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Rescuing A Dog From Starvation

You have met our dog Seidr and our dog Yaku.

Now it is time for you to meet the son of Yaku and Seidr, whom we have named Niji which is Japanese for Rainbow.

On September 2020 Yaku gave birth to 5 puppies.
We realized we could not take care of 7 dogs so we gave away all the puppies after 2 months.

3 of the puppy were given to the neighbours who said they wanted them.
And 2 of the puppies were given to our family.

Niji, Polaris, and “Noisy” were the 3 given away to the neighbour. The last one we called “Noisy” because he was always crying the whole night keeping us up at night.

We asked the neighbours if they could take care of the dogs and they said they could. They were fat pups when we gave them away,
but “Noisy” died after a few months from starvation.

Polaris is still alive and well-fed, but because she is a girl, she is kept in a small cage 24/7 to avoid pregnancy.
The people who take care of her can not afford to neuter her. We wish that if we ever have extra money, maybe we can spend it for her neutering so at least she does not have to be caged for the rest of her life.

At first, Niji was being fed, at least enough to stay alive. However, after a while every time we saw Niji at the neighbours we saw him becoming thinner and thinner until his bones started showing.

We knew Niji would die soon…

We were sure of this because just a month before we saw another healthy, strong and well-fed dog slowly starve until its body looked like a dried-out husk. Then he died.

We were contemplating taking Niji, but we were unsure if we could afford to take care of him and what burden it would place on us.
We also had just rescued an abandoned stray kitten from the street a few months prior, and we were wondering if we could rescue another animal.

But we knew we did not have much time to decide…
It was certain he would die in a few weeks.

Yaku, the mother of Niji, died almost 1 year earlier when the neighbours took care of her while we had to visit my mom who was dealing with cancer. With Niji’s obviously deteriorating health, we were now certain that our neighbours cannot take care of animals, not just because they are tight on their financial budget, but more so because they do not truly care about animals.

With the death of Yaku still fresh in our memory and the fact that Niji looked like his mother Yaku, we decided to rescue this dog from starvation.

We asked the neighbour if we could take Niji and they said yes.
We also asked them what food they gave him.
Apparently, the only thing Niji ate was cassava and white rice.
Of course, everybody knows a carnivore can not survive on just vegetables.

Rescuing Niji

Niji always greeted us whenever we walked near the neighbours, perhaps he still remembered us when we took care of him as a baby. In fact, when Niji was a baby, my wife would put him on her chest and let him sleep.
That is why taking him to our house was easy.
He was not aggressive, on the contrary, he was meek and shy, and he had no character of his own. He didn’t develop some personality as an individual, he was truly just skin and bones.

Once we took Niji into our house we realized just how neglected he was…

He could not look us in the eye. He always looked down. And while he did like to be rubbed and to be given pat-pats he was very shy and received them as if he did not deserve it. Basically, he had zero confidence.

When we checked his body there were over 50 ticks on him, sucking his blood.
We removed all of them one by one with a special tick-removal device.
Besides the ticks he also had many small wounds from Niji biting and scratching himself, probably from itchiness from the ticks.
When we weighed him he weighed 10 kilograms.

We gave Niji an anti-tick, anti-lice, and deworming medicine.
Then we gave him a good bath with anti-mange shampoo.
He already looked better and fresher after that. His fur coat was even shiny.

Our new dog Niji being washed with shampoo.
Our new dog Niji being washed with shampoo.

Then we gave him proper dog food, but there was a problem. He could not eat the hard food and disliked it, because he was only used to the taste and soft texture of rice and boiled cassava.
So we tricked him by soaking his dog food with water to make it soft and mixing it with a little bit of brown rice, which is at least better than white rice.
We also gave him vitamins.

After a week Niji was able to eat the normal hard dog food so from now on we give him pure dog food.
He even gained 1 kilogram already!

After a few weeks, all his wounds and scabs properly healed.

Niji does not know how to “play”. He does not know what to do with a ball or dog toy, or even a simple stick.
He also does not respond to fetch or anything that would be considered “play” for dogs.

Niji does love cuddles and receiving pats. I guess because he got so neglected. All we can do is to give him all the love and attention he deserves and hope that he heals from his emotional trauma and gets better.

Meeting daddy

After making sure Niji had no more ticks and no infectious diseases we introduced him to his father and our other dog Seidr.

Seidr wanted to play with Niji, but Seidr does not know his own strength so he was quite aggressive…
We trained Seidr by spraying him with a little bit of water and saying “NO!” every time he got too aggressive with Niji. After a while, Seidr understood that he is not allowed to be too aggressive on Niji and within a week we did not have to spray him anymore.
Now they get along fine.

Niji likes his father and follows Seidr around anywhere they go. After just 3 weeks of being with us, Niji follows us too and responds to us when we call him.
He has also become more confident.
He looks us in the eyes and loves receiving belly rubs.
He even snaps back at Seidr when Seidr annoys him too much.

Niji and the future

I hope Niji will get his full weight back soon and become the healthy dog he is meant to be.
I am already looking forward to hiking in the mountains with Niji and Seidr.

Thank you for reading about the new addition to our family. Share this to show your love to Niji

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