Friday 22nd May: In and out

GinaIt’s release day for Gina, the shiba inu-type girl, so I go to collect her.  She’s reluctant to let me loop a leash round her neck, not surprisingly, but within a few minutes she is pressing herself against me for comfort.  I check her teeth to estimate her age for the license application and I can see she is between 1 and 2 years old. I would also guess she has had a litter of puppies at some time so I cross out the “neutered” option.  

 Many times an instant bond is formed as the dog being rescued clings to the first person that shows not only kindness, but security.  That person is obviously me, and I am still often taken aback when a dog that I have taken from AFCD quite a long time ago still recognizes me, even after being adopted.

 Of course it can work the other way too, and there are dogs that never forget what they saw as my harsh and cruel treatment of them.  This happens with terrified dogs who refuse to leave the AFCD kennel and I have no choice but to drag them out.  They then have to be rabies vaccinated and microchipped while I hold them down.  One of these is Geraldine, a very lovely black and tan dog.  She was so scared when she was at AFCD that every time I went into her kennel she would wet herself.  The day came for me to take her out and it was a real struggle as she had no idea what was about to happen to her.  Her kennel was her safety as far as she was concerned.  Even now, a year later, Geraldine growls and barks at me every time she sees me, while she is quite happy and friendly with everyone else.  I don’t take it personally.

 I reserve another new dog at AFCD, a large scruffy terrier type with serious dreadlocks. This is a contender for “before” and “after” photos as he (she?) has obviously been neglected or stray for some time.  A complete shave will be necessary, but the face is clearly very beautiful.  When I look into the eyes of the dogs waiting at AFCD, I can see many things: confusion, fear, hopelessness and resignation.  Only the puppies seem oblivious to their fate if I don’t take them out, and ignorance really is bliss in this situation.

 Not surprisingly the pug puppy, Fanta, is adopted.  Nobody could seriously resist that squashed frog face with the cheeky smile.  Her place in the office is filled by a black pomeranian boy who barks non-stop as his owners leave Lokkyafter surrendering him.  It’s Excuse No. 4 : moving to government housing (where pets aren’t allowed).  There are 5 standard reasons given for surrender, many of which we subsequently find aren’t exactly true.  Dogs that we are told are healthy aren’t, and dogs that we are told have no behaviour issues turn out to be little monsters.  By my calculation based on surrendered dogs, at least 50% of the population is moving into government housing while the other 50% are moving to China.  Almost everyone has an allergy problem, as do their new babies.  It’s hard not to be cynical after so many years and so many dogs, so we wait to find out what the real reason for the new dog’s surrender is, but right now his high-pitched barking would be a good start.

We also take in an old dog that was found on the street.  It’s a small terrier/shih tzu type, one of the many mixes that are impossible to identify exactly.  These are mainly the results of indiscriminate home breeding, people who buy a couple of dogs and then let them have puppies which they sell for pocket money. They are often sold through pet shops as a breed, because it’s very hard to be accurate about baby pups.  They all look like Moomins when they are very young.  We hope this little dog is lost rather than abandoned, so we will keep it and check with AFCD and SPCA to see if it’s been reported as missing, but the chances are low.

 I’m told by a friend that two 6-month labradoodles have been abandoned.  They will be homed in a flash but they will take the space of 2 other non-breed dogs that may have had a chance.  Labradoodles are one of the current “must have” breeds, but few people realise that they are completely mad and you need the patience of a saint plus a lot of space, time and energy to be able to cope with their non-stop antics.   It’s a sad reality that people will tolerate this behaviour in a breed, but would find it intolerable in a mongrel.  Such is life.

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2 Responses to “Friday 22nd May: In and out”

  1. Helen Says:

    Hi Sally
    Remember Doodle the rretreiver/poodle mix i got from you April 08? I have to write after seeing your blog and say how right you are. Doodle is zany, mad does not tire after a 4 hour hike and is very mischeivous as well as clever. It has taken a year of training after reading every book I can find on the subject to get him to be the lovely monster he is today but he is great fun and we love him (and Spud his brother) to bits. And for the record I work with very young children and have been told I have the patience of a saint!

  2. Shiba Inu Sephy Says:

    Wow. I really enjoyed your post.

    You are a true hero for rescuing all these dogs. Sad about the Labradoodles. If only governments would institute stricter laws about breeding and selling dogs.

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