The Dr Dog Devotion Awards day in Hong Kong so stormingly organised by a few of our dedicated Hong Kong team was the perfect example of the community coming together for the love of dogs (and cats). Great job Marnie (pictured with me here), Cassy (next pic, on right), Jasmine and Claire (pictured below on stage with the kids) and Edwina and Tele!
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!”
Two new bears have joined our Animals Asia family – a young female in China and a middle-aged male in Vietnam. I’ll write more in my next blog about the tragic story of “Misa Hai” in Vietnam, who was kept in a terrible, dark cage for 14 years.
Earlier this month, our amazing Italian office helped to organise the most beautiful concert for our bears: “Uno Stradivari per la Luna” (A Stradivari for the Moon).
Just recently we proudly welcomed our UK trekkers on site in Vietnam. These unsung heroes had trekked over inhospitable terrain for lengths of anything up to 10 hours a day to raise money for the bears, and arrived with us exhausted, but unbowed.
Thank you all so very much for your good wishes and beautiful thoughts for Franzi, which are still coming in. Not surprisingly, so many people were heartbroken that she had passed away, but no one more than her own team of caring bear workers here in Chengdu.
Imagine being born into an empty world, a world with nobody to comfort you, nobody to keep you warm, no hands to cradle you and nobody to provide for your instant needs, just an empty cavernous void.
When celebrity chef Simon Bryant arrived on site at our bear sanctuary in Chengdu, it was smiles all round. Simon is a fabulously popular personality in Australia and this talented chef and committed animal lover was happy to help in any way he could to benefit China’s dogs, cats and bears!
Many of our rescued bears in China and Vietnam are sleeping longer and eating less, telling us that winter's on the way. For the more active youngsters still bouncing around the sanctuary with their friends, I think they might have guessed that some festive goodies may be coming their way soon. If you'd like to make it a special Christmas for them - and for your family and friends - please consider buying your holiday gifts from us this year.
Chu Chu grinned as he always did – that silly beaming smile of his that stretches from ear to ear – and the years rolled back. It was Sunday, 18th October and my first visit in many years to Panyu, southern China, but the bears hadn’t changed one jot.