Saturday, October 9, 2010

Frankie - on the road to recovery

This is a great story of a little pup, destined to a likely short and highly miserable life of starvation, neglect, fear and abuse. Luckily for little Frankie, travelling documentary maker Amy Taylor came across him. Amy and Frankie's story is similar to many rescue stories. Amy could have turned her head, and carried on walking, but she didnt. She picked up Frankie and took him to a new home she found for him. Now, as you will see from the photos, Frankie is on his way to recovery. This is a beautiful story and one I know we will experience a thousand times over in Tonga in the coming years.

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“Every drop of rain raises the ocean…”
Sometimes in life you come across a situation and you just have to follow your heart, even if it seems impossible or you don’t know if it will really make a difference. That’s what happened when I met Frankie - a lovely little puppy who was living a nightmare life and was not far from dying, which probably would have been a relief for him. But luckily there is a happy ending to his story.
I was walking down the road near where I was staying when I saw a pitifully thin dog outside a small shack where an elderly Tongan woman and her grandchildren lived. He was only around four months old at the most and was really underdeveloped except for his long legs and big ears, making him look a bit like a baby kangaroo. He didn’t run away when I approached him, probably because he didn’t have the energy to, and when I got closer I could see fleas and lice crawling through his dirty golden fur, and open sores all over his body.
I went to the house across the road and asked if I could buy some corned beef to feed him, but the people didn’t seem to understand (or else they just thought I was crazy!) so I walked further up the road to buy chicken then came back to try and feed him. A pack of other dogs appeared and attacked him, taking away the much needed food. Meanwhile the lady and her granddaughter were watching me and laughing as I cried and tried to help fend off the other dogs and get him to eat something. After all that he went into the house and there was a loud heart-wrenching yelping – the lady came outside and was holding him by his front leg and trying to put him into a plastic bag to give to me. His leg was bent at a terrible angle an I thought it was going to break, so I pleaded with her to put him down and said I would be back in the morning to pick him up.
I left with tears pouring down my face wondering what I was going to do. I only had a few days left in Tonga and was not really in a position to take on looking after a dog, but there was no other option. The next morning I was up early, cooking chicken, making a bed and a lead. I picked him up at 8am, the grandkids were all there and I asked them why he was so skinny but they had no answer. I wrapped him up in a towel and walked back home, amazed by the fact he just looked into my eyes and let me take him. He was so light it felt like I was going to break his bones just by holding him. After feeding him the chicken I ran a bath and got rid of all the fleas and lice with coconut shampoo & tea tree oil, he was so scared but didn’t move and just stood there shaking. Once he dried off in the sun I could see the wounds starting to heal already, and his broken little body seemed to be looking better already. I didn’t have to worry about him run away because he was glued to my side from the minute I got him home.
I’m writing this four days after rescuing Frankie and he’s curled up on his bed next to me, sleeping with a full belly after a big day of playing with Eddie, another puppy who has been given a better chance at life (see his story on here also). Today I found him a home with a lovely Australian couple that have lived here for many years running a whale watching business. They love dogs and already have Tommy who’s a big gentle giant, and him and Frankie liked each other straight away. I left feeling like it will be ok to drop him off there tomorrow, even though I’ll miss him I’ll know he’s in a good place.
Tonga is not an easy place for most animals – there’s a combination of poverty, extremes in weather, and a lack of veterinary care, understanding, and compassion. There is an urgent need for SPAW to help change this, and I hope that we can all help to make that change happen.
So even though it may sometimes seem impossible or futile I’m convinced that it never is, and that making that difference for even one animal will bring an immense amount of happiness not only to them but also to yourself. Each and every life matters.

Amy Taylor

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Niue sign an MOU with SPAW

It has been absolute ages since my last blogg. We have been so busy preparing for our new endeavours to Tonga and Niue it seems the last few months have flown by.

The great news is that Niue have also signed an MOU with SPAW and we are truely pleased to have agreements with both Tonga and Niue to provide veterinary care, spay/neuter services and humane education on both islands.

Check out our website ....

As our activity increases we will be sharing it all and I cannot wait to help our animal friends on these islands.

Because we all care about animals and want to help our future in the pacific is going to be an exciting and productive journey.