Chamaeleonidae

We had a great social walk with our local doggy gang today. Kali met a new dog and was comfortable with her pretty fast.
I love watching canine communication on a relaxed walk together.

One evening. July 6th.

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Two Years

Happy Rescue Day Kali!

Two years ago today I found a more dead-than-alive hairless & sick something-that-resembles-a-dog at Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.

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Not sure if we could help that little bundle, my friend Otta and me still took her along to the KAT Centre. After all, Pashupati is the incarnation of the Hindu god Lord Shiva as Lord of the Animals.

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The first talk to the local vets was disillusioning. They asked if we wanted to bring her back to the temple or if they should put her to sleep right there.

It was a death sentence. They didn’t give her an other day to live.

In all truth, she looked miserable. And me, being a rookie in the world of Nepali street dog care, didn’t know any better. So, I agreed. Reluctantly, but I did agree in the end.

I’m not someone to clinch to life, for life’s sake, if there’s no chance of healing. If euthanasia is the only way we can help an animal, they deserve us to take the last steps with them and end their suffering.

But not with an empty belly. Food makes everything better. I wanted that emaciated dog to at least once in its life get a bowl of food and experience a full stomach.

So she got a bowl of rice and cooked chicken.

And all of sudden there was a spark of life in this lethargic animal. A spark only, but life nonetheless.

We had an empty kennel in the isolation unit, so the vets agreed to put her in there and see if she’d make it through the night.

Sometimes all it takes is a bowl of food to change all odds.

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She got better from day to day with the firm goal of proving the vets wrong. And how wrong they were…

She was found in a Shiva temple and was a female, so we decided to name her Kali, after the mother goddess in Hinduism and the female consort of Lord Shiva.

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First came some fat. Yay! That skeleton started to look like a living being again!

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Two more weeks passed and the first hair started to regrow. Slowly looks like a dog again, not?

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Time flew… And we discovered it was indeed a puppy we found. She started playing! And joined in all kinds of mischief with the canine gang at KAT.

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This is what she looked like nine weeks after we picked her up, a couple days before I had to fly back to Switzerland.

At this point I had already made my decision to try and get her to Switzerland. She was chipped and vaccinated already.

The hardest part was to organize a way to fly a dog from Nepal in Asia to Switzerland in Europe.

First we tried to find someone who would fly this way anyway, and could take Kali as part of his baggage. That search was futile.

So off to find an airline that would transport a dog alone as cargo. Which is not easy at all, let me tell you this.

Only Qatar Cargo would do this. The flight would take Kali from Kathmandu to Doha to Zurich.

I won’t write about all the struggles that were yet to come in trying to organize this flight. For every two steps forward, we took one step back as well. It was a tedious and wearing time.
If you need any help shipping dogs, let me know, I’ll be glad to help. However, be warned, if it is about a “rabies risk country” like Nepal, this is going to be hard.

In the end, everything worked out, as it always does in Nepal. Somehow everything works out.

Finally, on February 10th 2012, after so many months, Kali arrived at the airport in Zurich.

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It’s two years today that I stumbled across what would turn out to be the best dog ever!

I count myself extremely lucky to have this once-in-a-lifetime dog here with me. I didn’t know what kind of dog I was looking for, but in her I got all I ever needed. My student and my teacher.

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I want to thank everyone who helped us on this way. You are all amazing and dear to my heart. We would not be where we are today, without the help and support of so many people. Thank you!

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We experienced a lot of happy moments and adventures in these last two years. And there’s many more waiting…

We climbed mountains. And we’ll hit the 2800 meters above sea level this summer.

We made lots of new friends, both human and canine, and love the social walks with our local doggy gang.

We started avalanche Search and Rescue training this winter. And had some first wilderness SAR training a couple weeks ago. Kali does fantastic in the field and surpasses all our expectations on a regular basis. Who knows where this will carry us in the future?

We even were on Swiss TV for some seconds promoting the Yellow Dog Campaign!

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I love working with her on the little problems we have, enjoying every single day. Although she can be a pain in the ass if she once again tries to steal the cats’ food…

As she’s jumping around in front of me, trying very hard but not succeeding at catch flies, she makes me smile.

You’re the best I could ever have hoped for. Thank you, Kali for two amazing years.

And here’s to many many more!!

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Click the picture above to get to Kali’s Youtube Video!

Fridgeless Raw Feeding II

After a week up in the mountains we ran out of dog food today. So we could finally check how good meat keeps in earth holes.

We don’t have any predators apart from foxes up here. If you have to make a meat hole in places with big predators – dig deeper and use bigger stones to cover it.

Things still look good under the stones and grass pieces… I only saw a few worms, nothing really special that would show there’s two chicken and a chunk of tripe buried down there.

And there it is! The first Chicken to see daylight after a week underground! It is covered in soil, obviously, but you can quite easily brush it off and the dog won’t really mind a bit of dirt. If you prefer clean meat, wrap it into some fabric.

The chicken looks good. It smells some, but not as bad as I expected. Kali will like it this way, I think. Canine seasoning.

For today, though, I took out the chunk of tripe. That one I buried with some plastic bag between the chicken and the tripe, to prevent all the chicken smelling of tripe. Meat should not be buried closed in plastic. Next time I’ll simply make a second hole for the organ meats…
Tripe always stinks, that’s why dogs love it so much. It does stink more after a week of ripening. But it’s still bearable. If you’re used to raw fresh tripe, this smell won’t kill you. If you are not used to fresh tripe, I would not recommend this.

Kali in any case really enjoyed it. She doesn’t usually do gorge meals, but as she only got a tiny duck neck yesterday, she ate nearly two day’s worth of food today.

You can see the flies on this photo. The tripe attracted masses of them. I’m still trying to get rid of them, two hours later.

If you ever feed tripe that has been in an earth hole – feed it away from your place. As far away as possible.

 

Read part three HERE.

The Joys of Raw Food

The Kali Dog eats a raw diet. Only meat, bones, organs, some fish and some eggs. All raw.

It’s the healthiest food for her, as she gets the runs every time someone feeds her commercial treats with grains in them. Because, you know, she’s so cute, you just have to shove a treat down her throat without asking me first.

And she loves it. She spends a lot of time working on whole foods, sometimes frozen on hot days. And I love watching her enjoy her food.

Duck neck

Half a chicken

The same half chicken

Chicken breast, marinated by Kali herself in hay and grass, once part of a whole chicken

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Beef scapula (shoulder) cartilage

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Chicken back

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Same same chicken back

Garden Dormouse

On my evening walk with Kali we came across this little one.

It’s a dead Garden Dormouse – Eliomys quercinus.

The name Garden Dormouse doesn’t really fit them, though.

They don’t live in gardens. Their main habitat is the forest.

They’re also not mice. They don’t belong to the Myomorpha, or mouse-like rodents. They belong to the family Gliridae, which is most probably closer related to squirrels.

They are sometimes refered to as “night squirrels”. Maybe because of their tail, which looks slightly like a squirrel’s tail. (Well, not really, but at least it looks more like a squirrel tail than a mouse tail…)
It should look like this:

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The one I found had this tail:

All that remained of its tail are the vertebrae. No skin. No fur.

It also seems as if the tail was like this for quite some time, as the spine is rigid and dried.

It probably lost the tail to a fox,  pretty much the only predator we have up here. And it still managed to run away from the fox with an injured tail.