2008年01月 | ARCHIVE-SELECT | 2008年03月


Report on the Adoption Event at GREEN DOG (February 24)


This is a report about the adoption event held on Sunday, February 24 at GREEN DOG in Kobe. Many people braved the freezing snow to come and attend the event! (By the way, there was 20cm of snow at ARK in Nose.)


Totoro was a little nervous about being taken to a new place. At first he curled up and wouldn’t move but when people called his name he would meow. He eventually took an interest in what was going on around him, and so began to creep around and even if a dog came up to him he didn’t seem to care.


We got a little worried because the usually rambunctious Neita didn’t seem to be her usual self, but we were relieved when she gradually cheered up. Looks like she was just a bit sleepy! Kittens are just so sweet!

Neita is the sister of Tetta who was just rehomed. Like Tetta, she was in rough shape when we rescued her and she still has some chronic conjunctivitis and cloudy eyes, but they don’t seem to bother her at all. She’s full of life and loves to play! She makes friends easily with other cats, and at the adoption event she didn’t mind being approached by dogs so she’d do fine in a home with dogs as well.


“He’s bigger than he looks in the pictures!”. This is what many people said when they saw Non-chan. Hehehe! Non-chan is usually really hyper at ARK but on this day he was really calm and laid-back. (There are too many distractions at ARK so it’s not much of a relaxing environment there, I’m afraid...)


When Nana-chan was first rescued she was scared of many things but now she is more relaxed and enjoys her walks even with the volunteers. Today she was very attentive to the visitors and had a good time.


Non-chan and Nana-chan asking for treats!
We only know how they act at ARK so we were relieved to see these two taking an active part in this event. We’re sure they wouldn’t have a problem being rehomed.


Nana-chan, that’s a little too close...


Wreath loved being petted! People kept saying “He doesn’t look 10 years old!” and “He has such a fine coat of fur!”.


This was the first time the three of these dogs had met. (Actually, Wreath and Non-chan met once before at ARK.) They’re all friendly and well-behaved dogs.

“Hey, don’t smell me so much! Young dogs are such pests, aren’t they…”


Non-chan and Nana-chan have become good friends.
Looks like Nana-chan really liked Non-chan. She invited him to play many times.

“Hey, I found a great Italian café nearby. Why don’t we have some tea and then go home?”


Old man Wreath was doing his own thing.
Um, Wreath? You do know that’s a cat cage, right?

Unfortunately, none of the animals who participated today were adopted. But it’s possible that some people will take an interest in them and contact ARK a little later.
I’m not in charge of Non-chan and Nana-chan, so I was happy to be able to get to know them, and I will definitely recommend them to people who are looking to adopt.

To close, I’d like to extend a big thanks to GREEN DOG for allowing us to hold the event on their premises and for their continued support to ARK including donations of food. We’re always so grateful to you! The staff are all so friendly and cheerful, and they always make the customers feel at home. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, please stop by GREEN DOG with your dog!


| PR/Event | 16:47 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Transformed from Peepee Man to Diaper Man!


I took Wreath home. He can get along with my dogs and has no particular problems. I think he has never lived inside a house before, but he quickly learned what is bad, like entering the kitchen or putting his legs on the table, etc. We just have to keep picked up the things which we don’t want him to fool around with. It’s good for us, too: a chance for us to make the room tidy♪

He had been restless for a couple of days since I took him home, and he followed us whenever we moved. But after he figured out our daily routine, he started becoming calm and never got excited. But it would be nice if he moved a little more.

“Excuse me, could you move over a little? I’m trying to clean up here…”


Once I started preparing his meal, he can never be calm.
“Hurry up, hurry up!! I am hungry!!!”

Wreath was in good shape at the time of his rescue, but he lost some weight after he started living at ARK. At ARK, he had been restless and barked all the time. One of the major problems that happens with animals at ARK is that they lose weight because of stress. Some dogs get too nervous due to noisy circumstances and cannot get used to it, then lose weight even if they eat a lot. Boss was the same. Wreath needs to eat and sleep well, get back to his normal weight, and settle down. That’s one of the goals for Wreath during this foster-stay.

