Samui Wining & Dining
IT’S A DOG’S LIFE

Elfes World is making life a lot easier for many dogs on Samui.


Page-112

Every now and again you meet someone who is so selfless and caring that it restores your faith in humanity. Elfe is one of those people.

Elfe is a German lady who has been living in Thailand for over 12 years. During this time she has developed into somewhat of an animal saviour. She arrived initially in Bangkok all those years ago as a language correspondent, but soon travelled to Samui for a holiday. Once here, she decided this was the place for her, and she soon found employment at a 5-star resort.

        It’s a little ironic how things have turned out for Elfe. As a lifelong animal lover she had been brought up around dogs, but the inevitable loss of those dogs proved so painful that she swore never to have another pet again. She tried to maintain this approach whilst in Thailand, but it was battle she was always destined to lose.

          Within a very short time of moving into a house in Lamai she was joined by Boomer, a street dog who adopted her. Next came Madam, and then a Thai man left another dog, Vicky, at her door whilst she was out, and things have snowballed from there.

          First she moved to a house with a big walled garden to provide a safe place for her dogs. By now Elfe was unable to watch any dogs suffering on the street, and she began rescuing animals wherever she could. Soon her home and garden were overrun. The next step was to obtain a larger plot of land away from neighbours and traffic. And, once she got this, Elfes World really started to offer a safe haven for needy dogs.

          At present she has around 240 dogs, the number changes daily, and there are a few things about Elfe and Elfes World which really stand out. The first is her enthusiasm and attitude. She deals with illness, cruelty and some generally sad cases, and yet she is always smiling and always presents a happy persona to the dogs. What’s most impressive is that she knows each dog’s name, and remembers exactly how each of them came to be with her.

          Elfes World is incredibly well organized with separate pens and fenced off areas to cater to each dog’s individual needs. Those that can live together share large fenced-in spaces with dry areas and play areas, whilst other less sociable dogs have their own private space. Each dog has room to run around, and sheltered covered areas to protect them from the elements.

          Initially all of the dogs were rescued from here on Samui, but recently there have been a spate of rescues in the north of Thailand, where dogs have been saved before being taken over the border, intended for the dog meat trade in other countries. Elfe heard about this and has given a home to about 40 dogs from these rescues. To see the transformation in these dogs is remarkable, and they must be truly thankful for their fate.

          There’s no end to the love that she provides these animals. Many of the dogs may have come to her in a sorry state, but they are now healthy and fit and enjoying life. The alternative is not worth thinking about.

          Each dog has a story and many have the scars and reminders of their previous lives, but now they all live happily in Elfes World and they all get attention, care and, most importantly, food every day. This is a huge commitment from one lady and she really gives everything she has. Physically, emotionally, all of her time and finances go towards the care of these dogs.

          She now has a website and a very active Facebook page and both locally and internationally, people help her by sponsoring some of the dogs she has rescued. Wherever it’s suitable, Elfe will re-home some of the dogs. One lucky dog has recently moved to her new home in Switzerland, and the photos of her with her new owners provide great satisfaction to Elfe.

          On the island too, residents have taken dogs from Elfe to provide them with a new life. However, she will not just give any dog to any person. Everything has to be right, and she has to be totally happy that the circumstances suit the individual dog.

          The result is that the population at Elfes World continues to grow, and Elfe continues to improve the facilities which need to keep growing too. She has recently opened a new compound, and you can see from the photos on Facebook exactly how much the dogs appreciate this new space.

          Inevitably, it’s not just dogs that need help, and Elfes World is also home to a growing number of rescued cats too. Elfe has dedicated her life to helping the animals who need a little more care and attention than they would otherwise receive.It’s nice to know that someone cares so much, and all of us dog lovers appreciate what she’s doing. So Elfe, and Elfes World, please keep up the good work!

 

 Tom Hunter


          For more information on Elfes World, or if you would like to help in any way,

          please visit www.facebook.com/elfes.world

 


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