Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Feed a street dog - create awareness Part Two

What can I say?! Since the Leo Club Kathmandu Regency and I Choose Volunteering Nepal had partnered up with us, this event was supported by so many people, that I can't say "Thank you" often enough! Thanks to everyone who was there and also thanks to everyone who wanted to come but couldn't due to the bandha.

We had a great time handing out pamphlets at New Road Gate and sending people off to feed the dogs elsewhere in the city and give out flyers there. We experienced very interested people and hope we will have made an impact in a lot of ways - telling people what KAT does, telling people that it is possible to adopt a dog from the KAT Centre and giving advise on how to care for a dog. And last but not least, we had a lot of fun!

Thanks again, people! You help to make the world a better place!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Athena, her mother, and their story.

Hi everyone. My name is Molly English. I'm an American who's living in Kathmandu with her Nepali boyfriend, Pratik. We volunteer whenever we can at KAT and try to organize programs for them. This is our story.

Let me set the scene for you:

One night, I was walking home since I was forced to take the buses home. It was dark, but I did see this incredibly skinny dog. With her, she had a small puppy, whose home was basically piles of cow crap and a piece of wood leaned against the a wall. I fed the dog some food I had on me and promised to call KAT about it ASAP.

A few days later, worried about the dog, I went to the same spot to find them. When I found her again, in DAYLIGHT, I was shocked with horror. This dog looked like she was on the very edge of death. Below, I will explain some of her problems with photos and text.

Here you can see that one of her eyes was freakishly enlarged. To this day, I still don't know what caused this.

Here, you can see how incredibly skinny the female dog was. Imagine having no income of a food source and trying to feed puppies? It's not a surprise only one puppy survived.

Here you can see a large mass on her bottom. This is a condition in which the sex organs "fall" or come out side of the body; this is usually due to too many pregnancies in a short time or hard labor immediately after a giving birth (the latter of the two still happens today to women in Nepal who give birth and go right away back to working in the fields). 

The pain must have been horrible. She was unable to even sit down.

The same day, KAT arrived to pick her up and I took the puppy home.
Unfortunately, they too were amazed at the horrendous condition she was living in. Once the vets examined her, they all agreed the most humane thing to do was put her down as soon as possible. They said she was in  an enormous amount of pain. 

I was shocked to hear this. Holding the her unnamed puppy in my arms, I realized this puppy was now an orphan. This dog couldn't go back to the streets and survive. 

So Pratik and I washed the puppy and have kept her at our home for the last week.
Even though she was only one month old (or so), she was healing from several dog bites. She also has roundworms. She had an infestation of dog lice which were causing her to lose hair on her chest.

Because with all the odds against her, this puppy really shouldn't have survived. I decided the best name for her was Athena, the Greek goddess of war and wisdom.

Here is Athena.

Pratik here is washing her with puppy shampoo, mainly because not only was she living on the street, but sleeping in  piles of cow dung.

This is the biggest healing wound, found on her back.

A very loving puppy, great with other dogs, our cat, and people in general.
Athena followed us around in the house and slept with us in our bed. I was already missing Athena after we dropped her off at KAT. But she was there for only TWO days when, BAM! She was adopted :)

This was such great news. There are many puppies and batches of puppies at KAT, so it is difficult to get them aadopted. However, an American couple who really love animals came in, and fell in love with Athena.

I'm really torn because of how attached we grew to her, but she got the best outcome possible. We're happy for her.
Good news for KAT, for me, for all of the street dogs of Nepal.  Athena will be a GREAT dog.

Me giving Athena a warm, soapy bath to kill most of the lice on her at our home.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Feed a Street Dog - Spread Awareness

Christmas is coming up and so we volunteers thought to make a christmas gift to the street dogs in Kathmandu - we will feed them. Of course not all of them, but we will try to feed as many as we can. Also, of course, we want to show to the people that compassion with the dogs is a good thing and we will take the chance to hand out leaflets about KAT and try to spread awareness about how dogs should be treated, be it street dogs or pet dogs.

The event will take place on the 17th of December, and if you would like to take part, you are more than welcome! You can either get in contact with us (katvolunteers@gmail.com) and we will set you up with some leaflets and dog food, or you could grab some dog food from your local shop and just get some leaflets from us, and feed the dogs in your area or wherever you would like to. Also, if you don't have time to feed the dogs yourself, you are very welcome to make a donation of dog food, so we and our helpers can feed even more dogs.

Feeding the steet dogs is really just a present to the dogs, we know that it doesn't have any long-term impact (KAT is not putting in money for that, it is just us volunteers, KAT needs the money more urgently for sterilisation and treatment); that's why we are also giving out information, so the people will know about KAT's sterilisation program and hopefully support us. Also, there is some information included about adopting a dog from the KAT Centre and how to take care of your pet dog. As you know, we have a lot of puppies and are desperately looking for homes, so we hope that maybe some people will come and adopt one. The leaflets are in Nepali, but we will also have our regular English broschures.

