2007年04月 | ARCHIVE-SELECT | 2007年06月


ARKy Puppies


These puppies were born due to human irresponsibility.

Why did they let their dogs give birth if all they were going to do was sneak over here and abandon the puppies?
If they could not take the responsibility to care for these puppies, why did they allow them to be born?
Was it an unforeseen accident? Do they think neutering or spaying a dog is such an awful thing to do? Just couldn’t afford it?
Or maybe they just didn’t care.

Pets are different from wild animals. They have to live together in the human community. So humans have to be responsible for their pets.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: pets need to be neutered.


We humans abandon them, abuse them and use them to make money.
But we humans are also the ones who can make them happy.

I hope people who want to have a pet will choose one not because of a trend or because the breed happens to be popular, and not from pet shops. I really hope they will choose a pet by following their hearts, because of each creature’s own, individual charm.

These new puppies are struggling to live a decent life.

There is no such thing as a worthless or needless life. They have the right to live happily.


Today, you’ll learn “Sit”.


“Sit!” You did it! Good boy!


You need to have flea/tick protection if you’re going to play in the mud every day.
“Hey! Don’t lick it!”


| Dog | 17:29 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Through Rush

I’m sorry for the delay in updating the blog.
I am still trying to get my brain back in gear after receiving so many responses about Rush. I’m sorry to have caused you worry. Although my mind is not yet at peace, I feel that it’s time to move forward.

I read everybody’s comments on the blog over and over again and printed them out for the staff that don’t have access to the Internet. I also received many faxes. After hearing everybody’s thoughts, all the staff were in tears again. We even welcomed harsh opinions.


Rush had the right kind of personality for a successful adoption, which is why I often introduced her to prospective families. But although everybody liked her personality, they didn’t want to adopt her once they heard about the care and costs involved in dealing with her sickness, and eventually, Rush’s body reached its limit.

Sometimes I feel lonely when I recall the worries related to my job. In particular, making decisions about having an animal put down…
Have I made a mistake? Was it the right decision? What should I do? I ask myself these questions over and over again, and confer with everybody. But all the while we’re trying to come to a decision, the condition of the animal gets worse and worse. There are times when we take a long time thinking things over and keep postponing making a decision, which is cruel and irresponsible.


When we decide to put an animal down, the decision is not only made by the staff who usually take care of the animal. We also discuss the matter with Elizabeth Oliver, the office manager, with the clinic staff and with the vet. Sometimes the decision made by ARK is overruled by the vet.

ARK is an animal shelter. There is a limit to how much we can train the animals and watch over their physical and mental health. I often feel frustrated by this. If only they could find good homes, then their families could give them the careful nursing, medical aid, and care that they require…
Coming to ARK does not equal happiness for an animal.
Having their own loving family means happiness for an animal.


There is a limit to the number of animals that we can take in at ARK.
We’ve not made it to the point where we don’t have to put any animals down and they can all leave ARK happily. But due to various circumstances, there are some animals that are not easily adoptable or animals that we know are not fit to be adopted.

The reality is that hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats in local animal shelters are killed each year. Out of sight, a good deal more are killed using methods much worse than humane euthanasia.

Every day ARK gets an endless stream of requests from people asking us if we have space. We have to turn them down as we are constantly at capacity. Even if we’re asked to take in a puppy or a kitten that could probably find an adoptive family quickly, we have to refuse because we don’t have the space.


We can’t compare the animals that are sheltered at ARK, and the animals that are secretly killed in places we can’t see, but the fact is we face this reality every day, and are torn between the two as we take care of the animals.

I’m ashamed that I can’t tell you clearly how I feel, but I know I have to keep doing the best that I can.
We need to do more than just sheltering animals at ARK; we must see to it that we do as much as we can for them.
Let’s all cooperate to make sure that fewer animals’ lives are ruined just for selfish people’s convenience.

| Dog | 17:25 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Not “Sorry” but “Thank You”

I thought about this for a long time, but I’ve decided to tell you. We had to put Rush down.


Rush had allergic dermatitis, and I thought that if she was able to find a loving home, her sickness would get better and she wouldn’t need to depend on medication any more. So I spent a long time looking for a good home for her. But it turned out that Rush’s sickness was not as simple as we had thought. It had progressed to reach a very serious and complicated point. The side effects also became worse than we had expected.

I talked with the staff members who helped to take care of Rush about what would be best for her. If she kept taking the medicine, the bad side effects would increase, causing her symptoms to become even more painful than the dermatitis itself. But we couldn’t stop the medicine because then her dermatitis would worsen. Rush’s sickness would not improve without medicine.


If we didn’t make the decision there and then to put Rush down, the side effects would cause her to suffer until the end of her life. We at ARK feel that it’s pointless to wait and prolong the suffering. So we made the decision.

The proof of Rush is in her life. She gave us so much happiness. She taught us so many things. We’d like to thank her. And we loved her. That’s why we wanted her to find a loving home. We wanted her to be happy.

But we couldn’t. I’m full of sadness because I could not help her. I feel that I let her down, and my head and heart are full of many emotions that I cannot express.