He went to a vet this week and had a blood test, X-ray and echo. There was absolutely nothing wrong! Considering his age, 10 years old, it would not have been strange if something abnormal was found. What a relief.


Now we’ve got a new big problem: he lifts up his leg and goes peepee in the house.

It’s natural that dogs who never got toilet training, or who never lived inside, pee inside the house. We have had such kind of dogs before and have already gotten used to them having accidents. We recognized the problem and found ways to handle it. But it was tough for us to get a lot of pee on our furniture and audio system.


But that’s not a problem!
We’ve transformed Wreath from Peepee Man to Diaper Man!

If we threw you out of the house, there would be nowhere for you to go. It’s freezing cold at ARK now.

So, he is wearing a hand-made “manner belt”.

It’s actually a pet-sheet with packaging tape. But it still leaks through sometimes, so he also wears a diaper over that. And sometimes he wears nursing pants made for humans, with a hole for his tail. (This seems to work best.) Although if we could give him a real manner belt, that would look a bit better. Well, he doesn’t hate it, so...just please be patient, Wreath.


Even so, he doesn’t pee that often and basically he does it during his walks outside. The number of times he pees inside of the house is decreasing, so I think he may stop completely after he gets used to this kind of lifestyle. Of course it’s not easy for him to change a habit that he’s had for 10 years. We have to try different things and be patient. Let’s keep up the toilet training.

Though it would be great if someone wants to be your family before we finish!
We’ll have an adoption event at GREEN DOG tomorrow, so be ready for Wreath!

| Dog | 16:43 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Foster care system

In our foster care system, volunteers take care of dogs at their home temporarily. Animal protection groups which have no shelters are largely dependent on this system. Tokyo ARK has been using this system successfully for a long time thanks to the helps of many foster families. However, there are virtually no foster families currently available for Osaka ARK.

The ARK headquarters in Nose-cho, Osaka Prefecture, has facilities to protect and keep animals, and there are always about 500 animals there. There are also just under 30 staff members, including those who work in the office and do maintenance work. Each staff member is assigned specific duties and non-work days are taken in rotation. But if asked whether all animals are being taken care of sufficiently, we can’t really say “yes” confidently.

The words, “If only there were foster families for Osaka ARK…” are often heard among the staff, who take care of animals under the cold sky of Nose.


Here is a story about four puppies rescued one day. Because their mother is a stray dog, the puppies inherited her habits and fears, and were very afraid of humans and extremely scared of being touched. If this attitude does not change, their lives with potential adopters will be a difficult one, and neither dogs nor adopters will be able to live happily together. Clearly, they need to get used to humans and be socialized.

We consulted Tsuda-sensei of KENKEN CLUB, who is always helpful in giving us advice on dog training. She gave us detailed advice, but the staff member in charge of these puppies was already flooded with other tasks and unable to devote the time to the socialization training. The puppies are young, and every single day in this growing up phase is precious and can have a major effect on their future. But all the while, we feel impatient, powerless, and guilty about all of the things we can’t do for them. Then what crosses our minds is the foster family system.


Although no special qualifications are required to become a foster family, ARK’s policies must be followed. Foster families also bear a certain degree of responsibility in terms of time and expense. A foster family is selected after a thorough consultation and assessment.

More attention is necessary when fostering puppies, because puppies are delicate and susceptible to diseases, and because their future personalities are formed during this time. Major conditions for a foster family are minimal “home alone” time for the animal, adherence to ARK’s policies such as health control, medical treatment, and euthanasia, and ability to take the fostered animal to ARK or ARK’s veterinarian for medical examinations and sterilization, or for meeting with a potential adopter. Therefore, the foster family should live within 1 to 1½ hour’s drive of ARK.

