Sunday, August 07, 2011

summer reading

Some extra reading:

Alex, our long-term volunteer and vet tech extraordinaire, kept a blog of her time here with JEARS. She kept much better track of day-to-day goings on than I have. Here's an excerpt from her website:

After the first pick up, Sega san led us to another location in Yamakiya that looked like a storage shed for agricultural tools. A dog was chained up, Kuro. He was extremely nervous and the owner or one of the people somehow related to the owner warned that he would bite. I meandered up to him bowed down with a slip lead and lots of treats and he eventually took treats from me and I got the slip lead around his neck. We then had to bring the whole chain with us because he was still acting out in fear aggression. After much maneuvering, we got him loaded into a crate and into the car. Since he has been at Club Lohas, though, he has become one of the friendliest dogs and he is especially attached to me and I to him.
Kuro, Shiro na no ni.
Alex is now traveling in Vietnam and we miss her sorely. Come back, Alex!

Inawashiro. Photo by Annabel Ratcliffe
Annabel took some fabulous pictures while she was in Inawashiro, really showcasing the gorgeous surroundings. Fukushima is stunning, and it's such a shame that some of these beautiful places have become poisonous for their inhabitants.
Penny. Photo by Annabel Ratcliffe.
Kangaroo. Photo by Annabel Ratcliffe.
Canal near Club Lohas. Photo by Annabel Ratcliffe.
The fabulous Sylvia wrote up her experience of returning two dachshunds, Romeo and Juliet, to their owners in Iwate. It turns out the dogs are heroes! I was in Fukushima when they came down from up north, then they went to Heart Tokushima for awhile, then came back to us in Fukushima again for awhile before going back home. Stories and photos by Sylvia Hatsutani.

命の恩人~The dogs that saved lives

by Sylvia New Hatsutani on Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 11:10pm
Mommy's home!
I had the wonderful opportunity to drive two wonderful Dachshunds, Romeo and Juliet, to Rikuzentakata, Iwate and return them to their rightful owners. Since the Mega earthquake and tsunami about 4 months ago, they have been in the care of JEARS until their owners could settle enough to take them back. Now that the owners are in a temporary pre-fab home, Romeo and Juliet got to go home. Upon arriving, amidst the happy reunion, the owners explained that these two had saved their lives.
今 週、岩手県陸前高田市に2匹のかわいいダックスフンドを元の飼い主に送り届けるというとても素敵な経験をさせてもらいました。ロミオとジュリエットは約 4ヶ月前の大地震と津波からJEARSのシェルターでケアされてきました。仮設住宅にやっと入り落ち着いた飼い主の元に帰り、幸せな再会の中、'この子達 は命の恩人なのよ'と話してくれました。
With JEARS founding partner and JEARS Fukushima organizer, Susan Roberts

Living near the sea in Rikuzentakata, after the earthquake hit, the owners stayed inside their home. Romeo and Juliet would not stop barking and whining, and acted very nervous. Thinking that the dogs sensed danger, the owners decided to load them up into the car and drove to the nearby evacuation site, which saved their lives from the tsunami. Since dogs were not allowed inside, the owners left them in the car which was parked some distance from the evacuation building. Unfortunately, the car was swept away by the tsunami with Romeo and Juliet inside. The owners searched for the car and found them 3 days later, not a single drop of water had entered the car and both dogs were safe. They found a package of bread that was left in the car and survived off of the bread.
Had the dogs not warned them, they said they would have stayed in the house and would have been swept away. Rikuzentakata was hit with tsunamis reaching 5 stories.
This is truly a wonderful, touching story that filled my heart. I am glad that I got to meet this family.
海 に近い陸前高田にいる飼い主は地震の後家にのこっていました。所がロミオとジュリエットは落ち着かず、吠え続けていたため、危険を察知してる物と思って犬 たちを連れて車で近くの避難場所に移動したそうです。犬は建物に入れないので、少し離れた駐車場に2匹を車においていたそうです。所が、ロミオとジュリ エットを乗せたまま車は津波に流されてしまいました。飼い主たちが車を探し出したのは3日後。水が一滴も入らず2匹は車の中においたままのパンを食べて無 事でした。もし2匹が騒がなければ家に残り、津波に流されるところでした。陸前高田は5階ほどの高さの津波に教わたそうです。
They were so happy to see their family.

Rolling around in happiness.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Chicken Wednesdays

It's Wednesday again. Time to feed the chickens.
We've been feeding these 80 chickens in Namie-machi, in Fukushima, for a few months now. The owner has long evacuated, and when we first found them they were dehydrated and hungry, a few of them dead. Since then, we've been going back twice a week, on Wednesdays and weekends, to replenish their food and water supply. They've grown healthy and robust and have started laying a ton of eggs. They have a relatively large coop - I'd say at least 15X30 feet - with lots of space to peck and roost.
I've learned a couple of things about chickens that I didn't know before. First, how to hold one, taught to me by Sister Michael Marie, one of our volunteers. "Control the feet, control the bird," she says. You thread your middle three fingers between the feet, holding on tightly, and the bird will soon be calm and let you stroke its feathers.
Another: chickens are really friendly. After the first time we went, they would run to the door as we pulled up, strutting around our ankles and crowding the entrance, in anticipation of food and water. I haven't been pecked, and they let me pet them, coming close if I crouch down.
I was afraid that a roosting hen would peck me if I messed with her while she was laying, but they don't seem to mind at all if I gently pull the eggs out from under them. Did you know that chickens eat their own eggs? We pull the eggs out and put them among the feed and they peck them open and eat them up, getting protein and calcium. They even eat the shells.
Right now, one of our volunteers has sent an egg to a lab to be tested for radiation. So far, the iodine levels have been normal. We're waiting on the results for cesium. These chickens have been living almost unattended for four months in the 30km. zone of Fukushima. I'd like to dedicate these chickens to Andy, who sent me a donation, and Anastasia, who donated a microwave and mini fridge to us. Thanks guys!
The owner, whom we finally contacted, has said that he's willing to let the chickens go to adoption. Anyone want some chickens?