Sun 21st February: Getting back to normal

After what seems like an endless round of holidays (Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year), we are finally getting back to business as usual, and today Whiskers’n’Paws was packed with adopters, past and potential.  Whippety Brothers Miller and Brando turned up, as well as Whiskey and Ted, two of Oona’s sons who couldn’t look more different if they tried except for the Afghan hound-iness that they share with third brother, Banka.  They are all big boys, with lean bodies and the grace of an Afghan, but I haven’t seen any of that breed hanging around Pokfulam (where Oona lives on a work site).

Two families wanted to adopt beautiful MagnusThree puppies were adopted, and a fourth from a foster home, so I was happy.  It was the first time for the youngest group, and like Whiskey, Ted and Banka, the pups look very different from each other.

One of them, fluffy Merry, got lucky on her debut appearance, and I hope the others will follow soon.

Little Merry, adopted on her first outingMerry's sister looks nothing like herThe brother, different again

The biggest and best adoption today, though, had to be Natalie’s, one of three sisters who came to us from a shelter in the New Territories as young puppies and who have waited so long for homes.  Their “problem” (if you can call it that), is that they are so friendly and so enthusiastic that they tend to overwhelm potential adopters.  It seems sad that being too friendly can be a barrier to getting a home, but it’s true in this case.  Anyway, finally one of the girls has been chosen, and I know all of the volunteers will be over the moon with the news.  I know I am.

Natalie leaving kennels for the last time

Now that everyone is back at their desks, the work on the new kennel site in Tung Chung will seriously get underway, as well as the various associated projects such as fundraising and our foster drive.  We know that we won’t have the new kennels ready for guests by the time we have to leave Pokfulam, and the question of what to do with all the dogs is hanging over us like a big cloud.  Getting the dogs into temporary homes is the best (and only) solution, so we really need to find spaces for the anticipated three months that it will take to have the new site up and running, at least enough that the dogs can move in.

Apart from the fact that temporary homes are essential from the basic shelter aspect, being away from the kennels and all the other dogs for a while also gives the foster dogs a chance to show their own individual personalities.  This is a huge help when re-homing permanently, so by taking a dog home for the three months you would not only be helping HKDR, but also that particular dog and its adoption potential.

Stella

This is the case with Stella, another lovely pup-then doglet-now young adult who spent her first few months on Lamma before moving to kennels.  I wrote quite a bit about this litter as they were such outgoing personalities, a bit like Natalie and her sisters, and I have to admit that having a whole group of them at the same time was wearing at times.  Anyway, Stella got a bite on her back which resulted in a very nasty infection, and after surgery to repair the damage she needed a foster home while she was healing.  One of our regular volunteers, Deb, ended up taking Stella, and not only is the physical damage getting better very quickly, but Stella’s personality, hidden by being amongst so many dogs, is also beginning to shine.  Of course, what we want more than anything is for Stella not to come back to kennels and to find a permanent home, and having been with Deb for a while will certainly be a big help.

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