Wednesday 5th August: New recruits

Not for the first time the weather has meant we have to cancel our stall outside the Hopewell Centre, which  is a real shame but that’s Hong Kong for you.  One minute blazing sunshine, and the next torrential rain.

 One thing that’s never cancelled is the daily routine at the kennels, although ‘routine’ definitely isn’t the best word to describe life there.  When I arrive in the afternoon, the office is full of people and dogs.  We have new recruits from the AFCD kennels in Sheung Shui, two of which are now in the office.  These tiny girls are peke/shih tzu cross and look like sisters.  Whatever they are they’re adorable, but new office bully in the shape of twice-surrendered peke boy, Yorky, is already giving them a hard time.  The other new peke boy, Jolly, is keeping quiet in the corner and I can’t say I blame him.  He’s the total opposite of Yorky, being very sweet-natured and easy.  Now we seem to have three pairs of dogs in the office: two pekes, two peke/shih tzus and two Tibetan spaniels(ish).

Yorky, twice-surrendered by the same owner

Yorky, twice-surrendered by the same owner

 Joe, the accounts-and-other-things volunteer, is there, as well as Gloria, who picked up the Sheung Shui dogs.  Add Sandra (adoptions and adoption admin), Kathy, Mark and myself, mix together with six dogs, and throw into a small room. Yorky is busy barking at the new girls, and they squeak back in defence. Joe and I are trying to have a conversation, the phone is ringing, and Kathy is trying to get all the new dogs registered in the system while Cosmo is desperate to jump onto her lap.  Meanwhile Sandra is doing her best to talk about the most suitable dogs for potential adopters with Mark.  We all have a go at trying to placate Yorky, unsuccessfully.  It’s a normal day.

Later I go looking for the other new dogs that came in.  There’s a small-sized golden retriever girl who is apparently pregnant.  She’s been given the name Sharon, but I tell Kathy I can’t call her that and change it to Cara.  Somehow Sharon just doesn’t fit.

 Another very striking and unusual dog is registered as a Neopolitan Mastiff on the license, but while I can see the colouring (a silvery grey) is right, this girl doesn’t have the drooping jowls of a mastiff, not the hefty build.  She’s apparently 8 months old, and is a very beautiful dog.  Sweet natured too.

 A black labalike pops his (her?) head round the corner, another new one.  Oh my, where will they all go?

 Mark appears at the gate with a new group of volunteers going through their orientation.  Everyone has to attend this introduction before they can start walking dogs so they at least know how the system works.  We have colour coding for the dogs: green (easy), yellow (fairly easy) and red (not so easy).  (That doesn’t mean the “red” dogs are killers, it just mean they might pull hard, or be timid, so it’s best that they go out with the volunteers who are familiar with their quirks).  Part of the more experienced volunteer training programme involves individuals working with specific dogs, the aim of all training to be to help dogs find homes.  Dogs that are trained are obviously more attractive to adopters than those who aren’t.


Cliff: he should be in a home

Cliff: he should be in a home

Cliff is our show-off dog.  He has always been lovely, but he was definitely a stubborn boy and didn’t see why he should do anything like sitting, or even walking, if he didn’t feel like it.  He was Mark’s first project dog, and now he is our star.


Before I leave for the day I try to get beds sorted for all the office dogs.  I find some half crates, put soft towels inside, and the two new peke/shih tzu twins immediately hop in together.  Oh, they are cute!  I urge Kathy to get her camera and take photos of them. (I hope she uploaded them so I can add to this post). They must be homed together.

Omega now Bailey, the "pug with a ginger wig"
Omega now Bailey, the “pug with a ginger wig”

I have to add a not about the photo on our Homepage advertising the small adoption event on Sunday.  The photo of the “pug in a ginger wig” is  Bailey, formerly Omega, who is actually a peke who was left outside our kennels one day.  Hhe had almost useless back legs and I was talking about getting him fitted with a wheelchair, but after having been in a great foster home for a while his legs are now quite functional, if a bit wobbly, and he’s fine.  He had the common facial fold operation to remove excess folds round his eyes, as these often cause eye ulcers in breeds like pekes.  The face has to be shaved for this operation, and the result is as you see on the Homepage photo.

So here is a photo of him complete, and he needs a home!
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