Friday 10th July: What’s up with Murphy?

I had a very strange night last night.  Murphy, the Wanchai terrier, was behaving in an unusual way, and seemed to be very upset or scared about something.  He normally starts the night by sleeping at the end of my bed before going to his own bed, but last night he wormed his way up to my pillow, pushing his head under my chin and nestling against me as tight as he could.  I stroked and soothed him, but every time I stopped he wanted more.  Although he has always been affectionate with me, I’ve never known Murphy behave this way before.

My other bedmate, Sandy, was deeply unimpressed with Murphy’s behaviour, particularly as she was guarding  a rawhide chew.  She often likes to take something to bed with her, and I find whatever it is on the pillow in the morning.  She keeps a stash of things under the bed, her private and safe space.  While Sandy was growling at Murphy, my other dog, Inky, decided she also needed to get in on the act and climbed up onto the bed, stamping over me until she had ousted Murphy from his position by my head.  She then settled herself on my pillow to ensure he wouldn’t return while I had to move to the other side of the bed with Sandy.

 Maybe there was something in the air, as I had a night of very strange and vivid  dreams, dogs-related of course, but why on earth would I be convinced that Shaheen Jafargholi, the young boy who sang at Michael Jackson’s memorial, had adopted a large dog from us?

 How many of you watched the TV programme about pedigree dogs yesterday evening?  I had already read quite a lot about it after it was first shown in the UK, but I was still shocked to see that dogs barely able to walk still won Best of Breed – even Best of Show – at Crufts.  German Shepherds, whose back legs were buckling underneath them, could barely make it round the show ring. I’ve seen plenty of these dogs, but thought it was down to bad Hong Kong breeders, never thinking that these poor disabled animals were considered to be prime examples of their breeds.  It was truly shocking. (And why do all dog breeders look like something out of Central Casting, caricatures of themselves and all clearly bonkers). No, this is nothing to do with loving or caring about dogs, rather a desire to win a prize even if it means causing acute or chronic pain and sickness.  To say ‘Buyer Beware” is an understatement.

 The selling or homing of dogs isn’t an easy thing if you want to ensure that the dog is going to a good home.  That’s why HKDR isn’t in favour of pet shops selling to anyone who is willing to pay the price, or to calls from some organisations for AFCD to allow direct homing to the public.  Realistically, who in government kennels would make that judgement call, or would there even be a minimum care requirement at all?   I would much rather see HKDR and other responsible animal welfare groups handle the homing, while the government tackled the root cause of so many abandoned and stray dogs with humane options, rather than the current Catch-and-Kill policy.

Criticising governments, whether in Hong Kong or elsewhere in the world, is a cop-out for irresponsibility,  AFCD don’t abandon dogs nor allow them to breed without restriction.  Their job at the moment is to answer complaint calls about nuisance dogs, and to catch them and ultimately kill them. While the victim of the current system is clear, who is the guilty party?  The owners who don’t desex their dogs, the people who abandon them when unwanted, or the government for not introducing a free and compulsory desexing programme?  My opinion is that all are as guilty as each other.

 The heat today is made worse with the thick and still air, a sure sign that a typhoon is on the way.  It’s not a good day to be walking dogs, and there are only the few regular volunteers who turn up whatever the conditions..  The small office dogs are keen to go out, but soon find the going tough once they leave the comfort of air conditioning.  I’m surprised to find that the new peke boy, Mojo, is obviously used to being walked and he begs me to take him out.  Once outside the kennel gates, he is very determined about where he wants to go, and pulls me towards Cyberport Road and straight to 8 Bel Air, the newest section of the Cyberport residential complex.  There’s only a pit stop for toilet needs, but otherwise Mojo’s clear about wanting to go in through the gates.  I feel so bad for him as I have to pick him up to take him away.  At least we now know something about him to help with re-homing, which is that he’s a keen walker and he’s also toilet trained to go outside.

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3 Responses to “Friday 10th July: What’s up with Murphy?”

  1. Miri Says:

    I watched the Pearl Report on Thursday and was deeply shocked and ashamed: shocked by the extent of suffering by these pedigree dogs and ashamed that some of my fellow human beings are so cruel and heartless. They must be blinded by vanity and material rewards and are therefore oblivious to the pain caused by the genetic defects. My view is that regulations alone cannot solve the problem caused by in-breeding (breeders just go underground). Dogs should only be given awards for their looks conditional upon their passing the health test. Giving physically handicapped dogs awards will only encourage dog breeders to blindly pursue the so-called breed standards without having regard to the health and well-being of our four-legged friends. Education is equally important. For many people, dog ownership means going to a pet shop/breeder to buy a pedigree. There are so many appealing dogs to choose from in rescue organisations, both pedigrees and mongrels. Lastly, I do not think I will go to Crufts (used to love it) or any dog shows again (the image of the cavalier kc squirming on the floor with agony will forever stick in my mind).

  2. Rachael Says:

    There’s definitely something up with Murphy, he hasn’t even bothered to try and savage me the last couple of times I visited, I thought he was just too hot though….

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