What creature causes Thai dogs the most suffering?
About 4 days ago, I arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand after about 28 hours in transit. Three flights from Vancouver, one long day and a sleepless night on the planes, crossing the international dateline, we are finally here.
This is my first real holiday in 5 years since I started my holistic natural healing experiment.
Looking back, I have had the best time helping you and others in healing your dogs naturally, making as much free info available as possible. At the same time, I have been challenged with obstacles on daily basis, realizing that sustaining a company from creating health is much more difficult than the conventional practice of treating a disease, selling drugs, vaccines and junky processed food.
I have stubbornly refused to accept that vets need disease to stay in business. I feel that our profession’s most important task is to provide you with knowledge on how to keep your animal friend healthy and do it at the lowest cost possible.
Some people say that I am an idealist. They may be correct. The idea of proprietary medical knowledge has never felt right. In my mind, healthcare should be in the public domain - available to everyone who needs it and vets and doctors should be rewarded mostly for creating health through prevention.
So here I am, 5 years later, turning fifty in a few weeks, looking back, and exploring the beautiful kingdom of Thailand and visiting elephants and dogs to learn more about animal problems.
I find travel essential because staying at home in Vancouver, “the world of dogs” could seem a pretty cushy paradise. Raw food, all natural supplements, dog walkers, dog nannies, doggy raincoats, doggy seat belts, harnesses and more...
In other words, being a lucky dog in the Western world often means a pretty privileged and pampered life. Of course, there are problems but the situation in 3rd world countries is much more serious.
Thailand is a country where a dog’s life goes from one extreme to another.
Some dogs are molly-coddled too much. They are carried in carriers that are similar to a baby snugli, dress in jackets (at 25 degrees C) and are not allowed to walk.
On the other hand there are the street dogs. They often do not trust people. They are scruffy, mangy creatures who may be respected according to the Buddhist tradition, but their needs are far from being met. They look sad and depressed almost as if they were missing the most important ingredient in life - ‘being loved’.
One of the places I really wanted to visit here in Thailand was the Elephant Nature Park.
A rescue non-profit organization that has transformed the lives of 36 abused or neglected elephants and also four hundred dogs.
These dogs were brought up to Chiang Mai, the second largest Thai city aside from Bangkok when it was flooded a few years ago.
In comparison with other dogs, these dogs are pretty lucky. They have food, shelter and some attention from the people visiting the park. They appear to have made a respectful arrangement with the largest dry land mammals, the elephants. But the biggest challenge they face is from one of the smallest creatures in the world - fleas.
I felt so helpless seeing how much agony these dogs go through itching and scratching all day long. The problem is that so far, no one has really come up with flea treatment that is natural and effective. I have tried many different approaches. It seems that everyone has an idea. The problem is that none of them seem to work. The most effective way to prevent fleas is to feed fresh raw food, which is unrealistic in place that is a home to 400 stray dogs...
I asked our community members on Facebook and Twitter what they thought and it became clear that most people agreed that conventional flea meds may be the best option.
That is what gave birth to the “Feel Good Buy” project.
The idea is that if you would like to help us and chip in to buy flea meds for homeless Thai dogs, you will receive a jar of GreenMin as a token of appreciation ($40 dollar value for free - excludes shipping). We also need people who will help us with this campaign so email us if you would like to volunteer.
I have included some pictures of rescue Thai dogs here. To make a donation, click here for more details.
Stay tuned for next blog - “Elephant stories...”
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM