19 October, 2010

Where Oh Where has my little dog gone...Where Oh Where can he be...

Princess Fiona saved a puppy…




This little guy was hanging around the kitchen for a couple days devouring anything he could get his mouth on. He was in bad shape; to put it lightly and wasn’t ready to be weaned from his mother yet, although no mother was in sight. He had a raised scar on his head and his pink belly was full of green puss blisters.


Going along with the theme “every child (creature?) deserves a second chance”, Fiona scooped up the little fellow and brought him into the volunteer dorm. She fed him antibiotics she had with her (1/3 a pill) not knowing whether they would help him or kill him, but since he was close to death already; it was worth a try.

 


Deemed Ralph (a.k.a. Ralphie or alphie), a box was made up for him and he slept in it quite ummm...comfortably?!!






Within a couple of days there was a marked improvement in his activity level and the blisters began to dry up. With the help of ClimbOn! his belly and head started to improve. With an old pair of my dad’s barber scissors, I went to work on his fur which had a ring of tar around his neck (assumingly a sort of a brand by his former owner).

 After a week, he was running about and playing like a puppy, posing for the camera and of course being loved by all. He was encouraged to chew on some toys since sharp little puppy teeth on skin is not desirable!

 
















He has made himself quite comfortable in the room finding places to take a little nap while keeping one eye out for his next meal.



We took him to the ‘big city’ (Phnom Penh) for a couple days and although he liked riding in the car, he definitely prefers the country.


Alas as the saying goes; “all good things must come to an end”, some of the older boys have told me that a certain Mr. Wat, wants his puppy back. Here lies the dilemma…on one hand, the puppy was near death, so we should rightfully be able to keep him, but we have no way of knowing if the puppy was dumped here (as I assume). I have been told that being a Buddhist society, no one wants to be responsible for the death of an animal, so the sick or unwanted ones are dumped at the adjacent Temple and they wander over here (in the past, a 2 legged dog and 3 legged pig). Now that Ralphie is healthy, his owner wants him back either because he misses him (doubtful) or because dogs in Cambodia are part of the human food chain (dog meat is usually eaten at weddings). Mr. Wat has made no move to come get him maybe because in a year, once he is healthy and big, he can then come claim him (as was the case with the pig).

Politics come into play everywhere…Wat Opot is part of the surrounding community and we must keep the peace so to speak. One thing Wayne doesn’t need is for the villagers to start to claim that ‘the foreigners’ are stealing their animals.


I don’t eat animal products and am impartial to the subject of dog meat. Why should a dog be exempt from being used for food when so many other animals are not? I shudder to think of any creature’s flesh being eaten, so to allow myself to feel more sorry for Ralph but not for the other animals that live at Wat Opot or those down the road just doesn’t work. Even though I think Ralphie is the cutest non-human on the property (next to Kitty Porn), I am aware of the limitations surrounding what I can change; I don’t have to like or support it, but I accept that it happens.

I leave Wat Opot in 2 days so I had to do something before then and options were slim. The only opportunity to assure his longevity was to buy him from Mr. Wat and find a family in Phnom Penh that wants him as a pet instead of a meal? As I was pondering what to do, the decision was made for me. One of the boys came to my door and said that he was to take the puppy back to Mr. Wat’s house. Ralph was a joy to have for the short time that I was able to care for him.

5 comments:

Carolyn said...

That is sad, I hope he has a good life. Loved seeing you laughing. Love and Hugs
Mom

Melinda said...

Love and Hugs back to you Mom, I really missed playing with him this morning! I can only hope for the best for little Ralphie.

Feebs NZ said...

Oh dear...to here the delema over Ralphie you hadand the prospect for Ralphies future....I feel crushed and I can only imagine how hard this was for you to experience Melinda.....There are times where life and times in Cambodia seems so harsh compared to our western worlds.....
I too will miss following the life and times of Ralphie Alfie.......Now I wonder how really did I helped that poor little creature. I am sure there is a lesson in all of this somewhere....but first Tears, Tears and more tears...sniff, sniff. And Mr Wat better not meet me in the next life.........
xxFiona

Melinda said...

Fiona, you saved Ralphie and gave him a second chance at life and a second chance to see you again next year!! If he's here in January, I will make sure you see him on your visit in 2011 :-) love and hugs!

Anonymous said...

This is a crazy story. I hate it when people mistreat animals of any kind--Ralphie was lucky to find you. Still loving your stories from afar. Good luck traveling on to Nepal. Love your way, Kris