Monday 15th June: A fair exchange

When I finally made it to bed last night it was only to find that someone had beaten me to it and had, for whatever reason, decided to pee.  It must have been one of the bigger doglets as the whole bed was drenched.  Having to completely strip and remake a bed when all you want to do is get in and go to sleep in not the best thing, and I was only thankful that there were plenty of mattress covers which at least kept the mattress itself dry.  This is obviously not the first time that this has happened and I’m prepared.

 The day starts as usual, but when it’s time for the morning walk I find that the bed is once again wet, and the main suspect is Domino.  She’s about a year old now, a very pretty black dog with white paws and bib, and she has been with me since pre-Whiskers’n’Paws days.  I’m sure that had she been to one of the Sunday sessions she would have been adopted a long time ago.  Anyway, she wasn’t and she’s still with me and likely to become a permanent resident now.  Having come through the “teenage” years, she has developed into a lovely dog, extremely sweet and affectionate, but I have noticed that over the past week or so she has been trying to climb the spiral staircase to the next floor where my bedroom is. Peeing on the bed seems to be the first stage in a dog wanting to move from the main downstairs group to the elite few who have access to the two upper floors.  My original intention had been that only my own dogs would be allowed upstairs but I quickly discovered that when a dog has its mind made up there’s very little, nothing in fact, that you can do about it.



 Several puppies are packed into crates for the trip to the vet for vaccinations, and I have picked four that will stay at the kennels.  Milky, Sugar, Creamy and Happy have all been regulars at Whiskers’n’Paws, and although Milky in particular was a favourite for his cute pink nose and his happy, funny character, they are all still with me.  They are ready for their third and last vaccination, so I exchange them for three much younger pups that can join others of the same age at my house. 
Piers with big ears

Piers with big ears

 Piers and Simon are due their second vaccination too.  Their condition was quite poor when I first got them and they were very thin, with pale gums indicating anaemia.  They have both put on weight and have been doing well generally, but when Simon comes out of the traveling crate he has a very runny nose.  Something that I have learned over the years of puppy care is that they are very sensitive to change of any kind.  Many puppies that are 100% healthy when they are adopted fall sick within a few hours of moving to their new homes.  I now warn adopters to expect diarrhoea, lack of appetite and general lethargy over the first day or so, and not to panic.  On quite a few occasions genuinely sick puppies that I have taken to the vet have died on the sampan crossing, the stress of the journey being simply too much.  Simon had looked perfectly fine before leaving for the vet today, but now he has a runny nose and can’t be vaccinated. Both he and Piers have their blood checked to test for tick fever as they still have pale gums, and sure enough they will need treatment.  They’re booked in for an injection the following day which means another trip over for them both.  By the evening though, Simon’s runny nose has developed into a chesty cough and I don’t know if taking him back again would be such a good idea.

 I had previously made an appointment to meet the owners of Teddy, the labradoodle who is being surrendered for bad behaviour, ie. unpredictable biting.  I’ll be taking Teddy back to Lamma to make my own assessment of him, especially as I know that he has been “trained” with punishment and threats, as recommended by a certain well known trainer.  Teddy seems quite happy and relaxed about being with a total stranger, and even the sampan journey doesn’t bother him.  My biggest concern is how Derek, the cocker spaniel with similar behaviour issues, will respond to having Teddy in his house, so I arrange for Derek to meet us when we arrive.  Derek, as always, is busy swimming when the sampan pulls in at the pier, and I wait on the beach for him to finish.  He and Teddy have a good sniff of each other, and that’s it.  Derek is too busy to want to hang around and chat, and he gallops back into the water while I take Teddy to his new home where he is met by all the other residents.  All the dogs seem to be quite relaxed about the new boy, and I watch from a distance for a while before leaving them to it and heading into the mayhem of my own house..

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One Response to “Monday 15th June: A fair exchange”

  1. Foster Wong Says:

    Personally I’m so sick of those conventional trainers in HK, they’ve done so much damage to dogs, when can these people realise a top dog DOES NOT use punishment and threats to its fellow pack members?

    The sad thing there hasn’t been a systemetic dog trainer school in HK, most of the them runs on apprenticeship, i hope to see more positive/reward-based trainers to emerge in HK

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