Prisoners in Doi Saket – Part 1
What have they done to deserve this?
Care for Dogs
do we humans think we have the right to mistreat and abuse dogs, to keep
them in cages or chain them up? What have dogs done to deserve being locked
up in small isolation prison cells day and night, with no freedom to run,
play, and get a hug from a person who loves them? This is what every dog
needs and should have. Have they robbed a bank, killed a person, have they
been corrupt? What gives us humans the right to treat our “best friend” so
The above were the questions which were running through our minds as Soraya
and I checked out a certain place, together with Thomas, a dog lover who had
informed us about the plight of dogs being kept there and asked us if we
could come out and take a look. When we looked around, we saw that three
dogs were being kept in a factory area in very small cages, day and night,
used as guard dogs. The cages were rotten, some filled with old faeces,
containing no water, all in the hot sun.
One of the dogs was a Rottweiler mix, one a smaller fluffy dog, and the
third a Labrador. I usually wouldn’t put my hand in a cage of a dog I don’t
know, let alone a big guy like the Labrador. However, when he saw me, he
tried to press his head and paw through the bars, yearning for love and a
human touch. When I cautiously approached him, he tried even harder to
squeeze his paws and his head through the bars to get in touch and just
wanted to connect with a human being who would give him some relief from his
misery for a few moments. Such a gentle big soul—it was clear he wouldn’t
harm me but was just in desperate need of someone to give him some love, and
it seemed as if his whole body language was saying “Take me away from here!”
When we put a bowl with water in the cage, he desperately tried to get out.
I felt like a betrayer when I quickly had to lock the door again.
When we finally made contact with the owner through his son, and explained
to him the situation, we asked if he would let us take the dogs with us. He
flatly refused to let them go, saying that he wanted to continue to use them
as guard dogs who bark when someone enters the unfenced compound. Our lawyer
also talked with the owner on the phone, without success.
We haven’t given up yet, we’ll be on the case. My heart is heavy while I’m
writing these lines and I do hope so much that these three dogs can be
brought out of their misery. Sometimes I’m ashamed to be a human when I
think of all the suffering we are loading on our fellow earthlings on this
Part 2 will follow next week…
Opinion: Modern Medical Marvels…or are they?
The choice is ours…
Those of us blessed with enquiring minds may have noticed an
article published in last week’s issue, as part a regular and generally
informative column, entitled, ‘Tree hugging for amateurs.’ Over the last
year or so, the same enquiring minds may also have noted that many
articles have also been published which detail up-to-date research into
many modern drugs and their side-effects. The Femail page itself has
hosted a number of texts dealing with traditional and alternative
medicine, as I’ve long been aware of the increasing interest in such
therapies and treatments here in CM as well as in Western countries.
Also, I have successfully used holistic and alternative therapies both
on myself, my family, and on the succession of dogs I’ve been lucky
enough to own over many years. All of the above texts have represented
either serious research by accredited academics, published in respected
journals, or recognised traditional or alternative techniques, and none,
as far as I remember, have derided modern, conventional medicine. My own
belief is that both conventional, traditional and alternative medicine
have their places in this modern world, and can often be used, with the
correct knowledge or advice, in conjunction with each other.
Life-threatening illness is often best treated with conventional
medicine; surgical intervention is often essential and unavoidable.
However, most chronic or non-life-threatening problems can, it seems, be
dealt with by more gentle means (and with fewer risk of unpleasant
side-effects) by the use of other alternatives.
Which brings me to the thrust of this article…we are living in Asia,
where, for thousands of years, during which time the West was relying
either on the local ‘witch’ or on barber-surgeons, traditional, natural
and very sophisticated medicines have been used by practitioners wise in
their knowledge, varying in their components and application according
to areas, tribes and nationalities. The majority of these treatments
focus on correcting imbalances in our bodies which result in ‘dis-ease’
– the opposite of health. To me, it makes a great deal of sense that,
unless an illness is viral or bacterial in origin, our bodies may react
to such imbalances by causing identifiable symptoms, which may well
improve or even disappear when the imbalances are corrected and our own
immune systems take over. Many natural medicines stimulate the human
immune system; please correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t remember any
modern drugs available on the National Health in the UK which did so! A
strong immune system is, of course, essential for health – holistic,
natural medicine seems to have the edge in promoting our own natural
defences against disease.
There are, of course, risks either way; in traditional Chinese medicine,
for example, many potentially harmful substances are used…the knowledge
and experience of the practitioner is paramount in deciding on
treatment. He can’t just reference in a book and prescribe… In the
article in this week’s issue which reports a talk given by an expert on
aromatherapy, the volatility of essential oils and the time it takes to
become expert in their uses is explained. The risks of conventional
modern medicine, unfortunately, seem to be less predictable, whatever
the checks and balances applied, perhaps because of the commercial
element involved in their production and the persuasive nature of their
distribution to the medical profession. Another problem is the addictive
nature of certain conventional drugs, mostly used for depression, etc. I
have never heard of anyone having trouble coming off St. John’s Wort.
Coming off Prozac seems be another matter entirely.
Yes, mistakes can occur. The thalidomide tragedy was one of the worst
ever, but British readers may recall the trial, some few years ago, of a
new ‘wonder drug’ on, thankfully, a small number of paid human
volunteers who, as a result, endured seriously life-threatening symptoms
and whose immune systems were permanently damaged to the extent of
compromised health and predictions of early deaths from cancer. The
number of class actions against certain drug companies in the USA. Yes,
I am aware of the American legal predilection for chasing anything with
a percentage in it might also give cause for concern, even if one is
only checking out drugs for veterinary use.
The tip of the iceberg seems to be rising higher, with many
drug-resistant strains of bacteria emerging due to over-prescribing of
that modern marvel, the antibiotic. Very useful, but not if over-used by
conventionally-trained doctors when confronted with the slightest
sniffle, usually viral. In my experience, traditional, alternative and
natural medicine practitioners prescribe as needed after careful
consideration of their patients’ overall conditions, both physical and
emotional… Modern doctors may well not have the time, or the
inclination, to do this. Perhaps this is one reason why many Westerners
now prefer to visit the former!
As to proof…a homeopath friend of mine in the UK (a qualified doctor who
had then decided to continue with the 6 years’ further study which would
result in his homeopathic qualification, some amateur) once said to me,
‘If my patient is cured, and most are, that’s proof. I don’t care how it
works, I’m just glad for the patient that my efforts have been
successful.’ That conversation took place many years ago, just after my
husband’s extremely large, totally jammed and howlingly painful kidney
stone, untreatable except by an operation, had disintegrated and been
safely passed after a 5 day course of Quercus. The hospital’s specialist
couldn’t quite believe it, neither could his patient. That, to me, was
proof! In spite of studies on homeopathy by ‘experts’ (some of whom
might even have been linked in some strange manner to certain drug
companies), whose results stated that, as the components could not be
identified, the therapy was not viable. That, to me, was proof!
Especially as the kidney stone involved was the 3rd in a series, the
other two of which had required operations.
Readers might be interested to know that the amazingly long- lived and
healthy British Royal Family has its own personal team of homeopathic
Maybe it should also be mentioned that the giant Western drug companies
are now jumping on the green bandwagon by researching into traditional
natural medicinal remedies worldwide, in an attempt to synthesise and
produce them. No doubt they will charge the purchasing departments of
local hospital boards an extortionate fee for their products, thus
limiting their distribution in developing countries such as Thailand. Or
even, right now, the UK! Medical discrimination by price and location.
If you can afford it, you’ll probably live, if not, sorry! We have to
remember our responsibility to our executives and our shareholders…
As to tree-hugging… I have at least 20 trees in my garden, and although
I don’t hug them (mostly due to the red ants who consider the trunks to
be their own Superhighway) I do talk to them, and when they seem to be
slightly off colour, I apply a few minutes of Reiki to them. Perhaps
this makes me worthy of derision by the medical establishment. That’s
fine by me, the trees seem to love it!