Tag Archives: Thailand

Care for Dogs

For the last 6 – 8 weeks we’ve been volunteering at a local dog rescue / shelter called Care for Dogs. Most of the 180 dogs here at the shelter are soi dogs that have been injured in some form, (usually accidental but often from neglect or outright abuse) including quite a few that have been rescued from the dog meat trade (yes the dog meat trade but that’s a different topic entirely).

Care for Dogs operates primarily from the blood, sweat and tears and the tireless efforts of a number of (mostly) volunteers dedicated to helping our four legged friends receive medical care AND find a new home. Care for Dogs is also committed to conducting a regular number of sterilizations each month to address the dog overpopulation issue here in Thailand.

If you come for a stay, you can expect to join us for a day of dog walking … so be sure to bring your walking shoes. Of course there are other ways you can help …. and yep that means cash. Providing food, shelter and medical care for 180 plus dogs is not cheap and Care for Dogs relies entirely on donations from people like you and I. Thailand is not exactly a thriving economic center and without the exposure to foreigners willing to donate to the shelter, I’m afraid that the center would not survive. We recently picked up a couple of leashes, collars and grooming supplies and it all cost about the same as they would in the US so even if someone wanted to send a “care package” in lieu of cash it would be put to good use.

If you are really feeling especially gratuitous you can sponsor a dog. Here’s just a few of the dogs we walk …

This is Fritz and Jones. Fritz is blind in both eyes but as you can see he’s a healthy boy. Unfortunately, he’s a bit too heavy to be carried out of the enclosure by most of the volunteers so he doesn’t get walked as much as he should. He’s a gentle boy who loves being brushed and cuddled with. Jones is a big boy too and he’s definitely the top dog in his little corner of the yard but his bark is much bigger than his bite.  Frankly, I think he’d spend all day licking the sweat off if I allowed him to.

This is Penny (left) and Tam (right). Tam and 3 of Penny’s offspring are segregated from the main yard because they don’t play well with other dogs. Penny has a cage all to herself because, well, her junk brings all the boys to the yard. Tam has become one of my wife’s favorites to walk and if we find ourselves in a position to foster / adopt, Tam will definitely come with us. Surprisingly (given her reputation), Penny has been a joy to walk, she doesn’t pull, listens quite well, and she even takes treats like a lady.

These 2 beautiful sisters were recently “found” wandering the parking lot at the local mall (coincidentally there was an adoption event going on the same day). This is the first I have seen of German Shepherds in Thailand so my guess is that they were brought in by foreigners, then ditched for whatever reason. Never the less, these 2 girls can’t be more than 2 or 3 years old and they are still quite playful. I don’t think that they have been walked on leash much and they tend to weave but I think that will be easy to overcome with a little persistence. We encountered a few soi dogs while we were walking the other day and they definitely got agitated but never got too aggressive. These 2 girls are not soi dogs and don’t belong in a shelter and I’d be heartbroken if they were broken up so I am hoping they find a good home together soon.


Rick the prick, Lulu the lap dog, and my bud Fritzi. Lulu is a very jealous dog but when she is getting attention she is all love. Rick is a social young male that loves attention but tends to bark at the other dogs when they get in the way of his human time.

Here’s just a few more that need YOUR SUPPORT.

To learn more, please visit the Care for Dogs website at http://www.carefordogs.org and be sure to add them on Facebook.

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Care for Dogs

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Care for Dogs 18.717037, 98.908242

Songkran 2015

So now that we’re a few days past Songkran, I figured it was time to put pen to paper (euphamistically speaking of course) about our first New Year holiday in Thailand. The first thing worth noting is that the Thai’s celebrate several New Years Holidays during the year (World, Thai, Chinese and often individual tribes have a new year celebration of their own).

I’ll dispense with the not so fun part about Songkran: over the course of the 7-day holiday there were 364 deaths, 3,559 injuries, 3,373 accidents with 39% of the accidents attributed to drunk driving. With a little over 80% of the accidents involving motorbikes, it’s not terribly difficult to understand why there are so many (unfortunate) deaths. I sure appreciated being in a smaller town though, I’m sure Chiang Rai had it’s share of accidents but we didn’t see any ourselves. It was fairly clear as the week progressed that alcohol consumption and it’s prevalence in and around motor vehicles was on the rise, so we made it a point not to be on the road much more than was necessary.

One thing that I really appreciate about the Thai culture is that many businesses were closed for several days, the last few days of the 7 day holiday period, the whole town seemed to be shut down … we couldn’t even get a massage. Often, the businesses that were open, the employees were stationed outside their shops armed with water guns, buckets, or trash cans full of water waiting for willling, and sometimes unwilling, participants to pass by. We saw trucks with 8 – 10 people (from age 6 – 60) packed in the back, and if they weren’t all armed with super soakers, there was sure to be a 50 gallon drum of water (ice cold often) in the back. And there was no safe haven, we live on the outskirts of town and figured the “action” would all be in town …. NOPE …. the locals that run the small ma & pa shops, or live along the road, all had their buckets at the ready. They often had cones out in the road and would walk out into the lane to get our attention and slow us down ….. just to have buckets of water poured over our heads. It was all very good spirited though, I never felt like anyone was being “aggressive” about wetting us. However, we actually made it a point not to go out one day after a few days of getting absolutely drenched on the road no matter what path we took to or around town. We were able to “wave off” a few dryness saboteurs one afternoon but so many of the businesses were closed it wasn’t worth the effort.

Can you imagine what the news headlines would read after a holiday like this in the States? “Dozens dead as gun shots ensue from giant water fight in Los Angeles” … OR … “Over 7-day period, cops kill 10 citizens carrying life-like water guns because they “feared” for their dryness” … OR … “OC woman sues child 8, for making her spray-on-tan run”. But here’s the thing, the water tossing and wetting is a symbolic blessing. I suppose that in a country where 95% of the population is buddhist, the symbolism of the whole event is not lost on very many. Even the people that were trying to avoid getting wet, but did, were good spirited about it. But I will say, I targeted dry, unsuspecting foreigners as often as possible. Talk about a return to childhood, I don’t think I took a break at all one afternoon I was having so much fun.

For anyone that is thinking about visiting Thailand, Songkran is definitely one of those holidays that is unique to this region of the planet and would be worth the time. If your time is limited and you want to do a lot of other “tourist” related activities while here, it would be smart to allocate some time before or after the Songkran holiday for those activities.

The main street, standing room only.

Bangkok

Finally got around to sorting through some of the photos we took during our trip to Bangkok in 2014. Originally we were considering moving to Chile but there was just something special about Thailand and after just 2 short weeks, we were hooked.

Bangkok Skyline

Cabbages and Condoms Restaurant

Thai Boxing at the world famous Lumphini Stadium

Various temples

 

Doi In Cee

This is a must see for anyone visiting Chiang Rai, the drive up is a bit precarious but the views from the mountaintop are gorgeous. We can even see it lit up at night from our balcony.

A video of our ride up the mountain on the motorbike.

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Doi In Cee

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Doi In Cee 19.906090, 99.737440