Tuesday 10th November: Goodbye Ribby and Rex


Ribby, so called because he was so thin when he arrived at HKDR, leaves behind his lifelong companion, Clicker

I got the message early in the morning that Ribby, the male half of Ribby & Clicker, had been found dead in his kennel. The cause was obvious, as gastric torsion, more commonly known as bloat, is unmistakeable. Ribby was taken across the road to the vet where it was confirmed, and there was nothing more to do. I’ve written about bloat before on this blog, but I was reminded of how quickly it can happen, and how devastating the result. There’s no clear reason why it should have happened to Ribby as there was nothing out of the normal the previous day, and there had been no special food or treats handed out. Bloat often happens if a dog has gulped its food quickly, resulting in the stomach twisting and closing off at either end.


Goodbye sweet little Rex

There was more sad news with a call from the vet to say that shih tzu, Rex, was in a bad way and euthanasia was recommended. Rex has always had digestive problems, and was in and out of the vet’s on a regular basis, but this time his system had collapsed and there was no cure, even short term. I agreed on the phone to letting him go, and so ends the life of sweet little Rex. He was adored by his foster family, and once again I’m so grateful for the loving care that was given to this sweet boy at the end of his life.

I’m sure there are those who think that taking old dogs from AFCD kennels is wasting money, but to me and, I believe, the volunteers at HKDR, giving the seniors a happy and comfortable last few years, or even months, is worth it. To be dumped on the scrap heap and left to be killed by strangers in a methodical way is not the way to reward animals for their lifelong loyalty and companionship. Some of the old dogs that I’ve taken on have lived on for years, and many of them have called the house on Lamma their home during that time. When a dog is suffering, is in pain or has no quality of life, then euthanasia is the kindest option, but not simply because it’s past its prime.

It wasn’t all gloomy news this morning. Puppy Janet, one of two we kept at kennels rather than Lamma, was adopted. Sister, Alice, went last week so it was double happiness, and just in time too as I took two replacements out of AFCD kennels. These two chubby sisters are big and very beautiful, but because they are almost identical I had to give them silly names so we could identify them. They are brindle coloured, with one slightly lighter than the other, so they are Lita (lighter) and Darka (darker). Sorry girls!

I also took out another sweet-but-scared young dog who must have been a pet before. She’s barely out of puppyhood, a time when many dogs are dumped, especially when they are in season (as this dog is). Her name is now Madeline, and by the end of the day when I left the kennels she was already wagging her funny, short and bent cat-tail furiously, and nibbling at my fingernails (I love the way dogs do this).

There must be something in the air as not only is Madeline in season, but Nina, last week’s sweet-but-shy girl, was also found to be pregnant when she was desexed today. Another one saved from having unwanted puppies at a very young age.

My first job today was to go to the government offices in Wanchai to collect the very important license for the Peak to Fong raffle. It’s now all systems go with the ticket sales – yay! I’m sure most people don’t realise that every part of an event needs a government license; the walk, the street party, road closure, selling anything on the street, selling food and drink, “amusements with prizes”, having a good time (OK, I made that one up but you get the picture). Our volunteer, Gloria, is the one who takes on this task and all the paperwork involved, so thanks to her we are now fully licensed. Phew.

We still need more volunteers to help on the day if anyone’s willing. We can’t offer much in the way of compensation, but you will get free entry and a brand new special Volunteer T-shirt plus, of course, being part of an amazing event. Please let me know if you can help in any way. You should know my email: sally@hongkongdogrescue.com

Look out for our stall at outside the Hopewell Centre on Weds 11th and Thurs 12th, at the Shun Tak Centre (2/F) on Saturday, and at Peak Galleria on Sunday.  You can get everything HKDR-related at all of these locations!


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