2008年10月 | ARCHIVE-SELECT | 2008年12月


Adoption Fair ☆ Conclusion

Although I (K.K.) couldn’t go to our regularly-held adoption fair at Green Dog on Sunday, November 23rd, I got the scoop and photos of what happened from other staff who attended.

She was a bit shy but there were a lot of people who said how cute they thought she was, and she was very pleasant when being held. She trailed behind the staff and slept near us often, but not when others had treats for her. She would go up to strangers and say, “Pleeease gimme that”.

Cookie made friends with everybody who came. There were lots of people interested, probably because he kept approaching people, pleading for a pat, and lying belly-up. He gave a few yips, requesting to be held, and was very positive throughout.

Until the first visitors started coming, Maru enjoyed running around and playing, but as soon as it started to get crowded, he stayed close to the wall or with his friends. However, it wasn’t as if he was completely rigid – he did wander around some. (Hmm…was he just trying to get away?) Well, he ate his food anyway, and we expect scared Maru-kun will get used to these kinds of environmental changes soon.

Natsu, who also played very happily with the staff in the garden, tended to lower her tail when in front of all our visitors. But still, she is quite an eater. The moment a snack appeared, Natsu came bounding up out of nowhere, properly sitting and saying “Me me me!”. She was fine eating food from people she was meeting for the first time. Hooray for her being a piggy eater!

Compared to Natsu’s usually behavior at ARK, today was completely calm. (Putting on your Sunday best, aren’t you, Natchan?) There were some people who were impressed by Natsu’s poised behavior, so they’ll come to meet her again to try to get to know her more lively side, that we see in her at ARK.

Zas(left) & Zeus(right)◆
When people they didn’t know came by, they barked, but they did play quite happily, and ate food from people they were coming into contact with for the first time. Zeus went up to just about anybody, but Zas held back some. Right now at ARK, they are both living together in a larger group, so when they are together they feel brave and bark, but alone they get nervous. When they find their new family, I think they’ll begin to change and adjust. Anyway, they’re only four months old. We’re looking forward to seeing them grow and develop.

While there were times he hid in the bed, when we opened the door to his cage he came out, and seemed interested in his surroundings when being held. And when we were cleaning up, he came out of his cage and walked around as usual. That’s Mya-chan for you. Oh, and of course he ate the food we brought!

(Oops, no photos!)
She is a cat after all. She got nervous due to the change in environment and hid in her bed. But she ate her food, and when her name was called, she peeped her head out and acted sweetly as always. There was someone who came specifically to see Monchan, but they already had a few pet cats… Do you remember? Monchan has a mean side when it comes to other cats, so we’d like her to be kept by herself.

This time, we didn’t find any adopters for the dogs and cats, but I guess it good practice socializing. If there is any animal you are interested in, don’t hesitate – contact ARK now!!

| PR/Event | 17:31 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Requirements for Tiny Tim

It was on a freezing day with dry north winds in January this year that Elizabeth Oliver visited a certain animal control center. After desperately pleading with them, we were able to rescue a few dogs from the center.   Even so, we could not take all the dogs to ARK with us. The animals were kept in a dark basement with no lights. The floor was cold and wet from water that had been hosed over it to clean it, but still it was covered with feces, urine and spilled food. Ms. Oliver had to choose which dogs to rescue and which ones to abandon. And she only had 5 minutes in which to make this terrible choice. (Please see ARK Newsletter No.69 for more details)
Newsletter No. 69 PDF Download (2.0MB)

One of the twelve dogs that were rescued was Tiny Tim.

Tiny Timhas a deformation of the pelvis. He has no problem walking, but the way he walks is a bit unnatural and he seems to be in pain at times. His fur is in much better condition now compared to when he was rescued, but his skin is still sensitive and a bit rough. He had diarrhea for a while and was too skinny, but he has finally put some weight on, thanks to a new diet of special dog food that’s easier on the digestive system.

He’s already quite old, and tested positive for heartworm. We had hoped he’d be able to find an adopter and live inside a warm house by the time it got cold outside, but freezing winter weather has almost come here in Nose.

It’s not that he hasn’t had the chance to be rehomed so far. But one of the obstacles preventing him from being rehomed is that there’s a “requirement” from the animal control center: the adopter has to be someone who lives in Osaka.

The adopter should be someone who is willing to welcome over-10-year-old Tim with his weak legs, bad skin, and dodgy stomach and who is positive for heartworm, and…they should live in Osaka. If the center hadn’t given us this requirement, his chances would be much better, but this is the tough reality we face.

However, Tiny-Tim is the kind of small, sweet dog who likes walking, loves being cared for by people, and always tries to express his feelings with his teary eyes… he’s such an honest and bright boy.

That day, at the hellish animal control center, Tiny Tim’s life was supposed to end by suffocation in the gas chamber. Where will this little guy, who was chosen by Elizabeth Oliver and taken to ARK, end up?

| Dog | 17:22 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Adoption Fair Bulletin

We have decided the dogs and cats who will participate in the adoption fair at Kobe’s GREEN DOG, on Sunday, November 23rd. (If you click on the animal’s name, you can jump to their profiles)

Dream ♀ 7-8 years old (?)
One of the dogs from the large scale rescue: see “32 dogs used as business tools”.

Natsu ♀ 2 years old
Natsu from“Natsu and Pi-ko”fame♪

Zas ♀ 4 months old
Zas is a little bit jumpy and nervous, so now she’s staying at a staff member’s house, studying how to socialize better.

Zeus ♂ 4 months old
Zeus is always full of life! And he learns very quickly.

Maru ♂ 1 year old (?) 
This fellow also participated in the adoption fair at Field Notein Nara.
He’s the brother of Hino-chan.

Cookie ♂ 6 years old
Cookie is cheerful and very cute. He’s a little on the big side for a Dachsund.

Mya-chan  ♂ 3 years old
A cat with a dog’s personality! Mya-chan takes things at his own pace and loves hanging out with people.

Mon ♂ 9 years old
Mon, Currently In Time-Out
Mon has now graduated from his time-out room, and is now living in his private room in the office.

To anyone who can’t make it all the way out to ARK in Nose, or anyone interested in ARK at all, we’ll be waiting for you on the 23rd at GREEN DOG! ♪

| PR/Event | 16:33 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Hino-chan’s Assignment

Hino-chan is doing things at his own pace at my (KK’s) house. I told you in the previous entry that Hino-chan has a problem that needs fixing. That problem is related to his health.

Hino-chan has struvite crystals in his urine, a form of stones containing magnesium ammonium phosphate. We tried treating him with antibiotics for urinary tract infections, but when he goes back on to his regular diet the struvite crystals reappear, causing his urine PH and alkaline balance to decline. But if he eats prescription food his PH balance is fine.

I think a lot of prospective owners would be shocked if they heard that they would have to feed Hino-chan prescription food for the rest of his life. Hino-chan, you’re only a year old; you can’t eat food made specifically for dogs with urinary tract disorders for the rest of your life, can you?

The vet says there is no problem for Hino-chan to eat such food for the rest of his life. I don’t think it’s a lie to say that that eating is directly related to living and health is the most important. But even though theoretically I understand, to eat the same thing for one’s whole life is not natural. It may prevent bladder stones but it could cause other problems.

Many prospective families think prescription food equals a sick animal. Even if I explain to them that feeding the animal the prescription food will prevent sickness, they have trouble understanding. No matter how nice the animals are, if they are eating prescription food then prospective families avoid them.

Prescription food must be purchased at a vet, and it is more expensive than regular dog food. For example, Hino-chan weighs 16kg and it costs about 7,000-10,000 yen per month for Waltham PH Control dog food for him (if purchased through the Internet and not at the vet).
Depending on the person this could be a lot of money, but we want someone who would spend the same amount on a dog with no dietary restrictions (whether they make their own food or buy dog food).

Putting aside expenses, I think it is unnatural to feed prescription food to Hino-chan for the rest of his life. Because he is still young, I want try looking for other ways to improve his health.

To prevent struvite and bladder stones, it is necessary for a dog to have a proper diet and exercise. It would be best to feed him a meat-only diet with no vegetables because they are alkaline, and it’s also important for him to drink plenty of water and not be stressed.

As for food, I did a lot of research and have decided to try Hino-chan on a food called California Natural. It has similar ingredients to the prescription food and it appears that it has helped to prevent struvite in many dogs. It is not so expensive and it is quite easy to buy, so a family could easily continue feeding him this food. I had considered homemade dog food but it would be hard for a family to continue doing that.

I don’t know what will happen. There may be no difference in Hino-chan with the new food. It might turn out that Hino-chan is just prone to getting stones.

Long walks with his back pack on, playing with my dogs, lots of sleep and lots of food and water, and letting him pee when he needs to….I wonder what will happen from now on?
(The picture was taken before Hino-chan’s backpack arrived.)

I think the best medicine will be for him to find a happy home as soon as possible. We’re waiting to hear from you! I’ll bring Hino-chan to ARK anytime to meet you!
(Hino-chan doesn’t like cameras very much so he doesn’t look very good. But he’s even cuter in real life!)

| Dog | 16:22 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


ARK Reunion 2008

On Sunday November 8th, former ARK dogs had a reunion gathering at the future ARK Sanctuary in Shinoyama City, Hyogo. More than 50 families and 70 dogs joined the event, where the scenery was beautiful, complete with red autumn leaves. It was a really cold day though! Those who participated the event, I hope you didn’t catch a cold!

Of the many dogs seeking an adopter at ARK, Sakura (front) and Momo (back) joined the gathering (we were so hopeful that some families might want to have them as a second dog). Sakura and Momo were nervous about meeting so many people in a place they had never been to before, but were also excited to see so many dogs.

This is the reunion program.

The newly-published ARK photo collection books, autographed by Elizabeth Oliver, were sold as well.

Adopters, dogs, and all the staff members were excited to see each other again. The dogs who were adopted as puppies had grown surprisingly big!

There must have been a lot of adopters who were looking forward to seeing the brothers, sisters, and other families of the dogs they adopted. However, ARK dogs are adopted all over Japan—from Hokkaido to Kyushu—which make it impossible to see all of them.

There was also a “Doggie Consultation Room” held by Tsuda-sensei, who trains dogs at ARK, and a lot of adopters took the opportunity to ask for advice. We hope her advice was useful and will help you make the most of life with your dogs!

In the “Borrowing Game,” we took the advantage of the location out in the countryside, and collected stuff that’s readily available from Mother Nature. Adopters had a lot of fun running around the area with their dogs looking for the items on the list. They did so well! Here’s Aira-chan anxiously looking at the collected items (top right). Bigori and Choko (bottom left) are searching for goodies. Charm-chan in her daddy’s arms is curious about the winnings.

”Come here, come!”
Only a few dogs ran straight to their mommies or daddies waiting at the goal line. Most dogs froze in their tracks or ran away to wherever they liked. “I want to play with my friends, not with mom or dad!”

”Tail-wagging game”
Those who wagged their tail most fiercely won the game. Adopters were enthusiastic and encouraged their dogs to wag their tails, but some dogs backed away. Momo (top left) and Sakura (bottom right) joined the game too. Hey, it’s your tail we want you to wag…

”My Specialty”
Bonnet-chan (top left) was adopted at the reunion last year. Her mom is a dog trainer. “Bang!”
“You got me….”
Tartar-kun (top right) proudly performed the slow-moving “lie-down,” which was so cute. Arashi-kun (bottom left) is a performer who can dance. Chappy-chan’s (bottom right) specialty is creeping, the skill Bonnet-chan demonstrated last year. All of you have developed your talents even more!

Jolly-kun has learned many skills too. I always follow your goings-on at “Mama’s blog”!

In the free-time session at the end of the day, both dog friends and human adopter friends enjoyed talking to each other. It was so refreshing to see that some of the dogs who used to be aggressive at ARK were calmly enjoying the company. I’m so happy that they found their new homes and I’m so thankful to their new families.

We ended the reunion of 2008 on a high note. Adopters and dogs, I hope you had a good time. Thanks to your generous support and understanding, the event was a great success.

The family of San-chan the cat, we appreciate your help as volunteers.

The huge dog run for the reunion was completed by the maintenance staff of ARK. They worked hard till after dark for many days, giving up their holidays, so it would be a waste of time and energy not to reuse it, wouldn’t it? Maybe it would be a good idea to rent it out until the construction work starts. That might supplement the Sanctuary Fund. If you are interested, please contact ARK. ♪

For those who came to the reunion, I’d be happy to read your thoughts and messages on this blog! ♪

(Oh yeah, Sakura and Momo didn’t find new families this time…don’t worry, let’s keep trying!)

| PR/Event | 13:17 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


Expenses of Living with a Dog

I’d like to consider the expenses of living with a dog, and the responsibility it entails.

