Story by Lin Yan Qin of Singapore
One thing that has changed since I started volunteering with HOPE Dog Rescue is how I look at the stray dogs that roam the streets. In the past, I might walk past a street dog with only a fleeting glance. I now find myself sizing up the health and well-being of the dogs I occasionally encounter. And it’s because of dogs like Calrose.
Calrose is a Shih Tzu cross that someone spotted crossing the road and quickly grabbed before he got hit by a car. On closer inspection, it turned out that Calrose is blind and could not see where he was going. He was shivering and extremely scared, so the kind passerby called HOPE for help.
We brought him to a vet for a full check-up. In the car on the way to the vet, Calrose was very frightened and shivered nonstop. Perhaps he had a nasty experience in a car before or was abandoneed after a car ride. Since he was also blind, it could have been very frightening for him to be taken into the unknown.
At the clinic, the doctor confirmed that he was, sadly, totally blind from cataracts that had gone untreated. He had hundreds of ticks swarming all over his body and his body was covered with sores from the bites, so he had to be shaved. His tick infestation was so bad that it took three rounds of de-ticking to get rid of them.
In addition, his teeth were rotten and his breath was terrible. Fiona carried him tightly and told him everything would be all right, and this seemed to calm him down somewhat. He stopped shivering and even licked Fiona’s face many times. His bad breath was all over her face, but she didn’t mind.
There were crystals found in his urine. This is sometimes caused by diet or it may sometimes indicate the presence of bladder stones and there has also been evidence that it could be genetic and more common in some breeds than others. Treatment depends on the crystal type. Some can be dissolved by taking solutions and even flushed out by drinking lots of water while larger crystals may require surgery.
Initially, during his foster period, Calrose had severe separation anxiety and would cry and panic whenever he was left alone. Turning on the television or radio made no difference to him as what he needed was human warmth.
However, Calrose has now been adopted into a loving family and is much better. He gets on well with dogs and humans and, despite his own sorry state, is happy and easy-going. When night falls, he needs to sleep beside a person to feel that warmth, comfort and assurance that he will no longer be abandoned.
It’s Never Too Late to Begin a New Life
We’re so happy for Calrose and hope that newspaper coverage will inspire others to adopt senior dogs.
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