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Dog Devotion Awards, Part I – Wise words from Eddie

Just before I left home on the morning of our Dog Devotion Awards in Hong Kong, I asked Eddie what he would like me to say in my welcoming speech. “Well,” he said thoughtfully, “you could say that we dogs want more rights. For example, we want the right to have our tummies scratched whenever we roll over. We want the right to share your biscuits, to run on the beach whenever the sun shines, and the right to drink the water out of the toilet bowl without you people screaming in disgust!”

Eddie was really warming to his subject – “We want the right to decide whether a bath is really necessary, we want the right to steal the cat food, to walk in the rain and the right to sleep by your bed at night.”

“OK,” I said. “Just supposing we gave you these rights. What do we get out of this deal?”

At that point Eddie turned away and was silent for a while. When he finally looked up into my eyes he said quietly.

“In fact we just want food, shelter and love – and, in return, you get what you’ve always had. You get a friend who has lived with you for 14,000 years, who loves you unconditionally, who lives to be part of your family. You get a protector, who will warn you of danger, will let you know if a fire has started in your house, or if a stranger is at your door.

You get a hero who guards your life utterly, unselfishly with his. You get a friend who works the world over to please you humans. You get a friend that is all too often rewarded with being abandoned, neglected, tortured, killed and eaten.”

“OK,” I said to Eddie, “I understand the message – it’s simple isn’t it. This is the day when we have our best chance of giving dogs in Asia what they need most of all – a voice. Where we encourage people to love and respect dogs – and cats – in the knowledge that our lives are richer – and safer – from being in your company. This is the day when we can put our wrongs to right.”

To all of the Dr Dog heroes we honoured at our Devotion Awards, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and we promise to help you every bit as hard as you’ve always helped us.

Heartfelt thanks to the Police Dogs, to the Fire Service dogs, to our Dr Dogs and our Professor Paws, and to our volunteers, and hospitals and homes in the community welcoming the presence of our four-legged best friends.

To Hong Kong celebrity Gigi Fu – and to our amazing Doctor Dog and Professor Paws staff, Marnie, Cassy, Jasmine and Claire - and to all in our Animals Asia family – you are the change for dogs and cats in Asia and together we can change their world for the better.

Dog Devotion Awards, Part II – For the love of dogs
China dogs have their day!

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