Please support us in either way you can!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happy day!

Yesterday was indeed a happy, happy day!
I got three visitors that I had been dying to see for many days now: Iksa and Dino came to see me, and brought Kibo, the little puppy that I was being extra-mommy for a couple of weeks back. He was only hours old when Iksa and Dino brough him to KAT, with small chances of surviving without a mother, but against all odds he made it through!

I took him home and bottlefed him every two hours for the first week, and he was such an active little dog even at that young age! He had not opened his eyes yet, but was still exploring his surroundings every now and then, when he was not snuggling inside my collar. He was the sweetest little dog, and it was not easy to give him away. But as I knwe Iksa and Dino would take good care of him, it was also a very happy day when they came to pick him up and give him a home!

And so yesterday I got to see him again! He had grown so much, it was amazing! From being so small he could fit in my palm, he was now a fine puppy (with eyes!), although he was a bit scared being at a new, unfamiliar place. He didn't recongize me for a second even, haha! But oh, was it good to see him. And knowing that we gave him a chance, which he grabbed with both paws. Good luck in the future, allt three of you =)

This was Kibo only four days old!
Some things have changed, but he's still the sweetest little dog. He now has a friend to play with, as Dino found another pup on the street and took him home. They are roughly the same age and do have a lot of fun together =)

// Marie

Friday, December 2, 2011

Saying Goodbye's again...

We have had a few dedicated volunteers over the past weeks and Marie and me as the "permanent volunteers" try to acknowledge them here.
So this time it is Marie Eve, a vet from Belgium, we had to say farewell to, after 4 great weeks she spent with us at the KAT Centre. She has made a huge impact on the dogs' health, on the work of the staff and on our lives.

She is the one that suggested the physio therapy for Yoyo, she is the one that kept looking into books until late at night to learn about unsual cases, she is the one that kept us laughing for hours with her funny remarks. She has been persistent, consistent, responsible and I am very happy to have this young woman as a friend.

Marie Eve will now travel on to India to work with the street dogs there, afterwards she will go to a shelter in Thailand and she plans to visit Malaysia and Cambodia, too - she will be travelling Asia for 14 months, working in shelters and doing so much good! I very much hope she will come back to Nepal for a while, too, because we already miss her very much. Good luck, Marie Eve, I hope you will find hapiness and many new friends on your travels, but please don't forget us here in Kathmandu!


Me, Marie Eve and Marie in Nagarkot

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kali: The Story!

When I decided to go volunteering at the KAT Centre, I shortly thought of maybe taking back with me one of the dogs from Kathmandu. But as I read about how complicated it was to take dogs from Nepal to Europe, it was pretty clear, that I would not be able to adopt a dog from KAT.

However, we all know, things never turn out as we plan it:

On July the 17th me and Ottavia found Kali at the Pashupatinath temple. And everything changed.

She was all skin and bones, covered in mange and dog bite wounds and did not even look at the food the Saddhus tried to feed her. She looked so pitiful that I simply had to grab her into my rain jacket and take her to the KAT Centre.

after her first bath

The vets gave her medicine and I fed her (because she was so emaciated, she got three bowls of food a day) and kept her company while she was just sitting in her little cardboard box. But with time passing, she grew fatter and startet to come out of her box.

I only realized how big Kali's progress was, when one day she started to play with Winnie! It was so wonderful to see her play! (And I have to admit it, I would adopt Winnie too, if I could. She's a great dog.)

And then, also her hair started to grow. Very slow at first, but as soon as we used oil on her skin, it also grew on her sides and legs.

I loved my little dog, but I knew, that I would have to go back to Switzerland and that Kali would be adopted by some family in Kathmandu. I was going to university and I knew that my studies would be quite hard. There would sure be no time for a dog.
I dreaded the day I would have to leave Kathmandu without her, but I knew that it would probably be the best for her.

One day a woman came to KAT to adopt a dog, and Gregg showed her Kali, in the hope that she would give her a new home. It nearly broke my heart to see this, but I said to myself, that it would be the best for the dog.
And in the same moment I realized, that it would not be okay. And I made a decision: If this woman would adopt Kali, it would be okay and she would stay in Kathmandu. But if not, she would come with me to Switzerland and live with me and my family.

Thanks to all the gods and goddesses, this woman was Ceilidhe Waugh and she had allready fallen in love with Moti, a cute black dog, that just came to KAT a few days earlier. (Read about their story in KAT's latest newletter here) And with her decision, my decision was made too - Kali would come to Switzerland.

But how?

