Tuesday 26th May: The sound of summer music

The rain has finally stopped, at least for a while, and the cicadas are out and singing for a mate.  Stardust, a border collie, finds one that is struggling to fly after emerging from its old casing, and is playing with it like a cat.  I check to see if I can save the cicada but it’s already too damaged to be able to fly so I leave Stardust to finish the job.  I read that cicadas spend years in the earth as grubs before emerging and breaking out of their juvenile shell which is left attached to any convenient bush or tree.  Then they “sing” as loud as they can to attract a mate, lay their eggs, and die.  During spring and early summer when the combined efforts of the cicadas reaches a crescendo, the noise can be almost deafening but it’s still I sound I love.

 It’s time for Nero, the surviving pup of the trio of sharpei babies, to go for his second vaccination.  He has gained a lot of weight and his round tummy and his wagging tail tell me that he is out of the woods and will survive.  I hold him on my lap for the sampan crossing, and every time I look down at him he is looking back up at me with his beautful puppy eyes. I rub his little head and hope that his struggle for life will be worth it, and that he will find a home.

 I meet two more survivors at the SPCA clinic; Isla, previously named Tikki, and Mango.  Both were older pups when they came to HKDR, but it was a time when there was a bad case of “dog flu” (for want of a better description) going round and they both caught it.  The symptoms are much the same as human flu, with the dog feeling obviously unwell and with a streaming nose and chesty cough.  There is always a fear of distemper, the worst of the puppy diseases, but luckily both pups tested negative for that and Mango is even well enough to have been spayed (desexed) today.

 At AFCD there are two cute little dogs, both surrenders I’m told.  Any dog that is surrendered is immediately available for re-homing, so I say I’ll take them.  One is a young Tibetan spaniel, the other an older Dandie Dinmont, the same breed as Dandy, the little guy who recently lost his fight for life.  At “check out”, however, I’m told that only one can be taken as the other may not have been surrendered by his official owner (although neither are microchipped, so in fact there is no official owner).  I say I’ll take which ever one is free to go but after much discussion I’m told that neither can be released yet, so back they go.

Lox bodyIt’s the big day for the dreadlocked boy that I reserved on Friday.  He is quiet and doesn’t object when I loop the leash round his neck to bring him out, but as soon as I start to pull he resists and pulls back against me.  Then he starts thrashing and biting the leash, something I have seen many times before.  Before he starts the “crocodile roll”, I let go of the leash.  He’s already chewed it halfway through anyway.  This is what he sees as his fight for life, being noosed and taken off somewhere unknown for something he’s sure is not good.  There have been times when I have simply had to give up trying to save a dog, when the rolling and thrashing becomes so frantic that the it’s too much for both the dog and myself.  The sad irony is that these dogs will indeed realise their fears.  I won’t give up on this dog yet, and say I’ll be back tomorrow with a thicker leash and more time.  Sometimes I can talk the dog into coming with me, step by step, but today’s not the day. Instead I pick the 2 remaining siblings of the big-eared pups I took yesterday.


Donald 2 (not the Donald from Lamma) comes by for a training session with Mark (Curran). He is almost unrecognisable as the dog that arrived with terrible skin and screw worm in a open wound on his elbow.  He has been in foster care, and he now not only  has a lovely, healthy coat but he is also as energetic and mischievous as any other puppy.  Mark spends time getting Donald to understand and respond to the basic commands, and also takes the opportunity of getting some photos.  Donald’s story is the motivation behind our work.  Just to see him as he is now, knowing what he was before, gives a much needed boost.Donald AFTER





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4 Responses to “Tuesday 26th May: The sound of summer music”

  1. Vivian Chan Says:

    exactly! so happy the see the ‘after’ donald picture. yeah, he does look like a different dog. i’m sure he is as sweet as the ‘before’. can mark also teach donald to sleep on a bed? the idea of sleeping on a bed was so foreign to donald.

  2. ken Says:

    Wow, it looks like a magic to see Donald to recover so well. Yes, love and care are the most powerful tools to cure. Well done, HKDR.

  3. Norma M Says:

    Donald is looking really great. So happy for him.
    Sue and Susan must be so proud of what they have accomplished in such a short time.
    Their daily bathing and cleaning of his wounds etc and the love and attention they have given him have helped him regain his health.
    Well done!
    Thank you for taking him into your life and giving him a chance.

    • Sally Says:

      Everyone who saw Donald when he first arrived will be amazed and happy about the change in him, not just his skin but everything. He was so quiet and depressed before, and he must have been in pain from the maggots eating away at his flesh. Now he’s so full of beans, and just a very happy dog.

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