2007年01月 | ARCHIVE-SELECT | 2007年03月


Cat Weather

Today, like all days recently, the difference in temperature between the morning and evening was particularly harsh. But in the afternoon, ARK’s cats are always able to find a nice, sunny spot and bask in the warm rays.

Even though our days are spent working against the clock, our cats remain calm and poised in almost any situation. There are moments when I think, “Wouldn’t it be nice to be a cat?”

Andy, dozing off...

Junior, purring contentedly...
How relaxing.

... ?
Are you guys really OK like that?

| Cat | 12:05 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


A Happy Sunday

This past Sunday the 18th was one happy thing after the other!

First, Fizzy the mixed-breed's adoption.
She had participated in adoption gatherings several times and was becoming a famous dog. It was not unusual for visitors coming to ARK for the first time to meet and get to know Fizzy.
She has finally grabbed happiness and left ARK.

And also, Whiskas!
The adopters are a family that was taken with Whiskas at the GREEN DOG adoption fair. He once stayed at my house so I am strongly attached to him and I’m sorry that I couldn’t be there for his adoption, but I hear they are a wonderful family, perfect for bright, lively Whiskas. I am really truly happy!


And also, Whiskas!
The adopters are a family that was taken with Whiskas at the GREEN DOG adoption fair. He once stayed at my house so I am strongly attached to him and I’m sorry that I couldn’t be there for his adoption, but I hear they are a wonderful family, perfect for bright, lively Whiskas. I am really truly happy!

His new name is Wish.

May all his wishes come true.

☆☆Happy news☆☆
The next Sunday an adopter came for Antoinette. Thank you, everyone!!

| Rehoming | 18:57 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


The Dog that Knew Nobody: Sweet

If you’re looking for Sweet, you won’t find her in our outdoor kennels, because she’s living in our office and learning just what people are all about.


Sweet was born in an abandoned pharmacy and has known almost no human contact. Her owner was hospitalized, leaving her and the other abandoned dogs to fend for themselves without food. As her friends around her died, she and a few others survived on scraps occasionally tossed in by sympathetic neighbors. Having had no direct contact with humans before, Sweet still isn’t quite sure just how to fit in with people yet. She and her three surviving family members were rescued by ARK in November 2006, when she was just 7 months old.

When Sweet first arrived, she couldn’t look anyone in the eyes. Every day as part of her training, we’d call loudly, “Sweet!” and then give her some food. Now we’ve started calling, “Switch on!”, which has helped her gain the confidence to meet people eye-to-eye. People around the office have taken to calling her “Swee-chon” or “Chon-Chon” – with the result that she’s started thinking of herself as “Swee-chon”.

A picture of Sweet’s family, rescued along with her.
From the left – Saccharin, Spice, and Sugar.

Here Sweet still hasn’t gotten the hang of being held yet. The result – paws and legs all over the place!

In any case, Sweet really loves dogs! She’ll play with anybody, whether it’s an adult dog or a pup. She doesn’t care about being chewed on, dragged around, or licked to death – she seems happy just to be hanging out with other dogs.


Sweet’s even managed to get up to a little mischief lately. She wakes up in the middle of the night and sneaks out some treasure from the garbage can to take back to her bed for a nice little chew. Other than that, she really loves her fluffy ball. Sweet loves playing ‘fetch’, especially the chasing and catching part. As she’s a bit shy, she might run off if she feels too many people are watching her.

In the mornings, when the ARK staff come back from their morning walks with the dogs, Sweet has started running out to meet them. Even though she usually runs away just after that, it still shows how far Sweet has really come.

We love watching Sweet grow each and every day and we hope that Swee-chon will soon become a dog who really loves people.

| Dog | 18:07 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Rush’s Tail


One of the most charming features of a Shiba dog is its tail. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels soothed by the sight of their curly, muscular tails wagging back and forth.

Rush has turned into a fine Shiba with a luxuriant coat of fox-colored fur. When we rescued her she was in pretty bad shape. Most of her fur had come out, she had skin irritations, her ears were filled with pus and her body was letting off a nasty odor. Her personality was wild, she had a bad temper and she tried to bite us. Thanks to some TLC, she has become a beautiful Shiba with a gentle personality. The change in her environment and having all her pains and itches healed up has seen her personality transform.

