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From Cathrine in Bangladesh:

Shaheb came by this morning, on his way home. It is appalling that he is still thin and feeble after one month of love, medication and large, excellent meals out at Ali's place. His paws are still tender when he walks, and they may be permanently deformed. His coat is growing in, but there are areas that might never see fur again.

It says something wonderful that Jagu-uncle wants him, despite his battered appearance. When he arrived at the factory later, every person in the place crowded around to admire him, stroke him, and coo over him. He sat there soaking it up, a big doggy smile on his face.

Imagine what they'll think when he finally fills out and gets all his fur back!

Shaheb is now the Head and sole member of Canine Security at Jagu-uncle's factory outside Dhaka. Jagu-uncle is a distant relative of Rubhaya's. Like Rubhaya, he is a lover and protector of animals. He was not the first person to express interest in the fancy bideshi dog : he was the first person who did not care that Shaheb was a fancy bideshi dog. That was what we were looking for.

So Shaheb now has a large compound to patrol with the guards, who already think he is seriously cool. He has a roomy, shaded kennel for when the gates are open, and will have free run when they are shut, and at night.

But most important to him, he has people who genuinely care about him, however he looks, and are glad to rub his ears and feed him his huge helpings of rice, vegetables and offal.

But there is even more! We are going back to Canada soon. Rob's replacement asked me to find a deshi dog for him/her. S/he wanted a puppy, so the bond would be strong and early. Yesterday, I found the puppy.

Tomoko is another automobile orphan, only six weeks old, rescued by a British woman and her Swiss friend. She is really small -- I doubt she will be more than 8 kilos at full growth. Her brothers and sisters found homes quickly, but she was less attractive because of her size and a bone spur on a back leg. She is also a sweet natured, happy and ultra-cuddly little girl who likes nothing so much as taking a break from her hyperactive puppy explorations to fall asleep in someone's arms.

On Saturday, Tomoko takes Shaheb's place out at Ali's Ark, where his own two females will teach her the art of being a really good dog and not pooping in the nest. When the replacement comes, in September, Tomoko should be young enough for that strong bond, but well-enough socialised that she can be trained by the staff here in the finer points of house living and canine diplomacy.

addendum (May 26, 2011): Yesterday, the guys at the factory taught Shaheb to shake hands. He shook hands with all 25 of them.

2 Comments to “Shaheb is home”

  1. Anonymous says:

    What is a "bideshi dog?"

  2. Fred says:

    If I'm not mistaken, a bideshi dog is purebred dog of some sort, anything but a "mutt".

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.