Monday, April 18, 2011

Ding Ding Ding!!! Round TWO

This is the last year in my current job and a fact that is not overtly advertised was uncovered ten days ago. I  found out that we are entitled to 5 days of volunteer leave per annum! Add that to my upcoming Golden Week holidays and I am free and clear to head north for 9 days to volunteer for the animals again.I'll be using two of those unique days and save the rest for a little further down the line. That way,  further into the academic year a banal one day mid-week national holiday combined with one personal day could mean 8 days of dedication to Tohoku. Sorry for the lapse into numbers there, but juggling the personal days, with national holidays, with "refresh" days, volunteer days, "mental" days and "special circumstance"days may seem like hair splitting to folks in a western work environment but it is power for the course at this National University. The skill and dexterity required to navigate officialdom and kanji-dense paperwork is a constant eye-opener, both in literal and metaphoric terms.

Bureaucratically signed off on, I am endorsed to hit the road........... as long as I wear a mask. I will, and I shall provide photographic evidence thereof. I'll use my personal weight allowance to get animal supplies north with me but it is only 23kg/ 50-ish lbs of checked in luggage as in only 5  or 6 bags of pet food. I use my  carry-on allowance for personal stuff, you know like a change of clothes or two.------side note!!!---- Here, (as in , "in Japan") you are allowed to have a "shopping bag" full of omiyage (souvenirs), in addition to your carry on bags when boarding. On my last trip to Tohoku the bewildered X-ray machine staff were scratching their heads at my outwardly touristy "I Love Okinawa" emblazoned bag filled to breaking point with pet pee pads.They dutifully scanned them and now they grace the floors of the wonderful Niigata shelter I had the privilege of volunteering for.

I copied the "wish-list" from the JEARS page. If anyone wants to help out, I am more than willing to bring this stuff up with me or even ship it to one of the shelters in the JEARS coalition. They predict that the kitten formula and puppy formula is going to see a hike in demand as the Fukushima cats and dogs that have been let loose to fend for themselves since the evacuation advisories mix and match.This, paired with the fact that spaying and neutering is not as common in Japan as it is in the west when it comes to responsible pet ownership should see a population explosion within in the next few months.This formula is nutrient dense and can also be used to provide sustenance to the animals coming in from areas their owners had not expected to be gone for very long from.These guys are often in very very poor condition.

 fleece blankets        warm clothes for dogs-all sizes                dog toys   cat toys    scratching boxes or posts        washable dog/cat beds or pillows                             treats
 newspapers (for cages)
 rolls of plastic “potty” bags  (100Yen store)        pet sheets
 bath towels             washcloths                               paper towels
 laundry detergent    dish detergent          heavy duty trash bags                              antibacterial hand soap (volunteers)
 canned cat food   (Anything high quality as incoming kitties will need  al the nutrition they can get)  
 dry cat food    (Anything high quality as incoming kitties will need  al the nutrition they can get)                                 
(KMR) kitten milk formula  sturdy food and water bowls       katsuobushi             litter boxes
 litter box sand         cat shampoo/conditioner          nylon collars
 dog crates and kennels            cat carrier
 (Anything high quality as incoming doggies will need  al the nutrition they can get)  
 canned dog food   
 dry dog food         (Anything high quality as incoming doggies will need  al the nutrition they can get)  
sturdy food and water bowls   Puppy milk formula     Epiotic Ear Wash Liquid
nylon collars and leads (all sizes)            dog shampoo/conditioner
 sterile gauze            saline solution
 bandages for dogs and cats      antiseptic wipes for pets         cotton balls              Q-tips
Pedialite (Non-flavor, non-sugar re-hydration food for infants (good for dehydrated malnourished animals)


  1. Awesome, awesome, awesome blog and post! And thank you for the lovely video on Maruko-chan--I certainly cried watching it... Please keep up the wonderful work--it's much appreciated by those on four legs and two legs alike :))

  2. when are you heading out? I would like to make a run to the store and pick up some of these things for you to either ship to or take with you...

  3. Hi Karla, I am heading out Thursday of this week. I am coming up to the Foster area tomorrow evening to pick up donations from people. I will also have one last lunch time run on Wednesday at midday.