Although she has already become so beautiful, she still has a bath with medicated shampoo twice a week. Even when Rush is all covered in shampoo, you can probably still tell it’s her. That’s because her howl is like some far away electronic sound. She seems to be asking for something as she rolls her tongue in a way that would put a Spanish person to shame. To cheer her up, I quip, “Are you communicating with outer space?” or “Are you calling out to Mars for help?”.


Of course she doesn’t like being bathed very much. Look at her sulky face. It’s touching to see that she never becomes wild, but always listens to the groomer’s words and endures her bath.

Actually, her skin condition has deteriorated recently. I think her immunity is down probably from the side effects of the medicine she is taking, or maybe from stress. Once she regains her cardiac health, her allergies should ease and I think she’ll be able to live without relying on chemical treatment. The most effective medication for her will be the love she gets from her adoptive family.

All I can say to her right now – and it is hard to say – is “I’m sorry. We have to work hard together until we find you an adoptive family.”

The veterinarian said that half of all Shibas have allergies. I think this could be influenced by unregulated breeding.

Rush is this cute, and is so good on her walks with the volunteers. It’s really hard for me to watch the days go by without any word on an adoptive family.

But, Rush, the time will come when you will be able sleep peacefully knowing that you are loved. Until then, hang in there.

Until the day you can wag your tail for someone you love. Right, Rush?

| Dog | 13:42 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


ARK’s Matchmaking Service

Once we are confident that a new dog is used to being at ARK and that we understand the dog’s personality, we start thinking about which dog group he would fit into best. Some dogs are best kept alone because of their training routine, and others are best kept in a couple.

To see if there is any connection between two dogs, they are first introduced to each other on neutral territory. And so they start off by taking a walk together.

“Who are you?”

Everything depends on getting off to a good start. We get tense during these first few moments. We usually wait for the dogs to approach each other on their own, but we sometimes casually encourage them to do so. It’s nerve-wracking, but because the dogs can sense our tension, we need to stay calm when we are holding the leash, otherwise the whole thing could go wrong. First, we relax and try to lighten the atmosphere, and then we watch the dogs’antics carefully. Because these are dogs who have been abandoned, some are not socialized yet and are not great at sending out calming signals. It’s not easy to relax while watching out for the dogs’ behavioral changes!

A nose-to-nose greeting:
“Nice to meet you! I’m Momo.”
“I’m Kuma. Good to see you!”

Or, checking each other out through butt-sniffing:
“Oh I see, you are a girl!”
“Let me sniff you later, OK?”

These are some examples of the different stages in ARK’s doggie matchmaking. We take a close look at how a dog behaves with other dogs and check their compatibility before making a decision. Taking walks together for a few days, letting them spend time together in one enclosure under our supervision, and watching their behavior at meal times... After successfully completing these stages, the dogs are left together at night. Even if some dogs get along pretty well together on a walk, they might start fighting in their enclosure if one of them becomes too dominant. If this happens, we try other combinations or give them more time.

Trying other combinations helps us to understand a dog’s personality and behavioral patterns. It also makes them more sociable, which is useful when it comes to finding a new family. Having new playmates can distract the dogs from any loneliness and boredom, and make them less susceptible to stress.

| Dog | 13:38 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Adoption Fair Announcement

On Sunday, February 11, 2007, at GREEN DOG in Kobe’s Southern Mall Rokko, we’ll be holding an adoption fair! A big thanks to GREEN DOG for their continued support.

Today, I’d like to introduce the dogs who’ll be coming to the fair in search of an owner. We’re still deciding which cats will be coming along. Anyone interested in ARK, or people who think they may be able to adopt in the future, please, come along and join us, and meet these great ARK dogs!

Female, 11 kg, 2 years old
“Hiya! I’m the dog in charge of maintenance of the fan heater in the ARK office. Every day I keep watch to make sure it’s functioning properly. The staff’s lunchtime is another great opportunity for me to gather my intelligence about the goings-on at ARK. I’m quite a busy dog, but I’ve managed to rearrange my schedule so I can come and meet you at GREEN DOG on Sunday!”


Female, 12 kg, 3 years old (estimated)
“I’ve got these short little legs that sometimes make it hard to keep up with the other dogs, but thisCorgi-type body is all part of my charm. Life at ARK isn’t bad at all, but I’d still like a family of my very own.”

