Video : Emptiness What is your typical day like? Do you sit in an air-conditioned office for 8 hours a day and step out only for lunch? Do you sit in air-conditioned lecture theatres for classes and return to a comfortable home after a day out with your friends? For me, Milo, I do not know what air-conditioning is. Every day, I hide under big trucks to avoid the scorching sun and scampering humans. Sometimes, I would go on a mini adventure with my fellow dog pals in the factory and walk to the empty land opposite the factory. Flying dust and sand, muddy and stony ground, petrol water… these are the things that keep me and my fellow dog pals in the factory company on a daily basis.
This is home. Really?
I used to be from another industrial area but the factory owners shifted here and brought me and some of my friends along. Sadly, not all my friends could come along. I miss them and the old factory. It might be a blessing in disguise for my friends not to have come to the new factory, as the new factory is even less salubrious than the old one. Anyhow, be it the old factory or the new factory, an industrial site is not the best place to live in. I understand from some of the kind volunteers who have been visiting my friends and I and feeding us that one of my best pals from the old factory, Horlicks, will soon have a home. They showed me some of his photographs and I am so happy for him. He seems to be in good hands and leading a much happier life than us. I hope Horlicks will lead a happy e-fur after life and his rescuers will have the resources to save more of my other friends, perhaps even myself.
Imagine living and sleeping in this work site
This is what we have to go through whenever we visit
Despite their busy schedules, volunteers bring cooked food to these dogs twice weekly
Horlicks now gets home cooked meals, toys, a roof over his head, a nice warm bed, clean water, pats and walks every day. My friends, Peaches and Muffin, also get all of those! I wish that as many dogs as possible can experience the warmth of a family as they have. They are so sweet and should not be left to their devices and subject to the harsh elements of the factories and streets. At the moment, I am the only one in the video still living in this factory, together with my friends Kopi, and Scaredy Cat. Some of the factory workers are really kind and feed us when they are free or when they have leftover food. They are very busy though, and do not always remember to feed us. Luckily, a group of kind volunteers cook delicious food for us twice weekly. We always look forward to their visits and savour every grain of rice and every morsel of meat that they prepare for us. It is quite a spread. They prepare all sorts of meat, innards and rice for us and pack them nicely into clean containers. They also fill clean containers with water for us. We are ever so grateful to them. Due to the sand and dust, I have a bad eye infection and am constantly tearing. Besides feeding us, the volunteers also flush my eyes with eye drops and wipe them with tissue. The next morning, however, my eyes start tearing and producing discharge again. There is just too much dust and sand dancing around and getting into my eyes.
This is Kopi
This is Scaredy Cat
Mid-autumn festival is round the corner. As you gather with your friends and family and enjoy eating mooncakes under the bright round moon, I hope you will think of some of my friends and me who have no family to gather with. Even the big humans, the big burly workers, complain about the heat, dust and dirt. How can anyone expect poor sweet little innocent stray doggies like my friends to put up with such an environment? Yet, my friends and I never once complained and we take life in our stride. We love the kind volunteers that visit us and always welcome them with rapturous tail wags, sloppy licks and excited gestures such as showing them our bellies, running towards them and hopping up and down. Well, at least Mini Milo (renamed Muffin), Peaches and Camo (passed away) did that. I am a bit less friendly now as I miss the old factory and am still getting used to this strange place. I still am really appreciative of the humans though and love the food they prepare for us.
Milo, Kopi’s best buddy. Milo is depressed and has an eye infection from the dusty work site
Stray dogs are exposed to so many dangers and live in such awful and unimaginable conditions that it is heart wrenching and unbearable. Some of them have been abused by nasty humans before or bullied by more alpha dogs and are constantly living in fear, while others are completely innocent and sweet and easy targets for dog catchers. The poor dogs did nothing to deserve such a life. No dog and no one should have to lead such an undignified life. The Singapore government strives for a zero homeless rate and tries to make homes affordable for all with its public housing policies. We are concerned when we see old people collecting cardboard boxes and sleeping in the void decks, and rightfully so, because these poor old folks should be enjoying their twilight years. The same concern should be accorded to stray dogs instead of treating them as pests and trying to eradicate all of them and project a stray free image for our country. What did they do? Why do people shun them and think of them as scary and only capable of spreading diseases? Do humans not spread diseases? Are humans not nastier and scarier than dogs? Dogs love us, appreciate us, protect us and do so many wonderful things for us. We can certainly do more to promote animal welfare in our country. If everyone plays a part, the world will be a better, happier and safer place for strays. When someone adopts just one dog, he is saving not just one life but two because he frees up the resources for another dog to be saved. We might go as far as to say he is saving three lives because his life gets renewed with the addition of a new fur baby to the family. I shall leave you with this song: ‘Heal the world, make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race’. To that, let us add, ‘and all our animal friends’.