by Deborah
On a Thursday hike to Doi Pui in December Jamie and I were struck by the misery of a female dog in the Hmong village, tied up to a post 24 hours a day for months, near to starvation and nursing 3 pups. Poorly looking and emaciated we wondered how she could provide nourishment for her pups. Thanks to Deng, we were able to talk to the owners and negotiate for her to be taken to the vet’s. However we realized that we would have to wait until the pups were weaned. On Thursday 13th January Jamie returned to confirm the pups were no longer nursing and that we could come and take her on Sunday 16th. The reason they gave for tying her up was that she had chased chickens. She was 2 years old. Whilst hiking the name Angel came to me and although for a while she was Charlie (Jamie’s choice) he decided he preferred Angel. During the hiking group’s lunch break I collected 1330 baht from generous hikers and we put this towards the cost of her hospital care.

Jamie and I drove up to the Hmong village after the hike with a borrowed cage in the back of the car. Jamie had decided to foster her himself, rather than take her to one of the dog rescue centres. Little did she know how lucky she was! Up at the compound there were no adults, only 4 lovely Hmong children aged from 3 to 12 doing their homework outside one of the 2 houses. They were 2 sets of siblings and very friendly. They untied Angel and watched as we fed her tasty morsels of fresh chicken to coax her into the cage. Meanwhile I distracted the pups with pieces of chicken and the more aggressive male bit my finger trying to get at the piece in my hand. Jamie found a bag of seaweed strips for the children, who must have been wondering why the dogs got all the treats! I promised them copies of the photos I took and when we return I may also take crayons and drawing pads with me. They told me they loved their school, which is just behind the compound.

Pics of Rescue of Angel from Baan Khun Chiang Kian

Once in the car poor Angel was traumatized and soiled her cage on the way down to Chiang Mai. It was a smelly and stressful journey for all of us! We took her to the Metta Animal Centre in Chiang Mai Land, run by two wonderful Thai vets. We were allowed to put her in a large cage in the garden, as the sound of the barking dogs upstairs would have traumatized her further. Not wanting to rush into things she stayed there for 2 nights. The following day she got a much-needed bath and all the fleas and ticks were gone. Her blood tests showed negative for parasites. We visited her in shifts and when I next saw her she was looking so much better. However she was terrified of being touched and even looked at so we sat near her cage and talked to her softly as we read our books.

Pics of Rescue of Angel at Metta Clinic

On Tuesday afternoon Jamie came to take her home. Her bill came to 1500 baht, so the hikers’ donations had almost covered it. Now at home in a room of her own, Angel is a little more relaxed but doesn’t move around at all, simply because her life had been at the end of a short piece of rope. Jamie has moved his computer into the room and I am here while he is hiking to dog sit and keep her company. It will take much time and patience to gain her trust. She needs to learn that all human beings are not threats to her.

My dog bite took me to the government hospital emergency room in Suthep road, where I lay surreally on a trolley for 2 hours and went home vaccine-free because I didn’t have enough money on me for shots. The following day I went to RAM hospital and am now having 5 rabies shots over a month, total cost 5000 baht! An expensive rescue for me but if Angel has a good life, it will be well-worth it.