First my dad went to see our veterinary at home, bought a microchip from her and sent it to Kathmandu.
After Kali got the microchip, the vets vaccinated her against rabies.
A month after the vaccination the vets took a blood sample and sent it to a lab in Germany to do the rabies antibody blood test, which is necessary if a dog travels from Nepal to Europe.

With all this done, the most difficult part was yet to come: find someone who was traveling from Kathmandu to somewhere between Milan in Italy and Munich in Germany and was ready to take Kali on his or her flight.

I started to post messages about our search in every possible online forum about Nepal I could find. I hang up posters about Kali and our story in Nepal shops in Switzerland. But I did not get one positive answer. Not one. I was desperate.

But the world is full of wonders, isn't it?

This weekend I recieved an e-mail. Probably the best e-mail I ever recieved in my whole life!

It was from Stefanie Schwarz. She told me, she was going to travel to Kathmandu in January with her friends and that they wanted to spend some time volunteering at the KAT Centre and - and this was by far the best part of the mail - that she would love to take Kali with her on her flight!

I am so happy to have recieved this message! It's so wonderful!
Stefanie and Kali will land on the 20th of April in Munich, Germany! This means, we only have to wait 141 days untill my little Kali will be here with me.

Life is good. But a dog makes it perfect.



// EDIT 14th December:

Unfortunatelly, it seems that all in a sudden there are problems with the airline, so Stefanie can't take Kali with her on her flight. I'm quite sad, but we won't give up and will continue our search...


// EDIT 21st December:

Ottavia found some old photos of Kali and took some new ones today. Thank you so much!

Here they are:
second day at KAT

 And today, December the 21st:

with her best friend Winnie! ^^

Friday, November 25, 2011

More pups seeking a home!

 We have a new bunch of adorable puppies at KAT at the moment! They came in a few weeks ago, 6 of them, together with their mother, still blind and helpless and just wonderful. They are however growing up with an amazing speed, as puppies usully do, and are now roaming the grounds at KAT, leaving no heart untouched =)

They are soon getting big enough to find homes of their own, so if you want a puppy, or know someone who wants a puppy, don't hesitate to get in touch!

"Hello world!"

Yesterday we got this little sweetheart in, she was found all alone in Swayambhu, with no mother in sight. She is a bit thin but in quite good condition, and absolutely adorable! We had some thoughts about what to feed her, is she big enough to eat solid food, or should we get her some milk?

But as she is roughly the same age as the puppy litter, we decided to try and see if the mother could accept her as her own. The mother was a bit suspicious at first, but after giving her a good bath today (she was full of lice, ugh) and putting her among the other pups to get some familiar smell on her, things were all right and she was happily sucking away with her new "sibllings".

And I was almost in tears with joy, haha. The small things really matter =)

// Marie

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A chance for Yoyo?

This is absolutely fantastic!
Marie Eve, a new vet-volunteer at KAT since a few weeks, suggested that physiotherapy (PT) might be good for Yoyo, one of the paraplectic dogs at the center. She cannot use her hind legs since a car accident this summer, and is now walking only with help. Despite this, she is one of the happiest dogs at KAT, so full of energy and life, it's just amazing. She's always happy to see any person, and if that person carries the belt to take her out for a walk, she just cannot sit still, hopping around with pure joy.

There has been talk about maybe getting her a wheelchair of some sort, but that is not the easiest thing to accomplish here. But now there might be another option!! We have been doing some simple PT with her for a couple of weeks, just bending and stretching out her legs, and trying to put some og her own weight on them when she's standing. And I might just be imagining this, but I think she's getting so much stronger!! Some muscles are working, she's pushing hard with those legs when she gets bored with the exercise and wants to go do something more useful.

I am so excited, imagine if this would work!!

// Marie

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

There is hope =)

I just have to share this story, especially now that we need to hear good things after the rabies incident!

The other day, KAT recieved a phone call. It was from a German family who was just about to move back to Germany after some time spent in Kathmandu. They were however very concerned about a street dog that they had been feeding for some time, and was afraid what would happen to it when they left. It was in quite bad condition, with a severe mange and very malnourished. They were leaving the same day, but still they took the time to go out and photograph the dog and the surroundings and everything, so that Barat from the staff would find the way.
And he did find the dog and brought it in to KAT yesterday, so now he's in good hands and will hopefully recover to become a beautiful happy dog! The family even wanted to make a donation to cover for the dogs treatment and care, and immediately transferred 100 € to KAT. I'm so amazed every time I hear stories like this, it gives me great hope that one day this city will be a good place to be a dog in.

// Marie

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How to send your donations to Kathmandu

Still in Kathmandu, I promised my fellow volunteers to send some good stuff over for them. Especially like the small things that just kept disppearing [it has to be a lot of fun for dogs to steal brushes and the like =)].

