Thursday 3rd September: Hundredth monkey

I don’t know if you have heard of the Hundredth Monkey theory.  This is when enough of a species, be it monkey or any other, learns a new skill which from then on is automatically passed to subsequent generations.  I swear this happens with my puppies, as every litter seems to be smarter than the previous ones.  Toilet training?  No problem. The new baby Lorry Pups are already using the newspaper at the end of the balcony 100% of the time.  Who taught them? Not I.

 When previous litters have reached the age when they need to run and play in the garden, they have simply stayed where they have been put.  Not the latest two groups.  They can run up and down the spiral staircase with ease, and seem to enjoy returning to their old haunts, be it the bedroom (Lorry Pups) or the top floor (Lorna’s pups).  As I’m sitting here, there is already a puppy by my feet.  He came back from the garden where I put him earlier.

 Willow is in my bedroom, where she, Minky and Murphy get up to all sorts of mischief together.  No space or place is sacred any more.

At night I now put all the puppies (except the new intakes) into the garden enclosure, a rather rudimentary but spacious shelter which is at least weatherproof and makes a comfortable dormitory.  After one night in there Lorna’s pups had devised an escape method which no previous litter, or single pup, has ever managed to do.  By using various crates and kennels as stepping stones, they can climb up to the top where there is a small gap between the wire fence and the roof.  Then they simply crawl through and drop down the other side.  Amazing, but really annoying when I have to get up several times during the night to put them back inside.  Even so, there were several of them running in the garden when I got up this morning.

I wasn’t going to write a long piece about Alfie again, but  today I took him back to where he lived.  The way of his abandonment was simply not acceptable.  What happened was that the husband turned up at the kennels at 7.30pm (we close at 7pm but Kathy was working late, as she often is), opened the front gate by himself, and pushed Alfie in.  The poor dog wasn’t even wearing a leash.  There had been no prior warning or even a hint that all wasn’t well in the Alfie household. 

When I got to the large development in Tuen Mun where Alfie lived, I fully expected to be pulled towards the door.  It didn’t happen.  He just stood there.  I checked with the security guard because it occurred to me that maybe the family had moved, as Alfie didn’t seem to recognise his home at all.  The guard called to the apartment, and the maid answered.  Yes, Alfie did live there, and she came down to take him back inside.  Alfie wouldn’t move, but looked at me and tried to pull away from the maid to come to me.  My only contact had been the van ride to the apartment.  The maid ended up dragging him forcibly inside.  If the van had still been there I would have taken Alfie back, no question.

I’ve made it clear to the current owners that they can bring Alfie back, but properly this time.  That means by making an appointment, bringing his paperwork, and making the requested donation of $1000 to cover his costs until he is re-homed (in some cases this can be months or even years later).  However, it seems they want to take the AFCD option where, in the wife’s own words, the dog will be put to sleep and turned into mincemeat.  She also says their consciences are clear as they did the right thing by surrendering Alfie.

 Readers, you decide.

Big, brave Otis managed a walk round the block!

Big, brave Otis managed a walk round the block!

I almost forgot (and apologies, Norma, for not having broadcast this amazing news earlier).  There has been a major breakthough with Otis, Norma’s (big and very fat) Project Dog.  (The Project is to allocate experienced volunteers particular dogs to work with under trainer Mark’s guidance).  Otis has been unwilling to walk on a leash since he came to us.  In fact it’s been impossible to keep any collar or harness on him, let alone lead him.  We have got as far as getting him to walk almost as far asCyberport Road, but no further.  Now, with Norma’s patience and encouragement, Otis has walked round the entire block, on a leash!  Congratulations Norma, and well done Otis.  What a brave boy you are!

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8 Responses to “Thursday 3rd September: Hundredth monkey”

  1. Norma M Says:

    All credit to Otis. He has learned what he has been missing all along. Not plain sailing yet but he has managed two trips around the block so far. Well done Otis!

  2. Abby and Lou Says:

    Bravo Norma! That is a breakthrough! Very happy for Otie.

  3. Susan Says:

    If Alfie’s owners really believe they’ve made the right decision to surrender Alfie, then they should have done it in the right manner, and not just sneaked in the kennels to dump him there.

    I don’t want to even think about how they have been treating Alfie all this time, but the fact that Alfie does not seem to want to go back to his “home” already says a lot.

    The last thing I would ask of Alfie’s owners is they NOT dump Alfie on the streets or somewhere remote. Sick people are capable of doing scary things….

  4. Genevieve Says:

    I must say, the previous litter of Lorry pups are just as smart! Whisky (prev Cider) and Tango (prev Dino) were running up and down our (extra long) winding staircase by the 3rd day they arrived, and we didn’t even have to teach them!

  5. Foster Wong Says:

    Way to go! Norma!

  6. Hilo Says:

    I’m so very proud of Otis! I remember seeing him on Tuesday and he looked so handsome with a collar and leash! He did slip through his collar but I can see he’s making some great improvements! Congratulations Norma. All that hard work is paying off. 🙂

    I’m angry beyond words in the way that Alfie’s owners are treating him. I hope they bring him back in the proper manner this time so he’ll be able to be rehomed to a LOVING, PATIENT, and CARING family he deserves. I just wanted to clarify that Alfie is the black labalike in the kennels who was bigger than Hilo (previously Mark). Either way, it doesn’t matter who the dog is, it’s just a shame he had to go through all this.

  7. Norma M Says:

    A week has now passed since Otis made his miraculous laps around the block. One on Wednesday morning and another in the afternoon but alas since then he has decided he would much rather be in the field and run free so not so easy to get him past this obstacle. Anyway we keep trying!
    So frustrating though!

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