Barabas had been abused and abandoned in his old age. He was 12 years old and left to die with a horrific head wound infected with maggots and a broken sternum. He was so hungry he would eat the very maggots that fell from his wound. He was in pain, angry and scared and would snap at anyone who tried to touch him.

But that didn’t stop the people at Singapore’s Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD). They took him in, treated his wounds, gave him love and affection. Then a miracle happened. This dog, so near to death, bounced back! His wounds healed, he put on weight and he even made friends. After all the cruelty done to him, Barabas was still able to love. And it was clear, he still loved life as well. He and Dr. Siew Tuck Wah, a veterinarian and President of SOSD became very close. Barabas required a lot of care and patience, but that was easy for Dr. Siew Tuck Wah to provide, and soon he found himself developing a strong bond with the grumpy yet charming old dog.

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He fostered Barabas for a time, while he and the others at SOSD tried to find the dog a permanent home.

But, sadly, it is hard to adopt a 12 year old dog in any circumstance. And it is much harder to adopt an elderly dog with several ongoing health issues that has been called aggressive in the past. No matter how hard SOSD tried to find him a new loving home, there were no takers.

Then one day, Barabas seemed to be on death’s door once again. He wasn’t eating. So, Dr. Siew Tuck Wah took him home to nurse him back to health. The two grew ever closer in their bond.

But Barabas’ health was failing in his old age. He lost control of his bowels, lost the ability to walk, and his joints stiffened with arthritis. Still, he hung on and never once stopped loving his life with the kind people of SOSD, until one day he finally passed away peacefully in his sleep.

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Barabas’ life was hard at first, but he found love and human kindness before it was too late. He touched the lives of so many people with his unbreakable spirit and will to live and love despite the odds.

I know the people who loved him will never forget him, and neither will I.



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