Thank you, dear supporters, volunteers and SDC friends! Enjoy our Newsletter Summer 2016!
In this edition:
1. Introducing a new member of our SDC advisory group
2. Our new SDC calendar 2017
3. Introducing our kennel sponsors
4. Dog stories and adoption of Pema Karma
5. Scotty's goodbye, written by Lauren Rathvon
6. How to support SDC - Buy T-Shirts or bags at Ethical Wares
1. Introducing our new advisory group member Birgit Gerber:
In 2008 Andrea and I met at the Boudha stupa, both being the first time in Nepal, both having left a busy work life behind to “do” something new. None of us knew at the time in what ways we would spend much more time in Nepal.
Andrea and I met often at our common friend’s restaurant, Nir’s Toast Bakery, to discuss life and everything over a yummy meal or a coup of nice Chai tea. Once we ran into each other, again at the stupa, which seemed to turn out to be the place, most our encounters would happen. She was looking for help to get a very sick dog, suffering from mange, into a cab, so she could bring him to the vet. I went to buy some towels so she could wrap them around the doggy and the cab driver would have no reason to refuse the dog. That was the first time, I saw Andrea helping a dog. Many, many more would follow this incident.
Andrea settled for good in Nepal, I would be there on and off, and we were even neighbors at some point, but mainly established a wonderful friendship. Andrea kept on building Street dog care, starting out with the camp at the stupa, while I was mainly focusing on studying Tibetan language and Buddhist philosophy. Over the years I would help in practical ways here and there with the dogs, and also try to get more people interested in SDC by spreading the word.
I have always been in total awe the work of Street Dog Care, and I could tell you so many stories, but the most important thing is, that Andrea and her amazing SDC-team are continuing to help, where help is needed, with every inch of love and strength they possess.
At the end of 2014 I left Kathmandu and resettled back in my home country Switzerland in 2015. Now I work in a part time office job at a company and use the other time for translation projects.
So when Andrea asked me to become a member of her SDC-Advisory group I felt honored to become an official part of such noble work. I do hope that by this I can be of good support for SDC and again, would like to encourage everyone who reads this, to continue (or start) to help SDC with whatever is possible (money, volunteering, or even just being kind and loving to any street dog).
2. our new SDC calendar is ready. For orders please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Introducing our kennel sponsors
In the coming editions of the newsletter we will introduce our kennel sponsors of SDC. These are kind people around the world, who have decided to sponsor a kennel at SDC centre. When you sponsor a kennel you are assigned a kennel number and a dog. Usually we send updates about this particular dog and once the dog is well enough to leave for the road, or is adopted, the sponsor will get a new dog, which can recover in their kennel. This way people know what is going on in their kennel and how the dog is improving or what is happening to him/her. Sometimes we are able to share very good news, sometimes sad news.
David, thank you so much for your kindness and your decision to sponsor one dog at SDC. It is lovely to know that our Frida found a new sponsor and is taken care off. Very nice dog and human heart connection between France and Nepal.
4. Dog Stories and Adoption of Pema Karma
Sweet dog "Kinji" came in a miserable state. She is a very kind dog, but very, very sick with a tumor. She had her chemo therapy and will get a surgery soon to remove the tumor. Please pray for her to get better and to find comfort and peace at our centre. Thanks so much to all of you!
Scotty has moved on to the big Stupa in the sky. He spent his last days being taken care of at SDC, where he received an IV, a bath, and hot water bottles as his body got colder and colder. Boudhanath stupa, a very important and gorgeous Tibetan spot in Kathmandu, Nepal, is one of my favorite places on Earth, and much of that is because of the wonderful street dogs there (along with Street Dog Care e.V. (SDC), who cares for them, vaccinates them, heals them, and loves them). Scotty was always my FIRST stop when I arrived in Kathmandu, before even checking in to the hotel.