There’s something everyone needs to things about before they choose to raise a dog. That is, “Will I be able to take lifelong responsibility for this animal’s care?” Those people who look into the glass case, see a dog who catches their eye, and purchase it through installment payments, are they really thinking enough about the responsibility and care that will be necessary 10-20 years down the road?

It’s going to cost money to own an animal: that’s part of the responsibility. In order to raise one dog, let’s figure out specifically how much it’s going to cost for one year. I’ve done the calculations based on the expenses of keeping a 10kg dog for one year.


Rabies vaccine ……………………………………… \3,750
Combined vaccines ……………………………… \10,000
Heartworm prevention ………………………… \14,400 *1
Flea prevention ……………………………………… \11,760 *2
Food ……………………………………………………… \72,000 *3
Medical treatment (injury/illness) ………… \???,???
Total \111,910 + ??????

*1 1 month of medicine @ \1,800 given from May~December
*2 “Front Line Spot” given once every 2 months for the whole year
*3 @ \5,000~\6,000 per month for premium dog food that is safe and doesn’t contain dangerous ingredients

This is an estimate of the least you should expect to pay. The price of vaccines and preventative medicine varies widely from hospital to hospital, and the cost of food will also differ based on each individual pet owner. For a 20kg dog, the price will double. For a small dog, under 5kg, I’m afraid the price will not cut in half, but be about 1.5 times the total above. And then there’s the ?????? money. With illnesses and injuries, the cost of tests and treatment could be anywhere from thousands to hundreds of thousands of yen. On that day when such a payment becomes necessary, it is likely to be the biggest of any of these expenses. Preparation for this is very important.

Besides the costs listed above, there’s also fees for trimming, pet sheets, shampoo, various other consumable goods, the collar, the leash, the harness, the ID tag, and so on. If you go away on vacation or because of work and have to put your dog in a pet hotel, that’s going to be exceedingly pricy as well. (And there are some places that don’t accept certain breeds or have size limits.)

If you own a heavy dog or have more than one dog, the medical and food expenses will proportionally grow. And for small animals, the cost of trimming and clothes can get quite expensive too.

Then we have to think about what would happen if you became unable to keep your dog. You must remember your responsibility to look for suitable options for what to do with your pet, aside from sending it to the gas chambers of the Hokenjo (Health Center). Actually, even before you get an animal, you really have to imagine what your life will be like in 10 or 20 years, and properly prepare for that.

This is not only a financial problem. Dogs are social creatures. It gives true meaning to their lives when they interact with others. As dogs, in order to live healthily and fully in mind and body, the length of time and content of their interactions is absolutely important. So we have to think about whether we have enough time, physical strength and mental strength in our lives – before we get a dog.

I will continue hoping that more people’s awareness will be raised, and that the selfish attitudes that lead to animal abandonment so common in Japan will begin to decrease.

「“Hey, I cost money, you know!” “There’s an expense for this too!” I enlist your help in spreading the word about these things, by word of mouth and on your blogs too♪

| Dog | 15:00 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑


The New Boy in Town, Hino-chan

A new boy has come to my (KK’s) house. Recently I’ve been bringing home a lot of puppies
to give them basic training in how to live as house dogs. But this time it’s 1-year-old Hino-chan’s turn. So what’s wrong with such a cute boy?

Hino-chan was a stray dog who was caught in a trap in a residential area. He’s grown since coming to ARK so I guess he’s about a year old now. He does get a little scared, but he likes to play with people and gets along well with other dogs, although we do sometimes see him pushing things too far with the dogs. He mounts other dogs and makes them angry and then gets so overexcited that it scares them. It seems he’s found his adult male side and wants to try it out.

Hino-chan, it’s time for you to learn a few things. You were a stray dog, so can you be a good house dog? That’s why we’ve sent you to KK’s house.

Amazingly, nothing seems to bother Hino-chan. He’s just fine taking walks along roads full of people and cars. He keeps on walking even when bikes, scooters and people go past him. He even went for a pee on the pet sheets in the house. I am a little relieved since it seems he’ll be okay with a first-time dog owner. He gets along great with my “rehabilitation trio” of dogs. (Although they’ve made him upset many times with their educational guidance.)

However, there is one other problem that we have to fix…We’ll talk about that next time.

| Dog | 14:55 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑

2008年10月 | ARCHIVE-SELECT | 2008年12月