Now I'm back home for about two months and have started my studies (of course, veterinary science).
On one of my shopping trips to the local pet shop I managed to get some usefull things and one of my fellow students, Nicole, donated something really, really great.
But you will only get to know what it is, when it arrives in Kathmandu. It's a surprise! =)

But how do you send a packet with donations from Switzerland to Nepal?

1) Find a cardboard box big enough to fit all the donations
2) Get some packing material, like those little bags filled with air
(which seem to be great cat toys, by the way)
my cats Owney & Rashid, helping with packing
3) Pack all the things into the box, but only if you checked, that no cats are left in the box
maybe Owney wants to travel to Nepal as well?
4) Stick big signs to the box, so that everyone knows to be careful with the box
5) Send it and hope it will arrive safely in Kathmandu!

We sent the packet on monday, let me know, when it arrives in Kathmandu.

// Simona

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dotschka or Poopee - now she has a home for live! And also another name!

Dotschka - her first name, given by Simona, didn't stick at all. I know you meant it well, Simona, and it was a cute idea, but Poopee was just so much more fitting! She grew up quickly, this week she will be 12 weeks old, and Poopee also didn't fit anymore, since she became such a good girl and only did her little business in the garden (except for a few little accidents). So I usually called her Sweety, waiting for her to go into a loving home where somebody will give her a proper name, a name she will keep forever.

I have been dreading the moment. We grew more attached to her every day. I started crying when I was only thinking about giving her away, but I knew it would be the best, we have already two cats which we brought with us from Germany, here in Kathmandu it is no problem, the cats only live upstairs and the dog is only downstairs and in the garden, but who knows where we're going next, and if we would be living only in a small apartment, it could be difficult...but this all didn't matter in the end.

Nobody wanted our beautiful dog - so we have deceided to keep her! Even if there would be somebody now, we would never think again of giving her up! She belongs to us and we belong to her, and we are so happy with the decision. So we also gave her a proper name and now she is called Auris, which comes from the Latin word Aurum which means gold - and she is golden, golden of colour, golden of heart and enriching our live. I thought I was very happy before, but now I see that in making this little dog so happy, there was even more happiness hidden.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Chaos at KAT

Today was a slightly chaotic day at KAT.

It was the last day for Katie, a wonderful veterinary volunteer from New Zeeland that has been at KAT for the past week, doing so much good stuff, you will be much missed!

Anyway, Katie had brought some cake for us today, but before we had time to dig in the ambulance came in. 2 rescue dogs were brought in, one had been hit by a car and was in bad shock, and needed immidient care with drip and all that.

It was also brekfast time for the dogs, and since we have so many dogs at the center now, they were everywhere, milling around and there seemed to be puppies wherever you looked =) Two hours later we got our cake though!

I was about to write a bit about mange today, a major problem for street dogs in Kathmandu. It's a skin disease caused by mites that embed themselves in the skin or the hair follicles. They cause severe itching and crusting, which often becomes infected. The hair falls off, and due to the scratching and infections, the skin cracks and bleeds. In Kathmandu, there are dogs with mange in all stages, from a little hairless patch to being completely naked and in a very poor condition. We often get in mange dogs that we try to treat, sometimes with good result, sometimes with not so good result.

We treat them with a medicine that goes into the food, and wash them regularly to get rid of dead skin and stimulate growth of healthy skin and hair. Dogs in a very poor condition are difficult to treat, since they have such dry skin and they scratch all the time. To put olive oil on the skin should be good, we heard. Other simple advices are much appreciated, if anyone have experience of this!

We just got in two dogs with severe mange just a few days ago, this is how they look today: Let's hope I have some better looking pictures of these sweet dogs in a short time!!

//  Marie

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kukur Tihar!

Tuesday two days ago was a very nice day at KAT! That was the day we celebrated Kukur Tihar, the day of the dogs! It's a part of the Tihar festival, a wonderful festival of light and joy that is occurring this week.

So, on Kukur Tihar, the dogs are worshipped, and people offer garnads of flower, tikka and delicious foods to the dogs. It is also a celebration of the special relationship that exists between humans and dogs.

Of course, the KAT center wanted this to be a special day, so a lot of people were invited to this day, and the whole centre was decorated with flowers, it was so beautiful! A big board with information was put up for people to read and see what we do.

And it was a good turnout, soon the whole yard was milling with people talking and mingling.

In a little ceremony, the puja, all the dogs at the centre got a tikka and a garland of flowers. It was an amazing sight to see all dogs running around with flowers, all excited because something special was happening =)

And even little Momo got his own little tikka and a yellow flower petal, he got his blessing, so I have confidence he will make it through!

For me it was a very special experience, and I'm grateful I got to be a part of it! It is great to see that many people do care about dogs and their situation in Kathmandu. I talked to so many interesting people with a big passion for dogs, about dogs, about new ideas and how to make the KAT center even better.

This is how tired you get after a whole day of celebrating!

// Marie