Jul 28, 2018

Arunachala Animal Sanctuary's July Report

Now that's what I call a real hug!
Now that's what I call a real hug!

Namaste' dear People. Good morning!

It's morning here and the hot season is winding down. Nights and early mornings are comfortable, tho' it does get close to 100 degrees midafternoon.

Our Precious Ones still cluster around the eight air coolers in the Shelter. Mornings,  they're starting to get pretty active...chasing...romping...or, simply trotting around, solo, every once in a while stopping for a Furry One exchange.

There are aspects of it that are like a human community. The younger ones energetic. The more mature ones, having more civil-like, dignified exchanges. The older ones, a little more sedentary--sometimes lifting a critical eye as two or three of the youngsters bolt by. Friends "hang out" together. Some, going thru a healing energy/body period, lie close to one another.

We've been busy since I've last written. Our stats for April, May, and June are:

  • Clinic Visits……………............. 1,592
  • In-Patient Treatments............... 2,381
  • Emergency Rescues................ ...180
  • Dogs Sterilized…………………....188
  • Anti-rabies injections…….............454
  • Animal Adoptions………………......20
  • Non Dogs Treated…………….......196 
  • (67 cows & calves, 55 goats & sheep, 37 cats, 8 monkeys, 6 birds, 8 rabbits, 1 parrot, 1 eagle,1 owl, 9 hens, 2 deer, 1 peacock)  

The rest of this Report is about love. A few of you have seen the below write-up, but it captures the vibration of the Shelter. So, with joy, I repeat it here for all.

I used to talk about how our Voiceless Ones run free and are happy. And how beautifully our devoted Staff cared for them. And I would talk about how deep healing would only take place if they felt safe, cared for, and loved. From the beginning  I regularly talked to our beloved Staff, telling them how centrally important the love and caring were. How it wasn't Dr.Raja, Vishwa, or myself that gave them that love and caring, that is was them. That no one could tell them how to do it, and that they had to find their own way. But that it wasn't just a case of being "nice, gentle, and attentive". The Furry Ones could tell the difference between someone that was just being "very nice", and someone that really cared. It was more important to be very real than to just be very nice. They, over time, found their own ways...and each has a different relationship with the Furry Ones.

For many years I viewed the main reason our Voiceless Ones were happy running free was our loving, devoted Staff caring for them.

But my understanding, only recently, has deepened. The foregoing is certainly true, but I no longer think it's the central thing. it's part of a much broader thing: that is, the energy of the entire place. Everyone feels good. And that is the overall setting these creaures live in.

The relationship between the doctors and Vishwa (and now, Elaine) is not structured...and their relationship with the Staff is not structured. Everything is flowing and moves around permeated with Heart. There aren't fixed layers of authority, tho' there are clear understandings of whose responsible for what, and who has authority. There are clear paths of communication. It's hard to describe. You have to spend a couple of hours here just observing. Nothing seems to be rigidly organized. Yet, everthing is getting done--not in a confusing way, but in a flowing way. There is no laxness. But everyone is comfortable going with the general energy flows that require them to rest, or take a break in some way (understanding that they don't have to be busy, just to be busy). When concentrated, coordinated effective action is needed, which happens frequently, it unfolds quite naturally.

Supervisor Raja has an incredibly light touch. In a real sense he's simply mingling as the day unfolds. There's no separation between him doing very basic things, and being aware of how everything's unfolding in the entire Shelter. He's the epitome of "ordinariness". And what a beautiful ordinariness! His energy subtly pervades the Shelter. The Staff are really close to him. Exchanges between him and directions to do something, unfold in the most ordinary way. He's one of our PureHearts. The animals adore him. He loves and is devoted to Dr. Raja. He and Vishwa are very close...Keep in mind that Vishwa is fully responsible for the overall running of the Shelter. Vishwa has a gazillion things to do, and he and Supervisor Raja are in communication a number of times throughout the day.

I tell my people that I could come into our beloved Shelter...and write volumes on what's wrong. I tell them, tho', that that's just "mind" coming in. When you walk into this place...This Haven...This wonderful, wonderful sanctuary...you could write a book on what could be done differently...But that is being blind to "What is"..."What exists before your very eyes"...My Baba used to say, "The world is as you see it...You can be in Heaven, itself, and have a whole litany of grievances of what's wrong...You can be in very difficult circumstances and have a collection of things that are right. It all depends on Ones Inner State."

It is a place of Love...Of Peace...Of Life. And above all, a place of Heart. 

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On a lighter note...Here are some of the Shelter Heart stories and vignettes that many of you tell me you enjoy and are moved by. Several of you have said that of all things I write about, this section is, by far, your favorite. Well...here it goes

Starting out with a really light one.

The Mongoose.

Deep well, maybe 20 to 25 feet. Vishwa descended on a rope to a ledge where the little, innocent-looking, gentle babe was stranded.

He lowered himself to the level of the ledge, and started talking sweetly to her. She wasn't very big, and seemed a little threatened. She didn't respond at first, but he went on, and slowly moved towards her...Then - suddenly - she let out a loud ferocious, terrifying (don't know what to call it,but let me use the word "roar"). It jolted and frightened our fearless hero, who let go of the rope and fell backwards into the water.

Then, more respectfully, Dharma, who was topside, got ahold of a blue plastic bin with a metal cover. Vishwa used it to capture the "little sweetie". They got her up and out, where there were thick bushes and trees nearby. And off she went. In a flash she was gone, without even looking back for a "civilized thank you".

Mongooses are formidable hunters. They're lightning-fast, and have razor sharp teeth. Their speed and agility in attacking poisonous snakes is legendary. 

Pooja...Gentle...Good natured, Pooja.

She was young. Maybe eleven or twelve months. Half Dalmatian. Medium size. Slender. 

She was first brought to us in the clinic when she was one month old. She’d been blind at birth. Dr.Raja tried to treat her eye disorder, but she couldn’t be helped. Some months later a small boy found her at the side of the road. So weak she could barely stand. And very frightened. The people who “owned her” had thrown her out. 

We put her in a room off the veranda. To keep her in the room we put a 2 ½ foot high board across the gate leading to the veranda. Three puppies were kept with her so she’d have company and could snuggle when she slept. And there she stayed for over a month. Her strength and confidence slowly built, and she came to know where all the objects were. 

