Monday, 18 August 2008

* tugging at my heart strings *

~ 18th August 2008 ~

I work in a kindergarten just behind my place and walking is of course the best and most economical reason compared to driving. As for the exercise bit, it hardly works up any sweat cos I am there within eight minutes tops.

One morning as I was nearing the school, I could hear a puppy's cry for help. It sounded as if it was coming from the huge drains just across from the school. I went in and the teacher told me a pup had fallen in.

So I went there and true enough, there was this little fella crying its lungs out for its mother to come get him. Mother was meantime walking up and down the length of the drain and saw me near her pup. She came and I spoke gently to her, clicking assuringly to let her know I meant no harm.

I gingerly held both sides of the drain and swung my feet into the deep drain. Standing in it, only my head was barely visible over the top. Imagine what a drop it had been for the little fella!

Moving slowly so as not to scare the fella, I reached it and quickly carried it up over the edge and placed it on the grass just as it turned its head around and barely missed my hand with its teeth in between a snarl. So much for gratitude.

The mother seemed grateful and they happily ran off together.

The next day, the same thing happened, twice and this time when I hesitated the second time, mother stood there and barked at me to hurry up! And to my surprise, it was a different pup.

We later discovered there were actually four pups altogether. I also noticed a few odd things I had to admire them for. When mother left them in a spot to scavenge for food, they stayed within the space she left them. One of them woke up once to find himself alone and started to howl for its mother and siblings. I came out thinking it had fallen into the drain but eventually I found it under a parked car.

The moment it saw me peering under the car, it clamped up, curled into a ball and stayed that way until its mother came back!

Another morning I heard a pup's cry for its mother and I found it in the smaller drain in front of a house's driveway. When it saw me, it stopped and looked away. I lifted the iron grill that covered the drain but it immediately walked deeper in where I could not reach it. Of course, it also snarled and snapped at me and I could see its tiny little sharp teeth. Sigh....I never could get it out and left it there.

Next day, I saw it out on the curb with its mother who seemed elated seeing me. I stroked the mother while the pup growled softly to warn me from touching it. By this time, we were wondering where the others were cos there was no sign of them for ages.

I noticed the pup's hind legs did not look normal. They seemed too relaxed as if lame. I suspected it was either due to the falls in the drain or someone's tyres had lightly rolled over them. I felt my heart strings tug and that was when my mind started to play with me.

All day I worried about the pup being knocked over as it tried to move around on its front legs, how it got from one place to another. I later found it around the same spot on its own. I walked up to it and just as I gently stroked its back, it slithered into a drain hole. I would have grabbed its tail or legs to get it out but it was growling fiercely and I did not have any protection. So I left and decided to come back for it later.

I prepared a box with two small towels and looked for my gloves that I used at my previous job. This box stayed ready at home.

It was Friday and I had the car by chance for the weekend. I cruised the area when it was not hot as I guessed it would come out from its hidey hole but I never saw it. I tried tailing its mother one day but she went somewhere else instead. I gave her biscuits in a small plastic bag a couple of times. She took the bag gently in her mouth and took it back to her pup to share. She's a good mother. She taught her pups defensive techniques and to stay and wait for her return. Sunday evening I did a few more rounds but no luck. :(

Monday morning I said a prayer that I needed to find that pup and bring it home. I wanted to check its legs and hoped that I would be able to give it a better quality life if I can help its legs be better with some massage therapy. When Guzz's mother first came to our home, one of her hind legs seemed to be limp and the vet told dad to do physio with it and now she runs and walks like any normal dog.

So, a little sad at my bad weekend search, I headed to school. Lo and behold, there was mother walking along the school's shallow drain. The teacher told me that the pup was in the drain and that's when I heard it cry for its mum. I was elated and stroked the mother who came up to me. However, when the little fella saw me, it tucked its tail in between its legs and kinda walked away to hide beneath the little bridge at my school's gate. Of course, it growled as it walked away. I tried to talk to it but it just growled and snarled and curled up quietly.

