Bonnie, Our Little Camel

The highlight of our volunteer's feeding nights during the past few months has been this little girl.

Since we started feeding her a few months ago, she has been excitedly greeting us each week as we make our feeding rounds, sometimes dashing dangerously across the road to meet us with little care for passing vehicles. She was missing most of her fur and reminded us of Elmo (read about the original Elmo here). Even though her skin looked bad, it did not look to be giving her any trouble, and with our hands full with other more urgent rescues, we just left her be and visited her every Saturday.

However, we noticed her starting to scratch a lot more recently and have open sores, and were concerned that her skin condition may have become worse. Despite our lack of resources, we decided it was finally time to take her to the vet. Even though she was familiar with us, and had always been friendly and even happy to see us, it still took us 2 hours to capture her. When we finally managed to corner her, she was so frightened that she started snarling at us. But once we got hold of her and she realized that we were not going to hurt her, she went back to being her sweet and friendly self.

Searching for her
Caught and too shy to look at us
We took her to the vet the next day. She had a blood test and skin scrape done, and both came back negative for any illnesses or parasites. The vet concluded that her lack of fur was due to malnutrition. Malnutrition was also the reason for her small size. She weighed only 14kg. Due to her size and her puppy-like demeanor, we had always thought her to be a puppy, but the vet estimated her to be about 2 years old. The vet had also commented on her sweet disposition. Since she had been given the all clear by the vet, she was sent home with medicated shampoo and some medicines for her dry elephant skin.

Coming out of the carrier
Sweet little Bonnie; look at her dried skin.

Curious of her surrounding
Doing a skin scrape
Such a nice demeanor despite having her blood drawn
We have since named this little Elmo girl, Bonnie. As we did not have any fosters available, Bonnie was sent home with a volunteer temporarily. She eats very well, as if fearing each meal would be her last, and is not a fussy eater. What is saddening though, is that, she does not seem to drink any water. In fact, she does not seem to KNOW how to drink water. We watched her closely for 7 days and sure enough, not once did she approach the water bowl. She even uses her nose to push her towels to cover the water bowls so we often find her towels and bedding soaked in her water bowls. When we try dabbing water on her mouth, she just turns away to face the wall. Maybe, in her time on the streets, where water was hard to come by, she has learnt to survive without water. Whatever the reason, it seems she has forgotten how to drink. In order to make sure she has enough fluids, we add a lot of broth in her food. Her pee is dark and very pungent from the lack of water and her poo looks fossilized. Despite all this, Bonnie is still so sweet and affectionate. All she wants is just for someone to love her. When you pat her, she leans onto you and closes her eyes in obvious enjoyment. 

Poor Bonnie, her skin feels like sandpaper
Sad little camel

Bonnie needs a foster immediately. She is healthy and her skin condition is not contagious. We are also appealing for help with Bonnie's vet bills. If you can help with her vet bills, or foster her, email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

All she needs is love . . . . .

Written by : Sam