She’d race in really tight circles without going anywhere. I thought because that way she wouldn’t run into anything. Dr.Raja thought it might be an emotional problem. Who really knows? (Just thought of a great animal psychic in Mt. Shasta California who would actually know.).

And then we unblocked the gate leading to the veranda. It took a week to start putting her paw outside the door, but quickly pulling it back. For her…anything could be out there…A chasm?...An endless field?...One day she stepped onto the veranda, and then quickly back. After some time she was wandering around amongst the other Furry Ones. They were harsh with her at the beginning as she walked into them or stepped on their heads while they were resting. The Staff gave her a lot of reassurance and support. The Furry Ones started realizing that something was wrong and that she simply couldn’t help it. She became joyful…and would run around bumping into everyone. Kissing. Sniffing. Sometimes moving back when another dog was irritated and started barking at her. Sometimes she barked back. 

Sometimes I’d put her on my lap, gently, stroking and hugging her. She loved it. She was very happy, but I think the Shelter was too stressful for her.

We found a home. A quiet home, with a really sweet older couple. 

Dear…Dear...Sweet Pooja.

Ten Calves Rescued from Slaughter.

The Shelter received a call that 28 calves, illegally bought for slaughter, were being held outside in the sun. No water. No food. Suffering. 

I sent Vishwa. Told him to take photos. And to be careful, not to get aggressive until I got there. In the meantime, I called the Vice-Chairman of the Animal Welfare Board of India, and verified the law. (We didn’t have the authority to impound. Only the Police Dept. or the Municipality could do it.) I asked Dr.Raja to contact a police sub-inspector who supports our work to see if he could be ready to move quickly for us. 

When I got to the scene, the Municipality had already moved to impound them, and were waiting for trucks to transport them. The Police Dept. was going to turn them over to the Shelter. The calves had been moved into the shade and given water and grass. We left and prepared to receive them at the Shelter.

We then got word that thru political pressure the Police Dept. had released the calves to the butchers on the basis of a written statement that they would be treated well and would not be slaughtered. (Right…They were going to keep them as pets?). Some “heavy hitter” political figures had intervened and we were unable to offset it. 

We then got a pledge of 60,000 rupees to try to buy them. But it was too late. They were all gone…and probably slaughtered. 

But then, miracle of miracles. A week later, totally unexpectedly (we still have no idea what happened except that the counter political pressure we put forth bore fruit), the police turned over ten of the calves to us on the basis of an order from the Court. 

Thru an animal activist in Chennai we were put in touch with an organization that saves cows and gives them a good life. They had rescued over a thousand. 

We had them for a week. Vishwa took beautiful care of them (what else would our Martian do)…Hay, green grass, oil cakes, etc…But most of all, and most importantly, they were bathed in love—tender strokes, hugs, kisses, massages. Veera, who loves cows, watched over them at night. 

Vishwa then sent them off to Chennai in a large lorry where they had an enormous amount of room. He put dry straw on the floor so it would be soft. Good hay for eating. Arranged an elaborate cover over the back of the lorrey to protect them from the sun. Arranged to stop and give them green grass and water half way. Sent Veera along to reassure and care for them. 

Almost anyone else would have stuffed them in an open back lorrey and just shipped them…That’s our Saint Vishwa.

 A Sweetiepie Doberman Pup

She was only four months old, and had been throwing up and not eating. Her owner travelled 100 kms in a hired car so that Dr.Raja would be the one to treat her. 

Dr.Raja took an x-ray that revealed a large mass of stones in her stomach. She had been eating them over a period of time. 

The operation lasted 2 ½ hours. And it turned out to be about 40 stones weighing 1/2 kg. 

She convalesed for two weeks. When her owner came to get her, you can only imagine how overjoyed she was. 

A benediction I wrote at the time: You are a sweetheart…And your owner loves you…May all Beings benefit…Om Namah Shivaya.

 A Duck.

This guy was about six months old. Some compassionate person brought him in. 

I don’t know where they got him. But he was almost dead from malnutrition. Dr.Raja gave him neurobion injections for vitamins. We fed him fruit and veggies (bananas, carrots, etc.) and both raw and cooked rice. 

When he gained some strength he liked to swim around in a large tub of water.

We kept him a month and then got him to a good bird sanctuary in Chennai. 

May all beings gain compassionate understanding

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This brings us to the end of the Report.

Hoping that each of you is doing excellently...That you're unfolding beautifully and strongly, inside. My Baba said that nothing is gained without some inner austerity. I sometimes think of it in wordly terms for myself as, "Growing up ain't easy!"

As in previous reports, I've included a collection of photos. Hoping you enjoy them. Remember...the theme is simply LOVE.

 

                              PLEASE...REMEMBER...DONATIONS.

 

                 THE PRECIOUS ONES NEED US...AND WE NEED YOU.

 

RECURRING DONATIONS, EVEN QUITE MODEST ONES, ARE BEST FOR US.

 

PLEASE...KEEP YOUR SUPPORT COMING.

 

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With love, blessings, and wishes for all things good...May we all be blessed with more compassionate understanding.

Leslie, The Ageing Expatriate Warrior

 

 

Dr. Raja with his magical hands and Pure Heart.
Dr. Raja with his magical hands and Pure Heart.
One of the Precious Ones that needs us.
One of the Precious Ones that needs us.
And this Sweetie too, who's not doing too well.
And this Sweetie too, who's not doing too well.
And, here are some more Precious Ones.
And, here are some more Precious Ones.
And, yet some more.
And, yet some more.
Our beloved Staff--Here for the Precious Ones.
Our beloved Staff--Here for the Precious Ones.
A nice lick for Elaine.
A nice lick for Elaine.
Gentle Dr. Ramakrishna.
Gentle Dr. Ramakrishna.
Pandi...a truly Fearless Hero.
Pandi...a truly Fearless Hero.
Supervisor Raja feeding hungry rescued calves.
Supervisor Raja feeding hungry rescued calves.
Frightened baby. Can't get out of well.
Frightened baby. Can't get out of well.
Mom. Almost hysterical..Vishwa got the Little One.
Mom. Almost hysterical..Vishwa got the Little One.
Vishwa on another deep, deep  well rescue.
Vishwa on another deep, deep well rescue.
Sekar...Releasing an eagle we'd treated.
Sekar...Releasing an eagle we'd treated.
This Little One enjoys being an only kid.
This Little One enjoys being an only kid.
He's feeling very safe.
He's feeling very safe.
Feeling safe and loved.
Feeling safe and loved.
Leslie's our biggest kisser. Everything but cobras
Leslie's our biggest kisser. Everything but cobras
He has a beautiful, pure Heart.
He has a beautiful, pure Heart.
Getting close to the sweetheart.
Getting close to the sweetheart.
Sugana's the Mom for all the infant monkeys.
Sugana's the Mom for all the infant monkeys.
My absolute favorite...Vishwa's daughter, Leslie.
My absolute favorite...Vishwa's daughter, Leslie.
They simply love Vishwa...All the animals do.
They simply love Vishwa...All the animals do.
Leslie..On the streets..They need us..We need you.
Leslie..On the streets..They need us..We need you.

