Monday 1st June: Happy for Obi

I dread Mondays, not because it’s back to the office but because I know I will have to go to AFCD kennels again and it’s during the weekend that many dogs are surrendered.  Our kennels are full and Lamma also at total capacity, but does that mean dogs have to die? 

 At least this morning I have some great news. Obi, the old dog whose nails were so long I had to clip them before he could walk out of AFCD, is going to a new home tomorrow!  I’m so happy for him, and know all the volunteers will feel the same way.  Obi may not have many years ahead of him but at least he will know the comfort of a home for that time, and won’t end his days at the hands of strangers.

 More good news about Gina, the lovely shiba inu cross who came out of AFCD at about the same time as Obi.  She is also adopted, although she will stay with us until she has been desexed.  Her condition wasn’t good enough to be able to have the operation done immediately, but she has improved tremendously with all the special food brought in for her by the volunteers, especially Sue Kuok, who comes every day with her car stuffed full of goodies for the dogs.  We call it Meals on Wheels.  (Sue’s daughter, Kat, is also a dedicated volunteer and writes her own blog, click here to read it).

 Some Lamma puppies are due for their second vaccination but they are coughing, so instead of being vaccinated they are prescribed medicine by the vet.  The coughing isn’t a major problem as the pups will recover, but I know it will spread to other pups making them ineligible for Sunday afternoon adoptions.  Even though they must be feeling really bad, the pups all wag their tails as they are being examined.  I have seen puppies wagging their tails shortly before they die, still so desperate to please.  I don’t know whether courage is the right word to describe it, but dogs have the most amazing capacity to carry on as normal even when they are close to death.  One of my Lamma dogs recently died of renal failure, and I had to make him stay at home when I went out for my morning walk with the other dogs.  Johnnie could barely stand and was extremely thin, but he still waited by the gate to join the group as usual.

 Doglet Pepper is also at the vet today to have his skin checked.  Since one of the other doglets was confirmed to have ringworm, a fungal skin infection which is highly infectious, it’s inevitable that others will get it.  Pepper’s skin is scraped to check for mites, and some hair is plucked to grow a culture for ringworm.  It takes 2 weeks to get a result but as it’s almost certain to be positive, medicine is prescribed.

 And on to AFCD, where today is release day for the two little dogs I had tried to take out last week.  The Tibetan spaniel, Cosmo, and terrier, Angus, have become friends during their internment, and they are both really lovely boys.  They test negative for heartworm, have their vaccinations, and are booked in for desexing the next day.  Angus’s teeth are coated with tartar so he will also need to have that removed under anaesthesia.  So many dogs, especially the small ones, have such terrible teeth at a young age that they have to be removed..  Feeding soft food, such as chicken and rice, means that the teeth aren’t cleaned naturally, so even by a year old the deposits start to build up.  I had estimated Angus’s age at around 8 years because of the teeth, but the vet guesses only 5 years because of his general overall condition.

 I also take two puppies today, mainly because one of them is so striking. I call her Melody, and her less remarkable friend (sister?) is given the name Lucille.

 There’s a large dog who was surrendered because his owners were moving, and he looks so much like Boss, one of our dogs that was recently adopted, that I have no hesitation in saying I’ll take him.  He can take Obi’s space tomorrow.

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

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