Dog love…

Today was the Puppy’s first birthday, and the weather was perfect. We had a summery weekend. In Mafrica. Incredible.


First, we hiked in Narnia (aka, the Tapada). Last week was Equestrian Week, I’m told, and today there was a horse riding competition at the Tapada for some added color.

After a couple hours hiking and getting sun, the Puppy was wrecked. We took him home, had some lunch, and put him to bed for a nap (that is, we put him on the veranda) while we ran to the farmers market in Malveira. It was packed with sun-lovers, and we stocked up with more fresh fruits and vegetables than we could easily carry. It was just fabulous! Everything smells better, looks better, feels better, tastes better… Everything is better when the sun is out and the weather is warm 😉 I think I even got a little bit of color!

Now it is nighttime. Dinner consisted of a happily obscene amount of fresh produce. Now my Man is doing some work on the couch, the Puppy is passed out at my feet, and I’m here at my desk. Of course, I’ve already checked in on Facebook.


One of the first things I saw on Facebook was a photo album of a dog in Timor with venereal granuloma tumors. I’m not posting any photos here because they are quite upsetting. However, I invite you to do a quick search, or to look at Vet Antonino’s Facebook page to see the photos. (If you are a Timor person, you’ll already be friends with him, otherwise, you can check out the TOHA blog page [NB: TOHA stands for ‘Timorese Animal Lovers’ in Tetum]…there aren’t any graphic photos of the tumors posted yet, but the page is informative.) In short, these tumors are a result of a widespread STD in Timor and other parts of the world. I’ve only seen it present in females, but they can all but consume a dog from the vagina forward. It’s awful. It’s also very hard to save a dog once she has it. Desexing dogs seems to help quite a bit, and females don’t seem to develop the tumors after. Males are (as far as I’ve seen) asymptomatic vectors.

Anyway, other details aside, the Puppy’s birthday is cause for celebration in our household, and it is also a time to remember the tough situation of many dogs throughout the world.  I also want to express my gratitude for the work Antonino is doing, and for the support that the friends of TOHA have given to the shelter. TOHA’s needs are basic– food, shelter, funds for vaccines and basic veterinary tools. I read on the blogspot that a Dili yoga instructor donated the money from her March 2nd yoga class to TOHA. What did TOHA use it for? Lots and lots of dog food. 🙂 It makes me happy to know the Dili residents, visitors, expats, locals and other members of the motley crew are pitching in and showing some love 🙂

What? You have some valuable resources/time/money/support to offer TOHA? You want to know how? Here’s what the blogpage says:

How can you help TOHA?

There are several ways you can offer support to TOHA:
Make a financial donation
Adopt an animal
Contribute food for the animals
Provide equipment and veterinary supplies such as: food dishes, bedding, cages or containers, collars, leashes, muzzles, products such as shampoos, parasite treatments, etc.
Give a few hours of your time to work with the animals – cleaning, washing, socializing, etc.
Help us with running and developing the TOHA association, as a committee member or by assisting with administration. We also need help with English-Tetum translations
Organise a fundraising event
Larger-scale technical and financial support is also needed from donors, NGOs and Governments:
To extend the animal shelter and set up a TOHA office with permanent staff
To help us to devise and run public education campaigns, veterinary health roadshows, pet care workshops for adults and children and anti-cruelty programmes for youth groups.
To assist TOHA in supporting the development and promotion of a humane Timorese livestock industry
To offer advice on drafting and enforcing anticruelty legislation
To offer veterinary and para-vet training to Timorese people
Please contact us if you would like further information about these programmes.

Contact us

You could join our Facebook group, TOHA (Timoroan Hadomi Animal—Timorese Animal Lovers):
Or follow us on Twitter: @tohatimor 

You can email us at:
TOHA telephone contacts:
Veterinary services, Animal Shelter emergencies and adoptions:
Dr Antonino do Karmo +670-7233792
Public Relations and Media:
Ann Turner +670-7393879
Visit the animal shelter (please contact Dr Antonino do Karmo to make an appointment) in Rai Cotu, near Tacitolu, Dili.

So, yeah. That was a blatant plug. But can you blame me?

And now for happy photos from Narnia 😉


One thought on “Dog love…

  1. Amazing. The extent of cruelty and thoughtlessness amazes me. The absolute in Amazement, however, is that a few incredible human beings step up and send forth such love and good will and caring. Everyone who “Cares” makes a difference. Anyone who puts that “cares” into meaningful action is a champion. God bless and keep those who need….. Wools

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