Links:

Apr 21, 2018

Arunachala Animal Sanctuary's April Report

Dr. Ramakrishna and some of our beloved Staff.
Dr. Ramakrishna and some of our beloved Staff.

Good Morning Dear People, 

Yes, it’s morning as I start. Actually, I’m fond of the beautiful Indian greeting, ”Namaste’”—"I bow to your Innermost Self"...So..."Namaste".

In the West we don’t have stray dogs. In India, it is an enormous problem, and they can suffer, deeply. 

Early 2006, after forty years of Municipal slaughtering, we managed to stop the brutal killing of the homeless dogs in what was an unsuccessful attempt to cull the population - but with the caveat that we establish an effective population control program. 

Things were really bad when we opened January 2007. There were well over 5,000 homeless dogs. Perhaps over 6,000, or 7,000. The population was out of control. Starving. Fighting. Diseased. Injured. There were 350 suffering and dying animals on the streets. Mostly puppies and dogs, but among them were stricken cows, monkeys and others, too. The relationship with the human community was terrible. There was much abuse. There were many aggressive dogs. Many bites. Rabies. There was no small animal vet within 70 km. And no facility for treatment. There was unbounded suffering. It was the worst situation I’d seen and it was awful. 

Eleven years now since we opened…and this has all changed. Thru December, 2017 we have done:

  • Emergency Rescues……………5,094
  • Dogs Sterilized…………………..6,954
  • Anti-rabies injections…….........14,422
  • Clinic Visits……………………..44,573
  • In-Patient Treatments………  120,356
  • Animal Adoptions………………  1,041
  • Non Dogs Treated……………… 4,239  
  • (1,169 cows & calves, 1,072 goats & sheep, 635 cats, 200 monkeys, 768 birds, 150 rabbits, 23 squirrels, 30 donkeys, 19 pigs, 27 peacocks, 34 parrots, 3 eagles, 53 horses, 6 bullocks, 18 deer, 6 snakes, 6 turkeys, 2 owls, 12 ducks, 2 mongooses, 3 chameleons, 1 turtle).                               

Today it is different. The homeless dog population is decreasing for the first time in forty years, AND it is rabies-free. There are no more suffering and dying animals on the streets. There are 10,000 fewer puppies born each year, almost all of whom would have suffered and died. There is no more widespread abuse, and thus very few aggressive dogs, and only a small fraction of dog bites. 

The most important thing that has happened is that the relationship between the homeless dogs and the people amongst whom they live day in, day out has been totally transformedWithout that transformation, the impact of whatever else is done is significantly limited—the animals would be subject to the same indifference, the same absence of protection when they are in harm's way, the same unaided difficulties in their ongoing search for food and water. The same absence of affection. 

One can experience the change when walking on the streets. Each year, street conditions get better and better, and Tiru is amongst the very few municipalities of size where this has happened. In the poignant words of a longtime Tiru resident named Dev, made at the fourth anniversary puja…”Public memory is short. Few can recall the rampant stray dogs everywhere, young and aged, starving and diseased, scavenging in the garbage heaps, fighting amongst themselves, ignored and abused by the human population, while remaining a menace to all including themselves. In four short years, the roads are more peaceful, with few strays to be seen, and the naturally loving relationship between humans and animals restored to its true state.”

Monthly:

  • We are doing 40 to 100 Sterilizations
  • Giving 70 to 125 anti-rabies injections.
  • Going out on 60 to 120 emergency rescues.(Almost all of whom are “homeless dogs”, but others, too.)
  • The clinic is busy. We are getting 550 to 700 out-patient visits, most of whom are “owner dogs”.
  • Giving 1,200 to 1,600 treatments to in-patients, almost all of whom are “homeless dogs”.
  • Placing 6 to 15 puppies in good homes.
  • Treating 30 to 75 animals other than dogs.

Things are going excellently. The expanded space for the Veranda dogs is fully open. It has two to three times more room. The Precious Ones love it. They're running around chasing, wrestling, and playing games. They're finding new places to rest, and to snuggle, and to bask in the sun. They're hiding under the stone benches, cuddling in the baskets and, one of their favorites...sitting in chairs. We purchased a dozen more chairs for them, that we occasionally use, too!  

The new clinic is very, very busy and we need a third doctor. Fortunately, and this is a real blessing, there’s a young woman who was with us for six months, two years ago, who left to do her postgrad work in Surgery at Madras Veterinary College. She’s finishing in June and is going to rejoin us. Her name is Dr. Heera. She’s a solid clinician, and her energy is like the rising sun. Om Namah Shivaya…In the meantime, a young vet who recently finished her post grad work and wants to teach at the college needed temporary work, and she is going to be with us until June. 

I want now, to take a little time to tell you about the love in which our beloved Shelter is immersed. We are all connected thru the Heart. Whenever I show up I'm simply swallowed in the mutual gladness of seeing everyone...And, blessing of blessings, our Precious Ones bask in that energy. 

First and foremost, there are Dr. Raja and Vishwa. They're such incredible Beings, that I deeply feel they were yogis with significant attainment in a prior life. (And I very, very seldom experience or talk about prior life things.) That such incredible souls were sent to me...that I was entrusted with being their teacher...is humbling. And, of course, I'm no longer their teacher. They are on their own legs now, with their own strengths, and have taken things beyond where I feel I could have taken them, even in my prime. They are running things. I am overseeing. Distantly though. I place my head at their feet. 

