Oh Danny Boy!

A Family Service Centre in Ang Mo Kio contacted us and asked if we could help them with a case. An elderly lady is no longer able to provide adequate care for her 7-year old Maltese, Danny, since she has been diagnosed with 4th stage breast cancer. She could have easily abandoned Danny to see to her own needs, as many dogs have been dumped for far more trivial reasons. However, her love for Danny prompted her to seek help from her social worker to re-home him as she felt that he deserved better than what she could offer and wanted to make sure that his new family could provide him with the care that she no longer could due to her illness.

Skin under Danny's neck is extremely crusty
Two volunteers took the afternoon off to meet with the social worker to go visit Mdm H and Danny. Expecting to see a sad, neglected dog, we were surprised to see a very happy, easy-going, and pleasant Danny. He was not even dirty or neglected as badly as in past cases that we have seen. His nails were a bit long, but not to the extent that they were curling in on themselves. While Danny had not left the home in his 7 years, not even for a walk or a trip to the vet, Danny’s happy demeanor showed us that Mdm H loved him a lot, and had cared for him to the best of her abilities.

His ears are also dry and crusty from long term skin issues 

Mdm H lives a very frugal lifestyle. Her diet consists mainly of rice and bread, and Danny’s too. He eats anything from 3 to 5 meals a day. Basically he eats whatever and whenever she eats. He is not obese, but a bit overweight from all the rice and bread. She cannot afford to send him to the groomer's. But she cuts his fur when she has the energy. She bathes him when she has the strength. For a person of her age and with her condition, it is obvious that she loves him very much to tend to him so. That she was adamantly insisting we take him away is also testament of how much she loves him as she worries for his welfare should anything happen to her. In fact, she had suffered a mild stroke a few months back and was warded in hospital for 2 days. During this time, poor Danny was home alone with no food or water as they only have each other. She has recently started to sleep in the living room so that should she collapse or pass on, people passing by can easily peep in from the corridor window and realise the situation and help Danny as soon as possible.

Imagine being this red, sore and itchy for most of your life. It's not a very pleasant feeling
Skin issues left untreated for a long time
Even the skin on his face and around his eyes are red and itchy
Although the original purpose of our visit was to take Danny away and try to re-home him, we hesitated to do so as it was very obvious that they love each other very much. It is well documented that dogs can bring joy to the sick and help take their minds off their discomfort. So instead, we offered to help with his care, so that they can still enjoy each others' company, while taking the stress of worrying about Danny's welfare off her so that she can focus on getting well.

Watch a video of how he spends his time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMnxEfXK43E

Paws were sore from constant licking 
He hardly has fur on his legs 
Danny has very bad skin problems, most likely as a result of his poor diet. His paws are raw with open sores from constant licking. His knees and under body are also red and sore. His neck and ears are dry and crusty. His skin condition makes him smell a bit "yeasty". We offered to take him to the vet to get treatment for his skin condition, as well as for a full medical checkup since he has never had one. He would also need to be vaccinated and sent for proper grooming. Once he has been vaccinated, our volunteers will visit a few times a week to take him for walks. Our volunteers will also deliver fresh home cooked food to Danny every 2 days so that Mdm H will not have to share her food with him anymore. Danny's food will be pre-packed to make it convenient for her to just heat up one container per day for his meal.

Danny's Home
Giving us a smile despite his hardships 

Mdm H and Danny need our help. By helping him, we are taking the stress off Mdm H so that she does not have to worry about him and can focus on getting better. Please help us help Mdm H and Danny. If you can contribute towards Danny's vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg Any little bit counts.

We hope to see you real soon, Danny Boy

Written by: Sam