Freedom For The Three Musketeers

Have you experienced the warmth of having your dog(s) or a family member welcome you home with all his or her love before? When I go home, my dog would do a little dance for me, run around like a sprinter and lick me like I am an ice-cream. If you do not have a dog, maybe your parents or your other half greets you excitedly when you return home. We go home every day but our dogs and/or close family members are still so happy to see us when we return home. Imagine the rousing welcome we get from the three dogs that used to live in the makeshift sheds at the golf course. They only see us once a week when we bring them on their weekly walks. Before we arrive, we can already hear them barking in excitement. Upon our arrival, we would be greeted with a heart-melting sight. The three doggies would be standing by the shed gates with their paws resting on the gates, their tongues hanging out, their tails wagging so vigorously you can hear the swishing sound and their big round puppy eyes looking at you with so much anticipation you cannot help but go ‘awwwww’.  

Locked in sheds before rescue
The poor dogs used to roam around freely on a golf course until some of our less tolerant fellow humans complained about their presence and drove them into a corner. Kind workers built makeshift sheds for the dogs so that they could continue living on the golf course and not be taken by the authorities and put down, but the workers are very busy and do not have the time and resources to care for the dogs, so the poor dogs were cooped up 24/7 in the algae-filled metal sheds. This persisted until 3 weeks ago, one fateful Sunday on which our three makeshift dogs, affectionately known as the three musketeers, regained the freedom that was theirs to begin with.

Phoebe locked in shed . Phoebe is extremely shy and timid
It was a sunny Sunday as usual and everything in the air smelt the same. There was the smell of the grass, mud, haze, water droplets and doggy breath. The morning felt the same too. There was the hustle and bustle of families going on Sunday outings and the usual weekend crowd in the MRT trains and stations when we commuted to our meeting point. We went to the golf course as usual and the doggies welcomed us with their ‘awww-some’ welcome that never fails to melt our hearts no matter how many times we see it. It seemed like a normal Sunday, but this was a special Sunday for the dogs, a defining Sunday that would herald a new beginning for them, a glorious and happy Sunday on which their long lost freedom would be given back to them.

Straight to vet after release (L to R : Marilyn, Marley, Phoebe)

Marley and Phoebe, happy to have their freedom back
After we put harnesses and leashes on the dogs, we brought them out for a very short walk to pee before directing them to the pet transport. The clever dogs seemed to sense that something was different about their walk today and walked with some resistance when we tried bringing them in the direction of the pet transport, even though we sometimes go by that route when we bring them for their walks too. With some gentle nudging, the dogs became their usual rapturous selves again and galloped with us to the car park where the pet transport was waiting. We wondered how the dogs would react when we put them into the carriers that would house them for the next twenty minutes or so when the driver sends them to the vet for their full-body checkup before they are sent to their respective boarding facility. We thought they might be quite scared and nervous and perhaps cause a bit of a stir in the pet transport even though they were usually very well-behaved, but no, the dogs were so adorable and on their best behaviour. The three musketeers went into their carriers quite readily and just sat quietly in their carriers. They made no noise and no mess at all. Even the driver commented they were one of the best-behaved dogs he had ever transported. The three musketeers were so cute. The two shedmates, Marley and Marilyn, shared a gigantic carrier and minded their own business in the carrier. They just rested peacefully inside and each sat in their own corner. Poor Phoebe was not as calm as her neighbours. She was very scared and kept salivating, but she was still so sweet and made no protest at all. She is such a sweetheart.

The dogs getting some assurance from our volunteers

When we arrived at the vet, Marley and Marilyn strode straight into the clinic like it was their home and greeted everyone in the clinic affectionately. They were cheerful as usual and behaved like little children on an outing. They are so cute! Poor Phoebe was more aware of what was going on and knew that going to the vet might be a frightening experience. She was shivering, panting and salivating. We had to slowly coax her into the clinic. She was visibly stressed and sat stiff like a stone in front of her carrier. One of our senior volunteers, Wendy, kindly asked me to bring Marley over to Phoebe so that she would feel better.

We took our queue number and waited for our turn. Throughout the wait, Marley was so sweet, standing between Marilyn and Phoebe. The three dogs were really well-behaved and waited quietly for their turn. They were so calm and chill, one would have thought they were frequent visitors of the vet. When it was their turn to see the vet, Marley and Marilyn went into their consultation room readily and showed no signs of struggle at all. They willingly let the vet and vet technicians take their temperature and conduct tests on them. At this point, you must be wondering, how about Phoebe? Poor Phoebe was a bag of nerves. She froze and was reluctant to move from her corner to the consultation room. After some time, one of the vet technicians came to carry her into the consultation room. On the way in, poor Phoebe peed and pooed. She must have been scared stiff. We assured Phoebe everything was ok and settled her in quickly. The vet and vet technicians were able to get the necessary tests done without much difficulty as Phoebe was well-behaved during the check-up. On the whole, the three musketeers did really well at the vet. *Big hugs and pats for the doggies!*

Marley, thorn among the roses
While waiting for the test results at the clinic, we brought the dogs to the playground outside for a walk. They were happy like larks and did not turn a hair when people approached us to pat them. We think the dogs will be able to fit in well anywhere since they are so comfortable even in a foreign environment with so many strangers around. Then came the time for the collection of the test results. As we had expected, because of their filthy living conditions, the three musketeers were tested positive for heartworm. They are otherwise in good health. We have started them on their heartworm treatment, which will cost about $1,000 to $1,500 for each dog.

Best friends : Marilyn, Marley and Phoebe are available for adoption

It was an eventful day for the three musketeers but they coped well. If your wallet and heart allows, please give the three doggies a home or some money for their vet bills too. Franklin D Roosevelt once opined ‘Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds’. For the dogs, however, they were prisoners of fate through no fault of their own. They cannot control their fate with their minds unlike humans. Please help us to help them. By helping them, you would also help yourself. When we give, we often gain more than we give. This is a time-tested maxim. To adopt, foster or help with the dogs’ vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg. The three doggies will be furever grateful to you!

Written by WL