Daw Tin Tin Hla nurses street dogs back to health
While she sews for a living, Daw Tin Tin Hla (50) lives for animals.
In the city of Mawlamyine, hundreds feral dogs and cats roam the streets. While most are afraid of humans and keep their distance, they'll often resort to fighting each other for the bits of food they are able to scavenge for survival. It's a hard existence, and it's not unusual for a fight overnight to result in the wounded or worse left lying on the road in the morning.
Daw Tin Tin Hla sees them in another way, and has taken it upon herself to give them a better life. While she is unmarried and has never wanted children herself, she says that she feels as though the animals are her children. Growing up, her father loved animals, and they had several cats and dogs around their home. In addition to her Buddhist faith, it was his example that she has followed to care for other living creatures.
So every few days, she'll buy dried fish and crackers from the local market, and walk around town to feed the animals. She even carries an injectable medicine to treat the dogs and cats who have a common fungal infection around here. Whenever she finds an animal she can't treat, she'll call the local veterinarian and pay for the treatment herself.
"Even if they can't speak, I can understand their expression"
When she spotted four young pups in the street by her home, they were starving and barely hanging on. So for the next 2 months, she woke up early each morning to bottle feed them back to health. As the months went by, they would often come to the entrance of her home in the evening to sleep in safety, bringing a huge smile to her face. A year and a half later, the son of a rich man took two of them for himself. She was devastated, and the grief left her with troubles sleeping. A short while later, the local authorities threw meat tainted with poison into the streets overnight, killing the other two.
There are many sad times, but she's resilient. Being with the animals makes her feel happy, and they could use all the love and caring that they can get.
- Dustin Main © 2016