At barely 14 kg and near death’s door, she was spotted by Azim and his mother in Kajiado tied on a tree. They heard she had eaten a chicken and the chicken owner had tied her up without food or water for many days so ‘she could die’. She had puppies during that time as they lay dead near her. She possibly ate some to stay alive. The worst case of abuse we have come across! She spend weeks in hospital and had numerous vet visits as she battled with her health. But here is the good news: Sasha in her adoption home with her best mate Mada, who loves dressing Sasha up! Since December, Mada and her mother collected Sasha every weekend so she could get used to their home slowly and without trauma. Last month she went for good and has settled super well. And what is so amazing about dogs is that they never hold grudges. Sasha loves all people- maybe we as people can take something away from this?
At times, animal lovers are frustrated that TNR isn’t able to rescue all animals in distress. Here is why: picking up a dog is often the easiest part of a rescue/rehome case. It takes a village of VOLUNTEERS to get to a successful end: these are the people involved in Sasha’s rehabilitation: Amy dealing with the distress call and finding someone to collect the animal, Carla and Julie picking her up, Dr. Cockar, Dr Silvester and nursing team for saving her, Ameera and Whitney and husbands fostering many months, several volunteers socialising her, Eric walking her daily, David, Hanne and Jo for advertising and meeting with interested adopters, and adopters who are willing to take the time to get the dog used to a new home. Not to mention all the people who donated towards her bills. Unless many more people are willing to spend time and money, we can only rescue what we can handle!
Violet lives in a flat. She considered this before adopting Pinky :
1. Does the landlord allow pets in the flat?
2. How do my neighbours feel about dogs?
3. Is it safe for my dog to freely walk in a shared compound?
At times, we get interested adopters who upon checking with the landlord about acceptance of pets that he has changed his mind. We encourage everyone to consider all scenarios and engage all parties who can thwart your dream of having a pet before getting one. It will avoid a lot of heartache!
Violet is delighted with Pinky.
As soon as Pinky is sterilised she will go to her new home.
Joey is our first adoption in 2019! Last pup of a litter of nine from our rescued momma Tiggy he went to a five star home recently. He is a great match for this home as he has to fit in with different people and dogs. He likes everybody, just like his mother.
We have five long-stay fosters remaining. They are all ready for their own home. Watch our updated album. All they need is people with some patience and understanding. …. They are waiting for you to call !
At first Upepo was nervous of cars, bikes, loud noises and people, but by taking her out of the compound for short intervals on a harness once she had settled in, and again by giving her lots of cheese treats while out walking, she’s now the one pulling me along. Even matatus no longer scare her.
It’s not all been an easy ride however. With her new-found confidence other behaviours we don’t like have emerged. She jumps up, and thinks the sofas are hers to climb onto (not good with wet, mud caked paws) but we are trying to teach her she only gets attention from us if she’s sitting or has four feet on the ground. This is definitely work in progress.
Her mouthing too sometimes hurts. She has lots of energy and nips when she wants to play. We have realised the worst thing to do is to scream and wave the nipped body part around – because she thinks that’s a continuation of the game. So, I’ve told the children to try (as hard as it is) not to yell and to stand still, to turn away and to wrap their arms around themselves. When she’s calm – they pet her. She doesn’t get any attention for behaviours we don’t like.
Upepo was sterilised. We don’t need to add to the problem of unwanted pets in Nairobi by having puppies (Fonzie is already sterilised but I’ve heard other dogs can easily find a way in to the compound if one is on heat inside).
I’m also worried about the number of stolen dogs in Nairobi – usually used for breeding – so I’ve had her dog tag engraved with the words ‘I’ve been sterilised’ along with my phone number, just in case an unsavoury type thinks she’d be a good addition for their puppy mill.
She has been a lot of hard work, but with continual training she will be a wonderful pet. We adore her and the whole experience has been extremely fulfilling. I know we have given a loving home to a dog that would otherwise have had an awful life on the streets and we can’t imagine being here – or anywhere else in the world for that matter – without her.
My one bit of advice to anyone thinking of getting a dog is to make sure that you get good advice about training from someone who uses positive reinforcement. It works wonders and your dog will love you all the more for it. A fearful dog is not a happy dog. Oh and make sure you train the whole family – it won’t be just the dog who benefits from it.
I’ve learned that children and dogs are not the most natural of bed fellows. Children like to pull tails or ears or give out unwanted cuddles which may make a dog feel uncomfortable. Children can’t always see or understand a dog’s warning signals showing they feel threatened – which can then result in a nip or a bite. People often forget that it’s equally as important to train children how to behave around dogs as it is to train the dog’s themselves.
Her mother was a street dog, and extremely nervous – and Upepo was equally as wary, especially of strangers. She barked at the staff constantly which became annoying.
By asking them to drop bits of chicken or cheese on the floor around the kitchen where they worked (for her to gobble them up) she slowly began to associate them with delicious treats. They are now all very tolerant of each other.
She still barks at strangers, but I don’t mind that. She’s a great guard dog – giving out lots of warnings to people she doesn’t know. But to stop it becoming annoying or developing into aggressive behaviour, instead of telling her off, I call her to me and give her some tasty chicken treats to distract and encourage her to settle under my desk and give her a tummy rub. She wants to protect me and my family because I’m the source of all things good!
And that’s the other thing…she loves my children because she’s learned they’re messy eaters and if she hangs around at dinner time, food falls from the table to the floor. My children are another source of good tasty treats – and she’s a great hoover!
Our decision to adopt a dog was not a difficult one for my family. We had recently arrived in Nairobi and our other very sociable rescue dog (rescued from Spain) was bored and lonely in our compound. We had promised the children that with a larger garden we could accommodate a new puppy.
I was desperate to find one that suited our requirements (under 6 months and female) as quickly as possible. I know that puppies can be destructive, so hoped to find one before our shipment arrived with our furniture. By then I knew (with training) I could have a puppy house trained – so no peeing on our rugs and hopefully she would be less inclined to chew everything!
Having contacted the TNR Trust to find a suitable dog – Monsoon was suggested as a match.
The strict verification process, as well as insisting on a vaccination and sterilisation programme, including a home visit, reassured me that the TNR Trust would help me adopt a dog with the dog’s best interests at heart. I’ve always believed that it’s important to be a responsible and able dog owner – or not one at all.
When Monsoon (now renamed Upepo – which means ‘wind’ in Swahili) arrived at home she was terrified and sat shivering in a cupboard in the kitchen refusing to come out. I left her to sleep until she felt comfortable in her environment and when the children arrived home, I gave them bits of chicken to give her – giving them the opportunity to interact with her by giving her treats, rather than overwhelming her with cuddles.