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

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A little wonder!

A short update with wonderful news, combined with a bit of heartache: Momo has gone to his new foster family today!! It's so great and I wish them all the best, I'm sure he's gonna have a wonderful and long life with Iksa and Dino =)

I'm so happy I got to be in his life for a short time, it was truly an amazing experience. Although a bit tiresome, also, haha. He's such a fantastic little creature, with an enormous will to live; he gets stronger every day and also more demanding. No need for an alarm clock here, nope. I'm gonna miss him so terribly, even the getting up in the middle of the night to sit in a cold kitchen with a starving puppy who ferociously attacks the bottle as if it was a day since he last ate, not merely one hour. But when he burps and satisfied curls up against my ear, I could just die from happiness.

Thank you Momo, for showing me something fantastic about life! Or Kibo, which is what his new family will call him, that's japanese for "hope" and I can't think of something more appropriate!

And best of luck, Iksa and Dino, and again, thank you.

// Marie

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm gonna live!

It's incredible how strong the will to live can be! The little puppy that I got in my care exactly a week ago, all new born, is still vey much alive, against all odds! I'm calling him Momo at the moment =) He's eating like a horse and is growing almost visibly every day. He loves to creep up by my ear and sleep after eating, where he then lies dreaming, twitching and making funny little noises.

I left him to Gregg at KAT this saturday, so I could get some sleep (it's not easy when you have to warm the bottle every two hours around the clock!), and I just got him back this morning. And did I miss him!! Crazy how attached you can get in just a few days, but I guess it's something special to take care of someone so small and dependent on you.

The two people who brought him in to KAT, Dino and Iksa, were here to visit him last week. They will adopt Momo when he's a bit older, and I'm so grateful that there are people like this, who care and who continues to care. I'm sure he's gonna get a wonderful home with them!

The picture is taken a few days ago, I'll try to take some new ones today =)
// Marie

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Euthanasia (coming from the greek words eu - good, simple and thanatos - death) means support and help for an easy death or even killing dying or very sick or injured people or animals. I think everybody can agree that if an individual is in very much pain and not likely to recover, death can be a mercy.

I have thought a lot on this subject, in the past concerning people, but since yesterday of course also concerning animals, especially the dogs at KAT. We get dogs that are very severly injured, very sick or have rabies. Often they are put down, if our vets see no or only a very slight chance of recovery and if the animal is suffering so much, there is not much you can do apart from hoping that there is dog heaven with lots of grass and trees and food and other dogs and that they will be happy in an afterlife.

But what about the little pups we wrote about yesterday? They are healthy, they are clearly enjoying life! We chose to be honest about what the pups are expecting if they won't find a home, and I still think this is the right way. Nobody should be able to say, "Oh, maybe I'll get a puppy later, don't want one now, I am going on holidays, I am sure somebody else will take them!". No. There are seven, everybody who wants a dog should make up their mind quickly and get one, because otherwise it might be too late. The KAT Centre has not space left, we have so many dogs around at the moment, and we are quite sure that there are more puppies to come since puppy season has only started.

So what should we do? Put them on the street, where they don't know how to fend for themselves? They will get run over, they will get sick, they will be bitten, mistreated, starving. I am angry at this situation. I am angry that not more people spay their dogs, because KAT can't be everywhere. But we are left with these cute babies, that exist because people don't care. And KAT is left with the decision in the end. Nobody wants these puppies put down here, everybody is racking their brains how we could find homes for them. We are desperate, and if anybody has another solution, please tell us. But we don't want these puppies to suffer on the street and to have maybe in the end even more puppies who will suffer and contribute to Kathmandu's street dog problem (they are to young to be sterilised yet and can't stay at KAT much longer). So please understand our dilemma and help us find homes!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Puppies URGENTLY need homes!

We have seven young puppies (and a few older ones) which very urgently need homes! KAT does not have the space to keep them there and they would be put down if we can not find homes for them in the next few days. They are very cute and had a beautiful mother who took very good care of them.

Please, please, please share this with all the people you know in Kathmandu, ask your friends, ask your didis, ask your colleagues, ask your guards, as long as you think they can provide a good home. Also ask your friends to share this, maybe we can make it and find homes for those 7 puppies.

Remember, they have all the vaccinations and are of course free! Also, you get a year of free medical treatment at the KAT Centre for the dog!

They are a playful lot, we think they are about 5 weeks old, give or take. They already eat some dogfood, together with their mothers milk, and are almost ready to be given away from their mother. Please help us give them a home!!

Everybody who is interested: Call the KAT Centre
(437 31 69) or drop by in Chapali Gaon, Budanilkantha.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Still alive!

Short update on the puppy status! He's still alive, happily snoozing away in his basket with his bottle. Thank god, maybe he sleeps for a while so I can take a nap. He kept me up the whole night, screaming for food every hour, then eating a teaspoon, peeing on me, and then back to sleep. Hm.
He seems healthy enough at the time, so I have good hope. Today we're going to see the KAT mom, maybe she is willing to give a little milk to him, that would be great!

Will write more later!
// Marie

Monday, October 17, 2011

My turn to be a mommy!

Today is a day to hope for miracles!! In the afternoon, a tiny-tiny little pup was brought to KAT, only one day old! The couple who brought it in had found him (?) on the street, all newborn, with no mother in sight. Greg called me to ask if maybe I wanted to try to raise it by bottle, even if it's a long shot, it's not so very likely it will survive being that young. But of course we will give it a try!!