We meet very early every Monday morning for several hours at the Sparsa Resort restaurant for our regular weekly meeting-- Dr. Raja. Vishwa. Elaine. Dr. Ramakrishna. And myself. There is such Heart in the meetings. The discussions are so imbued with feeling, insight, and compassion. They are so productive. 

And yes, Elaine, our beloved veterinary nurse, is back! We're not the only ones who are happy. The Voiceless Ones, too. 

She told me a nice story about two young women from Europe who volunteered for three weeks. They were a little anxious about being so close to "all the pain" when they first started...and cried when they left...because the Precious Ones were so happy. 

The shakti inside the Shelter is simply uplifting. People visiting us, now with the expanded space, are deeply moved. Some, who are animal-lovers, get teary because they didn’t know a facility like ours existed. Wish you could come visit and experience it. 

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On a lighter note…Here are some Shelter Heart Stories and vignettes. Have heard from a number of you of how much you enjoyed and were moved by these stories…Several of you said that of all the things I write about, this section was, by far, your favorite…and asked me if I could expand it…Well, dear people, I’ll try. 

Ranjeet Maharaj.

He was an awkward, gangly "teenager" in the dog world. He had yet to grow into his long legs, large paws, and oversized ears. He limped into Shivani's house with open mange sores, fleas, and smelling. He had been heavily abused on the street...and, no one wanted him.  

He must have sensed a kind stranger in Shivani, for he immediately laid down on one of her cushions and slept and slept. 

Shivani brougnt him to us, where Dr. Raja treated him with medication and the Staff gave him a special bath for his skin condition. After four days, Shivani picked him up and got his medication. It seems he had found a home. He has adopted Shivani! He is now called Ranjeet Maharaj. 

The regeneration of young, forlorn Swetha. 

We got her when she was a little over a year. She'd been an "owner" dog, but was simply abandoned when they left. Vishwa got reports of her for several weeks, and finally caught her.                                                                                   

She was scared and confused. The family probably had children whom she loved. They just dumped her…And left. She lost everything that was dear to her. Without any understanding, it was just GONE. 

We gave her a lot of love. A lot of stroking...and kissing. 

The beauty of it is how quickly she bounced back. She was absolutely joyful, and bounded around wrestling and chasing. She adored supervisor Raja! I named her Beauty. But someone else named her Swetha, which is what stuck. 

She was a joy to watch. She played so hard, that she would sometimes drink enough for a camel to make a desert crossing. 

We got a call from someone who found a home for her in Nilgiri, which is seven hours away by car. It’s a beautiful area. It was with an elderly lady who loved Dalmatians and had one whose partner had recently died. She had a lot of land, and a caretaker who really liked dogs. Swetha would have been outside on the land most of the day. Clearly, she would have been taken care of beautifully. But I told the lady that I felt Swetha needed a home-type setting, children, and a lot of active loving. And, that her situation, tho’ she would be taken care of beautifully, wouldn’t provide the essence of what Swetha’s super-affectionate nature needed. 

Vishwa found a good home for her locally. She, in a sense, wouldn’t be given as much “care”. But they had two boys, four and eight, who were over the top at the prospect of getting her. They came to the Shelter several times…the father and the boys…It was a match made in Heaven.

(Om Namah Shivaya dear Swetha…We missed your joyful presence.) 

He almost didn’t make it.

His owners brought him in. Only 3 or 4 years old. He’d taken in a lot of phosphorus pesticide. He was salivating. His breathing was forced. And, the upper part of his chest was convulsing. It was pretty bad. 

Dr.Raja gave him two i.v.’s. First the antidote. Then one with an anti-acid and anti-convulsant, Neurobion for muli-vitamins, and a mega dose of vitamin C. 

After an hour on the table, he slowly started making some relaxed moves. Gaining energy. And finally, safely making it across. But the lucky guy still couldn’t stand well. So Dr. Raja kept him overnight. 

He got a good rest. A lot of loving. And while being examined the next day, gave a really solid sign that he was ready to go: he started barking at Dr. Raja while he was on the table. Dr. Raja told the owner to lift him down. And he was ready to travel. 

Amu, the goat.

I was on my Honda Activa. A guy passed me on a TVS scooter, which had a goat, legs tied, straddled across the floor board. She must have really been suffering. 

I pulled him over, handing him one of my official looking Shelter visiting cards, but fiercely said I was with the Animal Welfare Board of India (he only spoke Tamil). I called Vishwa and told him to threaten the guy over the phone and say he had a choice: either sell the goat to me on the spot…or, I was bringing in the police, who would impound her because of his mistreatment. He gladly sold her to me for 3500 rupees ($55US), which was a little more than he would have gotten thru slaughter. 

He lifted her from his TVS and laid her on the ground. She was very, very weak. I gently stroked her, and kissing her, said, “Everything is going to be okay now, poor babe. We’re very good people and we’re going to take care of you, and you’ll have a full life.” The goat was beautiful, a golden color, with long ears that just hung. 

I had the man untie her legs. She had a big wound on one of her hoofs. Vishwa showed up. He talked to the man, who said he had already hired someone to slaughter her who would have been there in ten minutes. Vishwa took her to the Shelter. Dr. Raja said the hoof wound was not serious, but it was slightly infected and would take time to heal. He cleaned and dressed it. Gave her pain killer and anti-biotic injections. She was very, very weak, and she was given an i.v. for some nutrition. Dr. Raja said she had less than a fifty-fifty chance of living.  

Vishwa took her home with him. He gave her grass, oil cakes with water, and several other things. She ate voraciously. He lives outside of town and there are nice, grassy patches out there. He carried her to one (she was too weak to walk), and she foraged for six straight hours. He slept outside with her. (In the back he has a long open shed for cows that is empty.). The next day he took her to one of the fields and she ate all day long...She, the third day started standing...and walking. Then running a little... 

Vishwa named her Amu. We were sure that she was going to live. But, sadly, there was too much damage to her organs, and three weeks later, she quietly died. Those three weeks tho’, were filled with love, joy, and happiness. We put her on the Red Tara prayer list, and protective and guiding energy was sent to her soul for 49 days. 

Google, the calf.

