Rescue: Sandy & Sandra

Sandy1

Sandy awaiting sterilisation

Sandy2

Young Sandra at foster home – no crawlspace large enough so lie next to nearest corner away from the pack and noise

Sandy&Sandra

The siblings at Tuas South construction site : Sandy the approachable one on the left, Sandra the more reticent one on the right

The discovery

I (stray feeder) first saw these two fluffy brown dogs in mid'2014, at a construction site at Tuas South when I went there to visit 2 licensed dogs that were relocated there.  They were about 3 months old. I named the more friendly one Sandy, the very shy one Sandra.I started to feed them on a weekly basis so that they would trust me as a friend, and be easier to catch when they were ready for sterilisation. The workers at the site are very pleasant and understanding of our work with strays.

 

The rescue

One Saturday in August 2014, when we arrived, ready to catch both for sterilisation, the workers told us : " government take already - at night ". The trappers had taken Sandy.  Sandra was still there as she had taken immediate flight. I bailed Sandy and put her at a shelter.

 

Two weeks later, I brought Sandy back to the site to lure Sandra into the playpen.  It took hours of both Sandy and I chasing Sandra till finally we tricked her into a corner, approached and looped a leash round her.  At last, we could send the two sisters to be spayed.

 

The rehabilitation

There was concern that staying at the noisy shelter would cause Sandra to be even more anti-human and feral. Both sisters were sent to be fostered and to be socialized into a pack.  While Sandy learnt to be fairly sociable both with other dogs and humans, Sandra still kept to herself, hiding in corners, coming only when called by her fosterer and allowing herself to be petted for a few moments before withdrawing again.

 

Forever homes

Sandra was definitely the more difficult dog to rehome given her fear of humans and her unsociability even to other dogs.  The fosterer requested a fellow CARES volunteer to test how well Sandra would adjust to her pack of two older dogs and cat, and consider Sandra as her third dog.  She was formally adopted in early 2015.

 

Sandra was renamed Heidi, an appropriate name as she immediately found a spot to hide in.  Subsequently, she found two other spots in which she spent different parts of the day, one of which was a lookout spot from which she could monitor the gate.  Now, Heidi happily yells at people who go near the gate, barks at dogs who dare to pass by, so much so that the other two are happy to relinquish those duties.  She has settled in – she pays respect to the male dog, is not allowed to bully the older female, and seeks out head rubs.  For treats, she sits, raises her right paw and touches the treat before she is allowed to take it.

 

Sandy took a longer time to find her forever home.  While she got on well with the pack at her foster home, she was always the underdog taken advantage of by the 2 rambunctious Singapore specials. Rather than be last among many, we felt that she deserved to be a pampered only dog. In May 2016, an older couple came to see her, took her for a trial two week stay and then confirmed in June 2016 that she should be a good fit with their extended family.

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Sandy1

Sandy awaiting sterilisation