll be sure to get her protected in about 2 weeks’ time. In the meantime, she must not come into contact with other dogs, and anyone handling her should wash his/her hands before touching her as her immunity is likely low.

Her eye ulcer seems to have cleared up although her eyes still tear slightly. We thought her breathing was rather laboured but a check with the vet said her heart was good and that it sounded normal.

Despite her health difficulties, Harper is all play and fun! She’s teething and absolutely love the chew toys and treats that volunteers brought for her! The daily visits has really lifted her spirits and she’s now visibly happier and stronger, behaving more like a normal pup. This little one never gives up and we are thankful to be here to support her all the way. We give her Reiki and massage and encourage her to stand and walk, and she cooperates wonderfully! She loves homemade meatballs and actually stood for quite a while to munch down on them heartily. With all that determination in a tiny body and everyone’s love, we are convinced that Harper will walk one day!

Watch Harper try to stand http://youtu.be/B0ShuWA1g0M
Thank you everyone for contributing to this rescue, through your donations for her vet bills, pee pads, puppy milk, treats and toys! Harper is touched by the love and kindness, and we are moved by your compassion time and again.

We will continue to do what we can to put her back on her tiny feet! Dr recommends physiotherapy for her and we’re trying to get more info on that. We hope you continue to support this little fighter.
Cuteness overload
Harper is just one of possibly ten other puppies at risk at the worksite she came from. Please consider donating regularly towards food for the other dogs left behind. Harper must surely be worried about them and given her sweet loving nature, she would most want her family to be well-fed and happy too.   

Harper has found a foster and we hope she finds a permanent home soon too. We will continue to provide updates as and when we have new information.

To help in any of the following :

1)      Future vet consultations
2)      Therapy
3)      Her daily needs – pee pads, towels, puppy milk, canned food, puppy kibbles
4)      Adopting Harper
Note : We can’t sterilize the dogs where little Harper comes from as they are on Jurong Island. Mr Aziz had checked with the authorities on this and they had told him if the dogs come out for sterilization, they will not be allowed to return to the island. As such, our hands are tied. If anyone knows how to work around this, please email us, so we can sterilize at least some of the dogs there. Thank you.

Written by Liw Yiling. Video credits Joceline Loo.