People and Places

Need your help for these little pups

Posted on January 27, 2013

This is a post asking for help from any of you who are animal lovers.  See the photos and email below.   For those of you who don’t know him, Phil is daughter Emma’s British boyfriend and a journalist living in Syria.

We’ll be looking for homes for these two little guys if Phil can get them from Syria to the US. Can you pass this around to your animal loving friends as well.  Better photos will come (these are Skype shots attached – look like little bears, don’t they?).


Phil hopes to leave Feb 22nd with them.  This is the story…..

.From: Philip Sands [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Sunday, January 27, 2013 1:26 AM
To: LeBlanc, Paul
Subject: puppies


Hi Paul,

I don’t know if you’re heard the news yet; two puppies now living upstairs.
More puppies – exactly what I said I wouldn’t do.

I have no real plan – they were being dragged around by some kids on Friday, and were about to be thrown in the dry irrigation pool. It’s the place that kids in this neighbourhood  seem to really enjoy throwing puppies – they either get fatally injured in the 7 foot drop, or are left to die of starvation down there, surrounded by broken bottles and rusting barbed wire.

Anyway, I talked to the kids, and their parents and took the pups back to where they’d found them the day before. I fed them too – they were starving and hadn’t eaten for 24 hours, which must seem like a long time to a pup.

I hoped their mother would come for them (that’s what happened with the pup I pulled out of the same bloody irrigation pool on Monday – I fed him and left him at the nearest security checkpoint where they fellas are nice; his mother fetching him in the early hours, they said. That pup was just like Arthur, a fine fellow, and old enough to walk properly etc. He was terrified, and had been screaming his lungs out, stuck in the pool. It was dark and, although one isn’t supposed to be out there after dark, I couldn’t bare it and went to fetch him out. I ended up being taken off by security at gunpoint for that. They thought I was up to no good. In hindsight, I was lucky not to have been shot. I was a fool. But there we are. These things happen.)

I went back yesterday morning to check in on the pups and their mother hadn’t taken them, was nowhere to be seen. They’d crawled next to the rubbish skip and were curled up together, wet, filthy, shaking from the cold and starving. I couldn’t just leave them (your clear moral guidance on that one! And Emma’s!) so I put them in the basket on my bike and brought them home.

They’ve since eaten, rested and seem to be okay, sleeping on a hot water bottle, waking for food, going back to sleep. The life of Riley actually. They’re recovering it seems. I took them to the vet yesterday. The little brown pup has an eye infection but I’ve some cream that should clear it up. They’re not otherwise sick – nothing like Sally was when we brought her. She was in a terrible way. The vet said with food, warmth, rest they’d probably be just fine.

The pups are both male, brothers. One is brown; he’s smaller, less robust but has enough spirit that he holds his own when they have a little wrestle. The grey one is bigger – I think he hogged all the food in the litter. Both sparky little chaps. No idea what breed. They’re not spotted in colouration like Arthur, and they’re not some weird frantic German Shepherd cross like Sally. They’re street dogs. Most of the street dogs around here are very amiable, handsome enough fellows.

They’ve already got small teeth. Their ears are still not open properly. They march around with the ill coordination shared by drunks and puppies. They’re a bit rotund, and look (as all puppies seem to look). More like small bears than dogs.

Oh, also the brown one has has his tail cut off, a little more than half of it gone. Not sure what happened there. No wound to speak off. (What is it with children and that irrigation pool? And children and puppy mutilation? The strange thing is this hasn’t happened for a year, not that I’ve seen. I think all the local kids learned from the Sally and Arthur saga, and they’re much better with the pups now. The problem is, loads of refugees have moved in – which means new, bored kids. Actually, one of the local boys saw me dealing with these pups on Friday and he came over to help and told the boys off for being cruel to the pups. He remember Sally and Arthur and asked after them. Those two are pretty famous around here. In fact, one of the reasons I wasn’t either shot or arrested at the checkpoint on Monday is that the guys recognised me – they remembered Emma and I used to walk around all the time with two dogs)

As I said, I have no plan. But, as a forewarning, I suppose I might end up asking you for help again, in finding them a new home in the US perhaps? By all means say no if this is a bridge too far. (It is a bridge too far, I realise).

I do also see the absurdity of helping a couple of pups when there is all this misery around. And plenty of dogs in the US that need help, good homes. Nevertheless, here I am….

One way or another I’m likely to travel out of Syria before 22 Feb. That’s when my residency expires. I’ve not heard anything about my press credential renewal; no indication of whether I’ll be rejected or accepted. Either way, I’ll need to leave by Feb 22; either because my immigration status has gone bad, or because I need a holiday.

I’ll speak to Emma about it all, but if you know anyone who wants one or two pups I have a couple that need a place…
Hope all is well there, and that I’ve not just ruined your Sunday!


One thought on “Need your help for these little pups

  1. I was wondering what has happened with the two Syrian puppies? I wish I could adopt them, but I already have two recued dogs and three rescued cats. Did they come to the U.S. with the corespondent?
    Please let me know.
    Thank you.
    Mrs. Merryl F. Goldman

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