Sat 1st May: The Big Move Part 1

I was up very early to be able to walk my Lamma dogs before heading to kennels for 9am and the start of the Big Move to Tai Po.  Film maker Angie Chen (director and producer of This Darling Life) had kindly agreed to be there to film the proceedings, and although a combination of exhaustion, stress and worry overcame me when Angie asked me how I was feeling, I was soon caught up in the action and excitement of the event.

The support we had was absolutely brilliant, and even the South China Morning Post gave us front page coverage on both the main and City sections.  You can’t get better than that! 

We were blessed with perfect weather for the entire day, and from the time that I left Pokfulam in the HKDR van with several dogs and volunteers to the end of the day, everything went amazingly well.  Mark stayed behind at kennels to organise the convoy of cars and vans, volunteers and dogs, while I was at the receiving end at Tai Po.

The fencing hadn’t been completed when the early groups arrived, so all dogs had to be confined to the house or kept on leashes. When the time came to make a final check that the fence was secure and all gates were closed, the dogs were let off and doors opened.  This was a bit of a heart stopping moment, as there was no way of knowing how the dogs would react, or what we could do if they started a big punch up.  I was hoping that the thrill of having so much space to run in would overtake any desire to fight, and apart from a few initial threats and stand-offs, as soon as the dogs realised what had happened they bounded off and started exploring.  For the rest of the day there wasn’t a sound from any of them, and you would never had known that there were so many dogs around and it was totally quiet.

Throughout the day the many volunteers (and there must have been a hundred of you there) worked to move, fix, clean, tidy and set up the office, store room, kitchen and dog areas.  We found that there were places that weren’t 100% dog proof, so an army of strong guys manhandled heavy fences into place, the remains of the Pokfulam kennels that had been dis-assembled and sent to Tai Po courtesy of Swire.

By 5 o’clock, the majority of the volunteers had left although there was still a small army working away in the house helping to set up the office.  Some of the more energetic dogs were still running around, chasing each other up and down the steep steps and round and round the terraces, but many of them had crashed and were ready for bed.  It was lovely to see how they all mingled quite happily in their new bedrooms, and I was impressed at how easily they accepted their new home (although it’s so much nicer than kennels so hardly surprising).

There are so many photos of the day, too many to be able to go through and choose just a few to post here, so please go to our Hong Kong Dog Rescue Facebook page to have a look (just click on the button at the side of this page).

Round Two starts again tomorrow, with the rest of the dogs at kennels moving out and the last of the fixtures and fittings being taken down, including the various houses dotted around the place.  It’s been a memorable day, sad but also happy, and the start of a whole new chapter in HKDR’s history.  Thank you to everyone who made this possible, from the anonymous owner of the Tai Po property to the many incredible volunteers who helped today happen.  Read tomorrow’s post for Round Two.


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