So I went by Viktoria to pick up some puppy stuff that she still had at her place, and then out to KAT to fetch the little one. But little doesn't even come close to describe him, he's so small he fits into the palm of my hand. And totally adorable! Barat was nice and drove us home, so we didn't have to spend one hour or so on the bus, and he slept in my lap all the way home. Since we got home he's eaten one third of a bottle already, after having some problems finding out how to make the bottle work.

Now he's sleeping in the basket with his warm-water bottle and seems very content! I really really hope that he keeps that content and nothing bad will happen.. but after all, he's very small and should be having his mothers milk instead of our milk mixture. Tomorrow I'll take him to KAT to see if he can have some of the milk from the mother who already has 7 puppies. Unfortunately, they are much bigger than him, so we can't leave him there, he would be run over and not getting any milk at all and maybe even get bitten.
Keep all fingers crossed that he will live at least tomorrow! One day at a time =)

Anyone have any name suggestions? We're assuming it's a boy!

// Marie

Farmer's market paying off!

The Farmer's market this saturday was such a hit! We got in over 3.000 rupees from selling t-shirts, postcards etc. Viktoria had made dog biscuits, and instead of a fixed price, we let people make a donation when they bought them (good idea, Simona!). That way, people tend to give a lot more than what only the biscuits are worth =)

But best of all, we talked to so many people that were interested in our work, and at least 3 families / people were seriously interested in getting a dog from KAT. They would come up and have a look, and I really hope they do! In fact, Greg emailed us yesterday to say that one of the families had already been up on sunday to pick up a puppy! I was so glad =) It was the one brought in on friday, so he didn't have to stay long.

Viktoria brought PooPee to the market, and she's such a magnet! Everyone wants to look at the adorable puppy, both kids and adults get stuck. It's the perfect attention-drawer =)

In two weeks we go again!!

// Marie

Friday, October 14, 2011

Puppy-season is here!

Oktober is here, and so is puppy-season, apparently =) 
Yesterday, we got a mother with 7 (!!) small puppies, totally adorable. Imagine keeping track of, and giving food to seven small beings. It's crazy. The mother is very sweet, though, and very trusting depite being a streetdog with puppies to protect. Today, a woman brought in another puppy, somewhat older, but still totally irresistible. We also have a few other toddlers at the KAT center at the moment, including a chocolate brown puppy with beautiful blue eyes! He's up for adoption, and after seeing him, how can you resist?

Another good piece of news is that we've got two new volunteers! It's Katie (in the pic below) and Flo, both from the UK and both newly graduated vets =) They weill be staying at KAT for two more weeks, before moving on to Sri Lanka and another animal shelter. It's so great to meet new people who's willing to do good things for animals!! 

Tomorrow it's time for Farmer's market again, it's been a couple of weeks since we've bee there. We hope everyone has missed us and that they will buy plenty of out homemade dog biscuits =) 

// Marie

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sheep Shearing in Savognin, Switzerland

The 8th annual Sheep Shearing took place in Savognin (Switzerland) this saturday. It's one of the biggest festivals in our little village and it's the day when the sheep get their wool sheared. Or better said, this was what the festival in the beginning was about. A few years ago, a little market began to establish at the festival as well and it got bigger and bigger from year to year. All kinds of sheep-related goods are sold there: cheese, sheep-wool, clothes made from wool, sheep-milk soap, meat and so on... You can't even imagine all the sheep stuff that is sold there.

If you have to work with sheep, it makes things a lot easier if you have a dog to help you. Sheep dogs do a great work and that's why some of the shepherds show their dog's talents in a show. Not only those dogs are at the festival, but many visitor's bring their own dogs with them as well.
And isn't a place full of dog lovers the perfect place to make some good PR for the KAT and sell some dog bisquits?

That's what I tried to do. Unfortunatelly the weathear was really, really bad. And this means snow:

There was even enough snow to build a snowman:

Also the poor sheep only arrived in the snow squall:

However, even though it was freezing cold and everyone was wearing at least two jackets I sold the dog bisquits. As back in Nepal I made two flavours, tuna & meat, and sold them in little bags. I really didn't know, how much I should ask for the bisquits, so one of my friends told me to sell them for whatever price people want to pay for them.

And I would never have imagined, that this would work so well. But it did!

It worked so well, that we got 89.20 Swiss Francs (and we didn't even manage to sell all the bisquits)!

This is 7466 Nepal Rupees!

And let's see how far this money goes in Nepal:
49 dogs can be vaccinated with this money.
Or 5 dogs can be sterilised with this money.
3 sick dogs can get treatment with this money.
1 dog in severe need can get treatment for a long time with this money.

 This is so fantastic! I want to thank everyone who bought dog bisquits or just donated some money!
Every Rupee counts. Thank you.



(Yeah, that's me, dressed up like I would be on my way to northern Russia, but very happy after counting the donations. :D)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mulan got adopted!

Since I wasn't able to come to KAT durin Dashain, I was not really up-to-date, until Gregg wrote me an Email yesterday, telling me that Mulan got adopted. Mulan...this little dog was brought to us with a horrible wound on her neck. The wound was so deep and the little pup looked so miserable that we were always afraid she wouldn't make it through.
But she did get better and started to become a little diva - barking at all the dogs, especially when we were petting them or giving them attention, she got very jealous. But now she has fully recovered and the other dogs started teaching her some manners. Sometimes you saw Mulan being covered in dirt all over from the rough dog's play.

And she grew a lot. She is not really a puppy anymore, and that started us worrying that she might never find a family again. She is a very sweet dog, but sadly most people are only interested in the pups. So I was incredibly happy when I received Gregg's Email and I am sure she will settle in just great with her family!