Friday 19th June: This and that

The moment I’ve been dreading has arrived: the youngest group of pups have found their voices and are testing them at every opportunity.  What fun barking is!  The bedroom pups have already been practising for a while and are now fine-tuning their night chorus.  I pray for rain, the only thing that keeps them inside and quiet.

 I want to be functioning today as I have an important meeting to go to, and we also have a VIP potential adopter coming to kennels.  Luckily the main part of my desk diary remains intact after another assault on my desk by Minky and Sparkle.  I already have everything piled up where I think they’re out of reach but these pups are experts now.  The hard diary cover is the latest victim of the Terrible Two, but at least I can see my appointments and notes.  I carry Minky downstairs to the garden, determined that she must learn to be with others of her own age and start to play normally.  Sparkle too needs to socialise with more than just Minky and the upstairs dogs.  I can see her turning into one of the dogs we get at kennels, those who have never left their homes and are terrified of outside life.  Even now Sparkle hides under the staircase when she’s put downstairs and she’s becoming a problem.  She urgently needs to be moved while she’s young enough to make the adjustment, but I don’t know where she will fit in.

After the meeting in Central it’s back to the kennels where Newfie barks for me to let him out as soon as I arrive.  He’s

Rosanna, recently a stray on the street, now in a lovely home

Rosanna, recently a stray on the street, now in a lovely home

getting much better about walking with the volunteers, but he’s obviously a dog that needs and wants a particular person to be loyal to.  At least the numbers in the office are reducing, with gorgeous little shih tzu Rosanna working her sweet and quiet charm on one adopter, and pom Girlie also being chosen by another.  Funny, happy Thimble is off to a foster home, leaving space for Dumpling, the fat Japanese spitz, to move inside.

Dumpling

Dumpling

Dumpling is a sad case.  Surrendered to AFCD by her owners, she looks much older than her four years.  She’s overweight and under exercised, and she has a problem with her back leg which makes walking difficult.  Her ex-owners have been in contact and told us that she broke her leg as a puppy and that’s why she has a limp.  She also has a skin problem, a red rash which is common in all-white dogs, particularly in summer.  Poor girl, she’s happy to be inside with aircon now, and she wags the end of her tail to show it.

While volunteers Angela and Michelle are looking after our visiting VIP, a very well known HK singer and potential adopter, I make a quick run to AFCD to check which dogs have come in so I can reserve them for re-homing.  I can’t take any dogs until Monday, but at least I can make sure they won’t be going anywhere before then.

There’s a surrendered shih tzu who looks pretty upset with what’s happened to him.  I suspect from the look on his face that he’s going to be a tough little guy but I hope I’m wrong.  Originally a cross of the Lhasa Apso from Tibet and the Pekingese from China, there’s a bit of dormant warrior in the Shih Tzu which unfortunately surfaces from time to time.  They can be quite aggressive when they want to be, and they’re not to be messed with. 

Beatrice, one of the many lovely rotties we have had over the years

Beatrice, one of the many lovely rotties we have had over the years

In another kennel is a pit bull terrier, a handsome and sturdy dog that was picked up on Lantau.  The breed is banned in Hong Kong and I know I won’t be allowed to take this dog out.  There is only one fate awaiting him, and it’s a shame as pit bulls are actually wonderful dogs that have a bad reputation because of how they have been used and abused by people.  Like the rottweiler, pit bulls are often kept as guards by  dubious owners whose idea of training is to mistreat the dog to make it mean.  They’re also a favourite to be used as fighting dogs.  Both of these breeds have fearsome reputations which contrast with their natural gentle temperaments, and all of the rotties that we have had at our kennels have been great dogs.

Back at the kennels I’m struck with an “Activity Attack” and decide it’s time to rearrange the kennels and crates in the “puppy” field (all doglets now).  We’ve just had a donation of several sturdy dog houses, so with the help of Mark and Maxwell they are moved in to replace the now-too-small crates that had served as (pretty ineffective) shelters for the dogs who preferred not to use the main house.  Satisfied with a job well done, it’s time to go home.

Footnote:  Today was Anne Epstein’s last shift before she goes back to Australia with her family.  Anne has been a dedicated volunteer for a very long time, and we will miss her.  She was with us in the early days when we had no paid cleaners, and volunteers did everything  including cleaning, scrubbing, feeding and dog walking. She was part of our Executive Committee, as well as being our HKDR Nurse.  Anne also fostered many dogs for us, and is taking her adopted dog, Isaac, back to Australia.  In fact it was Isaac that introduced Anne to HKDR, so my thanks should also go to him.  Thank you Anne, for your dedication and commitment, and bon voyage.

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

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One Response to “Friday 19th June: This and that”

  1. Helen Says:

    thanks for your blog Sally I really enjoy reading about the dogs although the stories are sometimes so sad. Please tell Anne thank you and goodbye from Spud whom she fostered until we adopted him, he is a lovely lovely dog and friend to us now and we are all very happy with him.

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