In some cases, a fostered animal develops a contagious disease, or some disorder is suddenly discovered while a puppy is growing. When this happens, we carefully examine the quality of life of the dog based on the vet’s diagnosis, and might resort to euthanasia if determined necessary. In some cases, letting them live is not the best choice. Nobody knows what will happen in the future and this is a very hard decision to make, but the family has to agree to follow our decision in order to start fostering a dog.

Euthanasia is hard in every case. The decision to euthanize a puppy is particularly shocking, and pains us ARK staff greatly. The foster family, therefore, has to be strong enough to be prepared for the possibility that the dog might face such a situation. I myself foster some dogs, and I think I am prepared.


Hmm…having read this, no one’s going to want to volunteer to become a foster family! Yet this is an important matter which I have no option other than to convey to you all, in view of all the lives that would be snuffed out without our rescuing them.

While fostering a dog can be hard sometimes, I can’t express in words the joy you experience when the dog finds an adopter. This is quite rewarding and fulfilling. Not only are you able to make the dog happy, but you yourself become happy. The foster care system is so great because it feels like your circle of happiness is widening to include more family or relatives.

Because there is no free space at ARK to keep extra dogs, we sometimes cannot even take in nice dogs who are friendly to humans and other dogs, even though they seem likely to find a new owner right away. With the foster care system, we can save these dogs’ lives. This is volunteer work any family can start easily once they make it clear what kinds of dogs or cats would be suitable for their home. I personally think those retired and active seniors who cannot have a dog for its entire life, but have a plenty of time to spend would be an ideal family.

The foster care system is basically a new frontier for Osaka ARK. We are still in the trial and error stage, and there are many issues to overcome, but we hope to make it work.

On February 24 (Sun), Wreath will join the meeting at Green Dog, too!
Other prospective participants include: Wombat, Non-chan, and Totoro
(Subject to change depending on the dogs’ condition and other reasons.)
For details, click here.

| 未分類 | 12:37 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Wreath the hunting dog appears!


We picked up an English Setter as a lost dog. After a few days, his owner showed up. The owner's story was, “I was using him as a hunting dog. I use this kind of dog to hunt until they die. If you want to keep him that's fine.” And that was it.

As for the dog himself, he was not at all happy to see his owner, although I noticed him start to wag his tail happily whenever he saw the staff member in charge of him. So we decided to keep him at ARK.


We picked up an English Setter as a lost dog. After a few days, his owner showed up. The owner's story was, “I was using him as a hunting dog. I use this kind of dog to hunt until they die. If you want to keep him that's fine.” And that was it.

As for the dog himself, he was not at all happy to see his owner, although I noticed him start to wag his tail happily whenever he saw the staff member in charge of him. So we decided to keep him at ARK.


We felt bad for Wreath being in the circle all the time, so we gave him the run of the office, but he was mischievous and peed on things and the staff in charge were kept very busy. When a small dog does the same thing, there’s a limit to the damage he can cause, and there are rather simple preventative measures. With a big dog, they can cause mischief in a larger area and reach higher places, and they have a larger pee capacity. Handling this requires a lot of work, knowledge, and time.

One thing that saddens me working at ARK is the reality that large dogs have a tendency to be neglected. Small dogs are relatively easy to handle in various ways, but many things are not simple with large dogs. It is a harsh reality.


Even though he was older and obedient and a good dog, there was no place at ARK for Wreath; I felt so sorry for him that I decided to take care of him at my house. Yes, scaredy-cat Wom-chan's homestay came to an end to make way for Wreath.

Wreath is a big softie. As a 10-year-old large dog, he may not have much time left. That's why I want to find him a new home as soon as possible so he can spend his old age quietly.


Tia and Toffee were rehomed! More information here!

| Dog | 14:37 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Doggies Frolicking Happily in the Yard♪

Here’s what ARK looked like yesterday. How were the effects of the snowstorm where you were? Hopefully no damage?

