Vera's Updates

I’ve been volunteering with Hope Dog Rescue for more than a year, and my main role is being a photographer. Vera was one of the first dogs I worked with, and being relatively new to photography, her behavior and nature has influenced my dog photography greatly. I spent a lot of time observing her, trying to take pictures that accurately represents her personality, and to show everybody what a sweet girl Vera is. 

Vera, photo taken in mid 2016

Anybody that has worked with and cared for Vera will tell you how intelligent and confident she is. She is affectionate, but unlike some other dogs that require attention every 5 minutes, Vera is mostly fine with being alone after showing her appreciation when volunteers first walk through the door and greet her. She seemed to favour her spot at the balcony where she sits alone, instead of the other dogs who like to be around the volunteers throughout the day.

She can almost be described as nonchalant, aloof, not overly eager to please, and being very assured with herself even in new surroundings. She is not aggressive, but will not be afraid to stand up for herself if she feels threatened. Vera also has somewhat of a naughty and stubborn streak. She does little things that she knows she can get away with, like eating out of another dog’s bowl, or using her athleticism to lead her human during walks instead of the other way around. We were all very happy when Vera was adopted, she had been waiting a long time for a home and nobody knew things were going to end up the way it did.
Our family took Vera in after her release from the vet because she had no home to return to and needed as much care as she can receive. It’s been a few days since she’s been with us and the following is an update on her condition. I’m not trying to write a sob story, these are just some simple observations my family has made in the few short days she’s been here.

After Vera settled down following her arrival, she wolfed down her dinner, and then proceeded to vomit almost all of it out a few hours later.

Vera at a volunteer's home - she needs a foster

It seemed as though she couldn’t control herself, she just wanted to eat as much as possible even though it might make her uncomfortable. We have since reduced her food intake to manageable levels, small meals throughout the day supplemented with a little bit of diluted goat’s milk. She has been keeping her food down, licking her bowl clean after every meal, and we will gradually increase her calorie intake back to previous amounts.

There has been some changes in her behaviour as well. When she first arrived she was a little skittish, every small little movement and sound will be met with a concerned look from her. She has become very eager to please, repeatedly trying to offer her paws to us in almost every interaction she has with us. Vera will also scoot away with a whimper if somebody approaches her too quickly, especially from higher ground, like stairs. She has also been actively trying to avoid other dogs on our walks, perhaps not feeling confident of standing up for herself in her malnourished state. It took some coaxing for her to walk past houses with dogs at the gate, but overall she still seems very eager to explore. A few days have past since these observations, and we're glad to say that there has been improvements. Vera is a lot more at ease now, no longer trying to follow every single motion and sound we make, happy in her spot taking naps.

Vera feeling insecure, weak and tires easily

As for her physical state, it is very obvious that she is severely malnourished. Here are some pictures of her before, and compared to now. 

Poor Vera, had we not visited her, she may have died a slow death

Vera, looking regal, before she went to the family

Vera, when we took her back; reduced to a bag of bones

Vera obviously has a very long road to recovery ahead for her. Aside from getting her back to a healthy weight, only time will tell if there has been any significant changes or lasting impact on her mental health and character. For all those worried and hurt over what happened to Vera, we share the same worries, and we were definitely devastated to find her this way. However, the signs have been encouraging. Vera is getting more confident by the day, especially during walks, and her mischievous ways are beginning to return as well. She has spent the last 2 nights sleeping on the couch that I slept on when I spent the first night downstairs with her, probably just managing to jump off in time when she hears footsteps coming down the stairs every morning. With her fur on the couch and her being in between the couch and the coffee table instead of her usual place on her blankets, it’s safe to say Vera is back to her cheeky ways. It is proof that despite everything she has endured, our beloved Vera is still very much the same endearing dog that has charmed so many of the volunteers. Vera just needs all the care and love she can get to help regain her confidence. 

If you can foster Vera, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

Foster requirements :
* no dogs / no young children
* 2 slow, short walks a day as she still tires easily
* 3 to 4 small meals daily according to our instructions
* keep a record of her daily activities / food and water intake / mental well-being etc 

**This case is being investigated by AVA under the suspicion of failure in duty of care or animal cruelty by the previous owner.