Vishwa got a call at his house from some villagers 40 kms away. A cow had been bitten by a snake. He told them to bring her to the Shelter and called Dr. Raja to let him know. 

They called back fifteen minutes later. The cow had died. She had a baby calf just nine days old. They were going to sell it for slaughter…4,500 rupees. Vishwa told them he would buy it…and shot out there with the car. 

The poor sweetie. Bewildered, scared, hungry, and not knowing what happened to his mom, he came back in the car with Vishwa, who took him to his house. (Vishwa lives in the country. There’s an open air space with an overhead roof behind his house where his auntie used to keep 30 cows. There’s space on both sides, and beautiful open grassy fields that aren’t being used by anyone.) For the first several days, just like he did with Amu the goat, Vishwa slept outside with the calf. 

When I first saw him, it was hard to believe he was only nine days old. He was black and white. Tall. And absolutely the most beautiful calf I’ve ever seen. Vishwa is going to keep him. He's named him Google. Google loves Vishwa. (And Vishwa loves him) And he’s possibly the most joyful calf I’ve ever seen. He’s free most of the time. While I was there, he went galloping off about 100 meters into the field. Then out of sight. And came charging back. Happy. Happy. Happy! Happy! Happy! 

He took to Amu (while she was alive) the beautiful goat I'd rescued the week before. She was at Vishwa’s house, too, while her hoof healed. (She was also big and beautiful). They slept side by side. And he often came up and licked her up and down. 

As I’m writing this, Google is now 2 ½ months old. I haven’t seen him since he was three weeks old. Vishwa tells me he’s big, strong, handsome, and happy. I’ll try to get out there in the next several days. 

Baby owl.

Recently, Vishwa called me, late night. Someone had found a baby owl on Pradakshina Road. Alone. In trouble. They tried to find the mother. But the poor babe, about a month old, was really alone. 

Owls are very difficult to help. It's a long time before they can fly. Maybe three, possibly four months. They're carnivores, and hunters. And it's the mother that teaches them to hunt. So unless you can teach them to hunt, you can't release them. We've had a few in the last several years. About two years ago, a baby was brought to us that we kept for two months. We kept him in a cage in the operation theatre. Twice a day, supervisor Raja would let him out of the cage for about an hour or two. He was just beginning to fly. We had been feeding him tiny chunks of chicken and beef, and some kind of "meat based" Pediigree jelly. But we didn't know what to do, because we couldn't set him free. After many, many calls I found someone in Delhi who was an expert in the rehabilitation of predator birds. But Delhi was too far away. Fortunately, they knew of one other expert who, was in Bangalore, which is only six hours away by car. And blessing of blessings, the Bangalore lady said she would take him. 

Vishwa called the Bangalore lady, and she will take him into her sanctuary. Prem Kumar just took the babe to her the very day I’m writing this Report. 

Mira.

This is an older story written a while back. But a beautiful story. 

Mani found Mira lying on the side of the road near the Shelter. The poor baby was only four years old. She was post-distemper. Twitching. Couldn’t open her mouth. Starving. And near death. She was an “owner dog” who had probably been abandoned. Lying there alone. Having lost everything. Not understanding. Miserable. Frightened. 

Dr.Raja started giving her i.v.’s with neurobion for nutrition, a liver booster to stimulate the liver, plus antibiotics (for the first three days). Vishwa had the Staff give her a lot of loving. And on the second' day by attaching a thin rubber tube to an i.v. syringe' he was able to start getting a little milk on her tongue in increasing amounts, which she swallowed. 

We had her in a large retaining cage that didn’t have a lot of direct sunlight, and with only one other post-distemper dog. Neither of them could walk and they were both almost “mutedly conscious”. On the fourth day Leslie went in and spent time lying with each of them. Holding them. Kissing them. Softly saying mantras to them. And telling them I loved them. Their energy picked up and we decided they should be moved into the clinic on cushions, where there was a lot of light, affection from puppies snuggling them and lying close to them. 

Her second day in the clinic, Mira started standing (she had been lying on her side and not moving around). Her twitching decreased in intensity. And Vishwa very, very gently was massaging her jaws. She was able to open them a little and started drinking a few ounces of milk from a bowl. And he started giving her little bits of food. 

Also on the second day, she got her first bath and Vishwa gave her a haircut. She looked a zillion percent better. And it was as though vanity precipitated a change in her personality; she started to move in a totally different manner. 

Now, this sweet girl moves around with the others...is affectionate. But she is so fierce around food and milk if any of the other guys get near her bowl, that we feed her in closet with the door closed! 

So good to have you back, dear Mira. Welcome to Life.

May all beings benefit!

 ==================================

This brings us to the end of this Report.

Hoping that each of you is doing excellently...That you're unfolding beautifully and strongly, inside. My Baba said that nothing is gained without some inner austerity. I sometimes think of it in worldly terms for myself as, "Growing up ain't easy!"

As in previous reports, I've included a collection of photos. Hoping you enjoy them. Remember...the theme is simply LOVE.

 

                              PLEASE...REMEMBER...DONATIONS.

 

                     THE PRECIOUS ONES NEED US. AND WE NEED YOU.

 

Recurring donations, even quite modest ones, are best for us...

Please...Keep your support coming.

====================================

With love, blessings, and wishes for all things good... May we all be blessed with more compassionate understanding,

Leslie, The Ageing Expatriate Warrior

                     

                     

                                                  

 

 

 

Leslie at breakfast, at foot of sacred Arunachala.
Leslie at breakfast, at foot of sacred Arunachala.
This is one of the Precious Ones that need us.
This is one of the Precious Ones that need us.
And this is another...Sweet, sweet, soul.
And this is another...Sweet, sweet, soul.
And these two babes, also...Blessings Dear Ones.
And these two babes, also...Blessings Dear Ones.
This is one of the Street Saints who love them.
This is one of the Street Saints who love them.
Every little thing, every little gesture...Helps!
Every little thing, every little gesture...Helps!
It's important we truly care for each other
It's important we truly care for each other
It's important that our Heart's are connected.
It's important that our Heart's are connected.
Dear Dr. Milin....What a blessing he was.
Dear Dr. Milin....What a blessing he was.
The Precious Ones experience our Heart connection.
The Precious Ones experience our Heart connection.
You can't give too much!
You can't give too much!
You simply can't.
You simply can't.
So many of them have been thru so much.
So many of them have been thru so much.
Vishwa...During a rescue.
Vishwa...During a rescue.
Dr. Raja's magical hands...and beautiful Heart.
Dr. Raja's magical hands...and beautiful Heart.
Dr. Raja.
Dr. Raja.
Elaine putting cream on Aurobindo's sore foot.
Elaine putting cream on Aurobindo's sore foot.
Sugana and one of our Precious Ones.
Sugana and one of our Precious Ones.
This one doesn't need words.
This one doesn't need words.
Now that's what you call real snuggling.
Now that's what you call real snuggling.
Thought you might enjoy these next three.
Thought you might enjoy these next three.
Good night...With love, Leslie
Good night...With love, Leslie

Links:

Jan 20, 2018

New Year's Blessings and Greetings from India.

Leslie at Work.
Leslie at Work.

Blessings and Greetings from India, dear People. 

Another New Year. Another opportunity. May all of Us, without exception-- known, unknown, rich, poor, young, old, virtuous, unvirtuous… truly without exception--may All of Us be blessed in this coming Year…With more compassionate understanding…With guidance…With protection. 

This has been a special, special period for us. A lot of activity. Construction. Rescues. Clinic. Adoptions. 

Those of you who’ve seen past Reports know that we’re very crowded, inside.  An excerpt from our last Report: 

The Precious Ones, dogs and puppies, except for special circumstances (injury requiring restricted movement, illness, quarantine, etc.) are not kept in cages but run free and are happy. They are in two main areas: The Veranda which is for puppies, younger dogs, and creatures that don’t need a lot of space to run around. It is covered by a roof and consists of two large pieces--23ft x 23ft and 11ft by 11ft. And the The Garden that has a lot of room. Including the retaining cages along the sides that are usually open, it is an area of 40ft by 150ft. 

It’s in the Veranda that the crowding is so evident. There’s a miraculous quality about it. Because of the crowding, one would expect there to be continuous fights, and intense energy. But it is just the opposite. Chants are playing continuously. And our devoted Staff, about whom I could write a book, so beautifully cares for them. The Voiceless Ones still feel safe, cared for, and loved…AND are happy. They still play, but they can’t run around freely with abandon like they used to do. 

Getting into a larger facility is our Number One priority. In the meantime, though the Precious Ones still feel safe, cared for, and loved, and are still happy, it is stressful for our beloved Staff, and I am worried about them.

So we've just finished a major construction that will mitigate the crowding on the Veranda, where it was most intense. It will ease the pressure until we can get into a new facility.

There was a 10' x 25' ugly cinder block building alongside the shelter. Vishwa totally transformed it--tiles, re-did the walls, a 5' x 10' picture window, sliding glass doors, fans, florescent lighting, electricity, wash basin, cabinets. Two rooms, we made the larger one the new clinic, the smaller is the new office. 

That freed room up inside the Shelter where the old clinic had been, and together with extending the Shelter wall 35 feet a lot of space was generated. Vishwa tore down walls, created additional doorways/gates and laid more tiled floor. That increased the room that the Veranda dogs had by 200 to 300 percent. 

(See photos, below, of the new clinic…and the space for the Veranda dogs and puppies after the expansion.) 

It's a work in progress. The energy is different. The Precious Ones are running around and playing as they used to. And they LIKE IT...A LOT. It'll be a couple of weeks yet, before the energy settles down. There's so much more space...and it's so different. They have to find the new places they like to rest. Get into new activities that involve running around, chasing and wrestling. Develop new relationships. Basically, they have to form their new community. And we protectively, without interfering, will give them the space to do that. 

We had a meeting. Me. Dr. Raja. Vishwa. Elaine. Dr. Ramakrishna...I'm concerned about my beloved guys. It's not only different for the Voiceless Ones, but it's a change for everyone...AND it's going to take a lot of conscious/aware adjusting....It's important to talk nakedly and openly about the stresses.

=================================  

Meanwhile the other activities are going on. Monthly: 50 to 100 sterilizations…600 to 700 visits to the clinic for treatment…80 to 110 emergency rescues (These are cases, over and above clinic visits, where we go out to rescue the animals-almost all during the day, some at night. Remember, we have 24/7 emergency rescue. If a creature is hurt during the night, we will be there in 20 to 30 minutes, and our vets are on 24 hour call.)…1,200 to 1,500 in-patient treatments…10 to 20 adoptions. 

Concerning adoptions. 

We only take puppies that are in trouble. They either lost their moms when they are too young to survive on the streets, or they’re sick or injured. But once we take a puppy in, it is no longer a street dog. It doesn’t learn survival techniques from its mother, and can’t be put back on the street. 

I think many of you might know that in most Indian shelters 80 to 90 percent of the street puppies don’t survive. They haven’t got immunity from their Moms, and there are a lot of germs in the shelters. We have an 80 to 90 percent survival rate, and thus have a lot of puppies surviving. It would be very bad for us if we had them growing into healthy adults that we couldn’t adopt out and couldn’t put back on the streets, and had them for their entire lives. So, for us, it’s critical to find homes for the puppies. And it is very, very difficult to find good homes for them. 

Vishwa has developed an adoption program where he sends out college students over 100 kms looking for good homes for the puppies. Then he goes out to interview the people and inspect the physical circumstances. About 40 percent are good homes. The students get 500 rupees for every puppy placed. He always tries to place two in the same home so they’ll have each other to play and grow up with…Unbelievably, he has placed over 900 puppies in good homes. 

The recent increase in the number of puppies coming to us has made it important to significantly increase our sterilization activity.

 =================================  

One of the major things we are known for is that our Precious Ones are not kept in cages but run free AND ARE HAPPY. Over thirty years ago my Guru told me that the physician heals with the Heart. So the core of all our work is demonstrative love—hugging, touching, reassuring, and yes, kissing. 

All our Staff have been told how important their work is. That deep healing will not take place unless our Precious Ones feel safe, cared for, and loved. It’s been made clear to them that it’s not Dr. Raja, Dr. Ramakrishna, Vishwa, or myself that give them that love. That they are the ones with them continuously that give them that love. And it is vital to what we do. 

