Mon 24th May: Holiday weather

I’m blessed with living in the most wonderful spot right next to the sea and without any houses in view other than those in the distance on Hong Kong island.  On a day like today, with the cicadas trilling their love songs and the breeze gently blowing, I could easily be in any holiday location – if it weren’t for the dogs.  Although in fairness they are also enjoying the unseasonable lack of heat and humidity and are lying quietly in the garden sunning themselves.  I even filled the small doggie pool with water for them, but they haven’t used it yet.  Why is it that they will happily lie in the large water container but not a made-for-dogs paddling pool?

Gorgeous weather or not, it was AFCD day today and I made the familar and nostalgic trip to Pokfulam to see what had come in over the weekend.  The dog catchers have been quiet lately, but I know that never lasts for long and there were a lot of newcomers awaiting their fate when I arrived.  Cheung Chau  is still being targeted and it’s a wonder that there are any dogs left there to catch.  Tulip is still out there somewhere so I’m always looking out for her when the latest group come in the island.

She wasn’t among the dogs that I assessed today, although there are a few very sad sharpei types in there (from Cheung Chau). In one kennel a very pretty border collie-looking dog was huddled together with a Hong Kong Collie pup.  When I went inside to have a closer look, both were very scared but after a while I was able to stroke the adult, a young female, small sized with short legs.  I said I’d take both.

Another kennel contained two dogs, one a golden retriever the other a smaller black version, both surrendered by their owner when a human baby arrived.  Again I reserved both.

Others that I said I’d take and pick up tomorrow were a schnauzer (with bad skin of course, typical of the breed), a cute shih tzu/terrier type that had been found as a stray, and another scared but still-young mongrel from Cheung Chau.  Now I need to arrange for some volunteers to help get the dogs out and into a van for moving to Tai Po.  I’ll have to bring crates for the smaller dogs, and hope that the retriever and his friend will be OK on a leash. Oh how easy it was in the old days when all we had to do was move the dogs the hundred odd yards along the road.

I didn’t leave empty handed, as the Hong Kong Collie pup came back to Lamma with me.  The poor little guy didn’t enjoy the trip much, but I carried him in a large canvas shopping bag so he was able to hide himself at the bottom (and poo, of course).  He got the inevitable all-over inspection from the other puppies on arrival, but by the time I went to bed he was already happily playing.  Puppies are so easy to please.

This week is going to be a very difficult one at Tai Po, with the return of all the dogs from Petworld and the new ones to fit in.  Where to put them all? 

All dog owners know that dogs have their own personalities and quirks, but what is also clear is that they have very strong feeling about different people too.  Some dogs that have been adopted and then returned as being badly behaved, or having people issues, show none of those traits in other homes.  It’s simply that they weren’t happy.  I took back two dogs recently, one a doglet that I called Fido, and the other a Monkey Pup that I now call Marnie. I was told Fido was anti-social and unfriendly, and his vet had even labelled him feral.  With me he is a very happy, friendly and affectionate little dog.  Marnie was apparently anxious and couldn’t be toilet trained or let off the leash as she would run away. I have found her to be the most affectionate, easy and loving of dogs.  Not only can she run off-leash quite happily, but she is always coming to touch her nose to my hand to check in during our walk, (as many of the dogs do) and I have had no problem with toilet issues.

Big Ears was adopted very soon after coming to HKDR from AFCD as he is a very cute little fellow, and young too.  However he didn’t seem to like his new home and it wasn’t long before the adopter told us he wouldn’t be staying.  As it happened we had a previous adopter (of Nina) who had offered to foster a small dog, so Big Ears moved in and he couldn’t be happier.  He loves his new big friends, and the games that they play.

Big Ears even loves to swim

Big Ears and Nina play on the beach

The Wine Walk takes place this Friday evening, and if you’re able to volunteer and haven’t yet signed up, please send an email to volunteers@hongkongdogrescue.com, or me, or just leave a comment on this blog.  We need forty people, so please help out if you can.  You won’t need to stay until midnight (when the event ends), so don’t be put off by the hours involved.  It’s a very casual affair and it should be fun.

We also need volunteers for the mini adoption event on Sunday which is taking place at the Cutty Sark pub in Elgin Street, Soho.  There will be a variety of small dogs there, and even if you aren’t familiar with the adoption process itself, just having volunteers to look after the dogs will be a help.

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