Thursday 17th September: I have a new computer!

Thanks to a very welcome donation I will shortly be up and running at top speed. What should have been taking me minutes has been taking hours, as the various borrowed, and very slow, laptops chugged their way through commands, stopping for tea breaks every now and then. Apologies to everyone who has emailed me and hasn’t had a reply, but I have a backlog of work to get through. After today, normal service will be resumed.

 I arrived at the kennels yesterday with the second edition of Lorry Pups, already due their second vaccinations. I also brought along Sue, the labrador cross puppy who was brought to us on Sunday. She needed to be microchipped and licensed. As I sat with her (on my lap) on the sampan I was studying her unusual face, which is really nothing like a labrador’s, and realised she’s actually part dachshund despite her size. Once I’d seen this it became quite obvious, and even the man at AFCD who deals with the licensing laughed when he saw her and said she had a dachshund face. So now it’s official, although I did still write “labrador cross” on the license, thinking that “dachshund” was a bit strange for such a large dog. Whatever Sue is she is certainly the most loving and affectionate puppy, and whoever adopts her will be very lucky.

 The fosters of Zorro and Brock, two puppies snapped up on Sunday’s adoption afternoon, were desperate to get their hands on little Hamster as a replacement, so she was picked up once her vaccination was done. By the evening, there was already someone interested in meeting her for an adoption ‘interview’, and I know she won’t stay in her foster home for long. She has grown a lot though, as have all the other pups in the litter, and she has doubled in weight from 1 kg to 2kg. These puppies really have a good appetite and I can often hear them crunching away on their biscuits even in the middle of the night. I do keep my puppies well fed, knowing that a puppy that eats well is a sign of health, and also because dogs that have known hunger are much more likely to be food aggressive.

As I was waiting at the SPCA clinic with the puppies, the brothers of Zorro and Brock were also there. They were having their third and last vaccination and will be at Whiskers’n’Paws on Sunday. I hope they’re as lucky as their brothers.

 After my last attempt at banishing Minky, Sparkle and all their friends from my top floor failed miserably, I made a second – and very determined – effort to restore at least some semblance of order upstairs. The typhoon had meant that I had to have the older pups (Lorry and Lorna’s) back inside, and they liked it too much. So much so, that when I moved them back downstairs, they simply climbed up again, and it was all too much. So this time I put a gate at the bottom of the stairs, leaving Sparkle especially in a total funk. Minky will at least go outside into the garden, but Sparkle stays rooted to the spot, waiting for the chance to slip back up to her comfort zone. The gate might seem an obvious solution and one which I could have used before. But it means that dogs like Sandy, Inky and others, who should have free access, are either stuck upstairs or down, and it’s a nuisance for me too. Hopefully the puppies will get the message and I can do without a barrier soon.

It’s always seemed strange to me that anyone thinks a dog is happier living by itself in a garden rather than indoors with its family. Being banished from the pack, or herd, is the worst thing that can happen to any social animal, and in the wild it would mean certain death. So to leave a dog outside while the rest of the ‘pack’ is inside, is a form of extreme punishment, like permanent “time out”. I know that expats arriving from countries where most people have a house and garden feel that keeping a dog in an apartment is cruel, but that’s really not true at all. Dogs are very adaptable and are happy in almost any environment, as long as they are with their ‘pack’. For all of my puppies, to be close to me and in a room that they feel secure in, is far more attractive than the large garden with all its trees and play space. Of course every dog needs to go outside and exercise (except Sparkle, who thinks that bouncing on and off the sofa is all that’s required), but that done, they will be happiest lying at the feet of their human companion.



One Response to “Thursday 17th September: I have a new computer!”

  1. DL Says:

    Thank you for pointing that out! It is somewhat a vindication for me – two large dogs in an apartment and I frequently receive raised eyebrows when friends and strangers alike know about my dogs in my apartment.

    I wonder what is worse – a dog with a garden to live/eat/sleep in, and NEVER taken out of the house for walks, or a dog in an apartment (yes, not the largest apartment), taken out at least four times a day, to either a long long walk or a very fast run or to the park to sprint offleash everyday, watch TV/eat/sleep/cuddle with humans most of the time at home -?

    Poor Inky! I hope the other dogs behave and she gets her usual freedom soon.

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