2008年02月 | ARCHIVE-SELECT | 2008年04月


Pet Care Study Session


Animal care manager Gillian Scott, of England’s Mayhew Animal Home, a vet clinic and animal shelter, recently paid a visit to Japan. During her short stay, she made stops in Kobe and Tokushima to give lectures on animal care, so we ARK staff had the opportunity to listen to her words of advice and wisdom.

(We got a “souvenir” from Ms. Scott and Ms. Oliver upon their return from Tokushima: four puppies rescued from a service area en route.)


Apart from learning and exchanging detailed information about the practical aspects of looking after rabbits, cats, and dogs, we were very lucky to be able to hear in real-time cutting-edge information from Mayhew and England.

But the more we listened to her talk, the more everyone kept sighing, realizing what a difference there is between the state of affairs in the UK and here at ARK in Japan. One obvious difference is in public opinion, but there’s a big money problem as well. The day to day operation of the shelter in England is funded by donations. ARK only survives through donations as well, but in Japan it isn’t really customary to donate to charity groups. So the difference is in decimal points of magnitude...


Here’s Ms. Scott showing us about handling dogs.
(The model is Ryoma-kun!)


Sometimes when examining or caring for animals, a muzzle is necessary, but there are plenty of animals who refuse to wear one. So we were shown ways to use string, bandages, or even a leash as a makeshift way of sealing the mouth.

Gillian’s hands worked so quickly, it was like magic!

I thought I understood how to do it while I was watching, but later when trying it myself... oh dear. We’ll have to practice on animals who will be calm for us, so that we can do it on other, less patient animals in a pinch. Although for animals who don’t get afraid, we might be able to get by without muzzles, there are certainly times we will need to use them.

If we work inefficiently or slowly, it’s sure to make the animal more stressed and it could become a traumatic experience. It’s very important when caring for animals to work as smoothly as possible.

And quietly. Let’s consider this: if we’re trying to care for our pet, and we’re nervous, excited, in a hurry, or noisy, then the animal becomes nervous too, and gets left with an unnecessarily bad impression of the whole experience. Before all else, we have to be calm ourselves.


We learned some tricks for putting a cat into its cage without a fight.

OK, pop quiz: who’s the model here, the one with the black coat of fur?


Drum roll... it was Neita!
“What, is my turn in the spotlight over already? Everyone’s all busy studying, nobody’ll play with me! Boooriiing...”

At this session, Gillian, who is a cat lover, used the very active Neita as her partner and companion. This kind of marvelous, relaxed, flexible cat must be pretty rare, huh? Umenosuke is sure surprised!!


| PR/Event | 18:28 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Cats in K3

Today let me tell you about the cute cats in section K3!

K3 is the place where there used to be a temporary shelter which took in about 600 cats and dogs who survived the Great Hanshin Earthquake. It is where ARK began. K3 is a little distance away from the area where facilities such as the main office and clinic are.

I have not worked at K3 before, and know little about the cats and dogs there. But there are many wonderful cats and dogs, and I have long wanted introduce them to the blog readers. Some adopters come to ARK to meet a specific cat or dog after checking our website. Non-chan, who participated in the adoption event at Green Dog the other day, lives in K3.

Here are three cats the K3 staff recommends highly.


Long, white hair
3-4 years old, male
About 6 kg

Fuwafuwa is strong-minded cat with the typical temperament of long-haired cats. He does not hesitate to crawl into a bed already occupied by another cat, but he does not tolerate it when other cats trespass into his, and punches the intruder. This selfishness may be one of his charms, though.

Fuwafuwa loves toys, so if you invite him to play, he can’t refuse. He also eats as much as a dog would, and is not at all picky about foods. He has gotten used to being brushed, and looks like he’s been enjoying it lately. You may find him irresistible when his beautiful crystal-clear eyes meet yours!


Brown color
4-5 years old, female
About 4 kg

Micchan is very friendly and easy to be with. She likes lying on her back and gets dreamy when rubbed on her belly. She also loves toys, and plays like mad. Her most attractive feature is her big, round eyes.


Short white hair
4 years old, male
About 4.5 kg

Chobo is a little shy at first, but he is actually very cuddly and loves being stroked. He meows a lot and tries really hard to start a conversation with you. He is also inquisitive and purposely gets in your way. I bet he is saying “Stop cleaning, play with me!” He watches people faces carefully. Maybe he has many things he wants to say?

Readers of this blog, yes, you! Why don’t you adopt him and listen to his stories?

Micchan behind, and Chobo in front.

