Trixie; A Senior Rescue

It is often said, when you adopt a dog, you’re saving two lives. The dog you adopted and the dog you made room for. And tonight, this held true.

HOPE has always been known to take in senior dogs, dogs with special needs, and sick dogs - basically the less adoptable ones. We feel for them. In fact, we’re known as the rescue group with the most number of special needs dogs. Whereas with puppies, we know lots of people will rush to rescue them. We take in these old and special needs dogs, knowing we would probably be “stuck” with them for life. Of course, at the back of our minds, we hope that fellow dog lovers may open their hearts to them and take one in.  

The vacated factory
Taken 2 years ago when she still had a home in the factory

We have known this cream-coloured mama dog for almost 2 years. She used to have a factory, caregivers and doggie friends. Her best friend was a back female dog, probably as old as her and who may have been her sister. 

This was her best friend / sister 

Last year the factory closed down and left behind many dogs. The workers only took one young male dog with them. This is where Mathilda, Goldilocks, Hachiko and Horlicks came from. Some dogs continued to live in the vacated factory, loyal as dogs can be, waiting for the workers to come back for them. Some found ways out through holes in the fences and came out to look for food. During the day, they would sleep in the vacated factory.

Setting up the bait and carrier to trap her

We have been wanting to take this mama dog, whom we had named Trixie, and her black friend, but we did not have space for either of them. It was only last week that we managed to re-home one dog and thus, freed up room for Trixie. Sadly, her black doggy friend had disappeared some months back, possibly killed in an accident or caught and culled by AVA as this is a high culling area.

Volunteer, Weiling, coaxing Trixie to enter the carrier

After she lost her black doggy friend, she spent most of her days under a tractor, depressed. Her cream coat covered in sores, rough skin and oil. Each week when we fed her, we would notice her getting sadder and sadder. She probably missed her friends and her caregivers. Maybe she had seen so many of her fellow strays get caught and culled that she thought she would be next. 

Home was under this tractor 

We noticed that she was starting to develop difficulty in crawling out from under the tractor. Her hind legs were getting weaker and weaker. She wasn’t a young dog – she looked and acted more than 10 years old but stray dogs age faster so she could possibly be younger. Stray dogs just look old and tired from the years of hard living. Her body was weak and tired.

Looking like a ghost town

We planned to trap her one evening after work before it was too late. It had rained the entire day and it was cold, wet and chilly. Our volunteers braved the drizzle and cold to set up the carrier and lure her into it. It didn’t take more than an hour as she was really hungry (and trusting) and the smell of KFC was too irresistible. 

When we shoved her into the carrier, she didn’t even bother to put up a struggle. She was resigned to her fate. She must have seen too many of her friends get caught and disappear and thought that today, it was her turn to go. It was really sad, she had so much misery in her eyes. While we waited for the transport to take her to the vet, she just lay down in the carrier and trembled from being wet and cold. After a decade of animal rescue,  experience told us that this dog had given up on life. 

She remained despondent during the drive to the vet. Once at the vet though, she actually wagged her tail when she was let out of the carrier – she must have realized she wasn’t doomed. 


Volunteer, Gayle, assuring Trixie everything would be alright

Body covered with oil from the tractor

She was just so tired of life, she allowed us to do as we pleased

Sores on her body
Fractured tooth, missing teeth with pulp exposed. Vet reckoned these were caused by chewing on metal or stones.
As with all our rescues, we spare no expense in ensuring their well-being, so a full medical check and blood work was done. The vet estimated her to be around 7-8 years old, younger than the 10 we thought her to be. Her skin was badly infected and foul smelling. She had lumps in her mammary glands and discharge from her vulva. Fortunately the ultrasound scan showed nothing worrying, although her spleen was enlarged from tick fever. The scan also showed that her organs were all healthy and in good shape, and her uterus had been removed, signifying that someone had sterilized her. She was also severely dehydrated and her blood test showed her to be suffering from tick fever and was very anemic as a result.

Resigned to her fate 

Years of living on the streets

Bad and painful skin

Conduting an ultrasound on her was a breeze

Our monthly expenses are high because of the old and special needs dogs we have - recurring vet bills, supplements for the senior dogs, hydrotherapy and massage for the special needs dogs do not come cheap. And now we have Trixie to add to our monthly maintenance. We’re not burdened by this, because we know that there are many dog lovers and supporters that believe in what we do and will support our work and our rescues.  

Look at those eyes

A weather beaten body and eyes that have seen too much 
After living almost a decade on the streets, we believe that she deserves to be taken off the streets and to live her remaining years in a home where she no longer has to brave the rain, shiver cold and wet under the tractor or have to worry about her next meal. We believe you feel the same, too. 

Help Trixie forget about her sad pass and move on

We cannot imagine how being homeless feels like. Help us shower her with love and make up for all that she has missed out on. If you can help with her vet bills or sponsor her food or buy her a bed to finally rest in, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Written by: Sam