Why Dogs With Heart?

Why Dogs With Heart?

This is why. This forsaken dog off the side of the road I met yesterday on the way to somewhere else. Treatment is coming, and though it may be far too late, love might at least hold her on her way to what comes next.

Are they everywhere? Yes. So much so that many do not see them anymore. Cannot see them, as to hold so much suffering—without any way to help alleviate it—deadens the human heart.

So that is why Dogs With Heart—a costly, time consuming, heartbreaking, health jeopardizing, and difficult project—refuses to turn away, even when the help is never enough, and the resources always too few. To sleep in peace knowing their suffering is acute and prolonged is simply impossible.

feel the cautious support from people here, and also sense their dismay, their feelings that such a project is futile in the face of it all. I am such an impatient person (not my best quality), and so much needs to happen (funding for sterilization and education, on top of the obvious immediate needs of nutritional support/safe shelter/medical intervention), that I pace up and down the rock behind my room until I can actually sit and meditate to realign enough to get back to work. I remain forever grateful that the presence of Spirit is much stronger, and more active, than the presence of my sorrow and worry.

“Bless the beasts and the children
For in this world, they have no choice
They have no voice.

Light their way
When the darkness surrounds them.
Give them love,
Let it shine, all around them.”

To a kinder world for us all, filled with Compassionate Action, most especially for the innocent ones, the “beasts and the children”.

Treating the Wild Ones in the Field

Working alongside the Department of Wildlife Conservation, we spent a rather amazing day in the world of tracking/darting/treating a wild elephant in need of veterinary intervention. It is an honor, in every sense of the word, to learn and serve with these fine people, all working so hard to keep Sri Lanka’s elephants wild…And safe…

Stories to come as soon as a rainy day keeps me bound to the IPad. When the weather is good, the work is too big to get the stories out of my head and on to the page.

Dogs With Heart = Kindness to All

Rolling out our new “Dogs With Heart” project logo as we prepare for the 3rd clinic in less than 2 months in rural Sri Lanka.   148 dogs have already been treated for a combination of mange, tick fever, worms, and bacterial infections, while another 37 families received vitamins, medicated shampoo, and flea treatments for their animals. We’re excited for the next big clinic, as for most families here it is the only access point they have for their dogs to receive medical intervention.
And as exciting as this is, it is something that occurred at the New Years Day party the village children threw for me that showed me the power of the Heart.  Two homeless dogs, Flower and Ali, have adopted me after receiving steady treatments for their various issues.  In the past when the children came over for English classes, they would mimic the harsh behavior  they have learned elsewhere, with fear and revulsion being extended to the pups. On Monday they were talking to, petting, and even cuddling the little tail-waggers! A handwashing to follow kept hand and heart healthy, and today, instead of stones being tossed, they actually called for the dogs to meet them on the dirt road.
 Every email I get I sign with “To a kinder world for us all”, and to see it unfold in the actions of the children was the best possible start to 2019.Dogs With Heart

Remembering Why We Do What We Do

A sunset spent witnessing wild elephants in their wild homes is a surreal experience, and an exquisite reminder of what so many of us are fighting for. Nothing in conservation is what it seems—there are the fights you expect and the ones you don’t. There are the conflicts that you can understand (even when you can’t always resolve them), and the conflicts that you barely dream could ever have a resolution in them.

Creating sustainable change rarely has a direct path, and the complexities of resolving Human Elephant Conflict on a very crowded planet can be overwhelming. Some days though, you get lucky enough to quietly watch families of wild elephants simply being elephants, renewing the hope that the beauty you see is the beauty that can be saved.

Light up the Night

We’ve begun setting up motion-sensor lights around test farms that have sustained recent crop-loss from several bull elephants.  Different wattages, different angles and heights, and reflective tape hanging from the wires are being installed. Keeping subsistence farmers safe helps keep wild elephants safe, and when you help one you help the other.

And yet, this won’t fix the problem—no individual solution has been found anywhere in the international community.  We hope that it WILL give farmers more time to respond when elephants approach their farms, while other conservation approaches are painstakingly implemented.  Keeping an eye on and tending the immediate issues while also working to amend the larger problems is at the Heart of The Elephant Love Project.
Shifting conflict into coexistence will take creative and cooperative efforts by us all—farmers, conservationists, tourists, anyone anywhere who eats rice or papayas or loves elephants — such a tall order when it will be a slow change in a fast moving world.  But not knowing how to fix the entire problem is no reason not to try to fix what we can, where we can, however we can.
Sometimes in the midst of such ongoing conflict it can seem impossible to even imagine that solutions can be discovered—and implemented—in time to save what we love.  But it is that very love that demands we continue to try.