Male, 3 months old
“The entire staff takes care of me, all the while saying I’m so small they can hardly see me. I'm full of life and energy, just like my big brothers and sisters...aren’t I appealing?! My mom is also a petite lady, so even when I grow up I’ll still be small and easy to care for indoors.”

Sunday 2/11
GREEN DOG Adoption Fair
For more: http://www.green-dog.com/gdsquare/ark.html

| 未分類 | 13:26 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


The Panoramic Dog Enclosure Problem

These are just a few of the animals who have wound up at ARK for one reason or another. We’re doing our best to care for them by preventing any new stress from developing, ensuring their physical and mental health, and making their lives as carefree as possible. Health care is of course one of the most important things to keep in mind, but giving the dogs proper walks and using physical contact at appropriate times are also vital to lessening their stress. The last part of our care-giving entails making sure that the enclosures where the dogs spend most of their day are comfortable.

Being able to see through the fence of an enclosure into a neighboring dog’s enclosure may cause a great deal of stress in some dogs. From a person’s perspective, this kind of setup is convenient for maintaining and watching over the animals, and for allowing visitors to see many dogs at once. It also allows for a nice breeze.

But imagine yourself living in a house where you can see your neighbors, and your neighbors can look right in at you all the time...it would probably be a tad uncomfortable, right? Well, this is especially true for dogs, who may lack a sense of security. And if a dog can see too much of what’s around him, he’ll get overly excited from all the sensory information, and won’t be able to relax. There are some dogs at ARK who have lost a bit of weight from this, and others who have gotten into fights through the fence and been injured.

To put a stop to the fighting that happens through the enclosure fences, we try changing around the living quarters of the offending dogs, or sometimes hanging up a piece of plywood that blocks eye contact between neighboring dogs. But some dogs will scratch or chew on the plywood, and the whole area starts to look bad when patches of plywood are stuck up everywhere. We’re always trying to find better materials or methods to solve this problem. Ideally, we’d like to find some material to use to block eye contact between dogs that could withstand scratching and biting, remain strong despite harsh weather conditions, cause little damage to the mouths of dogs that bite it, and lastly, still manage to look pleasing to the eye. Some may wonder why we care if it’s ‘pleasing to the eye’ when all we’re using it for is preventing dogs from seeing each other. But we at ARK take the beauty of our surroundings very seriously.

We can, technically, spend money on buying proper materials for this task, but looking at our budget as a whole, it may be a bit difficult. If there are any construction-oriented people out there, or anybody with an idea for us, please give us a hand in figuring this out. Also, if anyone out there has some extra materials we might be able to use, please, please do bring us some. We’d be so grateful.

All we want to do is provide a happy environment for our animals to live in until they head off to the home they’re destined for. There may be some who stay here until their very last days – we’re working for them too. Without your help, we wouldn’t be able to save anyone.

| Dog | 13:20 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Miss ARK

This girl’s name is Surely. I’ve never seen a more beautiful girl at ARK, so it is quite fitting that we call her “Miss ARK”. Her long legs and great style really make her stand out, so she truly is the Queen of ARK. Sometimes I even call her “Aku” for short.


She is always calm, and she looks magnificent when she moves. When we walk with the great Surely, her muscles stretch, making her look tall and almost regal. Visitors and volunteers always say, “Wow what a handsome dog”. The usual response to which is, “Excuse me, but she’s a girl!” If she is such an exquisite dog, then why isn’t anyone actually interested in adopting her? She can be thought of as one of the seven wonders of ARK!

That girl Surely is always striking these dog show poses! Uh-oh, it looks like she’s a bit anxious here with her tail between her legs! Surely is actually a bit shy!

On February 11 Sunday, there will be an adoption fair at GREEN DOG. For more information, please see the website listed below.


| Dog | 13:12 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Happy Stories – Lucky2

Lucky2, who’s ten years old now, came to ARK three years ago. He has seen a lot of roommates find new homes and leave. But now, finally, his turn has come.

Lucky2’ new owners decided to adopt him having only seen his picture and gotten information about him from Tokyo ARK. On adoption day, they came from Tokyo to the shelter in Osaka and met Ratts for the first time. What was their first impression? They said he was more energetic and youthful than they’d expected. Yes, 10 years old is still quite young for a medium-sized dog!


We could see from the way Ratts’new owners watched him and stroked him that they’d been eagerly waiting to meet him and already adored him. They said “Thank you” to us many, many times. Thank YOU for choosing Lucky2. We really appreciate it.