Mother left to scavenge as our fella fell asleep in that spot. I kept checking to make sure it stayed there and after school, I went out to do an errand with my mum. Upon our return, I enlisted the aid of our help and with box ready on the side, she with a broom and my hands in gloves holding a towel, I waited on one end as she tried to frighten it towards me.

The moment it knew I was waiting on the other end, it tried to go over the broom which freaked out our help as he was quite the growler. I yelled at her to shake the broom and try nudge him back at me. It was this point mother came back and she was getting excited with all the commotion. My help started to panic but I assured her the mother was not going to bite any of us.

For a suspect lame pup, it could escape quite fast from me. Partly cos it was a bit difficult for my two left feet to nimbly run in that uneven drain after it. It was in desperation I threw the towel over its head before scooping it up in my gloved hands and shouting for the box as I got out of the drain. The little fella howled and mother started to bark concern.

Funnily as soon as I placed the little fella into the box, it gave one last yelp and curled up into a ball and shut up! Even when I called its mother to come reassure it, it did not make one squeek. I softly told its mother I was taking her baby home to take care of his legs, to give him a better life. She seemed to understand and enjoyed the stroking from me as I spoke. When I stood up, she just looked at us and stood aside. I said to my mum to drive a little faster as I did not want mother to follow us.

Surprisingly she did not. This got me thinking, 'Maybe her pup being where it was was not a coincidence but her own feelings of assurance knowing I was there to watch over it. I guess she did not think I would take it away from her. I'm sorry but I can only afford to take one home.

From the minute the little fella was placed in the box to my house, it made no sounds. It did not try to climb out of the box nor get up at all. I readied a bigger box and gently tipped it into it. He gave me a suspicious stare as he moved to a corner in bewilderment.

He was afraid of his new surroundings and of the crazy person that kept talking softly to him and patting him on the sides of his face. He wanted his mother but he dared not cry out. However he was beginning to enjoy that patting and his eyes felt heavy. He was getting sleepy but he was still cautious and kept opening his eyes often to make sure his patter was not going to harm him. Sleepy....sooo sleepy.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

* Fluke or Real? *

~ 05th August 2008 ~

In my first blog post I mentioned of a probable heart attack if Guzz starts talking to me one day. didn't quite happen that way today but let's just say I had early angina.

Guzz has been banned from the entering the house for more than two weeks now. Prior to this he was more of the house dog than the watch dog. There were nights when I locked up, he would give me that 'uh uh ' look and sprint into my bedroom, laying in wait with sad eyes as I come round to get him out. Of course, one look and I was emotionally manipulated to let him stay. Sometimes you can see me doing a fitful dance as I fought within myself to let or not let him sleep in!

He has since accepted the fact his indoor priviledges have been revoked and some days he would stand ready to rush in when I am opening the door but backs off when I warn him to forget his intentions. Other times he would just watch me from a distance as if he was not bothered.

So today, my mum and help came awhile and I left the grill slightly ajar. Guzz seized the oppourtunity to sit just inside the entrance on the mat. Pretty soon he was comfortably fast asleep, his nose twitching as he dreamt of whatever dogs dream of.

Later, our help said something and he moved places within the same place and laid his head on his paws almost dozing. She commented on how comfortable he was.

I stood about 4 feet from him and this is what happened.

I said, "Mmm.." (Ahem!) He stirred a bit, slowly lifting his lids a quarter open.

Then I said, "Ah...." (Yes...?!)His eyes opened slightly more and there was a hint of a wag somewhere.

"SO?" (Well..??!!) His tail began to wag harder and he lifted his head slightly in my direction.

"Hor" (Well??!! in a tone higher) He gets up, stretches and smiles at me.

"What?" (What you gonna do?) He turns towards the door and steps out, tail wagging slowly and makes a 360 degrees turn and looks at me.
He yawns while still wagging his tail, a consistent pendulum rhythm and gives me his sad eyes " It was just for a little while..."

I turned to our help and pointed out how he understood my intentions without me actually saying words like get up or go outside, etc.

