Sun 2nd May: Just the beginning

With the last of the dogs moved from Pokfulam, and the remaining bits of office furniture and equipment now at Tai Po, it might seem that the move has been achieved in record quick time and we can now start to relax a bit. In fact it’s just the beginning of the upacking, sorting, storing, organising and setting up of the new office and “kennels”, and that’s a massive task.  We have to get internet connection for a start, and right now there’s no way of contacting anyone other than by mobile phone (and we’ve discovered that there are “dead” spots for mobiles too!)

Once again the volunteers turned up in force to help and did a great job.  Thanks to everyone for lending a much-needed hand.

The dogs have been enjoying their freedom and starting to settle into a semi-routine.  Walking round the garden area, there’s always a group of happy hangers-on to accompany you, while others sun themselves on the terraces.  The over-enthusiastic greeting that I always got from the ex-Lamma dogs has modified into tail wagging and hand nuzzling, a much nicer experience than being mauled.  All of the pent-up energy has gone, and even the offer of a walk outside was turned down by many of the dogs who would previously have jumped (literally) at the chance.

 The downside of having the dogs running free started to become apparent today when it was time to dole out the medications, and Alice and Kathy spent two hours trying to find just one dog!  So that’s not going to work.  We need a special hospital section where all dogs that require medication stay, but where and how?

At least with the help of volunteers we were able to section off the swimming pool area, and now have a safe and spacious place for Prima, currently in private boarding.  Prima is a sweetheart with people, but not with other dogs, and she needs to be separated.  Now she’ll have a great new home, which in the meantime is being occupied by Meatball the bulldog.

I knew that moving to the New Territories was going to mean finding stray puppies and dogs on a regular basis (there are so many and they are everywhere), but I hadn’t expected it quite so soon. The waterworks next to the house has many dogs roaming around, and today we caught two puppies, now called Tai and Po (or maybe Tai Tai and Po Po?).  They are both girls, so at least that’s stopped a lot of new unwanted puppies from being born.  These two will be desexed as soon as they’re old enough, although we hope they’ll find new homes before then.    We’ll have to see if we can catch and desex as many dogs as possible from the neighbourhood, so when we leave we will at least have achieved something that will have a lasting effect.

I had to leave Tai Po quite early as I’d arranged to meet with film maker, Angie Chen, for the second part of the mini-documentary she’s kindly making for us.  We walked through the now deserted Pokfulam Kennels, and it already felt like an old ghost town.  All the dogs had gone, and there wasn’t a sound except for the birds.  It was a very strange feeling, like seeing a dog (or person) who has died, and while the physical body is still there, the spirit has left.  There’s no looking back now, we have to move forward and make the most of the wonderful place that we have been given, and plan for what will come beyond that: a permanent home for HKDR.

One of our long-term volunteers, Michelle, stood in for me at Whiskers’n’Paws today, and Chimney was the lucky pup who found a home. At the end of the afternoon, the older puppies that had gone over from Lamma continued on to Tai Po, while the younger recruits came back to Lamma.  The Sunday puppy adoption afternoons will still take place as before, and the young puppies will be fostered with me until they are ready to move to Tai Po (those that haven’t been adopted, of course).

We have our next fundraiser coming up on Saturday, this time something completely different and a first for Hong Kong – a twelve hour Comedython. That’s non-stop stand-up comedy, both English and Cantonese, which will take place at Champs Bar in the Charterhouse Hotel, Wanchai Road.  You can stay as long as you like for the ticket entrance fee of $100, but there’s no booking available so get there early to ensure a place.  There’ll be hourly breaks for prize opportunities, and lots of goodies to be won.  Full details of the event are on our website, so check it out.

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2 Responses to “Sun 2nd May: Just the beginning”

  1. Renata Says:

    Hi Sally,

    THe comedython sounds brilliant – if you can email me a copy of the poster I’ll put one up at school! Wish I could come, but the next three weeks are packed with my final exams… I’m looking forward to getting back to volunteering in the summer!

    So glad the move is going well – good luck with the rest of it!

  2. Cynthia Says:

    Hi Sally
    The Pokfulam kennel is, as you described, a ghost site as I live nearby. It is strange now that you and the dogs are moved. I will miss dearly the faces of happy dogs and everyone helping in HKDR as your volunteers took them out for walks throughout the day. Keep up the good work! Wishing you all the best in Tai Po for the new chapter of HKDR.
    kind regards,
    Cynthia

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