Friday 12th June: Arrivals and departures

As expected, the “papillon” surrendered late yesterday afternoon is nothing of the sort. Instead she’s a wide-eyed female version of Cosmo, a terrified and completely bewildered little dog who cowers behind the door wondering where she is, and why.  All attempts to stroke and comfort her are thwarted by Cosmo, who quickly moves in front of her when anyone tries to approach.  He’s jealous of the attention she’s getting as he has already established himself as the office cuddler, and he wants it to stay that way.  Surprisingly though, Cosmo seems to have no problem with pug Dorothy, the real office bitch.  Although she is a terrible food guarder and attacks the other dogs ferociously at meal times, she and Cosmo happily snuggle up together to nap.

 Yet another schnauzer is surrendered, a youthful and well groomed 11-year old.  His owners have come to us to give up their beloved pet as the husband has lymphoma, and there are tears as they say goodbye.  There are rare occasions when we accept surrendered dogs without complaint, and this is one of them.

 There are still more small dogs to come, an adorable little shih tzu girl and an obese Japanese spitz, both of whom are at AFCD and due out today.  The shih tzu , Rosanna, was found as a stray and her coat is knotted and dirty.  She is as close to a real shih tzu as you are likely to see in Hong Kong, as just about all small dogs are called shih tzus even though most of them are just mixes of this and that.  Pure mongrels, really.

 The spitz, Dumpling, is only 4 years old and was surrenderd to AFCD by her owners because she has a skin problem.  She has much more than that.  She is young but obese, her “wrists” collapsed through lack of exercise and general poor care.  She has almost certainly been kept in a cage and fed rubbish.  She wags her tail and is pathetically happy to be walked the short distance from AFCD to our nearby kennels.  The skin problem doesn’t look serious, and once she has lost weight and strengthened her muscles, she will be a lovely dog.

 So we have 4 more small dogs to fit in somewhere.  The office is full with Cosmo, Dorothy, Gavin, pom Girlie and now Sweetie, the new girl.  Rosanna gets a haircut from our superstar volunteer, Michelle, and emerges half the size, a tiny little thing.  She needs to stay inside too.  A big reshuffle is needed to make some space, so doglets Deli, Alicia and Blue are moved from their spacious enclosure which they share with the small dogs, to the so-called puppy field.  That leaves spare bed space for three of the small dogs, and Cosmo, Gavin and Dumpling are moved in.  Cosmo is very unhappy, but Gavin seems to appreciate the space and the open air even though he can’t see much of it with his poor eyesight.

Lovely Tom

Lovely Tom

 Our big black “labalike”, Mark, has gone to a new home today, and his kennel seems to be the lucky one as several dogs have recently been adopted from there.  I suggest moving our lovely Tom in, as he is a sweetheart of a dog and doesn’t get much attention is his back kennel.  Hopefully he’ll be noticed now.


In the past few days I have received two emails from past adopters telling me that their dog has died.  Brewster, a shih tzu, was one of the first dogs that I brought back to Lamma when HKDR was founded. At that time we were rehoming dogs directly from the AFCD kennels as we had nowhere else to keep them, and the system was a bit more flexible about the time allowed before the dogs were destroyed.. There were only two of us in those days, myself and Kirsten, and that December was the start of HKDR as it is today.


Brewster (left) and pal Spike

Brewster (left) and pal Spike

It was Christmas Eve and we were told that there were too many dogs waiting at AFCD, and because of the staff shortage over the holiday period we would have to take out the dogs that we had reserved for homing or else they would be destroyed.  What to do?  There were over 20 dogs, all small, and a couple of puppies.  I was about to move from the small house I was living in to my current house next door, and at that time the place was empty.  So that afternoon of December 24th, 2003, Kirsten and I took all of the dogs out of AFCD and moved them to Lamma. 

Top floor gang

Top floor gang

It was a bitterly cold winter, and the empty house was freezing.  We had very little in terms of beds and bedding in those days, so we used every box and towel and anything else we could find to make beds for the dogs.  It was hard work taking care of 20+ guests, and my newly painted and decorated top floor was soon looking and smelling like a kennel.  All of the dogs from that time were eventually adopted, including Brewster, and the top floor – every floor – of my house is still home to many orphans of course.  So that’s been six extra years that Brewster has had, in a home that really loved him, so while the news of his eventual passing is sad, it’s also a wonderful success story.


Tin Tin

Tin Tin

The other dog was Tin Tin, a French bulldog who was adopted two years ago.  He went into a home that already had a resident Frenchie, and the breed isn’t known for their social skills.  It was tough at first but the adopters kept going, and finally the two dogs became firm friends.  Although young, it seemed Tin Tin had weak lungs and struggled over the years with breathing problems until it all became too much.


Gooodbye to Tin Tin and Brewster.

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


One Response to “Friday 12th June: Arrivals and departures”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Hi I think this is a fantastic blog, keep up the good work…

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