Monday 8th June: A lesson in life – and death

The days starts badly as the doglets are arguing and tempers are hot, including mine. Wanda is at her prickly worst, deciding that every doglet needs a good telling off. Maybe they sense my mood and that I’m dreading what I know is to come. The puppies in the small house next door are sick, and what started as a cough has developed into pneumonia for several of them. I can hardly bring myself to face the grim task ahead of picking out those that I need to take in to see the vet, because I can see that euthanasia is the only option. The puppies struggle to breathe, their sides heaving with the effort, and to keep them going any longer would be cruel. It’s the recent intake that are most badly affected, but Percival is also in trouble. I don’t understand why as he is bigger and stronger than the others, but he too is gasping for every breath.

At the clinic, the vet asks me if I will let her do what needs to be done and I say yes, of course. I hold the 3 puppies one by one as they quickly succumb to the injection, but then it’s Percival’s turn. I stroke his head and tell him I’m sorry, and he looks at me with such beautiful eyes and wags his tail. My composure breaks and I can’t hold back the tears as

Percival, a truly lovely boy

Percival, a truly lovely boy

Percival’s short life comes to an end. What a waste. I remember Percival and what he had already been through almost losing his eye, and the time he had spent at my house playing with Sparkle and Minky. He was such a truly sweet and gentle soul, and I can’t help but think that he would have been fine if he had been in a home. He should have been in a home because he was everything that anyone could possibly want in a dog, but now he is dead.

I leave as soon as it’s all done, taking with me bags of dog paraphernalia that an old friend has dropped at the kennels. Her own dog recently died at an early age, a dalmation that had suffered from all the inherited problems of the breed. My friend said he had been a “bad one” from the start. I can’t feel sorry for her, as much as I can’t feel sorry for anyone who pays thousands of dollars for a “poor breed”, while so many healthy and beautiful but unwanted puppies are killed every year.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is the day that Legco will discuss the proposed new pet shop and breeder regulations, and while I’m happy that the matter is being brought up at all I can’t help but feel it will all be a waste of time if the loophole allowing home breeders is allowed to stand. A protest has been arranged for 1pm outside the Legco building if anyone has the time to go along.

I get home and check all the puppies again. I desperately want them to survive, but wonder what their future will be even if they do. They’re mongrels, scum of the earth, the unwanted, impure. What a shame, and what a tragedy for the human race that a dog’s life is valued more or less according to its name.

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15 Responses to “Monday 8th June: A lesson in life – and death”

  1. Alice Says:

    I’m really sorry about those puppies, I hate these diseases. We took Scott home yesterday and the distemper is so bad, he has such a struggle to even breathe. I know that there is little or no chance of him living, but I can’t bring myself to have my little boy put down, I’ve been fostering him for a month now and it is just so hard to see him deteriorate like this. He will go back on the oxygen today but if he doesn’t get at least a little better, I think that I will have to have him put down. I’ve never had this happen so I feel so guilty when I see his little face and think of him being dead. At the start he just seemed so full of energy, and it has all happened so fast… 😥

  2. May Says:

    Sally, I’m sorry for your lost…
    I think Percival & the other pups are over at the rainbow bridge where they have endless places to explore & fields of green lawn to run around in =)

  3. Abby and Lou Says:

    Hi Sally,
    It never fails to be heartbreaking but at least they lived happily with you and they were held in love right to the end. It is a sad reflection of how society is, with its screwed up values and lack of awareness. I hope everyone gets to read your blog, especially this one, to see how innocence suffers and pays the price of our ego. Thanks for sending those ripples out…

  4. Denvy Says:

    This post made me cry. I’m sorry to hear that Percival had to go… 😦

  5. Sunshine Says:

    Indeed it’s a very sad story. But surely there is no cure for the cough and the pneumonia?You must have a hard time bringing all those puppies to be put to sleep.

    • Sally Says:

      I had taken some puppies to the vet last week and all had been on medication. Some started to get better but these just didn’t. One puppy from last week stayed in hospital but after 4 days in an oxygen box and on a drip is still very weak. Realistically it’s impossible to try so hard for every pup when the chance of survival is so low, and when they are suffering so much. The lung damage is permament even if they do survive (unlikely).

  6. ken Says:

    Sally, you have done the best of what you could. Cheer up.

  7. eu Says:

    It really breaks my heart when I look at the sentence about mongrels, “They’re mongrels, scum of the earth, the unwanted, impure. ” Pure breeds were originally a combination of different breed so they are not pure as well! If the world works better with the word “pure breed”, why don’t we promote “mongrel” as the new “pure breed”. Pathatic, but hope it serves the purpose of cherishing mongrels better.

  8. Vivian Chan Says:

    i’m very sad about percival baby though i’ve only met him once. he is an absolute darling. so sorry baby…

  9. Alice Says:

    I don’t know if you know but they put Scott down today, the oxygen didn’t help him and I know he would have died but it still hurts so much. RIP Scott, Percival and all the other puppies.

  10. Ling Says:

    Great blog, Sally!

    Remembering a previous post about you wondering what your dogs are thinking sometimes, I’ve recently read a good novel and highly recommend it.
    It’s written in the view point of a family dog.

    ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ by Garth Stein

    Btw: my dog is a mongrel- the old people from the housing estate look forward to seeing her in the morning during her walks- like an old lady herself- she goes round to each one and greets them all. It’s heartwarming to see the hardiest grumpy old age pensioners eventually smile and give her a pat.

  11. ivy Says:

    we all know you have tried your best….at least they were loved while in lamma otherwise they have already died in AFXX.

  12. Marie Says:

    Dear Sally,

    I was sorry to read about Percial pup baby and other pups, I know how you felt at the vets. I know I cried and my heart broke every time I was with a pup or dog that was sent to heaven. It never got easier. even though i havent met these pups I send the lots of hugs in doggy heaven.
    I was at a dog shelter today..wil send you an email update very soon.
    I think about the HKDR dogs everyday and hope that things are going well. xxxx marie xxxx

  13. Marie Says:

    to me, mongrels will always be the gems of the world, they are gorgeous and beautiful and very very precious xxx

  14. Mary Kwoh Says:

    Dear Sally

    Yes, I totally agree of what you said. My friend save dogs off and on. Mongrel are the most difficult to give away. People asking for nice little pure breed and no matter she is a 13 years Yorkshire Terrier, someone will still take it anyway. What on earth are these people thinking, is that make them to be proud of? Few days ago, my friend rescue 3 puppies and one of my co-worker adopted but others heard of it’s a Tong Gau, they shook their head. On the other hand, when one of my co-worker heard there is a Western Terrier will be surrender from some one, she asked me to hold it for her. These are the one I call scum bag!

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