Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sally and Cathrine

Everyday a dog life touches my heart at KAT. They come to us with the most terrible wounds, mangy skin or neglected from the streets but without any doubts they show the biggest strength and love that I’ve ever seen.
One of the dogs has grown to my heart and not just because she is a puppy. She was my best ally in Nepal for a really long time, and now she found the loveliest home that I ever could have imagined.
She is red and white, has a round belly, talks in her sleep and loves to chew green flip flops. Her name is Sally and she was a young puppy at KAT with a big attitude and personality.

Every day Sally jumped into the Microbus with me and drove home with me. We walked down the street and people smiled, when they saw her. When we were home she liked to find a nice pair of flip flops to chew on, or even better, a plastic bag. Often she just fell asleep and woke up two hours later, ready to play or learn a trick.

My Nepali roommates loved her, except her smell – she is Smelly Sally.

It’s tough to be a puppy in Nepal. Sally was found all alone on a roof in Kathmandu until some tourists brought her to KAT. Although her first start into life hasn’t been as sweet as almost every dog life back in Europe she shows lots of love and curiosity. Not to everyone though. Although we have been good at keeping Sally clean and showed her to do her business outside, there were some really funny coincidences. Every time I was annoyed or even angry at one of my roommates Sally pooped on his carpet or doormat. Luckily he didn’t notice, Sally was good at looking innocent and I’m good at cleaning quickly and hopefully he will never read this.

Sally learned to  “sit” and “give paw” before Farah 
and Lena from the Norwegian Embassy came into the KAT Centre. They wanted to adopt a dog, and not a puppy, but when Sally came running and gave paw to Farah their hearts melted. In the end they didn’t take the decision, but Sally did. They took her home on the same day.

Although it was tough to see her go and going home alone afterwards I still can’t stop smiling. She found the perfect home and the KAT-Centre and myself had an influence on her life. The staff at KAT make a little bit fun of me that I had to let my baby go. But yes, I had to and it warms my heart to know that she found a good home now. 


Monday, July 30, 2012

Another Feed a Street Dog Event!

Most of our loyal readers might already have read about the event on Facebook, but just to make sure that everybody who is interested hears about it, I'll also publish it on here.

We will have another Feed a Street Dog event on August 4th from 10 am to 4 pm - of course you don't need to take part for the whole duration! We will be meeting in front of Hot Breads Bakery in Thamel, close to Kathmandu Guesthouse and La Dolce Vita restaurant. It will be the same procedure as last time - people go out in small teams in areas which they choose to feed the dogs and give out flyers. Food contributions are more than welcome! Ask your local butcher if he can keep meat scraps or leftovers (also things that usually get thrown away, like intestines) for you and give them for free - boil them please at home before feeding them! Also left over rice or lentils and vegetables are good food for dogs.

You can also come to Thamel to pick up flyers and then go and feed the dogs in your own area and spread awareness in your own neighbourhood, if you like that better.

Here is the link to the facebook event page:

So, I hope to see you there! :)


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Happy End At Last!

Since one year, Winnie has been a resident of the KAT Centre. She was brought in with a crushed foot on her hind leg, the result of a car accident. Simona called her Winnie straight away, since her soft fur and the colour of the fur reminded her of the bear Winnie the Pooh.

The leg began to heal, and although she misses her claws on that foot, we were all hopeful that she'd use that foot again. But the months went by and it was clear that she would probably never use it - but still she is able to walk and hop around. She led quite a lazy life at KAT though, because walking was still inconvenient for her and she is also not too fond of other dogs.

You can not imagine how happy I was when Kanak Dixit, one of KAT's board members, told me that it was him that rescued Winnie and that he wants to adopt her for his Spinal Rehabilitation Centre! So today was the happy day when we loaded Winnie into the car and made our way out to Dhulikel to her new home.

When we arrived, Winnie was very eager to get out of the car and seemed to feel at home immediately. While I was given a tour of the place, Winnie came with us and met all the super nice staff of the place and the wonderful patients. It is a quiet, cheerful place and Winnie is allowed to move around everywhere, in the garden or in the wards or the canteen, and I am sure she will make many patients' days brighter!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

My Journey to KAT

My journey to KAT began in 2010 when Lesley came into my class at Polytech promoting a KAT Center fundraiser. As an animal lover I was intrigued but took no further action at this time. 6 months later when planning my own international trip I decided to google the KAT Centre , as I read through the web site I decided that Nepal would be my destination and the Center would be my goal.

Taking on three jobs, 6-7 days a week for the next two years I made my goal a possibility and when my volunteer application was accepted it became a reality.
Arriving at the KAT gates on the 5th of June with a huge sense of personal satisfaction I knocked and waited.

I was greeted by a pack of barking, curious, friendly dogs and Richa, the volunteer co coordinator.
I was completely overwhelmed by the introduction and as I was given the tour I had a feeling of helplessness, I wasn't sure where to begin or what I should do.

Stacey, another volunteer took me under her wing. The most important thing I could do was love them, cuddle them and be kind.I started with the ABC dogs (mostly the females in for sterilization) they seemed the most frightened and disorientated.

In turn I went into each kennel softly and slowly. I sat with them, pet them, brushed them and talked to them until they game me their acceptance and relaxed.

My role at the KAT Center is to show these beautiful, kind, loving, very confused and scared dogs kindness and love while they reside at the center.

Once these dogs have recovered from treatment they are released back into the community they live in.
As I walk through the streets of Thamel I'm pleased to see the work the KAT Center does, the dogs in the street are mostly tagged, happy, healthy and in a community that may not own them but looks out for them just the same.
My time with the dogs has lifted my heart and encouraged an awareness of other cultures and species. It has changed my life.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Happy Rescue Day, Kali!

Kali, with my first ever self made flower garland!

One year ago we found Kali at the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.

She was very emaciated and had lost nearly all her hair due to the mange. We picked her up and brought her to the KAT Centre and there she prospered: She gained weight and her hair started to grow again! It's amazing how fast she healed! To read her whole story, please refer to this blog post: Kali, the Story!

So, yesterday we celebrated Kali's First Rescue Day! She got a meaty cake and a flower garland and we spent all day outside playing with her.

On this occasion I want to thank my dear friend Ottavia again. It's been her idea to visit the temple that day, without her I would not have found Kali! Thank you Otta!

And many many thanks go out to everyone working and volunteering at the KAT Centre or donating to this good cause! Without you, this would not have been possible!

Kali's Cake!

Yummi meat cake. ^^

Playing with her Friend Luna!

Kali and her best friend Cheney!

Monday, July 9, 2012

A well spent Saturday morning in Kathmandu

A beautiful morning it was last Saturday at the farmer’s market located at the 1905 restaurant in Kantipath. A number of dedicated volunteers set up a table with delicious homemade cupcakes for sale, a donation box as well as informational pamphlets for educational purposes. Facing this table was a large display of precious dogs up for adoption. Our goal that day was to raise funds for our well deserved dogs and cats at the KAT center and what a success it was!! What was fascinating is that people made donations without any hesitation. Some explored their options on adopting and some were curious and wanted to know more about our accomplishments at the center. Without hesitation we were proud to inform them of our work. This was a great way to interact with the public and cultivate a relationship with future adopters and supporters. They encouraged and praised our work as volunteers at the shelter. They value our hard work and even more the animals will benefit from such generosity. The money donated is used towards medical supplies, equipment and essential pet products such as leaches, collars, food bowls, etc.  

The KAT center depends solely on donations to provide care, treatments and sterilizations for the stray dog and cat population of Kathmandu. All contributions, great or small can go a long way at the KAT center. Volunteers are welcomed and donations are gratefully appreciated for a cause that serves both the stray and human population of Nepal.

Veterinarian without Borders student volunteer,
Catherine Elli Nicolaou
Left: Kimberly, Kneeling: Colin and Ami, Right: Sophie and myself

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Kimmie, an aspiring veterinary student and her experience of volunteering at KAT Centre

I knew that I wanted to volunteer with animals in a country that needed me most. After some exploring the web, I stumbled upon Kat Centre's website. Looking at the before and after pictures of the dogs treated by Kat Centre, I knew that these people are truly making a difference. I was on the next plane to Kathmandu to meet and treat the animals.

As an aspiring veterinary student I was really looking for the opportunity to learn everything I can about animal medicine. Every day I get to assist veterinary volunteers with the treatment of a wide array of health issues. We have about 25 in house dogs that are up for adoption, some of which require daily medications. As much as I want to list something about every dog's kind personalities and treatment needs, I will resist. 
You will just have to come meet them yourself, and maybe even take one home with you 

We also take in several street dogs a month that have been seriously injured or have some sort of disease. Kat Centre really tries its hardest to treat these animals until they are well enough to be re-released back into the region in which they were found.  This has been the greatest hands on classroom I could hope for. I have assisted in casting legs, learned what medications are used in treatments, seen several surgeries and the list goes on…

I have been working in an American animal shelter for the past year, and admittedly there are some differences. The Kat Centre has taught me that none of these differences matter. You work with what you have and do what you can to see that the animals here are happy and healthy. 