To be honest, I thought it was going to be quite tough for Lucky2 to find a new home. He’s over 10 years old and has been taking medication for heart disease. Most potential owners are looking for a healthy, friendly dog or cat. Even when we recommend an animal that has a great personality, if it’s shy, sick or old, it’s not easy to find someone willing to adopt.

That’s why we were so happy that Lucky2 was finally adopted. He had been with us such a long time.

His roommate, “Ryu Kameoka” (one of ARK’s sponsor dogs), saw him off.
Huh? Are you jealous, Ryu? You wanna come with him?

We hope that every dog and cat finds their own warm home and gets to enjoy the love of their own family. It’s a real tragedy to have them end their days at ARK. We can take care of them and play with them, but can’t give them real love and peace. Only a real home can give them everything they truly deserve.

| Rehoming | 15:59 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Happy Stories – Loquat: Part 2

In the adopter's home. At first Loquat didn't want to come out of his cage. But, come on, we know you’ve got a large appetite. Bit by bit he came out.

Cautiously moving closer, he finally ate food from his adopter's hand! I think it will take time, but bit by bit he will gain self-confidence, and the day when he holds his tail high will certainly come.

Loquat being held by his new dad.
He has a nervous expression again. Maybe he can feel both of their excitement from that warmth?

It is time to say goodbye for Loquat and us staff who have doted on him. But it is not at all a sad goodbye. After all, Loquat has a wonderful new family now. Right now he is probably sleeping in a warm room watched over by his mom and dad. Until yesterday he slept huddled together with his siblings in an outdoor dog enclosure in the freezing cold.

Loqie, congratulations! Come visit ARK and play with us again, any time.

| Rehoming | 13:14 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Happy Stories – Loquat: Part 1

When I started work this morning, the snowy scenery was a startling difference from yesterday. It kept falling and piling up while I walked dogs and cleaned dog enclosures, but fortunately it stopped before noon, and the sun melted it all.

The winter in Nose is fierce, but this year is nothing compared to last year. Snow piled up a lot last year. I remember worrying that the snow would prevent the dog enclosure doors from opening, not being able to go on walks, and desperately shoveling the deep snow. My wintertime morning routine was to take a hammer and break the thick ice that formed on the drinking water buckets in the enclosures. There were frequently days when I couldn't use the water because the pipes had frozen.

For the animals who live at ARK (especially the older ones and babies), a mild winter is welcome, but even in this I can feel the danger of global warming in my body every day.

Today was the day Loquat was rehomed. He is a scaredy-cat, so up until now, even if potential adopters came, he would hide in his doghouse, or bark ferociously and make a bad impression, so he was not able to establish good relationships and had a stay of over a year at ARK. I am grateful to the adopter who recognized Loquat's charm. Yesterday, Staff M took him home, and today he was transferred to the adopter's house.

This is Loquat sleeping at Staff M's house last night. He started at the sound of the TV in the next room, and at the sounds of cars and voices from outside...he was very nervous.

Here’s Loquat on a walk the next morning with Staff M. This walk was very different from his usual walks at ARK, because there was so much he had never seen before. This made him really scared. In fact, he was acting so timid that he kept his tail down the whole time. He was so scared he peed on himself. But his tail is between his legs and you can't see it.

| Rehoming | 13:11 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Adoption Fair Report

Unfortunately, at our most recent adoption fair, we were unable to find homes for both Antoinette and Whiskas.
Although things didn’t work out this time around, I have a feeling we’ll do better next time. Thanks to all who supported us and to those who attended the fair. I’d particularly like to express gratitude on behalf of ARK to Green Dog, who lent us their space to hold the fair and who are constantly supporting us in various ways.


Though Antoinette can sometimes be a bit timid and introverted at ARK, she did great at the adoption fair, standing tall and proud even when surrounded by lots of people. Today too she’s been acting like her usual self, smiling and playing.


Whiskas was exhausted and slept the whole way home. You played a lot, didn’t you? Was it fun? Sleep well...
Don’t worry sleepyhead, you’ll be adopted soon. You’ll have plenty more chances.

That’s right, you guys! You’ve all still got lots of chances to be adopted. Antoinette and Whiskas are both calm dogs, and love people, so they’d be real easy to look after. Anyone who’s interested, please contact ARK!

| PR/Event | 13:05 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑

2007年01月 | ARCHIVE-SELECT | 2007年03月