The vet told us that he’s seen many dogs at his veterinary hospital with allergic dermatitis. Dogs with skin so badly chewed up, raw and sore that they’re not able to sleep because they can’t stop scratching. Or dogs whose whole body is so covered in mites that just touching them hurts. He said that if treatment doesn’t go well, then it is painful for the owner and the vet, and most of all, for the dog. Having had a lot of experience with this sickness, he encouraged me by saying that he felt we made the right choice for Rush.

We are always thinking about what is best for each and every dog.


Euthanasia has its pros and cons, doesn’t it?

Every life has its own shape. Thus, there are no two deaths that are the same. Each person has their own thoughts. I don’t think there is an absolute right or a wrong to any choice. I think it is good that we all have our own views. So of course it is natural that people have different opinions about ARK’s decisions.


Truly, I never wish to use euthanasia when there’s something that can be done, but I think it’s irresponsible to continue keeping an animal in pain if the condition is not curable, and if we can’t remedy the stress caused by an animal’s physical state.

Some regrets always remain upon death. We think such things as “If only I had done this at the time...” or “If only I was able to do more...”.
Therefore, as caretakers of lives, I think we have to make every day of life special.


I am concerned that telling you this is controversial and may be confusing. But as those who take care of living creatures, the problem we must all face up to is that death is unavoidable. That is why I chose to tell you.

I also wanted you to know how much grief we feel too.


I found this during a walk with Rush.

| Dog | 17:21 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Mischievous Boy Umenosuke


Umenosuke is about 8 months old and at the peak of his mischievousness.
He is curious about everything, meddles with everything, and plays with everything, and you never get tired of watching him.
But he is a little different from other cats. The back half of his body is paralyzed from a traffic accident.


Don't underestimate him just because he is disabled.
He runs around energetically using just his front legs. His movement is so fast the camera can't keep up with him, so I can't get many good photos...


We help him go to the bathroom by pressing on his stomach like this. But he isn't completely without feeling, and he pushes too, and when he doesn't want to go, he resists the pressure on his stomach, and nothing comes out.
Occasionally, we find his blanket wet, or his pee on the floor. I thought he was just leaking, but then I saw him peeing all on his own! Ume-kun, you're amazing! With other cats, I would be a bit miffed at them for having this done to a blanket that I had just cleaned, but in this instance I am happy about it.


In the cat run where Ume-kun is living now, there is an inner door with a high threshold, so we made a ramp for him. We can't let him hurt himself while dragging his rear half around. But Ume-kun is an expert. He cares not for steps and edges. The litter box is fairly tall, but he gets in and out of it easily. He is always fooling around with the other cats.


This mischievous boy has strength and time to spare.
And of course, he’s looking for an adoptive home!

| Cat | 17:11 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Goodbye, Sweet! Good luck!


The day has come for our shy little Sweet to leave for her new home.


Sweet and Blondie’s new home is in Shizuoka. Their new parents drove over 5 hours to meet them. With parents like that, we really think Sweet will be taken good care of at her pace until she manages to open up a bit more.

Today was a “rehoming rush” at ARK. Four other dogs also left for new homes. We also had a lot of potential foster parents drop by, as well as people just coming to take a look around. If only we could be busy like this everyday…I mean, wait! Don’t get us wrong – we’re pooped! But it sure feels good…

This is Blondie. She’ll be going with Sweet to her new home. While the two dogs are almost the same age, Blondie is a tomboy, full of boundless, people-loving energy. Beneath it all though, she’s just a little sweetie – a perfect match for Sweet, who loves other dogs but is still a little scared of people. Match-ups like these – where one dog is unadjusted to living with people and the other has already developed the necessary people skills – are extremely effective. A dog like Sweet can adjust to new people and a new environment faster than it’d be able to on its own, by living with a high-energy level, better-socialized dog.


Here is Sweet’s adopter adjusting the size of the harness and collar along with the leash she’s prepared for Sweet. Will there come a time when she can wear it without getting nervous and just enjoy a nice, leisurely walk? We certainly hope so!


Blondie is trying on her new, different-colored collar and harness as well. She looks so proud!


OK guys, be good while we finish this paperwork!


Blondie’s old roommate, Leslie, also found a new home on the same day. Good luck you guys!


Leslie’s also a bit of a shy girl. We’re hoping she’ll get used to her new lifestyle bit by bit without too many hitches. Her new mom and dad look like they’ll both be in tune with Leslie’s feelings and take really good care of her.

The day has come for our shy little Sweet to leave for her new home.


Sweet and Blondie’s new home is in Shizuoka. Their new parents drove over 5 hours to meet them. With parents like that, we really think Sweet will be taken good care of at her pace until she manages to open up a bit more.

Today was a “rehoming rush” at ARK. Four other dogs also left for new homes. We also had a lot of potential foster parents drop by, as well as people just coming to take a look around. If only we could be busy like this everyday…I mean, wait! Don’t get us wrong – we’re pooped! But it sure feels good…

☆☆☆Golden Week Adoption Fair Announcement☆☆☆
Date: 4/29, 4/30, 5/4, 5/5
Location: GEORGE, Komazawa Store

Date: 5/3
Location: Green Dog Square

And of course, we look forward to seeing potential adopters every day at ARK!

| Rehoming | 17:06 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑

2007年04月 | ARCHIVE-SELECT | 2007年06月