I am sitting in a computer room locate inside Kat Centre writing this blog. I have a dog on each side of me as well as one on my lap. This place has been more than a volunteer opportunity for me, it's my home. I fly back to America in just two days and I can't help but wish I could take the entire staff, the many volunteers and all the 25 in house dogs back with me!

- Kimberly Wright ( Kimmie)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Kali: Videos!

Hello everyone!

So here's some more photos and even a few videos of Kali.

Without lots of talk, I think you can see how happy she is now. I can't believe what it was like when I found her, nearly a year ago. 


Kali the little cow, eating grass. ^^

I'm still training with Kali to come when I call her... It works better from day to day!

It's finally spring!

 Kali loves to run and fetch her tennis ball. xD

The crazy-turning! xD

And that's Kali's second favourite game: running around in crazy circles!

// All the best and take care!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Goodbye Andrea!

Andrea, who has been at the KAT Centre since last autumn, left Nepal on Sunday to go to Ireland to get a health checkup. The real sad thing is that I didn't even get the chance to say goodbye, there was a Bandha so I couldn't go to the Centre since Thursday and Andrea had lost her phone so I couldn't call her! Well, Andrea, I hope you read this, have safely arrived in Ireland and will hopefully be back soon!

Andrea will be sorely missed. She was the oldest of us girls and sometimes like a mother - we could always come to her with our little worries. She might not have been as 'active' as a lot of the other volunteers, always busily running around, but that was a big advantage - she always had time to comfort a dog waking up after operation, soothe an animal, be it dog or cat, on the drip or sit with the scared or bored dogs in the isolation. She made many dog's day brighter - and also mine.

Get well, don't forget us and come back soon, Andrea!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Kali: Photos!

I'm very sorry for being late with my post (again). But with a dog and university, there's nearly no time for anything else anymore. But I promised some more photos of Kali in Switzerland & here they are finally:

By now I'm quite sure, that Kali is the most amazing dog ever! She's been toilet trained from the first day she was at our home. She's great with other dogs and always wants to play with everyone. Even with the really, really old ones. Most of the kids we meet are okay as well, as soon as they don't touch her paws, she doens't like that. Also, she's okay with traveling by car, bus and train and mostly falls asleep after only a few minutes. She's not even scared by all the people at the main trainstation in Zurich! Lately we started training her to wear a muzzle, because we will spend some of our summer holiday in Italy and there dogs have to wear a muzzle on boats & trains/buses. And after only a few days, she already fine with wearing it. We also already trained 'sit', 'down', 'jump on' and 'go to your dog bed'. :-)

The only problem we have at the moment is that she can't stay alone in Zurich yet (at our home in Savognin it's no problem though). So, for the time being, she either comes with me to university (she's allowed for certain lectures to join) or I bring her to a place that's like a kindergarten for dogs. ^^ It's not directly like a shelter; the dogs stay there in two groups, one for the big dogs and a second one for the smaller ones. Each of the groups has it's own big room, full of cusions, dog beds & toys, where they can play together or sleep. Around lunch time all the dogs are taken out for a long walk. I think it's very nice for Kali to have her dog-pack there some days a week – it's similar to the inhouse-dog pack she lived with at the KAT Centre.

And now the photos: 

Kali's flight from Doha landet in Zurich.
Customs at Zurich Airport. A horrible place, I tell you.
One of the wheels of the transport box broke during the
transport, that's why the box is standing so tilted.

First steps in Switzerland!

Tired Kali... ^^

Enjoying the sun.

Viktoria, her husband Martin and her mum Dolores visited us in
Savognin and we went on a ride with the horse-sledge. ^^

Viktoria promissed to show some more photos, I'm sure she'll upload them as well.

There was snow in Savognin untill mid-April. Very, very tiring for everyone. Everyone but the dogs! Most dogs I know seem to love snow and so does Kali. She loves to run around in great circles and dive in the deeper snow. So here's some photos of Kali in her beloved snow:

The Goof.

Kali does not yet come back everytime I call her, that's why she wears that
very long leash. It's 20 meters long, but very light. With that leash, she can
round around pretty much as if she would be off-leash, but if she doesn't
listen or there's danger ahead, I can get her under control again very easy.

So, that should be enough for the moment. But I'll make sure to show some more photos of Kali, it's springtime now. :D

All the best!

I missed one of the photos, it's from the airport when Kali arrived and thus far my favourite of the two of us together: