Sunny - A Little Ray Of Sunshine

Some weeks back, in the late afternoon, we received a call from a lady saying that there was a lonely, sick looking, dirty and matted Shihtzu walking the streets aimlessly around the industrial sites. She also mentioned he was coughing and panting badly. She then had to go for a meeting and managed to put him in a small corner, intending to wait for someone to help him later on. Unfortunately by the time the lady was able to find any help the dog was nowhere to be found.

Sunny when he was on the streets 

HOPE then shared a picture of this Shihtzu on our Facebook and a few days later, to our relief, someone by the name of Kinnam wrote to us saying he had found the dog wandering the streets and took it back to his factory. Without a moment to spare we asked this kind man to bring the dog to the vet and handover to HOPE as we felt the dog urgently needed medical attention.

Workers handing over the dog to volunteers, Wendy and Lisa
Volunteer, Wendy, carrying Sunny
Shortly after that, someone else had also written to us informing us that this dog had been seen in that vicinity for the past one year and they were very certain it was the same dog because of his signature cough. His cough sounds like a goose honk, which the workers said, sounded like an old man coughing.

Volunteers Wendy and Lisa were at the vet to meet this Shihtzu, who was sent there by Kinnam’s workers. Wendy decided to name him Sunny as that was what she hoped his new life would be. The workers had kindly given him a bath. Although he still looked scruffy with his matted and overgrown fur, he smelled nice. Its interesting how whenever we find dogs from industrial sites, they arrive in extremely complicated self-made rope harnesses that locals like us can never put back after removing!

Dry eyes with scarring
Rotten teeth
Badly infected ears
Decayed tooth almost falling out

X-ray shows an enlarged heart

Sunny was very exhausted at the vet. His legs were trembling from probably days of walking, he had a nasty cough and beneath his matted fur, we could feel his spine, he was skin and bones. His eyes were dry and dirty, making his vision very limited. We lifted his ears and found them wet, mushy, smelly and terribly infected. We asked the vet to carry out a thorough health check, including full blood works and an xray to find out the cause of his cough.

After some  waiting, the vet identified poor little Sunny’s condition. He had an entire host of health issues. Was that the reason he was abandoned? It’s so much easier to discard an old, sick dog and go out and buy a new one.
Sunny was found to have :
  • A curved spine (could have been born that way)
  • Scarring on both eyes and dry eyes, thus limited vision
  • Enlarged heart
  • Slow heart rate
  • Rotten teeth, some of which are almost falling out
  • Weak hind legs and arthritis
  • Badly infected ears
  • Underweight and malnourished
  • The sweetest temperament you have ever known!
The vet then recommended that Sunny go for a heart ultrasound scan but for the moment, he was warded for observation.

During his stay at the vet, whenever the vet technicians tried cleaning his badly infected ears, poor Sunny would get very stressed from the cleaning and his tongue would turn blue. They would then have to stop everything and let him rest.

After a few days, we discharged Sunny and took him to another clinic to have a heart ultrasound scan. This time we found out more –  poor Sunny had a soft / collapsed trachea, common in smaller breed dogs. It could be a condition that he was born with. Sunny was again warded at this second clinic for a few days while we scrambled to find a foster. It wasn’t easy finding someone who would be home most of the time to watch and monitor Sunny.

Imagine abandoned in such poor health, a tiny dog having to fend for himself out in the industrial estates. The vet estimates Sunny to be about 6 to 7 years old only but because of his health issues and the rough life he has gone through, he looks way older than his actual age.

Sunny at foster home
Getting groomed at his foster home

Sunny is presently safe in a foster home and it seems he gets on with the cats as well. Perhaps he had met lots of stray cats when he lived on the streets. The foster has noticed that Sunny tends to regurgitate his water whenever he drinks. This is possibly due to his soft trachea and we will have this checked when Sunny goes for his next vet review in week's time. 

Sunny is a real sweetheart with such a nice, mellow temperament and anyone would be lucky to have him. If you can adopt Sunny, please let us know. Ideally he would need a home with people around, and not to be left alone for more that 3 or 4 hours at a time in case he has difficulty breathing.

Nicely groomed and all set to start a brand new SUNNY life

To be Sunny’s light at the end of a tunnel and love him forever, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg