Angkor Paws Animal Rescue

Angkor Wat Animal RescueIt’s Christmas time and 2013 is rolling in. Many people set resolutions this time of the year. Is helping animals one of yours?

What about an animal rescue in Angkor Wat?

What about Angkor Paws Animal Rescue (APAR)?

I was switched onto this rescue by a reader who wrote in to let me know about this group. Other than what she wrote and what I found on the internet, I don’t know much. Their FB page is very active and they seem to be doing a lot. They could use some help, though.

Who are they? APAR was started early this year by Katie Beattie, a vet nurse, and Josette, a French national with local and international NGO experience. They are currently offering FREE vet care and treatment to neglected and abandoned dogs and cats in Siem Reap and outer districts.

And there are lots. Lots of animals needing help.

They also want to put in a vaccination program to reduce rabies, training for local vets, spay and neutering to reduce the stray population, housing/food& support for abandoned animals…it’s a lot of work and they could use some help. Because everything Katie is doing is on a volunteer basis.

What can we do?

We can donate flea and tick collars, heartworm medications, worming tablets, bandaging materials, and suturing materials.

If you are travelling to Siem Reap anytime please remember APAR and bring along as much as you can for them.

By the way, the reader Agnes is travelling there soon. If you want to donate, please contact me and I’ll put you in touch with her. She’ll be travelling mid January.

And if anyone is travelling there and visits them, maybe you can blog about it for Dogs in Singapore?

Check out their FB page and see all the places they have been visiting and the dogs they have been helping. And kids too.

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Vets without Borders

Vets without Borders logoI had once wanted to be a doctor. I was inspired by a National Geographic documentary on Doctors without Borders. So when I stumbled upon Vets without Borders, I was thrilled. And Inspired, at least to find out more about what they are doing worldwide. And to write a post about it.

Being Canadian myself, I wasn’t surprised the website I found was the Canadian one. (There is also a US-based Vets without Borders) Somehow, living overseas now I seem to always connect back home through really awesome websites and amazing people doing tremendous work.

What do Vets without Borders (Canada) do?

Veterinarians without Borders is working to foster the health of animals, people and the environments that sustain us—improving goat production and empowering AIDS/HIV affected families in Uganda, managing free-roaming dogs in Chile and Guatemala and enhancing community awareness of animal health care in Laos. Our work promotes long term sustainability and community independence and works toward a global solution to better health and livelihoods for the world’s poorest people.

Vets without Borders has two domain names www.vetswithoutborders.ca & www.vwb-vsf.ca that both re-direct to the same website. They are also building a French one (as we are a bilingual country!). Please visit to read their story and to see what they are doing around the world, reaching Africa and Asia, where because of poverty and other reasons animals continue to suffer. Both pets and animals, in general. Get involved – help spread the word, donate, and if you are a vet, they do have career opportunities as well.

I have to say that I am really proud to be Canadian, a citizen of a country known for their peaceful and humanitarian efforts. I’m proud to be involved with, even marginally, raising awareness around animal welfare.

Will this Gadget Make Brushing Teeth Easier?

Thanks to Pinterest I may now have a new obsession. Yes Pinterest. But look what I found pinned?

QRing by YankoDesign - Singapore Dogs

QRing photo from YankoDesign.com website

With a name that sounds rather, ahem, x-rated, the Q-Ring is both a toy and a tool. Fun and Utilitarian. The best kind of gadget!

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Is Your Senior Dog Losing Her Hearing?

Is your senior dog losing his hearing?

123RF

My dogs are now 9 and 10. It crossed my mind that Goldie may be losing her hearing.

I snapped my fingers near her ears. No response.

I called her to me. No response.

I was starting to get worried. Was she really getting a little deaf? Then later that day, I opened a bag of treats in the pantry. Out of nowhere, she appeared, ears perked. Goldie only has selective hearing.

But the reality is, as we age, becoming partially or completely deaf is a possibility. Mind you, only a possibility. It’s not written in stone.

If it does happen, what to do?

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Dr Temple Grandin…Wired Differently, Making a Difference

I have never met her. I haven’t read her books. I haven’t heard her talk. Though I will google any you tube videos now and look into getting some books. Her name is not unfamiliar to me, even before the HBO film with Claire Danes.

Who is she?

She is none other than Dr Temple Grandin.

For those who don’t know her, she is an author, speaker, inventor, animal welfare advocate, consultant to livestock industry on animal behavior, professor… and it has to be said that she is a high-functioning autistic person. It’s important to mention because it’s who she is and how she contributes, whether as an autism advocate or how she consults with the livestock industry.

The true meaning of life is if you do something that makes real change for somebody else or something, that’s what matters. – Dr Temple Grandin

I first heard about Dr Grandin from her work in improving cattle slaughter practices. She has actually designed slaughterhouses to be less stressful for the cows, using long sweeping curves to prevent cows at the back from seeing what’s ahead. Apparently more than half of the slaughterhouses in the US were based on her design.

Dr Grandin understands that people probably won’t stop eating meat but believes that every part of their lives, from birth to death, should be happy and stress-free, and their death specifically to be humane. I agree! She’s even influenced giants like McDonald’s, for the better.

Interestingly enough, she’s performed blood cortisol level studies to measure stress in cattle. Her finding? A human slaughter doesn’t raise cortisol levels (indicator of stress) any more than a normal vet visit. What’s stressful? Seeing other cows being slaughtered, like being decapitated, and hence those long sweeping curves.

I don’t personally eat beef anymore, nor pork. It’s just a personal choice but I am glad that slaughterhouses are incorporating more and more humane practices. Animals are living feeling breathing beings, and not property though they are treated as such.

Temple Grandin’s website

Working Dog’s Oath

A Working Dog’s Oath (another reason we LOVE dogs)

I will lay down my life for you
And expect nothing but love in return

I protect my officer with my life,
and would gladly take a bullet in his place.

I am sent in to find lost children
and fugitives on the run.

I find drugs and weapons and even bombs.

I am the first sent in
and sometimes the last to leave.

I am the nose and ears of my officer.

I will protect and serve him.

I would die for him and for you.

I only ask for compassion and a kind word.

(author unknown, from Canada’s Guide Dogs website)

Lab Pups

123RF Labs are a popular breed for working dogs

Dog Whisperer (no, not that one!)

Horse and Dog

What is a dog whisperer (no not cesar milan)?

Remember Robert Redford in the movie The Horse Whisperer? He plays Tom Booker, a horse whisperer hired to help a girl and her horse heal after a traumatic accident. The effortless communication, that comes from communion between a horse and a human, is called horse whispering.  We don’t force our ways, especially if through dominance and abuse, onto animals to get them to fit into our lifestyle and environment. It’s true communication and it’s beautiful.

Natural horsemanship, colloquially known as horse whispering is a collective term for a variety of horse training techniques which have seen rapid growth in popularity since the 1980s. The techniques vary in their precise tenets but generally share principles of developing a rapport with horses using communication techniques derived from observation of free-roaming horses and rejecting abusive training methods. – Wikipedia

So a dog whisperer is someone who does the same, but with dogs.

Animals don’t understand our words, like we don’t understand words from languages we don’t speak.  We understand the tone and intuitively have a grasp of the speaker’s intent or meaning. We understand much more but we block it. Animals don’t. They see our visuals.

So I did a little experiment last night.  Goldie’s pulling has gotten really bad lately. She used to be fine walking on her own but even that is out the window. In a conversation with my friend last night, she said try “speaking” with pictures. Now I’ve known about communicating with kids, especially those labeled autistic, through pictures, and a complete visual of what will happen – like let’s tie your shoes, grab your bag and we go home. I don’t know why I never thought to “speak” with my dogs this way. I’ve always had conversations with them, asking them to not pull etc.

Last night, when I started to ask Goldie not to pull, I decided to send her a visual of her walking by my side, with a loose leash. Immediately she did. I then sent her a visual of her coming back onto the walkway from the grass.  She did. I sent her visuals of her waiting while Blackspot peed, of her leaving the black cat alone, of her walking to the right of the pole, of her turning around and coming back to us while Blackspot pooped, of her not barking at our neighbor’s dogs as we approached home… She did! I couldn’t believe how easy the walk was. I wasn’t pulled in two directions like Raggedy Ann and wasn’t at the end of the leash and mercy of a determined but anxious dog. There was a new calmness as we walked home. I’m sure the dogs are happy that I’m not sending confusing and difficult to interpret visuals for once. I’m sure they are thinking, “finally, woman!”