Monday, July 11, 2011

dogs that bound

This is Reo, who was surrendered to us on the side of the road as we were chasing a stray dog. We were between scheduled pickups when we saw a dog in the road in Namie-machi, Fukushima. (Namie is part in part out of the exclusion/20 km. zone, but mostly in the evacuation zone, where it's not totally illegal to be but where they strongly advise everyone to GTFO.) We stopped the car to try and look at the dog in the road, but he ducked and dashed and messed around a bit before bolting into the woods. Meantime, we had stopped a couple of cars because we were all over the road, and one of us had gone over to the nearest house to inquire about the dog. The owner of the house didn't know the Shiba stray, but when she heard about what we were doing, she asked us to take her dog, Reo.
The one that got away. Photo by David Irek.
While we were filling out the papers, one of the people in one of the cars we had stopped got out, and when she found out what was happening, she also brought a dog out of the car that she wanted us to take care of. Suddenly, we had two extra dogs we weren't planning on, Reo and Samu.
Doing Reo's paperwork in the road. Photo by David Irek.
Reo is only a year old, and spends 50% of her time airborne. She doesn't walk, she leaps. She doesn't put her paws on your legs, she jumps up to your head. She cannot be constrained by gravity.
Getting Samu into the car. Photo by David Irek.
Later it turned out that Samu was a mom, so the team went back out to look for her puppies. Miraculously, they were found. More on that story here. The puppies, who we called Charlotte and Wilbur (name that book) and Clarence and Sophie, grew rapidly and it soon became clear they were going to be bigger than their mom. They have all recently been placed in their forever homes. (Thanks Nina, Caroline, and Miki!)
Here's a shot of Clarence, looking plump. Photo courtesy Sarah C.
I'd like to dedicate Reo, Samu, and the puppies to Janis, who sent me a donation, and my brother, who is looking after my Timothy while I'm up north.

Saturday, July 09, 2011


I call these my forest kittens.

While picking up a dog by owner request that had been left behind in Kawamata, Fukushima, the cops approached Kimberly Mitchell, Ariel Acosta, and me. I pulled out my ID because they ask for our IDs every fifteen minutes when we're in the evacuation zone. (Last week I was stopped and ID checked five times in a couple of hours.) The police waved my ID off and instead asked for our help - they wanted us to look at some cats they were worried about, 300 meters up the road. I said we couldn't take any more, but we would do a food drop and check on them. When we arrived, though, we found two tiny kittens running up to us as we approached, and another one lying dead in a box at the edge of the forest. Flies were buzzing around. We put out food and looked at the one in the box, who, the police said, had been alive two hours before. It moved - barely. Not dead after all. We made a spot decision to take them all, scooping them up and running to the vet, an hour away.

The sick one didn't make it, and passed away in Kim's hands on the way there, Kim pouring love into her all the way.

Once at the vet, he examined them and found maggot eggs and sores around the anuses, and worked to clean them off. He put them in an incubator. They survived the night and became even more chipper the next day as we visited. After a few more days at the clinic, they were declared healthy enough to go to their new foster home with Sylvia, with a stop at my house on the way. Little survivors!

 I'd like to dedicate these kittens to the lovely Saboten Girl, who gave me a donation, and my aunt Asako, who sent us cages and many cartons of pet food. Thank you darlings.