BBQ Party on Sunday, July 26.

On June 26 (Sunday), on the site for the new ARK Sanctuary in Sasayama City, Kyoto, we held a welcome BBQ party for Oscar, who leads the World Woof Tour.

It was unfortunate that Oscar couldn’t land in Japan due to a quarantine problem, but many peoplesupporters of animal adoption activities, former ARK dogs with their adopters, and prominent animal welfare activists in Japanjoined the party and exchanged many interesting ideas and views.

World Woof Tour is a global campaign with the slogan “homes for homeless dogs!” led by Oscar the mutt. The tour started in South Africa and has visited as many as 30 countries and 60 animal shelters, with the message of promoting adoption for Oscar’s fellow dogs who are waiting for a happy home.

One big concern we had that day was the weather. There was torrential rain when we were setting up the site, and then there was a thunderstorm, so we were afraid that the tents might get blown away. We couldn’t make any moves for a while. In this weather, it would be cruel to take dogs who are scared of thunderstorms to the party. The ground would be muddy even if the rain stopped, and playing in the stream, one of the main attractions for the dogs, would not be possible because of all the mud. What should we do?

And then, lo and behold!
As the clock neared the start time, blue sky appeared behind the clouds, and the sky got brighter and brighter! The most powerful sunshine-bringer ever, Ms. Oliver! Her powers were at full throttle that day!

So many people joined party in spite of the weather, and their dogs had a great time running around the huge dog run with their alumni. People enjoyed talking and eating Ms. Oliver’s roast beef and lamb made using her secret recipe, as well as her specialty dip and tomato salad. It is so sad that I don’t have the pictures of that great food. KK, your writer, was struggling with to make fried noodles (yakisoba) and forgot to take pictures of the food. I’m so sorry!

Photographer Ms. Kyoko Harada also joined the party. Her pictures capture the best side of ARK animals. She took all the pictures for the ARK photo book “RESCUE!” that was published last fall. I am sure for dog owners, having pictures of their dogs taken by a professional photographer made the party really memorable.

When I look at dogs who were once in a miserable situation and have eventually found happiness with their own family, I really yearn for an animal utopia to be realized on this vast site as soon as possible.

Even while we are having a good time, many animals are falling victim to people’s selfish behavior, and are being killed inhumanely in public health centers. To save them, and to raise awareness among the Japanese, all participants in the party reaffirmed that we have to strive to complete the ARK Sanctuary project soon.

 The next Adoption Event at Green Dog will be held on Sunday, August 2.
 On Sunday, August 22, a PR exhibit will be held at Takarazuka Summer Festa 2009 (Japanese only). The theme is, “The lives of animals who were abandoned and then rescued when their families moved away.” This is being held in collaboration with ALIVE

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