Fri 26th June: Johnnie’s short story

Johnnie is wearing his "adopt me" bandana but it never worked

I posted the news of doglet Johnnie’s sudden death in real time yesterday,  by that I mean it was as it was happening and the news was coming in from the vet.  My blog usually reports on what has happened the previous day so I should be writing about Johnnie today, and I will tell his story although it’s a short one.

Even though they may not be related, puppies on Lamma grow up in groups put together according to age.  Sometimes it’s easy to tell which ones are related, and sometimes I forget.  There was no mistaking

Jenna, adopted the day this photo was taken

Jenna as Johnnie’s sister as they were almost identical, but also in his group were Sylvia and Linus, and Jubbly who recently went to live in America.  Fido was the baby of the group, and he is back with me after having failed his adoption, and he’s now a very happy boy on Lamma.

Sylvia, also adopted as a baby

I don’t know why Johnnie wasn’t adopted as a baby pup.  Maybe he was too shy, as was Jenna, but anyway he made the big move from the bedroom puppy enclosure to the garden without any problem.  He became one of the doglet gang, a group of like-minded older puppies interested in play, and play, and then some more play.  He must have been developing pneumonia for some time before it became evident, but I never saw it.  It was only on Wednesday that I noticed him retching, and I thought he had something stuck in this throat.  On Thursday morning I knew it was serious and he went to SPCA as an emergency case, and half an hour later I was told he had died.

Dealing with death is something I have had to get used to, whether it’s my own dogs or those I’m looking after on Lamma, or the dogs at kennels, or those who die simply because I can’t take them from AFCD.  It has certainly made me aware of the fragility of life, and to understand that nothing can, or should, be taken for granted.  Whether it’s dogs or humans, there are no guarantees that we all live to reach old age, and Johnnie at least enjoyed his short time on earth.

Dandy, a dachshund cross with an unknown history

I had arranged to meet Dandy’s foster outside the old Pokfulam kennels, where work has begun in earnest now.  Based on the speed at which new buildings go up in Hong Kong, I guess it won’t be long before there is a brand new structure there very soon.  Work is a little slower at Tai Po, but we’re getting there.  The last three enclosures will be completed within the next week and then we can sort the dogs into their final groups.   In the meantime they are enjoying the freedom of running around, and to dogs like Oscar, an athletic young boy, it’s heaven. 

Oscar's having a stretch before his workout

He was having a blast as we were discussing the new fencing and shelters, galloping back and forth at top speed, leaping over any obstacles in his way as if they didn’t exist.  Oscar is another returnee, adopted as a baby pup and simply way too energetic for the home he was in.  If anyone wants a dog that can run for miles and miles, but who is also a very sweet character, then Oscar’s your boy.

Bluebell the beagle, surrendered to AFCD

There were three lucky dogs taken from AFCD today; Hercules the German shepherd, Bluebell the beagle and Leila, a lovely mongrel.  As with many other German shepherds we’ve taken in, poor Hercules was in a bad way despite ebing only three years old. 

Imagine having to walk on feet like these

 He had come from a rich household in Deepwater Bay where he had been used as a guard dog.  He has chronic demodex which has obviously never been treated, and finally when it got too bad he was sent to AFCD.  He is a beautiful dog, sweet natured and very brave.  Which is more than can be said for his ex-owners.

Hercules, big and brave


6 Responses to “Fri 26th June: Johnnie’s short story”

  1. Phoebe Says:

    Hi Sally:

    This is Phoebe who adopted Holly (now Miki) about a month ago. She has finally overcome her puppy fear and is the best buddy of Mari now (my other Chinese Mongrel adopted from HKDR two years ago). I am just curious as to whether Holly has any siblings who are still living on Lamma or maybe already adopted. I believe she was at Lamma too prior to her adoption. Thanks a lot and regards, Phoebe

  2. Doris Says:

    Anyone who is looking for a dog like Oscar, pls also consider Piers, who has identical character, equally sweet but energetic only outdoors. He can be a very good guard dog too cos his barks are scary and threatening. But for someone like me who knows him well, I’ll simply break into the house.

    • Sally Says:

      Piers is a wonderful dog. Doris didin’t mention that she’s been fostering him for months, since he broke his leg somehow and had to have surgery and a horrible metal contraption to hold everything together. Now he’s fully recovered and has been in Doris’s care while waiting for a home. Doris will be leaving soon and Piers needs to find somewhere else to go or he’ll have to come back to us. It’s hard on a dog after having been in such a loving home.

  3. Sunita Says:

    I cant bear to look at regal Hercules’ deep soulful eyes without being terribly ashamed at what humans have done to him. Your last sentence couldnt be more true.
    Bless your heart for your efforts, Sally.

  4. Jennifer Says:

    Shame on those “rich” people!!!!! how come they’ve got so much money to spend and to save, but not spending a dime on their beautiful dogs?! How could they do that?! How could they sleep @ night?!

  5. ivy Says:

    poor Hercules, we will find you a good permanent home!

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