Thursday, September 29, 2011

World Rabies Day!

Yesterday was an important day. It was World Rabies Day. An issue that is very urgent here in Nepal, a country wich has one of the highest reported per capita rates of human rabies deaths in the world. One of the main goals of KAT is to eliminate the occurrence of rabies in Kathmandu, and has so far made a great difference in the city. Over 22.000 dogs have been vaccinated against rabies, which is a fantastic number!

To celebrate this day, KAT put up a stand at the Swayambhu temple to talk to people and inform them about rabies and how to avoid it, and to promote the KAT center and the work we do. It was a great day, we talked to a lot of people, both locals and tourists, some of them also buying postcards and donating money that are very much needed. We are so grateful for that contribution!

Even the dogs seemes to sense our intention, we had a great deal of them hanging around our stand. (It may also have something to do with the cookies we brought.. although the monkeys ended up stealing them :/ )


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Update on Dotschka (or more befitting Poopee...)

Since Simona has left Nepal about 2 weeks ago, I have taken over the mother duty for this little pup. I am very happy to say that she is doing great - the feeding with the mixture of water, infant milk powder, egg yolk and yoghurt seemed to do her good and now she is already eating real puppy food and drinking water, but of course a warm milk mixture in the evening is always prepared for our little baby!

She has grown a lot and would never fit in the little shoe box again, in which she was brought to us and there are changes every day - she is exploring our garden and can now climb the step to the terrasse, although she is still a bit afraid to jump down. Car rides get more scary and she is learning to be quiet when I tell her to. We have a lot of fun with her and I have to admit we dread the moment when she will go to her family...but I am sure, they will take very good care of her!


Monday, September 26, 2011

A Boxer called Boxer

It's a very sad day today; both our beloved mange dogs Boxer and Stinky passed away this weekend.

I started to write a post about Boxer's story a few days ago, but now it will be a tribute to a great dog and good friend.


Boxer was allready at KAT when I arrived there by mid-July. She was allready there quite a time, but simply wasn't getting better. She only had a little bit of hair on her back, was really skinny and seemed to be sad. She was just lying in her kennel, didn't really want to go out for walks and never wagged her tail. Also her front paws where still swollen. She looked miserable...

Boxer, around the 18th July
With time passing, she got a little bit better. No, that's actually not true.
She was behaving much better, just her appearence was only getting better very slow. But at least she started to like the time she could spend out with the other dogs in the Treatment Area. She also started to enjoy her walks around the KAT, especially if one of the little puppies we had at this time was out as well. It was also one of the puppies that made her wag her tail for the first time.
Even if she still looked quite bad, at least she was becoming a happy dog...

Boxer, around ten days later
Jan, the founder of the KAT, had to leave for England by the end of July, but before she left, she told us that it may help the mange dogs, if we put some oil on their skin. Viktoria had also found this advice on the internet, so we decided to try it. Boxer really enjoyed her oily massages, especially if we put some oil around her snout, because she could lick it off from there. We even have a photo of this:

Boxer, begining of August 2011
The olive oil Viktoria had brought worked miracles.
Boxer's hair started to grow, not just on her back, but also on her sides and legs. It just didn't work on her face, because (as you can see on the previous photo) she always licked it off. Still, everyone was so happy for Boxer, and Boxer was happy, too. When I got near her kennel, she started wagging her docked little tail and couldn't wait untill I had found a leash to take her out.
Unfortunatelly I don'thave a good photo of her in all her hairy beauty, but I think this one shows her progress quite well:

Boxer, mid August 2011
 She even got so well, that the Vets decided that she was ready to be spayed.

Boxer, shortly after being spayed
Then, all in a sudden, she got worse again. She lost hair on her sides and face, her paws started to swell again and she started to scratch herself, so that she was bleeding a lot. We started to give her the mange medicine again and also continued the oli massages.
Boxer, end of August / beginning of September 2011
But sadly, Boxer was not strong enough. She had fought a long fight against a disease we didn't know. This weekend she collapsed while being out for a walk and passed away.

We will remember her as the happy dog she was, always wagging not just her tail, but her whole body when she saw someone approaching her kennel. A great dog.


Disastrous monday.

It's a sad sad day today.