They’ve been told that no one can tell them how to express that love. They have to find the way from their own Heart. The animals can tell the difference between someone being very, very nice to them…and someone who is real and really cares. So they have to find their own way of expressing and caring. But it has to be real. I, personally, am a hugger and kisser. But that certainly is not The Way. And no one can tell me how to express it….And they have all found their own way. 

They’ve also been told that they don’t have to look busy when I come in. That no one can perform at peak, from the Heart, continuously. And that they shouldn’t “push it” just to be always busy…That it’s important to stay close to their Heart. And “lay back” whenever they have to. I told them that I know how things are going as soon as I walk in. I feel the vibration. The spaciousness. The love. And that even though I may not be looking at them directly, I am very aware of each of them. 

They’ve been told that unless they stay connected with their Heart it will become an awful job. If they aren’t aware of the suffering they’re lifting, the joy in the Precious Ones, it would be an awful job. But with that Heart connection, it’s truly uplifting and expanding. 

You can see the inside energy working on the Staff. Often, when they start, their eyes are dull. There’s no shakti (energy) coming thru. And as time passes, light starts coming thru…and their eyes get brighter and brighter. 

It’s truly a fluid happening as the day unfolds. It’s not unusual for an animal lover to get teary when experiencing our beloved Shelter for the first time, because they didn’t know a place such as ours existed. It’s called Heart. It’s palpable. It’s experienceable. And it’s alive. 

I sometimes tell visiting people to close their eyes for a minute, and just experience the place. It’s soft…And it’s sweet…I tell them that that softness is the Grace…and all this that is unfolding is happening within it. 

Our Staff is simply wonderful. Sometimes I want to throw myself at their feet out of sheer gratitude. They’re special. I couldn’t do, what they do. Om Namah Shivaya.

 =================================  

I also tell my Staff of the full importance of what we are doing.   The relationship between the animals and the people amongst whom they live day in day out has been transformed. Each year it gets better and better as the community’s Heart opens to them. It’s very observable as you walk around. 

To fully uplift the quality of life of the homeless dogs, that relationship must be transformed. 

The question of the central importance of the relationship between the homeless dogs and the people with whom they live day in day out is not discussed on the national scene. Necessary and critically important programs…population control (sterilizations), eradicating rabies, shelters, clinics, emergency rescues…are discussed. 

But to truly uplift the quality of life of the Voiceless Ones you have to transform that relationship. Otherwise the effect of these critical programs is really limited. If it doesn’t profoundly change, they are exposed to the same indifference, the same absence of protection when they are in harm’s way, the same absence of help when they are injured or sick, the same indifference when they are hungry, thirsty, or simply cold, wet, or too weak. 

Another way of viewing this is to say we, the Shelter, cannot do it alone. The human population of Tiru is 580,000, the homeless dogs number between 4,000 and 5,000. We, at the Shelter, are a mere 25…and we can’t care for them without the active help of the community. 

We became aware of the power of that relationship in the second or third year. We were seeing that all the dogs seemed to be doing better, and most we had never seen in the Shelter. It took a while to realize that people, generally, were being kinder to them…Then the question arose as to why? 

The main thing was in the catching of the homeless dogs for sterilization. It’s the most penetrating contact a Shelter has with the community. Ultimately, we’re trying to catch all the dogs. Almost everyone sees a “catching” once, or twice. We were catching differently than other municipalities. A third of the dogs were just coaxed with a piece of cheese or meat. For those that had to be chased down, as soon as we caught them we’d start stroking and reassuring them that they were going to be okay. That we were good people and would not harm them. We had someone in the lorry that was there just to reassure them so they wouldn’t be left alone. 

Many people saw this and it reached their Heart. They had never seen anyone giving love to the street dogs, and the dogs responding with love. I call that the “Teachable Moment”….We’ve found that giving talks, putting up posters, and other methods are mostly soon forgotten…But something seen in the Teachable Moment stays….You can see the Teachable Moment operating in a crowded place like a market or train station. If you’re bending over tenderly caring for a poor creature…dozens of people gather around. They don’t think you’re crazy. They’ve not seen anything like it and are moved…AND they don’t forget…And it somehow shifts them a little on how they view the Voiceless Ones. 

It’s a complex subject, but we feel that’s the main thing that’s fostering the transformation of the relationship. Om Namah Shivaya. 

This is a quote from a letter written by the Vice-Chairman of the Animal Welfare Board of India, “They are one of our Nation’s best animal sanctuaries, veterinary clinics, rescue shelters, and hospices….They are especially known for profoundly transforming the relationship between the human community and the homeless dogs…They are lifting enormous amounts of suffering. If some of the methods they use become broadly adopted, it will help lift suffering across the Country”…

 ================================  

But the effect of our Work is not limited to the animal kingdom.The nature of the Heart is not directional. If it opens for one thing, it simply opens and it’s a little more open to everything. Mahatma Gandhi in his famous statement, “The greatness of a Nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” is a comment on the Nature of the Heart…If the Heart of the community is open to each other, then it follows that people are kinder, and more open to animals. And it works the other way, if it opens to animals, people will also be kinder to each other. It’s not directly observable, but it’s definitely there. And the Tiruvannamlai community has definitely been uplifted...and people are nicer to each other. Om Namah Shivaya.

That brings forth an interesting possibility. We humans are so complicated, that it’s difficult to uplift a community by trying to work with us directly. On the other hand, it’s relatively much easier and doable to open a community’s Heart to it’s homeless dogs and other animals, thereby uplifting the community in the way they relate to each other.

=================================  

In a lighter note…Here are some Shelter Heart Stories and vignettes.

Puppy-Mama. Puppy-mama (supervisor Raja named her) was a street dog that was hit by a rickshaw. We were called by a caring lady who saw her lying at the side of the road with her six puppies. She was unable to move. Pandi went out to get her. The lady kept and cared for five of the puppies. But one little guy was very weak and came to the Shelter with his mom. 

She was paralayzed and in pain. Dr.Raja gave her an anti-inflammatory spinal injection, a painkiller, and an i.v. for nutrition to boost her nervous system. X-rays revealed that Puppy-mama’s back was broken, but that her spinal cord was intact. 

After a week, Dr.Raja started massaging her spine. Slowly, day by day, she improved. After another two weeks, blessing of blessings, she started standing…and then walking. 