Then I looked at Guzz, " You know very well what you are not supposed to do yet you tried huh?"
" Don't give me that look and go drink some water. "
Guzz looks at me, yawns again and shifts about.
" I said go drink some water "
He gives me a strange look and slowly turns to his left before walking in that direction. My hair stood a little as I realised he was heading towards his water bowl.
I walked to the doorway and to my * Indescribable feeling * , watched him with incredulity as he drinks from his water bowl! Yes, part of the hairs along my back stood at his reaction to my unspoken words. He knew all along what I was getting at and got back at me by doing exactly what I wanted of him.

Would you call it fluke? Or was it a coincidence? Or is my Guzz really that smart?

Sunday, 3 August 2008

* Caack! Aack! Ssssstttt!!! *

~ 3rd August 2008 ~

Ok....I had planned on starting with a story of my dog Samo after a long 'hiatus' of sorting out my life and lazy fingers.....BUT... I have to spit this out! It's too much on my mind now.
I have been fighting the cold for a few days now and with the haze outside, it's been very bad. It is quite bad for me because sometimes I feel as if a hundred smokers just left my house after a puff. And the lingering smoke is invading my nostrils and lungs and I honestly, honestly feel as if I'll go into respiratory failure any time as my nose gets so badly stuffed up and the you know what is filling up inside my very sore throat and the cough.....the cough.....sigh....
Anyway, I was taking a shower earlier and just as I closed my eyes to wash the cleanser off my face, I felt something run over my foot! In that split second I tried to reassure myself it was just the itsy bitsy bunch of hair I rinsed off my hands after applying conditioner but trouble is I remember seeing it go down the drain. So in mighty haste I tried to rinse my face clean and open my eyes in almost the same time.
It was as I had suspected, a lone cockcroach had just run off to the side wall, trying to avoid the shower. I grabbed the shower spout off its place and started to spray at it towards the metal cover of the drain hole. As I opened the cover, I nearly fell over when more came out of it!!! I backed away in fright (trust me, it was no easy task as it is not a huge bathroom) and sprayed at them as fast as they came rushing out towards me.
Dumping the shower spout into the sink and believe it or not, I had actually contemplated amidst my fears and fright in that crazy moment, which position would be best so that it would not spray all over the place! I unlatched the door and ran out to get the insect spray. Naked, wet and shampoo dripping from my head, I ran back in and started spraying at them as they rushed to the door. SSssssttttt! Ssstttt!!!SSSttt!! SStt!! There were at least six of them and they immediately turned over, legs waving about in the air. I sssstttt a bit more at them to lessen their suffering and suffocation or whatever.
Standing at the door with the spray can in my hand, I tapped the door just in case one got farther than I expected and then looked at the upturned bodies, I sprayed the metal cover for assurance and started to spray water at the dead bodies towards the drain hole.
Caack! Caacck! I went, the fumes from the spray and the steam from the hot to me as i washed those poor fellas to where they came from. Caacck!! Aack!! I felt my chest was about to explode with the whole combination of insecticide spray and hot water and steam and fright just got me coughing and gagging like crazy for a whole ten minutes.
Of course I had to finish my shower and that's how long I caaccked and aacked till I was able to breathe proper air once I got out of the door. I looked at the spray can and smiled. My hero. Works everytime like a charm.
I finally found a brand that got at them in two bursts. Usually they would turn over, legs kicking in the air and then turn back upright and run away and I would be chasing and spraying some more..... But this one, once makes it fall over. Two, it would be kicking a little before it stops. I would spray another time (at larger ones)to help it die faster as I can't stand to see it struggling. Humane or just to make sure? Mmmm.....
I'm sorry but cockcroaches scare me, especially when they fly! I usually leave the lizards and spiders to wander about with a warning to never come near me or startle me unnecessarily. Yet I cannot offer the same to the cockcroaches. I'd go berserk at the sight of one and you can see me rushing off to the nearest spray can.
So, here I am, safe in my room, safe from these roaches and with my effective spray can parked safely beside me just in case.....:P