Friday, 16 April 2010

Friends and Celebrations

Friday, 9th April 2010: A Big Thank You from Rocky and Project Second Chance!

I am convinced by now that my friends are proof that the Great Spirit up there is looking out for me.

I sent out an e-mail appeal soliciting funds for Rocky’s medical treatment on Friday, around noon, hoping that if we could raise half the required sum, Vegan Eugene and I could raise the rest of the money ourselves without undue hardship. I had included express instructions not to disseminate the e-mail appeal to third parties, as I would rather not have to deal with queries as to whether I am a confidence trickster or why didn’t we just decide to euthanize vulnerable animals. The email included Before & After photos of Rocky, and necessary medical information. All we requested was RM10 from each friend, knowing that if 50% of mail recipients were to contribute RM10 each, we would be able to pay Rocky’s bills immediately.

I had underestimated the generosity of my friends. Funds poured in continuously all afternoon, along with well wishes for Rocky’s speedy recovery. Some friends pledged to sponsor dog food. Audrey Q offered to pay for Rocky’s deworming and first vaccination (Latest update: Audrey made good on her promise with remarkable promptness, and as of Sunday 11th April, Vegan Eugene and I were informed by the vet that Rocky had already been dewormed and vaccinated.)

By 1800hrs, approximately 4 hours after my initial email, the amount of donations collected had far surpassed the amount we requested for Rocky’s treatment. Vegan Eugene was amazed by the positive response we received, and I was similarly overwhelmed and touched by everyone’s generosity. I had to send out a second message informing everyone to stop transferring money because we have exceeded the sum required.

The funds collected now are not only enough for Rocky, but could also cover the spaying of Sierra (if we could find her) and other strays. I will compile the accounts and send them out to all parties so they could tell that every cent has been accounted for.

Rocky really is a very lucky little puppy to be so loved, and I too feel myself to be enormously blessed for having the friends and associates that I do. From the bottom of our little hearts, Rocky, Project Second Chance, Vegan Eugene and me – We Thank You.

BEFORE: My apologies to the more fainthearted of my friends for the photo of the garish injury.

AFTER: Rocky being playful as Dr. Steven reaches in to adjust his crepe bandage.

Sunday, 11th April 2010: SPCA Sunday

Spent Saturday cleaning the parental home and trying to locate and catch a young stray female dog (who I have named Sierra) in my parents’ neighbourhood. Our neighbour across the street, Mrs. Ganesan, and I have been trying to bait and catch the dog for rehabilitation, spaying and re-homing since we first saw her 4 – 5 months ago, but the little dog remained elusive, skittish and impossible to catch. Now it looks like Sierra must have gotten a whiff of our intentions to catch and spay her because she disappeared the very weekend I returned with car seat protectors and Mrs. Ganesan bought her a chain and leash and food and water bowls. I just hope the little rascal turns up soon, and that she won’t be pregnant when she does.

I headed off to the SPCA, sans Sierra, after lunch to help out with the animal care work and shelter cleaning and maintenance, as usual. I arrived at the SPCA to find that fellow blogger Emily, who I have never even met in person, has left me a gift of a potted spider plant and some cash for Rocky’s medical treatment at the SPCA.

Thank you for the plant, Emily! I will take good care of her!

I am tickled by how the SPCA and MNS offices have now become my unofficial letterboxes. Nobody seems to know where my Bachelor Quarters are but everyone leaves cards, cash, seeds, books, letters and parcels for me at the SPCA and MNS administrative offices. Last December when I was preoccupied with the Shoebox Project, the SPCA and MNS offices became the ad-hoc drop-off points for everyone’s filled and decorated shoeboxes.

I mixed a pail of Tacktik EC solution and got the leashes and shampoo ready for washing the dogs at our Sick Bay. (Clarification: The debilitated dogs are housed in the Hospital. The dogs at the Sick Bay are not sick or injured at all, but quarantined until they can be dewormed, vaccinated and neutered.)

The kennels at the SPCA Sick Bay have remained pretty much the same for over 40 years.

I bathed and tickwashed the Sick Bay dogs two-by-two to save time and conserve water, singing as I worked. It took me almost 2 hours to finish bathing all 20 dogs. I cleaned the Sick Bay and put away my dog-washing kit.

I am glad I finished bathing the dogs when I did, because the weather turned slightly chilly after 1700 hrs. Reve and I started cleaning the kennels and Catteries, chatting as we worked.

I am an ace kennel cleaner!

It started to rain torrentially in the evening, and I played in the rain on impulse in between cleaning the shelter, despite the lightning and thunder overhead. It probably served me right that I developed a raging brainworm shortly after coming in from the rain.

Reve and I gave the dogs and cats their supper, took away the empty bowls for washing and finished cleaning the shelter by 1900 hrs or so. I showered and changed and helped Reve lock up before we parted for the week.

Sometime ago I made the decision that having a notebook would give me the flexibility I need to work as and where I needed. So, on Sunday evening, on my way back from the SPCA, I dropped by One Utama to purchase a neat little HP Mini Netbook for myself. I chose a Netbook because of its lightness, portability and energy efficiency.

My sleek new toy in my bedroom at the Bachelor Quarters!

