Sunday 12th July: The story of the Monkey Dogs

Bobbie the not-collie

Bobbie the not-collie

Riddle:  When is a collie not a collie?  Answer:  when it belongs to an ignoramus who doesn’t know any better.  The ‘collie” pup that was surrendered yesterday came to Whiskers’n’Paws for the regular adoption afternoon, and turned out to be identical to my Monkey Pups.  Cute?  Yes, cuter than a collie, but a collie?  Never, not even close. Maybe the ex-owner gave the dog up because every time he told people he had a collie puppy and they giggled, he took it personally.  Well I’m glad that she (not a he as told by Mr Knownothing) is with us now, but it’s yet another addition and again no puppies or dogs are adopted from either Whiskers’n’Paws or the kennels.  The new Monkey Pup ends up coming back to Lamma with me and is now  with Minky and Sparkle until I can think of a better place for her to go, preferably a new home.

I’m fascinated by these Monkey Pups, not just because they’re incredibly cute and very different, but also because there seems to be a very strong gene running through the female line.  All of the monkey dogs that I’ve seen have been female, while the males born to the monkey mothers have been completely different.  I started calling them monkey pups when I took the most recent litter from AFCD when they were still quite young, and their facial markings and colouring made them look just like little monkies.  Actually the adults look nothing like a monkey, but the name has stuck.

 The first time I came across one of these dogs was years back when I first met Oona at the AFCD kennels.  She was about 7 or 8 months old, and very timid.  I love that scruffy terrier look and couldn’t resist Oona, so she came to our (at that time) newly acquired kennels.  I think she was with us all of a day before she disappeared, and we later found a small hole in the fence that she must have got out through.  It was a year or more later that I spotted a dog at AFCD that I was sure was Oona.  She’d been picked up at Chi Fu Fa Yuen, a residential complex quite close to our kennels, where she’d been living with a few other dogs.  Since she was microchipped in my name, it was easy to confirm that the dog was indeed Oona, so I took her back to our kennels, only for her to escape once again after only a day. 

 At that time, the SPCA clinic across the road hadn’t opened and we had to transport dogs to various clinics round the island.  These days any adult dog that comes to us is desexed almost immediately, but back then it might have taken a few days.  In any case, Oona escaped before she was desexed, and subsequently gave birth to at least two litters that we are aware of.  The frustrating thing is that we know where she lives and have been able to take her puppies, but she is impossible to catch.  We still see her as she lives close to the kennels.

Monkey Pup Ramona

Monkey Pup Ramona

 On another, more recent, visit to AFCD I met not only the Monkey pups, but also an adult dog I could have sworn was Oona, but she and the pups had been caught at Shek O. Not only was Monkey Mum identical to Oona in looks, but she had the same very timid but not aggressive nature.  Determined not to make the same mistake again, Monkey Mum went straight to SPCA for desexing, and the pups came back to Lamma.  Two of them became tame enough to find homes, while the other two have retained the very timid nature and are still with me (see the recent blog entry ‘A ‘Stinking’ hot day’)..

Oona's male pup, Goose, looks nothing like a monkey

Oona's male pup, Goose, looks nothing like a monkey

 So now I know that there are at least six Monkey dogs: Oona, Monkey Mum, and the four

Another one of Oona's male pups, Whisky

Another one of Oona's male pups, Whisky

Monkey Pups (all desexed and all female), and now this new puppy girl appears and I’m intrigued.  I’ve asked Maxwell to call up the guy who surrendered the puppy to try and trace the mother and the other pups.  There is a new breed to add to the Wanchai Terriers and the Hong Kong Collies.

 

Below is an email just received.  If anyone can help, please let me know.

“I found and rescued a small dog (terrier?) in Sai Kung whilst hiking last Wednesday. The dog was living in terrible conditions with the owner who had inherited her and he gladly surrendered her to me. The dog had 10cm long mud/ faeces matted hair and was covered in apprx 200-300 ticks. Her eyes were completely covered by hair and impacted by mud and conjunctivitis puss so that her eyes were not visible and she could not see due to this impacted mess. I had help to clean her up and have taken her for care at the Ark vet hospital. She has responded extraordinarily well to treatment and is under my care and on medication for skin and eye infection. Also tested for heartworm which was negative; no sign of tick fever. She is 14 years old as verified by her registration chip. My problem is; I am happy to foster her but I am going back to Australia where i have recently returned to live after being in HK for 20 years. I leave on August 8th. Happy to care for her until then but I am desperately looking for a loving home for this sweet dog who deserves happiness after her terrible ordeal. have photos but not sure where to send. Please can you help? Thanks”

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