Thursday 5th November: Phoebe’s little secret


Phoebe, the lovely collie/terrier, went for desexing today and was found to be pregnant, so that’s one unwanted litter that won’t be coming into this world. As sad as it may seem (and yes, I also find it sad), it’s far better to prevent puppies being born than to see them dying later. I would estimate that a very high percentage of mongrel puppies born don’t make it through to adulthood, and even those that do remain homeless. I dread to think of the number of puppies that are born as unwanted, or to strays and feral dogs, who lead miserable and short lives before dying of starvation and/or disease. That’s not taking into account the thousands officially destroyed by AFCD, and the others put to sleep by vets etc. Now Phoebe is recovering from her operation, and will never be in that situation again. Next stop, a home.

The AFCD kennels are always full of such unwanted dogs and puppies, and the Pokfulam Animal Management Centre, where most of our dogs come from, is one of four government kennels and the only one on Hong Kong Island. The others are in Kowloon, Shatin and Sheung Shui, and we also take dogs from these centres when we can. Scooby, Jasper (Old English Sheepdog) and Nicky the beagle were three recent intakes from the New Territories, and pug Lewis was another.

Lewis moved back to the kennels yesterday from Lamma, where he had been staying while he had kennel cough. Coincidentally we had a nice adoption enquiry about him at the same time, so hopefully he’ll be heading off soon. He must be the friendliest little dog ever, as he greets everyone like a long lost friend and thinks that life is just one big game. If only!

Today’s AFCD (Pokfulam) visit resulted in two new dogs saved; Nina, an adult mongrel (with sharpei in the mix somewhere), and Tilly, a surrendered 10-year old shih tzu girl. Little Tilly has stinky, yeasty skin and no doubt some other senior citizen ailments yet to be discovered, but she’s a very sweet girl with a very cute face, and she doesn’t deserve to die.

Seeing the dogs in their kennels at AFCD it’s very hard to pass any by. There are those who are old, some who are wild, many who are neither old nor wild but are simply too “ordinary” to find homes. I can’t explain what draws me to the less obvious cases, but something about them catches my eye, or tugs at my heart and pulls me in. Dogs like Isobel, who was recently adopted but who was so terrified at AFCD kennels that I almost gave up on her. Even Phoebe, for all her beauty, was touch and go, because she simply wouldn’t respond to anything. Their only problem in the end was fear, and now Phoebe is already changing, just as Isobel and others did before her.

Reading the following article makes it even harder, knowing the depth of understanding, intelligence, emotion and more that makes a dog what it is (or any animal, come to that). Will there ever be a time when animals will be given the credit they deserve?


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