BJ and I met Scotty during my first trip to Boudha in February 2013; BJ actually befriended Scotty and Mikey (his 'wife') first (I named Mikey, he named Scotty, and although it turns out Mikey was a girl, the name still fit). Two rag-tag street dogs, totally inseparable, completely rowdy, and they somehow got away with it. When they weren't sunning themselves or "window shopping" along the singing bowl shops, they would both bark at people walking against the grain around the stupa (Mikey went as far as to bite a few butts).
Mikey passed on in late 2014, I believe, but Scotty still held down the fort. The fort in this case was a little alley a quarter way around the stupa from the main entrance, lined with thangka (painting) shops, a tiny Japanese cafe I still haven't tried, and shops full of religious artifacts. Much of the time there was a motorcycle parked in the alley, and Scotty could always–always–be found sleeping underneath.
Scotty didn't beg, but I brought him food as often as I could (which, you can guess, was pretty often). If there was a fried meat cart around I'd get him a hot dog or two; after the 'buffet' breakfasts for our guests, I would take allllllllll the leftover sausages in a bag and head his way. His favorite was sauteed chicken from Rokpa, but he was also a big fan of some leftover beef nachos we got on my birthday last year.
He protected his alley well, although no one really challenged him. It was clear he had been the boss for a long time (and the other dogs must not have really caught on that Scotty's teeth were worn down to nubs by now). However, he was always sweet (tolerant?) to a dog I called his "step-daughter" (as she was Mikey's baby)--Tara (or as we call her, Penelope). He was also very understanding when I basically moved a sick puppy (Frieda the Freedom Fighter) to his alley and took care of her there; she was allowed to camp out there, too, which I was grateful for (until she also passed on). Scotty probably knew that he would always get a cut of the food I brought Frieda, but I'd like to think he was also being kind.
One of my favorite Scotty characteristics is how worked up and vocal he would get when you really pet him–just totally got into that coarse, dirty ginger fur. When I was in Kathmandu, I was covered with a thin layer of that fur 24 hours a day. He wasn't the 'cutest,' most approachable dog on the circle; I usually had him to myself, honestly (and vice versa--he was a slightly jealous guy). There was a fine line, though--too worked up and then he just started 'yelling' at every person and dog that walked by during their rounds around the stupa. It always made me laugh even though I felt bad for inciting such a commotion. It never stopped me, though.
I got to spend some quality time with Scotty over the past few years–not nearly enough, but enough to develop a true fondness and honest respect for him. We often wondered if we would adopt Scotty if we had a home ourselves; we always said that he was OK on the streets--heartier and more resilient than other dogs--but I suspect that was to make us feel better about not being able to provide a home for him. His brother (an actual littermate, I believe, who used to live close by on the stupa...whose head I 'unstuck' from a temple fence more than once, lol) was adopted to Europe; although happy for his brother, seeing those pictures on Facebook broke my heart every time, imagining that could be Scotty, if only.
My biggest fear was always not knowing what happened to him; I'd already wondered how--or if--I would find out when this day came. Already I imagined going shop to shop this fall with his picture, looking for information on his whereabouts. Knowing that SDC was taking care of him in his last hours brought a tremendous relief. I don't know what caused his liver and kidneys to fail, but I do know he was between 8 and 10 years old--an old man for a street dog surviving on momos (dumplings) and bones. Never potatoes, though--that dog wouldn't eat a potato prepared in any form.
SDC provided Scotty dignity even in death, and he will be buried Tuesday--a full moon and a Buddhist holiday. Thank you to SDC for the compassion and reminding us that we CAN do good in this world, that we can change lives.
I know with everything else going on in this seemingly crazy world, it may seem silly to write so much about a street dog. There it is, though. The dogs I meet on my constant travels keep me sane and grounded, and no one more so than Scotty. He touched our lives & we'll miss him. One of our friends put it best: "There's a very special spirit in this dog suit."
Bye, Scootles, aka, 'Scotty Cootarotty [with the Hottie Body].'