When me and Viktoria came to KAT today (in absolut pouring rain I might add, to add to the misery), we found several of the cages empty - cages that we did not expect to be empty. We looked everywhere, in the isolation unit and in the "sterilization row", but did not find what we were looking for. So we went to the vet, apprehensively since we had a growing clue, and that was that. No less than four dogs had died / been put to sleep during the weekend.
The little skinny puppy with water in his belly and the dog with the horrible broken leg had both been put to sleep, which was maybe no surprise, they both were in a bad condition. But both Stinky and the Boxer, that I wrote about just a few days ago, were also gone! The Boxer had just collapsed while being taken out for a walk, maybe it was the heart that gave up after a long period of sickness, who knows. And Stinky was put to sleep, she had really lost all her joy of life and was not eating at all, plus she had a wound that just grew bigger and bigger.

It was just so sad. I have no words. Except I hope they are in a better place now. This is really the downside of doing this job. I'm hanging on to the thought that we were making therir last days as bright and happy as we could, at least. And focus on the good and happy stories, of which there are plenty =)
The black cat, for example, she finally got a home and got to get out of her cage, where she's been for quite some time now. She was the sweetest and most social cat I've ever met, so I'm very glad someone took her on. Instead, the cat cage got another inhabitant today, also a back skinny cat. Will post pics later!

// Marie

Saturday, September 24, 2011

New approach!

Our two dogs with a very bad mange, Boxer and Stinky (she's called Stinky with a lot of affection!), have both been at KAT for a while without very much improvement. Some week ago, we tried a new approach: to give them ayurvedic treatment (a form of alternative medicin) instead of the medicins they normally recieve. Now I don't know much about this practice, but there was a woman who came to the centre and talked with the vets about it, and they came up with a plan.

As I understand it, the patient often gets worse for a while, before starting to get better, maybe because the body reacts to the treatment and it takes a while to adapt. This was true for both the Boxer and Stinky, they both got worse, they swelled up and were bleeding more. Now I think the Boxer is getting a bit better, at least on the body, she scratches her head a lot, so it looks just awful. Stinky on the other hand, has still not started to improve =( She's not eating, does not want to go out and is not her usual happy self. I hope this will change during the weekend!!

(If anyone knows more about the ayurvedic treatment, or have experience of it, please feel free to comment, as I said, I don't know much at all about how it works!)

Anyway, I wanted to post two pictures of how Boxer and Stinky look today, and hopefully I soon have some improvement-pictures to show =)

Edit: I found some older photos of Stinky (that's how we volunteers call her) or Haaku (her official name) which I wanted to show you, so that you can see, that she looked a bit better a few weeks ago and that we hope, that she will get better again very soon.
You can also read about Haaku / Stinky in KAT's latest newsletter, which can be found here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dog Photography

The ones among yourself, who own dogs themselves, know, how hard it is to take good photos of our companions.
And monsoon season doesn't make things easier at all. Either it rains, or it just stop raining and the dogs are all wet and dirty, or it will just start raining and the light is really bad.

So we often face the problem, that if we take about twenty photos of one dog, we can be pretty sure, that only (at best) three of them will be good. And what with the other 17? They will most probably look similar to these:

First we got the blurry and really bad ones:

Then we get the 'dog-gets-too-close' ones:

Or we get half of the dog on one photo, and the other half on the next one:

This is an Unidentified Flying Object (that wasn't intented to be on the photo at all) [it's Buddy]:

But yes, once in a while, we even manage to get a nice photo, like this one:

Or at least, some funny ones:

// Simona

Saturday, September 10, 2011


This morning, it was again time for the Farmer's market! We have decided to try to be there every second saturday, talkning to people and selling dog biscuits. Today was no exception, and we almost sold all the cookies we made last night =) It's the beginning of something big, I can feel it!
We brough the Princess puppy and the little PooPee puppy, and they reall were an attraction, especially for the kids. The princess also liked the cookies very much,  some people were nice enough to buy some for her, haha.

The only downside of today is that it was Simona's last Farmers Market. We had a farewell party yesterday, when we made the cookies, and it is starting to sink in. You will be missed! The responsibility for the PooPee now lands on Viktoria and me, how are we gonna manage.. Anyone out there has experience of bottlefeeding small puppies, when can you start giving solid foods, and what should that be?
// Marie

Some good and some bad news...

