Black Puppies (Arslan and Mishka)

My name is Tonya and I have recently started volunteering for HOPE Dog Rescue. As of my first volunteering experience with Sida I have instantaneously fallen in love with the dogs and the pups HOPE rescued from the industrial estates. I felt honoured to be able to help those lovely and gentle creatures, who each have their own unique personalities and all personify the term “man’s best friend”.

Earlier this week I had my first opportunity to participate in the rescue of two stray puppies which were badly injured and had wounds infested with maggots. The puppies were brought to us by a very kind gentleman who is working in the industrial estate. We understand that he and his colleagues were looking after the puppies and their mum at their work site, providing them with food and as much care as they can possibly offer. Unfortunately they were not able to help the puppies with the injuries and some of the puppies didn’t survive. However they were quick to contact HOPE Dog Rescue to try and save the remaining pups.  So that’s how I got to meet two adorable balls of fur.

The puppies are very young, having barely opened their eyes. Both are boys - little brothers from the same litter. We estimated them being less than one month old. Despite being so little, they had very bad, deep wounds on their backs and bellies. We were advised that the injuries had to be at least two weeks old. Two adorable babies were virtually eaten alive by the maggots. It was very hard to watch the puppies suffer so much.

Fortunately they got taken into the care of the vet in good time, who have cleaned the wounds as much as possible, using antibiotics and putting them on a drip. The chances of the puppies’ survival are higher now. Even to me, a non-professional and an absolute amateur with animals, the puppies looked much better after two days at the vet. They looked very lively and energetic, eager to play with people and being quite noisy. They seem to eat really well now, which increases their chances of survival. However it is essential for them to stay in a safe and clean environment, at least at the beginning, to exclude any chances of infection penetrating the wounds. The puppies are very small and might not be able to fight it well.

What I found very surprising is that even at this early stage you could see their personalities and characters coming through. They obviously had a bond between the two of them. Despite being brothers they have different characters, one is a vocal and demanding little chap and another one calmer and more affectionate little boy.  We named them Arslan and Mishka. These names were suggested by myself and are courtesy of my background. I’m an ethnic Russian, who grew up in Central Asia. Hence the names. Arslan means Tiger in Turkic culture, whereas Mishka is an affectionate Russian name for a bear. I do hope that the names will define their future in a way, I hope both of them will grow to be strong, yet gentle dogs and will become somebody’s best friend and protector.

This brings me to the main purpose of my story. I would love for these two adorable little creatures to find a loving and caring home. They are at this perfect age now, where they can adapt well within a family and become amazing pets. I’m sure that they will bring a lot of joy and happiness into somebody’s life and they really need your help NOW. I want you to look beyond the fact that the puppies are black. Being a stranger to Singaporean culture, I was shocked to find out that there is a belief that a black animal brings bad luck. I understand that many cultures have similar superstitions, for example Russians believe that it’s bad luck if a black cat crosses your way. I am Russian and I had a black cat in my house for a number of years. Once my cat was in my house, nothing bad happened. In fact my lovely girl was a protector and a charm for good luck to my family in a way. She was an amazing pet and I was honoured to have her in my home. So in her memory and in the attempt to prove those superstitions to be wrong, I’m asking for your help. If not Singaporeans, then fellow expats, would you please save the lives of two amazing puppies, which are proud to be black!!! In return I’m sure they will become your lucky charms and bring you loads of joyful moments!!!

There is no good deed that is too small! We will also appreciate any help with their veterinary bills or adopting them. Please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg 

Written by Tonya Gibbs

Note from HOPE : These puppies will be at the vet for another week or so, before returning to the work site when their wounds have completely healed. Sadly, HOPE can no longer take in any more dogs as we have 16 dogs in our charge, some of which have been in commercial boarding for more than a year. Bearing in mind we also have quite a number of handicapped dogs, a deaf and blind dog, dogs with health issues and these dogs will probably never be adopted. We don’t have the capacity or the financial means to keep these puppies. We feel sad and apologize for this decision, but our hands are tied. Without rehoming some of our dogs, we can no longer take in dogs.

It is still too early to tell if Arslan and Mishka will be HDB approved.