Monday 14th September:A Hard Day’s Night

What a day and, boy, what a night.

With the typhoon already threatening to come our way on Sunday, we were prepared and on standby to get as many dogs as possible out of kennels and into temporary “typhoon homes” by Monday.  As always in these situations, I was stuck on Lamma where I could only wait for updates on who was going, and when.  By end of day we had thirty dogs safely moved out, relieving us all of the worry of having dogs at kennels without adequate shelter. A million thanks to all who offered refuge for their 4-legged guests, and a round of applause to Kat and Mark who handled the procedures brilliantly.

I was buoyed by the news that I have a new (donated) computer coming my way next Monday (can’t wait!), but subsequently flattened when I got  a call from the adopters of our blind dog, Zachary, who went to a “forever” home last year.  Now they want to “return” him, but there’s no way that Zach can come back to kennels.  When he first arrived with his mother and siblings we had far fewer dogs, and after his family were adopted Zachary paired up with Janie, a sweet girl who became his guide.  Zach loved to go for walks and played happily in the field, and being born blind he never knew any different.  Eventually Zachary and Janie were adopted together, and there were tears of happiness from the volunteers when they left kennels.  Sadly the happiness was shortlived when Zach proved to be a cat chaser in a home where there were two resident cats.  Janie stayed, but Zach came back.  The kennels was already much fuller by then, and poor Zach struggled to cope with the crowds.  He changed from a happy, outgoing dog to one who was too afraid to leave his kennel.

So the day that he left once again, this time with promises of never giving him up, we were again overjoyed.  Now my heart breaks for Zachary, knowing that he is once again going to be homeless, but this time it would be too cruel to even think about putting him back in kennels with so many dogs.

As the afternoon wore on and the No 8 Signal was raised, things started to get a bit hairy on Lamma.  The house is right on the seafront and directly in line of any wind, rain or sea spray, and by early evening I could tell it was going to be an interesting night ahead.

I got the dogs in early, leaving the puppies and the few dogs who prefer to stay outside in the outside enclosure.  It had been reinforced earlier in the day, and I made double sure the dogs would stay dry by filling the space with crates that would provide extra shelter.

As the wind strengthened, the outside doors began to rattle ominously and were threatening to blow open, so I secured them tightly with wire, effectively sealing myself and the dogs in and anything outside, out.  So when it became clear that the outside enclosure was not, after all, strong enough to withstand the battering from the wind, and the plastic roofing sheets began to disintegrate, I had the problem of how to get the puppies in.  If I opened the secured door, it would almost certainly have been ripped off its hinges, but I couldn’t leave the puppies outside without shelter.  The solution was to open the bathroom window, lean out, and grab each puppy by the scruff of the neck and haul it inside.  It wasn’t exactly the most elegant or comfortable method of getting puppies inside, but it worked.

Now that they were safely indoors, the only place to put them was the top floor where my office is.  They were very happy with that arrangement, thank you, as they had free access to the whole area rather than their usual puppy pen.  Oh what games they had throughout the night, and what a lot of poo a bunch of free range puppies can produce in such a short time.

I’m glad they were so obviously oblivious to what was happening outside, but I wasn’t.  It was a scary time, and impossible to even try and sleep.  The wind was screaming through the aircons, there were roofing sheets flying round, glass smashing, and water pouring like a river from the top of the house to the bottom.  These old village houses aren’t exactly well built, and I don’t think I have a waterproof window anywhere.

At 4am, when the wind finally began to subside, I drifted off to sleep knowing that I would be woken at the usual time by the dogs, and the debris.


One Response to “Monday 14th September:A Hard Day’s Night”

  1. emiri ikeda Says:

    what’s the reason for the zach’s ‘return’?

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