In the last days a couple of good things happend at the KAT Centre, and of course, I want to share those with you;

~  Tiger could go back to his place!
But let me tell you Tiger's story from the beginning:
Tiger is a huge German Shepherd. He once had a family, but they moved away and simply left poor old Tiger in front of the house. The new tenants then started to feed him and called him Tiger. When one day they discovered a big wound on his belly, they brought him to the KAT Centre. The wound was allready infested with maggots and looked quite bad.
But over the past two weeks, the wound healed under the loving care of the KAT's two vets and the volunteers.
Tiger is an old, gentle dog, who gets along well with both humans and dogs. The only problem we had with him, was his sheer size. When he was in one of the ABC Kennels, he couldn't barely turn around. He was just too big. So now, we're really happy for him, that he could go back to his place, where the new tenants of his old home will care for him and give him food & love.

Here we have a picture of Tiger and our Boxer, so that you can see, how big he really was (Boxer is a fully grown Boxer, just by the way):

~ Seti is being prepared to fly back with me!
Seti will be adopted by a German family and so will fly back to Europe with me (as Marie has allready told here). Two days ago we bought a transport box at the super market for her and she allready loves her new little home and defends it against other dogs.
We also brought Seti to a vet near the KAT Centre to check her Microchip, because the KAT's own scanner couldn't find it (it's pretty old). Everything is okay with the chip so today we just need to fill out all the paperwork and Seti is ready to go to her new home!

~ The Puppy is doing so great!
Little Dotschka (Russian for little daughter) now can clearly see something and she also started to get little puppy teeth. She's allready bored by her crate and wants to explore my room (and pee & poo all over the place). Dotschka (PooPee for Viktoria & Marie) also grew much bigger than when she arrived at the KAT first.

~ Kali got her microchip yesterday!
The microchip is the first step on her long way to Switzerland, so now we can start to organize everything for her travel. I'm so happy, that she will really come to Switzerland! And I want to thank my dad for sending the chip!

But, as live is, there's also some bad news... least for me. Today was my second last day at the KAT Centre and sunday will be the last.
I've been at KAT for two months now and I allready know, who much I will miss everyone there. It's strange to imagine days without Kali, walking Boxer, feeding little Dotschka, giggling with Marie & Viktoria and eating Dal Bhat.
The KAT Centre is a wonderful place. I don't quite know, what I was looking for, when I decided to go to Nepal, but I know, what I found: a place, that I will really miss and want to come back to. And fantastic new friends, I want to stay in contact with, even if they stay in Nepal or in one case may move back to Sweden/Finnland !

The KAT Centre is a place where I felt at home and I'm allready counting the days untill I can come back to Kathmandu!

All the best & Namastè,


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Saying goodbyes!

Oh no. Tomorrow is Simonas last day at KAT (except maybe the weekend?)!!! How are we gonna manage without the super-.volunteer #1?! One thing is for sure, you're gonna be very missed, Simona! As long as we've been at KAT, both me and Viktoria, Simona has been there, always helping and always knowing what to do when things get messy. It's like having a mom and then all of a sudden not having a mom and having to manage all on one's own. You do understand this is serious matter, Simona, and that you have to come back. Kali, on of the dogs at the center, will most likely also move to Switzerkand with Simona, but she will have to wait for a bit, since not all vaccinations and papers are in order yet. But the microchip arrived today, so we're getting there!

But, as things are, Simona won't have to go alone (yes, of course there will also be other passengers!), but she's gonna bring Seti with her There is a German family who got attached to her and wants to adopt her, but they are already back in Germany, so she has to go with Simona =) I like it when people really puts an effort into making things happen, I think everything is possible as long as we cooperate!
// Marie

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Puppy update

Just a short update about the puppy in the last post: she's still very much alive and getting better every day! I got to bottle feed the little sweetie today and I can report very strong suction reflex! The wounds on the back are also healing and looks so good! We have good hope for her. Although her "mom" Simona will return to Swizerland next week, we're gonna miss her so much! And then it's up to me and Viktoria to keep feeding the puppy (ugh). She has got an inofficial name, PooPee (guess why..?)

Will post pictures tomorrow =)
Thanks Martha for the tip about goat/sheep milk! We were able to get hold of some milk powder for puppies, but we'll probably have to swith very soon when we run out of it!
// Marie