Saturday 30th May: Tribute to Bambi

I get the news early this morning about the passing of Bambi Chung, one of our long-term volunteers and a much bAMBI FOR BLOG 1loved member of the HKDR “family”.  Bambi was a man of immense courage and determination, as well being lovely, funny and devoted to the dogs. He had first been diagnosed as having cancer 19 years ago, but had overcome it again and again, and even when the disease returned and he was unable to come to the kennels during his chemotherapy treatment, he continued to volunteer behind the scenes as part of our “Stall Team”, manning the tables at the various events and fairs.  As recently as late March, Bambi was the HKDR representative at the Jessica Fun Run event where he collected the giant donation “cheque” on our behalf.  Bambi made many good friends during his years at HKDR, and we will miss his terrible jokes and his wonderful smile as well as his unfailing support.  Our thoughts are with his two lovely daughters and his close friend, Catherine.  Safe journey, Bambi, and thank you. xx

The show must go on and today there’s a photo shoot for this year’s HKDR diary at a studio in Wanchai.  Ali Bullock and his wife, Caroline, are busy with Lisa S and her dog, Renee, when I arrive.  Renee’s adoption was a special one because not only is she a multibreed, but she was already past her prime when she came to us.  In fact she was surrendered to AFCD by her owners for being “too old”, but she was still fit and healthy and looked just fine to me.  Now, having been in a loving home for just a few months, there’s a spring in her step and a light in her eyes that shows how happy she is.  Lisa and Renee make a beautiful couple and the bond is clear to see.

I’ve brought along four puppies to be photographed, and the first one out is a very small tan girl called Amber.  Her tail is going a hundred miles an hour as Lisa scoops her up and holds her close.  I can’t wait to see the photos.  Biba, a fluffy black and white pup, isn’t too happy about posing whereas her brother, Linus, is a natural.  Last up is the big-eared setter (or pointer) cross that I took out of AFCD only recently. Piers seems to want to sleep off his lunch rather than have his photo taken, and he keeps his ears pinned back while we all try to persuade him to show off his most appealing feature to their best advantage. 

We’ve just finished when another group arrives along with two of their small dogs.  Susan adopted four dogs from HKDR, two of which were our lovely rotties, Alpha and Beta.  Then, unable to resist the charm and appeal of a huge puppy I took to Whiskers’n’Paws one Sunday, Woody joined the family, to be followed by a very cute and happy little guy, a pom/Chihuahua cross now called Ding Ding. 

 While Ali is busy taking photos of Susan’s daughters with their dogs, I get a call to say that two dogs are waiting to be collected in Mid-levels but nobody has turned up to get them.  Amigo and Jamboree had been on a foster/trial adoption, and we had thought that all was going well when I was suddenly told that both were being returned.  I had mistakenly thought they were being brought back to our kennels, but apparently not.  Luckily one of our (great) volunteers, Michelle, is also at the studio, so she helps me get the puppies into a taxi and we head off to Mid-levels to collect the dogs.  Luckily both Amigo and Jamboree are small and sweet boys, and I’m still not sure why they are being returned, but we drive back to the kennels where I drop Michelle off with the two dogs before catching a sampan back to Lamma.

I receive an email from another Animal Welfare group letting me know that the issue of pet shops and the proposed introduction of new regulations is on the agenda for discussion at Legco on 9th June.  The last time this matter was raised at a Legco meeting there was no resolution because of a loophole in the proposed regulations which would still allow home breeders, also know as “hobby breeders” to continue their “hobby” (ie. trade).  Home breeders usually sell the puppies to pet shops, and use their dogs to provide income.  This is where many of the strange mixes come from, (usually) small breeds that are neither one thing nor another, and at present anyone can simply buy two dogs (or more) and set up a breeding industry at home, without any need for licensing or any type of regulation regarding the care and wellbeing of the dogs.  As far as I’m concerned, any new regulations should also cover hobby breeders, or the loophole will become more than just a loop but rather a huge, bottomless pit.

 News from the kennels today is that somone has surrendered a young bichon frise, another small dog that has already been in many homes having been passed around like a library book.  We’ll have no trouble homing this poor guy as bichons, like poodles, have a wool rather than a  fur coat and are therefore popular for  being non-shedders, but the number of dogs coming in versus the numbers of dogs going out  is very worrying.   We’re sometimes criticised for being too particular about the homes that we let our dogs go to, but even with our comparatively stringent adoption criteria we still see too many being returned.  We would far rather wait for the right home to come along than let a dog go to one that we’re not sure about.  Experience has taught us that it’s just not worth it.

To help us save more dogs’ lives, click here to make a donation.

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5 Responses to “Saturday 30th May: Tribute to Bambi”

  1. Norma M Says:

    So sad to hear about the passing of Bambi. He was much loved and respected and we will miss him. Always smiling and always willing to help in everything.

  2. Michelle L Says:

    I’ll never forget Bambi. He was one of the first people that I became friends with at HKDR. He was funny, chatty, and always stepped in to help whenever we needed it. My thoughts are with his family and friends. I’ll never forget you uncle! Rest in peace.

  3. Norma L Says:

    I’ve only seen ‘Uncle’ Bambi a few times, but he already knows my name and starts to crack up some funny jokes. He’s a really nice guy. He will definitely be missed by all of us. Rest in peace Uncle Bambi!

  4. eu Says:

    June 9th is definitley a day I look forward to about the discussion of stricter regulations on pet shops and hobby breeders. Thanks Sally for updating us on this information.

  5. sandy Says:

    I’ll miss Bambi. He was the first people that I became volunteers at HKDR. He really a good man.
    Thanks your support!
    I’ll never forget you uncle Bambi!

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