Friday, July 9, 2010

Our Family's New Dog!

We have a mut. A rescue mut. She was supposed to be a wee dog when we got her. But you never can really tell when they're 4 month's old just how big they will eventually grow. Size of the feet! That's a pointer to their adult size. Works most of the time, but in this case someone didn't mention how long their legs could grow!
So we ended up with a horse!

That is one long legged, mongrel! Grown from a pup, who had been lost on Wellington's streets for months, probably a Christmas puppy gift, abandoned, found just skin and bones, starving, lost most of her hair, in such bad shape SPCA were going to euthanise her. But they took her in, gave her 2 weeks to respond to feeding or it was the end for her. Luckily she recovered.
We'd seen many dogs that left me cold that day at the Wellington SPCA when we went there to get another after 2 long time family dogs had passed on. And we'd made a pact it was going to be a small dog, something easy to manage, a dog we could leave with friends when we took off on our often long gone travels. When we saw her we knew nothing of her past, just a pup being walked past us on a leash by a wonderful volunteer walker.
When this pup walked past us, something just clicked!
And I said that's our dog.
And Lilly became part of our lives. Well, mainly mine. She and I walk to work each day. She minds my shop. Barks like mad to tell me a client is coming up the drive, then walks out the back to allow them in. She's my companion at work. Deaf to my endless rabbitting on. Forever pretending attentiveness to my latest profound diatribe. Never argues back. Just takes it on her chin as if to say "Get it off your chest. I'm listening!"
Why can't all the women in my life be like that?!!

And now our family has another dog.
Well not at home, but in Namibia. And it's not a dog you would want at home as they're rather untameable. Our new dog is an African Wild Dog or Painted Dog- one of Africa's most endangered animals. Originally estimated to number in excess of 500,000 and ranging across vast areas in Africa below the Sahara. Now sadly numbers have declined to less than 5,000! Hunting, disease and loss of wild habitat have all taken their toll.
african wilddog
At Naankuse, Namibia last August we had the privilege of seeing these up close. There are two brothers in a huge enclosure, as when taken in as pups, close human habituation has left them vulnerable if released into the wild, having lost their fear of humans. Sometimes sanctuaries have to balance up the ethics of keeping an animal in captivity against the realities of an uncertain fate if released.
Read about Naankuse here- Naankuse sanctuary
NaanKuse have recently taken in 14 wild dog pups from an area where they face persecution. With less than 200 wild dogs, (some estimates as low as 150) in all of that huge country of Namibia, there was very slim chance those pups would survive. But with possibly 10% of the entire wild dog population's survival at stake,what else should have been done?
Naankuse on facebook

Sure, the pups now in care will be human habituated, and now be unsuitable for survival if released.
This website has been set up with the object of helping fund conservation projects just like this. So our family has adopted one of these pups. And around May 2011, we will visit Naankuse and see first hand how our pup is. Take that first step in direct assistance in protecting Africa's diminishing wildlife. Adopt a Wild Dog Pup. That pup needs you!
If you have Paypal already set up then you can send the donation to
and put in the notes £50 for wild dog pup. Or use your credit card.



Norbert said...

First, I admire what you are doing; wild life conservation is something we can all learn more about.
Second, I know how it feels when you "click" with a pup. I have a dog myself (6 years old) and we've had an unmistakeable connection since day 1. It's something you can't describe, you just know and feel it, as well as the pup.

Your sponsored African Wild Dog looks really cute in that picture... totally the opposite from "wild". lol :)

Jim said...

Thanks Norbert.Yeah dogs can sure enhance your life.
Got two baby elephants to blog about shortly.Just 'adopted' two at the davidsheldrick trust in Kenya.
Hopefully, readers may take it upon themselves to do similar.Africa's diminishing wildlife needs everyone to help, and it's just another way everyone can do a wee bit to help.But collectively, we achieve a lot together.

Norbert said...

Yes, Most people know about child adoption, but I think not many people know about Wildlife adoption. It will be good to spread the word on how can people participate directly or indirectly in supporting wildlife.

Right now I'm researching on a program in South Africa that rescues orphaned monkeys and helps raising them. Sometime in the near future I will be volunteering at that program. At least it's a small gesture on helping with the cause. :D

Jim said...
Check out this project also.Been there.Blogs on here under Africa 2008.But going back next year.Possibly with a film crew.A friend is working on making that happen.
Would be keen to hear more on the chimp project.Which one?

Norbert said...

I havent done much research so far but most of what I have found is volunteer work done through "responsible" travel companies that offer volunteering. Among these I have seen , ,
A site that has some general info on monkeys and how to donate and adopt one.
I'll keep looking around to inform myself better.

Serena Lewis said...

I offered my condolences on the sad loss of Lilly on Facebook but again, I'd like to say that I know how you are feeling and I'm so sorry for your loss, Jim. I've lost beloved fur-kids too and I swear one of them reincarnated back to me in my current dog.

How wonderful that you have adopted a Painted Dog! It's so sad to me that wildlife all over the world are under threat or suffering due to human intervention. I have sponsored a couple of bears from the Free the Bears site where they are saving the Dancing Bears and ones used for their bile. This year, I am going to adopt an Orangutan in Borneo/Sumatra as well as my regular donations to help strays in Bali.

OH, how I wish we humans would stop upsetting nature's balance.

I look forward to reading your upcoming post about elephants. :)

Serena Lewis said...

Ooooops, silly me! Just noticed this post was dated back in 2010...followed your link from FB. Okay, time to check out one of your more recent posts. :)

Jim said...

No need to feel silly Serena, the post was revived because of her loss to explain a wee bit about how we got her. Thanks and yes, they become such a part of the family, don't they.