Thursday 23rd July: Another new kid on the block

I don’t know if it’s just a sign of getting old, in the same way that thinking all policemen look so young these days, but I can’t recall the tide being so consistently low in all the 20+ years that I’ve lived in this bay on Lamma.  The whole sea seems to be shrinking, and the pier is all too frequently inaccessible to sampans.  I had planned to take the Lorry Pups in for their third vaccination today, but having to carry them all across the rocks to reach a neighbouring (and private) floating pontoon puts me off the idea, and only two older pups go over today.

Amanda is sister to Piers, Simon and Joey, three gorgeous puppies who all had tick fever. Amanda’s vaccinations were delayed because of her extremely low blood count, and her last one is now due.  The second puppy, Scarlet, is a survivor of the deadly, bronchial cough that killed off her sister and three other pups, and she too had her vaccinations postponed.  She’s grown into a large and very lovely girl, and I decide to leave her at the kennels rather than bring her back to Lamma.

 Unfortunately, (or fortunately), the vet spots that Amanda’s gums are looking pale again and some blood is taken for a quick check.  The blood count is back to a low 17, so although Amanda gets her vaccination she has to come back on Saturday for another injection of the drug Berenil.  Hopefully this will kill the parasites that are the cause of the anaemia.  Amanda is a super-sweet puppy, and as she’s lying on the consult table, she has one back leg raised the whole time, a submissive gesture as well as an invitation to rub her tummy.

Icecream’s sad story has resulted in an immediate offer of a foster, so we’re all obviously very happy for him, and happy too that we don’t have yet another office resident.  Foster Tina comes to pick Icecream up (see Tina’s comment) while I’m at AFCD getting his license changed back to my name. 

As always I can’t leave empty-handed, and I know there’s a gorgeous puppy in there, a small and fluffy pom type, so I bring him out with me.  He’s between 4 and 5 months old, and looks like a little ginger pom/sheltie cross.  He was found on the street in a public housing estate, so seems to be one of those impulse purchases gone wrong.  As a small breed, he has a high pitched bark, and no doubt his owners simply threw him out because of it (or some other perfectly normal puppy behaviour).  Because of his colour I call him Ginger, and he’s very happy to be carried around to watch all the goings-on from the safety of my arms.

Today’s activities include the loading of four donated mobile air conditioners into a van, as well as the usual bags of dog food which the Lamma dogs eat at a terrifying rate.  I don’t know how these free-standing aircons work, but with two of the units on Lamma struggling to cool the hot air, I reckon they’ll come in very handy.

Luckily it seems that two of the other small dogs currently living in the office will soon be leaving.  Reynard the fox terrier is off to a new home at last, and Mojo the peke will be going to a foster home.  It’s just as well because I get a call from one of our long-term volunteers letting me know that a breeder is about to dump ten dogs, and asking if we can take them.  Although the details are sketchy, I gather that there are 3 corgis, 2 miniature dachshunds, a golden retriever and a mongrel pup amongst the ten.  Quite how a breeder ends up with a mongrel puppy is a mystery, but the dogs are due to arrive at our kennels on Saturday.  I have no idea of age or condition, as in the past we have had all sorts coming from breeders, from youngsters to poor old dogs with no teeth and in very bad shape.  I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.

I had hoped that by the time I left the kennels for Lamma, the tide would have turned and the sea level would be high enough to get the aircons and food ashore without too much trouble.  Wrong!  The tide was even lower than before, so it was time to get the dinghy out again so the heavy aircons and bags of dog biscuits could be rowed to the beach from the pontoon where they had been dropped off.  I make a mental note to check the tide table before carrying anything heavy or bulky home again at the wrong time of day.

I have nowhere to put Ginger other than in with the Lorry Pups and the Dinner Service four.  It’s a bit crowded but I reckon Ginger will find a home very quickly.  I have to climb into the enclosure for the initial introduction because I know that poor Ginger’s going to get a full inspection from all the others, and sure enough as soon as I sit down, holding Ginger on my lap, the rest of the puppies swarm all over him.  There’s no easy way to do this, and while Ginger’s terrified  I know it won’t be long before he’s just one of the gang.  The Dinner Service pups went through the same treatment but are now settled, and join in with the Lorry Pups in the scramble for attention whenever I pass.  By the time I go to bed the novelty of the new kid has already worn off, and although Ginger begs me to pick him up, I have to leave him to settle down for the night, and he’s fine.

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2 Responses to “Thursday 23rd July: Another new kid on the block”

  1. Angela Says:

    If I am not mistaken, Amanda has tick fever, right? My golden retriever had the worst case of tick fever 7 years ago and a drug with “artemisia” content has managed to suppress the symptoms for all these years. I have also saved another dog using an artemisia supplement, which was very sick even after blood transfusion. From what I’ve read, tick fever’s strand is very similar to malaria and vets are now using malaria drug to cure it. If SPCA has not already been using it, you might want to bring Amanda to Happy Valley Veterinary clinic.

    • Sally Says:

      Hi Angela,

      Yes, Amanda has tick fever and as she responded well to the first round of treatment, we’ll try this (cheaper) method before Atovoquone, the malaria drug. The Berenil has proven very effective is almost all of the puppy cases of babesia, so it’s worth trying first. The malaria treatment is hideously expensive as well as being a lengthy treatment. One or two injections is a lot easier, but of course, if Amanda doesn’t respond we will have to go the other route. Many thanks for your input.

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