A Day in the Life of a Safari Dog – Ajax
Safari Dogs live at the Safari Park, Kanchanaburi, and are rescued from the streets or abandoned at the animal park. Some of the volunteers have started their own Dog Rescue initiative – the first Action For Dogs house! This blog was kindly written by Alex Clarke for actionfordogs.com
You can get more information on the dogs who live there on facebook!
The sun is coming up but where are the volunteers? Still asleep I bet. I’m just going to wait here until they wake up. The other dogs are all sleeping on the tables but I am in my prime position watching the road and guarding my humans from the evils mopeds. If I don’t like the look of a moped I will chase it and bark at it along with the rest of my pack. The Mahouts1 just went past to start work and see their Elephants. I don’t like the elephants, they are too big. I like to spend my day at Rescue and at the Big Cat Garden with my favourite animals, the Monkeys, Birds and Leopards!
YAY! One of the volunteers is finally awake and up. I am going to wait to be called over so I don’t seem desperate. Maybe I will move just a bit closer… she’ s giving the other dogs food so I am going in… engage sad eyes. Time to bury this piece of bread the nice volunteer gave me and then I think Kota and I will make our way across the field to Rescue whilst the volunteers tend to Princess, one of my best friends. Why does Princess get special treatment though? I wish that she would just get on with the rest of the dogs like I do. Everyone loves me. I race Kota, one of the puppies, to Rescue when the other volunteers begin to leave for work. I went to Cubs yesterday to see my Thai friends, but they gave me spicy food again and it made me sick. The lady with the squirrels was back too, she brings tour groups from the big town to visit our safari park. She’s really nice and can speak both the languages. I can speak both the languages too. All of the dogs here can, we are very clever.
We arrive at Rescue just as Miss Ao is moving Chutney2 to clean his enclosure. Junior is trying to grab Kota so I go and play too. King Kong3 sometimes likes to pet us but not always; today he is acting like we are not even there. The volunteers are walking past now with Princess and are shouting at Kota and I… oh no, they want to put us on rope to keep us still! Guess I will be going to Big Cat Garden…. But not before I chase some Barking Deer!!!!!! One of the volunteers is chasing me this is so much fun! I wore myself out really quickly; it’s super-hot today. I go and see what’s going on at Elephants and see if my best friend Rai is there. He is there and gives me so many cuddles! He’ll share his lunch with me in a second. I love lunch! After I’ve eaten Rai’s lunch I go back to the Big Cat Garden to eat some of the lunches there. Princess hates me doing this because she thinks it’s all for her. She’s so mean sometimes.
Tat and her pet rat Rainbow just arrived to say hi even though it’s their day off today. I don’t know why she has a pet rat that acts like a dog but it’s a fun rat though, I like Rainbow4. After the work day had finished and all of the volunteers and staff return to their homes. I follow Princess and the Big Cat volunteers back home too. Home time means dinner time! The volunteers are having dinner already when I get back so I sit there and stare at them because that’s how you get extra food. The volunteers then clean up their things and settle down. Two of them are watching the magic box so I sit with them until later on when another volunteer comes out and gets all of our dog bowls out.
The puppies and Sammy and Daisy are fed in the kitchen and mine is hidden around by the water tanks so it doesn’t get stolen because I am a really slow eater. I watch a volunteer take Princess her food in her house. It’s not fair that she gets her own house. I want my own house.5 After I finish my dinner I go and settle in for the night on my pile of dirt where I can see all of the mopeds go past and chase them if I feel like it. I see the puppies go over into the field to play but I am still too tired from chasing the Barking Deer earlier. In the cooler months I snuggle up with Rai in his bed, but in the summer it’s just too hot so I will always come to my nice cool pile of dirt. My best friend Rai comes to say goodnight to me before he goes to bed, so I know it’s time for me to go to sleep too. 6
1 A Mahout is an elephants rider, trainer or keeper. Being a Mahout is a 24/7 365 days per year job. Each Mahout will typically have 1 Elephant which is theirs. 2 Chutney is a resident Gibbon at the rescue centre. 3 King Kong is a resident macaque at the rescue centre. 4 Rainbow (Bo) was a small dog who used to live at the safari park with the volunteer coordinator. For months she was recovering from bad mange which was treated daily by Tat and dedicated volunteers. 5 Princess was a dog who lived at the Safari Park for a long time. She was territorial and aggressive towards all of the other dogs apart from Ajax. She now lives in Virginia in the United States with the old Big Cat Team Leader Marla, who fell in love with Princess and could not leave her behind. 6 Rai will be adopting Ajax soon and is currently working at the Safari Park and living with Ajax and the other dogs and volunteers.