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The night we rescued Basil

posted Dec 30, 2012, 9:02 PM by Hooi Ping Chee
20 Oct 2012

It took us less than 30 seconds to decide that we should rescue Basil when we saw him during our usual feeding round. He was with 3 adult dogs (one of them was his mum), bouncing happily and sniffing one of the dogs' butt.

From a distance
we already noticed that Basil had a swollen back (balu-ku). He was still bouncing around with other adult dogs, sniffing their back side. He was quite friendly. He ran towards Vincent when he tempted him with food. As Basil ran nearer to us, we were shocked to see two gasping puncture wounds on his back. We knew that he wouldn't survive if we don't intervene. So we did.

Vincent grabbed his green army towel and I emptied on of the boxes we used to carry the stray feeding food packs. At that point, Basil had already ran for cover inside a gate. Vincent put some food near the gate and this hungry pup fell for it. Without any hesitation, Vincent grabbed Basil with his army towel. Basil squeaked loudly while the other 3 adult dogs became scared and ran away. Once we put Basil in the box, he became quiet, very quiet. Not a single noise made. That was great because we still had to finish our feeding route; we were just starting then.

This was our first time rescuing a pup. I alerted the regular feeder via sms but it was in the wee hours, she must have fast asleep. We didn't know what best to do than to bring Basil home with us.


I used wet wipes to clean him while Creme watched from her 'watch tower' with her big eyes and shocked expression. The smell of the maggot infested wound was really quite disturbing. Then we let him out of the box and gave him some canned food and water.

He was very scared. He went inside the toilet and hid behind the toilet bowl. There was a tiny gap between the toilet bowl and the wall, and he managed to squeeze himself through it, with his head on one end, and tail on the other end.









After about 15mins, we went to check on him again. He has finished his food, and started to come out of the toilet bowl. But he immediately ran back to hide when he saw us. We laughed. We could already feel his cheeky and cute personality.

Seeing that he was ok, we went to sleep, only to find Basil whining. We went to check with Cookie, Basil was at the transparent door in the wet area which we closed to prevent him from exploring our place. He stopped making noise at the sight of us. And we went back to sleep. Then, Basil resumed his whining.

After a couple of times, we couldn't be bothered and let Cookie did the checking - Cookie has the kay-poh personality. He would stop when he saw Cookie. And the same thing repeated again when Cookie went back to the bedroom. In the end, Cookie also gave up checking on him. The three of us (incl Cookie) tried to sleep in the background noise of Basil whinning. Creme was absolutely terrified with Basil's whining. She hid underneath the sofa all the time. Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep.

In the morning, suddenly our place was filled with silence and peace, we found Basil sleeping in a corner.


Basil woke up real quick when he sensed that we were approaching. He came out of his shell with a vast change in attitude! He walked towards us with wagging tail and licked Vincent's hand. His open wounds didn't seem to bother him much. He was friendly, affectionate and in high spirit.

By that time, the regular feeder has made contact with the hospital and instructed us to just bring Basil to Dr Gino or Janet at the Animal Infirmary, and they'll know what to do. We put Basil back in the box. Under the daylight, we could see little maggots climbing out from his wounds. This poor pup must be in a lot of discomfort.


Here's Basil in the car on his way to the vet.
The kind Dr Gino examined him and said that he has a 'full programme' for him because he has multiple maggot infected wounds hiding beneath the fur, ticks and also worms in his bloated stomach. He was warded for a week.

On our way back from the vet, the regular feeder asked us to name the pup. She told us that his sister was rescued 2 days before him and she was named Andra, meaning strong and courageous. I wanted to call him 'Buddy' because he's very friendly. The
regular feeder commented that everybody calls their dog 'Buddy' and she suggested 'Dustin' (meaning brave and tough) or 'Everest'. But I didn't feel that the name suited the pup.  

So, when we reached home, like new pawrents, we searched online for baby boy's names. We wanted something more in line with Andra, either a name starting with A or B. In the end,
we decided to call this puppy Basil (pronounced as bear-zel - English pronunciation), meaning 'brave' in Arabic and 'kingly/royal' in Greek. Also, he's as sweet as the sweet basil herb.

This was how the story of Basil began.

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