The ending for this sweet girl is a happy one…after two months she was returned to her territory with her “happy and healthy” puppy. 

Baby monkey. Vishwa went out on the call. A three month old little one was lying on the ground. It was near the big Shiva Temple. He was very weak, and Vishwa was able to simply pick him up and bring him in. 

Dr.Raja said he only had a mild head injury. Still, the speed of his recovery was impressive. 

He was released one week later, and bolted away in search of his mother and the family.

Puppy with life-threatening intestinal condition. This little guy had what’s called an intestinal prolapse. He was only three months old and was in a lot of pain when he came in. Dr.Raja gave him a pain killer and anti-biotic injections right away. 

It happened suddenly. The owner and another fellow brought him 50 km. on a motor scooter so that Dr.Raja would be the one to treat him. 

The condition was life threatening. In three or four days he would have died if not treated. And the operation was a dangerous one that lasted two hours. 

Dear Dr.Raja kept him a week, treating him post-op with i.v.’s having pain killers, anti-biotics, and nutrition. Supervisor Raja and Sekar gave him a lot of caring and love.

But he was unhappy, and missed his owner. 

When his owner showed up…he sprung into joy, knowing he was going home.

Orphaned baby owl too weak to fly. She was only a couple of weeks old, and too weak to fly. Someone brought her to us. 

We had her for three months. We kept her in a small cage that we put in the operating theatre. Surpervisor Raja gave her caring affection during the day, and would let her our out of the cage three hours in the morning, and two hours in the afternoon. 

We couldn’t release her because she didn’t know how to hunt for food, and we didn’t know how to teach her. So we contacted a lady in Bangalore, five hours away, who specialized in the rehabilitation of birds. 

And I gratefully tell you, that she took over and moved her into a life of freedom. 

Let’s simply call this one…Loving, Vishwa saw her walking near the Shelter. Barely walking. She was in really bad shape, and had that post-distemper twitching. She was six years old. We named her Shanti. 

She just laid on her side in one of our holding cages on a bed of straw for three days. Not eating. Not moving. Dr.Raja supported her thru i.v.’s that provided nutrition, anti-biotics and vitamins. On the third day I tried to infuse her with energy and pull her out of depression. And respond, she did. 

We decided to move her to the veranda where she would be snuggled by puppies and be closer to the “action”. She picked up immediately. Started eating within several days. Standing and walking on the tenth day. The sweetie died after a month and a half. 

Her final time was one of feeling safe, cared for, and loved. The alternative was being on the street…Suffering. Frightened. And dying alone and uncared for. 

We put her on a Red Tara prayer list. Every morning before dawn for 49 days Tibetan Buddhist practitioners said prayers for her and sent her guiding and protective energy. Red Tara is the Tibetan Buddhist Goddess of Compassion. 

Parrot. A compassionate person brought her to the Shelter from the big Shiva Temple area. She was lying on the street and couldn’t fly. 

Dr.Raja said she must have fallen down into a pool of oil. He cleaned her. The first time we tried to release her she couldn’t yet fly. We ended up keeping her three days and released her in the same area. 

A dog named Ramo. This guys name was Ramo. His territory was around the big Shiva temple. I was riding by one day and spotted him. Called Vishwa. Stunning how Vishwa is able to catch dogs and reassure them so quickly. The energy coming from his Heart is like a blast from a large furnace.

Ramo was in really bad shape. Had a skin condition called Mange which is mites under the skin, and also a fungal skin condition which is more difficult to treat, and he had some bacterial infections that were bloody. That poor guy really must have gone through it. He had little hair left. 

We gave him injections, pills, anti-biotics, medicated baths…and a whole lot of loving. We kept him over two months. He became “one of the guys”. Playing, chasing, wrestling, snuggling, sleeping. 

But he was joyous when Vishwa released him back into his territory, which I had mentioned earlier was around the large Shiva Temple.. There’s a lot of commerce there. A lot of stands selling their wares…little statues, pots, pails, flowers, puja items, photos…and on and on. And he was loved by the people with the local business stands. It was almost unbelievable for them. He had almost no hair when he left. His coat was now full. He’d put on a little weight. His energy was strong….And they showered him with love when Vishwa went around telling them it was Ramo…and he’s back..Om Namah Shivaya.

 ================================= 

Well Dear People...This brings us to the end of this Report. 

Hoping that each of you is doing excellently…That you’re unfolding beautifully and strongly, inside. My Baba said that nothing is gained without some inner austerity. I sometimes think of it in worldly terms for myself as, “Growing up ain’t easy”. 

As in previous Reports, I’ve included a collection of photos. Hoping you enjoy them. Remember…The theme is simply LOVE.

 

                      AND DEAR PEOPLE...REMEMBER...DONATIONS

                  THE PRECIOUS ONES NEED US. AND WE NEED YOU.

                                                  

 Recurring donations, even quite modest ones, are best for us...Please...Keep your support coming. 

================================== 

With love, blessings, and wishes for all things, good...Happy New Year...Leslie, The Ageing Expatriate Warrior                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                 

Here she is. The new clinic that Vishwa built.
Here she is. The new clinic that Vishwa built.
And here's the front section of the new Veranda.
And here's the front section of the new Veranda.
This is the side section of the expanded Veranda.
This is the side section of the expanded Veranda.
The new Veranda back section...The dogs love it!
The new Veranda back section...The dogs love it!
Dr. Raja with the magical hands.
Dr. Raja with the magical hands.
Mooji, Vishwa, and lucky Bhakti
Mooji, Vishwa, and lucky Bhakti
Shirdi-A very serious mange and fungal skin case.
Shirdi-A very serious mange and fungal skin case.
Shirdi-After 3 months treatment. Yep! Same dog.
Shirdi-After 3 months treatment. Yep! Same dog.
Dr. Raja on emergency rescue.
Dr. Raja on emergency rescue.
Our beloved Elaine, the veterinarian nurse.
Our beloved Elaine, the veterinarian nurse.
"Yes Little One...What is it?"
"Yes Little One...What is it?"
She loves you, Shivagami.
She loves you, Shivagami.
Two "Young Uns".
Two "Young Uns".
11th anniversary puja.
11th anniversary puja.
 
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