1 Village, 91 Dogs, and 6 cats!

“Dogs With Heart”, a project from Heart of Ganesh and The Elephant Love Project, held the first Mobile Medical Outreach clinic at the village temple yesterday and everywhere you looked there were good families patiently waiting for hours for their dogs to receive free health care from the Heart. 

If you aren’t familiar with village life, it might be difficult understand what it takes to not only arrange such a rural clinic and bring in the veterinarian from the closest town, but also to be a participant with your dogs. People came by foot, by 3-wheeler, and by tractor, with their dogs and cats in cardboard boxes, led with roughhewn rope, or carried on their shoulders.
Along with additional home-visits and medical intervention scheduled over the next few weeks for 26 of the sickest dogs, we’re also preparing for the second clinic in the next village.  That our first outreach served almost 100 animals shows how important the work is, and how powerful the love is.  Some days you serve one, some days you serve many, but all days give us an opportunity to create a kinder world for all…
My concern about whether anyone would show up was a bit unfounded! 91 dogs! We are just getting started ❤️.

Dogs With Heart

Tomorrow we begin implementing “Dogs With Heart”.  Many will say that to even begin such a project in a rural village is foolish, for hungry, mangy, suffering dog are everywhere.

And that is exactly why we begin.  Because they are everywhere.

We’ll start with this pup, who is seeking refuge from the rain on my porch.  She smells terrible, her itching is unbearable, her ribs too visible. And her eyes?  All they say is “Love me please” — so we will.  And the circle will grow, because love begets love, and they are everywhere…

Project Report: Putrom 2, Cambodia

It was so good to see the kids from Putrom 2 again, the 2nd year Heart of Ganesh has supported their return to school by making sure they had the necessary supplies to start the new year off right! Collaborating with the Elephant Livelihood Environment Initiative has been a joy, witnessing the multi-layered changes that can occur when organizations work together for the benefit of all beings.

After handing out bags and singing songs, we visited the library we built for Putrom 2 last year, and we were seriously thrilled to see the condition of the books, art supplies, and the creative work that is being done there.  A charity never truly knows what will happen to what they lovingly built when visa’s and other work require  moving on to another project in another country.  To walk in to the library and see the care that has been taken was a HeartFull moment!

When I asked Mr. Savouen if there was anything that needed improved upon, he asked if the “Book Check-Out” sheets could be reformatted, because the children were checking out SO MANY BOOKS that there wasn’t enough room to record them…For a school and a village that previously had no access to a library, this was the best possible request we could have received and we  look forward to funding and expanding our support of these great kids.  The close-in walls of their small village will expand ten-fold if they are all given the chance to read, read, and read some more.  And then? Who knows what good they might do in the world. ❤️📚🐘🌍”

Back in Cambodia!

We’re back in Cambodia now, ready to take our “Elephants Can’t Read” project to the next level!  Meeting with the Community Board of the local education department, we reviewed how a year ago today we delivered school supplies to 127 kids going to Putrom 2 Primary School, many of them children of the minority ethnic Bunong, living not far from the border of Vietnam, and with long family histories in elephants.
Yesterday we helped the Elephant Livelihood Initiative Environment get children from 3 rural villages registered for the new school year, and soon we’ll set them up once again with all the school supplies they need, and also tend the library we built for them last year, filled with over 800 books, art supplies, and all kinds of mad love.
Trunks up for solid collaborations and for helping communities whose lives are intertwined with elephants—village by village, elephant-sized love changes lives, for the animals, the people, and the habitat they all call home.

Elephants are not “parts”…

We’re back in Thailand now after a challenging time working in Myanmar on several deeply saddening elephant situations. The trade of what some may call “elephant parts”, but we call “pieces of the bodies of sentient beings”, with every possible bit of these innocent animals being sold to the highest bidder. It is the most complex movement of illegal trade we’ve seen, and it was heartbreaking, eye opening, and never, ever, what it seemed.

From Myanmar, the main market for the the ivory, and the tail hair and elephant skin, is China. The market for elephant skin in China is huge. And this is, if it’s possible, more tragic than the ivory, as the murdering of entire elephant families and herds is done for skin. For the tusks, you need the big papas. For the skin, any age is a target…

CITES is slated to be held in Sri Lanka at the end of May 2019, and we’ll be there. It’s a bleak time for elephants, but more and more people around the world are fighting for the survival of the remaining wild ones, and for the humane treatment of those held captive. United we stand, in hopes that together, we can reverse the tragedy before it is too late as we fight for what’s right, for a kinder world for us all. We won’t give up, and we know you won’t either.