My HP Mini 210-1084NR is Energy Star Qualified and used far, far less energy than a conventional desktop. The purchase of my new toy is vindicated both on grounds of necessity and of environmental responsibility!

It’s been another productive and satisfying weekend.

Monday, 12th April 2010: Friends and Farewells

The ultimate price to pay for the assistance and companionship of our bright young interns at the UNHCR, SPCA and MNSis that their stint with us always ends too soon. Goodbyes and farewells are a monthly occurrence, and there will always be some interns who will be missed more than the others.

Catarina came to the SPCA all the way from sunny artsy Portugal, bringing with her fresh ideas and commendable research skills. I could not, for the world, think of missing her farewell party on her last day at the SPCA.

Catarina is the brains behind the SPCA’s latest campaign, “RESCUED Is My Favourite Breed”.

Jacinta, Nic, Cunera and I had initially planned to take Catarina to a Thai restaurant nearby, but we arrived to find it closed. Our next choice was Korean food at Ampang Point, because it would be something novel for Catarina, and because there would be vegetarian options for Jac and I.

Catarina checks out her first Korean meal, while Nicole looks on with helpful suggestions.

Cunera and Jacinta enjoy each other’s company at work and outside of work.

We adjourned to Old Town for coffee and ice cream toast after dinner.

I wish you all the best, Catarina! I know you will go far in life and I hope you know you will always have a place to stay if you ever come back to Malaysia!

Wednesday, 14th April 2010: Feasts and Festivals

It has been a week of celebrations and feasts. Wednesday was Vaisakhi (Sikh New Year) for my Punjabi friends, as well as Tamil New Year for my Tamil friends and Vishu for my Malayalee friends.

My buddy Marvin and I getting ready to go to the Gurdwara with our buddy Amarjiet for early Vaisakhi celebrations. Doesn’t Marvin look hilarious with his turban?

Marvin and Amarjiet partaking of the Vaisakhi lunch at the PJ Gurdwara.

Amarjiet, Marvin and I head back to the office after our very satisfactory lunch. I bought coconut candy for the rest of the working stiffs in the office.

Wishing all my buddies Happy Vaisakhi, Puthandu Valthukkal and a Happy Vishu! May each year be better than the last, and may the New Year bring our country greater environmental and social justice!


louis said...

A new, Green!

Participating in all those different cultural are a great example of 1Malaysia I would think.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Rocky is so aptly named. Reminds me of Rocky Balboa and his fighting spirit. We hope to hear more good news of him. We pray that you'll find Sierra soon.
You look cool in your turban too....purrr....meow!

Ellen Whyte said...

Good news about Rocky, Ee Lynn. I've still to open yesterday's email. HEY WE MUST MEET FOR THIS PET ROCK THING!!! or I'm going to drop by the MNS next week. Will call you later today.

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Dear Louis,

Thank you so much for your kind words. Am loving my Netbook! 1Malaysia has been a way of life for people like Idrus, Pat, Keats and I long before the politicians gave it a name.

I hope you have a great weekend!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Dear Kitties,

I didn't think of it that way, but now that you mention it, Rocky is the purrrfect name for Rocky! I think they named him Rocky cos he was found at Batu Caves, geddit?

Thank you for the compliment! We loved being honorary Punjabis for the day!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Dear Ellen, Au and Target,

Yes, Rocky is a very lucky little boy! And if he is not adopted, we will bring him back to the temple caretaker who had tried to get him treatment, cos it's obvious the guy loves Rocky very much. We will get the licensing requirements done and get all his papers ready so he will be legit. And I will drop by and visit him on my way from Rawang to the SPCA from time-to-time.

Am sorry I am so bad at meeting up! Schedule packed! Leaving for Kuala Selangor Nature Park tonight/early tomorrow morning to conduct an environmental education workshop for teachers from 38 local schools!

Pat said...

So glad to hear that things worked out well for Rocky!

Hope you're having a great time in Kuala Selangor :)

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Dear Pat,

Thank you for your support, as always, my dear friend! 1 animal saved, 2 million more to go, but I am ready to go, Go, GO!

I will be leaving for Kuala Selangor only tomorrow morning. A bit too tired to be packing and driving tonight. Plus I have a date on Skype with That Special Someone ha ha!

Unknown said...

Tell me, Ee Lynn, is it banana smoothies by the tons that you consume?? Tremendous energy in you that's hard to beat! Enjoy Kuala Sel. Park!
Glad Rocky has found so many generous donors and recovering. Good work - you and Eugene!
We had an excellent vegetarian dinner at my sis-in-law's house to usher the Tamil New Year.

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Thanks for your kind comment and support, Keats! I get most of my energy from sheer willpower, if you must know! How can I ever rest when there is still so much work to be done? I had a great day at Kuala Selangor yesterday. Hey just a reminder: the Tiger Blogfest is this week! Let's all do our research and give it our best shot! Let's make a special effort for Malaysian Tigers!



hehehe looking at you and your friends celebrating vasakhi for me that's the true spirit of 1 Malaysia and agree with you many of us have done it long before the 1 Malaysia campaign

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Thank you for dropping by, Rizal @ Jalan Rebung! We had fun at the gurdwara and Hindu temple and look forward to more celebrations. Hope you're having a good week. Right now I am recuperating at home after dental surgery, so no chappatis or spicy food for a few days until the stitches close up.