 All three are healthy!
 Well behaved during nail-clipping and ear-cleaning.
 Not picky about food, will eat anything!
 No pee accidents, no wall-scratching. Toilet trained.

They are all easy to take care of!


Fuwafuwa: Yeah, I know I will be first one to be picked up, because I have the fanciest looks!

| Cat | 18:15 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Congratulations, Wreath!


Wreath is going to Furano, Hokkaido...tomorrow?! Wow!!
The adopter who contacted us about Wreath manages a Western-style inn.
Anyone planning a trip to Hokkaido, definitely check out their place!
And then please let us know how Wreath is doing up north in his new home!

The inn’s home page  洋風民宿ひつじの詩

This past week, talking with the adopter has gone so smoothly, I’m so happy that I’m a bit off balance.
Tomorrow morning, Wreath is getting on the plane at Osaka Airport.
Have a safe trip to your new home.

Tonight’s my last night with Wreath.
Hey you old bum, you do realize that, don’t you?
I guess you don’t understand our human feelings, huh...

>> P.S.
We heard from the adopters. Wreath arrived safely!

There was no drool inside his kennel, everything was clean...apparently he was just sitting there kind of dazed.

Phew, I can breath a sigh of relief. Finally Wreath can start to live happily.

Thanks to everyone who showed their concern for Wreath!!

| Rehoming | 17:08 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Sorry for not updating the blog...


Ms. K.K. has been slacking off in her blog updates, so much that I think my legs just fell asleep.
Why don’t we replace this awful blog master and let me take over?
Don’t give me that “I’ve been busy” excuse.

You want me to just stay here at ARK forever? Get to work!

| 未分類 | 16:55 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


These dogs are off the hook

This is the story of someone who adopted two dogs from ARK.


This guy already had a dog in his home.

The dog had been chained in a corner of the garden since he was a puppy. But this doesn’t mean the dog was not taken care of well. The owner was proud of the dog and loved him like his real son. He just had never thought it wrong to tie his dog up because things had been done that way for a long time.

To adopt a dog from ARK, you have to promise not to keep the dog tied up. When we explained this to him, he seemed unable to agree completely. He had a beautiful house and garden, and he had “never imagined” having a fence around his garden.

“Dogs are supposed to be chained.” “Japanese houses are small, so this makes a lot of sense.” “What’s so wrong with tying up a dog?” These beliefs are still quite common in Japan.

After his dogs started being allowed to move freely in and out of the house, they played tricks, snitched food, had toilet accidents... certain things the owner had never experienced before happened many times. It was a continuous offensive and defensive battle.

Sometimes the dogs ran away, so fences were set up and reinforced to prevent escape. Compared to before, the number of inconveniences and annoying things increased.

But the owner now says he has no desire to keep his dogs chained again.

“We are having a lot of difficulties, but seeing their calm and happy faces now, I will never keep them tied up again.”

This is the old dog the adopter already had at his home. He is over 15 years old.

He once suffered from illness, but he is now enjoying the rest of his life fully, at his own pace.
Maybe the new young dogs from ARK inspired him to snap out of it.

It is not just your imagination that he seems livelier than that same dog in younger years kept on a leash in the corner of the garden.

| Dog | 17:32 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


The Secret Inheritance


Hello there. My name is Zelinda.


The lady over there engrossed in her toy is my big sister, Zelda. Zelda and I are the daughters of Zara, who just got rehomed the other day.


The two of us are a wee bit shy around people. Actually, we’re really interested in people and we do want to play with them, it’s just that we don’t know the proper way to act around them. Our father was super good at hanging around with people, so we should’ve been able to follow his example, but unfortunately we just ended up depending on him for everything.

Now we follow the example of all the dogs around us, which means we bark. (But don’t think our parents’ raised us poorly or anything! Our mom and dad loved us to bits.)

The other day, some mail came from the people who adopted our father, and we saw what it was like living in a new, safe, happy home. We feel your happiness, Zara! So my sister and I were talking and decided we should continue trying to improve our behavior, but still it’s difficult for us to be sweet and cuddly around people we’re meeting for the first time. We still get a little nervous.

Do you think someone might show up who understands our behavior and adopt us?


But there’s one important thing I got from my father.
“When you’re having trouble, use this.”
That’s what my father said when he left the thing with us.


Next time, when a potential adopter comes, I’ll use my courage and go for it! Someone will surely get interested in me then...

| Dog | 16:51 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑

2008年02月 | ARCHIVE-SELECT | 2008年04月