Yesterday we didn’t even have time to be worried about what was going on elsewhere. The only blissfully happy ones were some of our young dogs.


Yoshino! You’re sinking, are you okay?


Kuroro! If you keep your head up like that, the snow is gonna get in your eyes!


The puppies had SO much fun♪♪
Gisela: What’s all this cold white stuff?
Nicola: It’s so powdery and fun, isn’t it?


The puppies jumped up to eat the snow that had accumulated on the tree branches. You guys can make a game out of anything! Looks really fun too. I admire that.


Hey, Sprite! If you keep burying yourself in the snow, we won’t be able to find you. I think it’s time to go. We’re not used to snowfall as tremendous as this, so I’m a little worried about the drive home.

All that snow turned to ice overnight, so today is probably even more dangerous. So, whoops, here I am, staff member K.K., sitting at home in front of my computer, taking the day off. How about you, did you make it in to work?

| 未分類 | 14:12 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


The “scaredy-cat” dog gets out into the world


Wombat was born to a half-stray mother in the mountains in what looked like the office of a building materials company. She was taken in by ARK, along with her 2 siblings, at about 2-3 months old.

Wom-chan (as we fondly call her) is a “scaredy-cat”. She is used to the people who take care of her all the time, but when she is faced with someone new, she becomes alarmed. More than two years has passed and Wom-chan still does not know the outside world; she only knows her birthplace and ARK. If this keeps up, it will be hard for her to be adopted so I decided that she should do a homestay at my house so she could experience the world.

Wom-chan’s siblings were also scaredy-cats but their adoptive families understood this and they are both enjoying a happy life now.


Wom-chan really likes to go for walks. You can see her in the picture above taking a walk with my “crazy trio”.

My house is situated in a residential area. There is a busy road nearby, as well as a school, kindergarten, supermarket, shops, and if you walk a little farther, a more rural area with a river. The bikes, children and seniors were all new to Wom-chan, whose world has been limited to ARK. But if she were to be adopted, these would be everyday things to her.
Wom-chan, ARK is a very special environment. Let’s get out and see the real world.


I thought that Wom-chan might panic during our walk but, just as she is at ARK, she only seemed slightly anxious. She seemed interested in things and never avoided going anywhere. She was a little scared but seemed to enjoy the walk.


She would shake a little going out onto the busy road but she didn’t panic when any large trucks passed by. She listened to what I said, and now she’s become used to passing by the same places everyday.


Wom-chan has made friends with many of the other dogs at ARK, and she got along well with my dogs too, even sleeping on the same mat or in the cage with them. I think she would fit in really well in a home that already has a dog. She tends to follow what other dogs do so going to a home that already has a dog might be best. But of course she would also enjoy being the only dog in a home.

Some timid dogs are sensitive to changes in their environment and will stop eating their food. But even on her first day at my house, Wom-chan ate all her food. We had some guests one day and she didn’t eat but her appetite soon returned.


Wom-chan is a small dog, and she is not aggressive at all. She would be easy to take care of. I thought she might be a little hard to take care of because she scares easily but after having her at my house, I realize that she does not get as scared as I had thought. She could live anywhere now.

If she had to go to the bathroom she would hold on until we went outside, but sometimes she would use the pet sheets, so she could even be an indoor dog. Also, she doesn’t get car sick. Wow, Wombat, you’re really doing good!
Wombat spent two weeks at my house and during that time she mainly stuck to her sleeping area. But Wombat, I know that during the night you were exploring the living room!

Wombat, I know that if you could have spent more time at my house you would have opened up and explored more. I wanted to let you experience more and stay with me until you found a nice family. But, unfortunately, I had to take you back to ARK. Why? I’ll tell you about it soon.


◆Tetta has found a home!

◆Udon was put to sleep. Please see the postscript under the entry Holding Udon-kun.

| Dog | 14:20 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑

2008年01月 | ARCHIVE-SELECT | 2008年03月