Mon 5th July: Never a dull moment

Apart from sweat, sunburn and increased sales of sodas and icecream, there’s another guaranteed result of the summer’s heat – more puppies being born.

One of the kennels at AFCD today was occupied by a mother and her just-born litter.  She had been caught by the dog catchers only the day before, and had given birth in an unfamiliar and stressful environment, and her own distress was causing her to ignore her new pups.  Instead of licking them and encouraging them to suckle, she was leaving them where they lay, umbilical cords still attached.  A few of the stronger ones had found her teats anyway and were already taking her milk, but probably only a few will survive.  Maybe that’s a good thing in a world that already has far too many unwanted dogs and puppies but still, to see these tiny little bodies taking their first – and last – breaths is very sad.

The pug had the same sad expression as Sassy, and the same colouring (but it's not her)

I had a hard decision to make about one of the dogs there.  A young pug had been surrendered because spinal injury had paralysed her back legs.  She looked exactly like another pug we had not too long ago, and had the same sad expression, as though she was about to burst into tears any moment.  And that’s probably how she felt.  I looked at her, walked by, walked back and went into her kennel.  I asked her age: four years old.  Still young, if very overweight, hardly the best thing for a pug with back problems.  I left the kennel, chose the others that I would take today, and then went back.  What to do?  Surgery can be successful if carried out soon enough after the injury occurs, but what were the alternatives if it was too late (which I assumed it was).  I stroked the pug’s head and she looked at me with those heartbreak eyes and I just couldn’t leave her.  So now she’s with us and will start with an MRI scan to see where and what the injury is, and what, if anything, can be done.

Joining the pug today was a surrendered cocker spaniel girl, also four years old, and the cutest puppy, a mongrel but with a poodle coat.  I already had two passengers in the van, Pipsqueak and Emma, making that big step from Lamma to Tai Po.  It’s hard for them but just as hard for me.

As soon as I arrived at Tai Po it was non-stop.  I hadn’t been up there for a while, and there’s always so much going on.  Apart from getting the new dogs in (although the puppy came back to Lamma with me), I also decided it was time for some of the older puppies living in the main house to move out, so Vivian and Bailey found themselves evicted.  They had been having a blast together, but part of their games included terrorising little dogs like Steve (the peke), and the house is supposed to be small dog territory anyway.  So Vivian, Bailey and Pipsqueak (now just Pip) joined the group at the back of the house (which includes Pip’s sister, Otter), while Emma was allowed to stay inside because of her small size.

Alice was taking care of a group of visitors when a delivery of donated furniture arrived.  So as the shelves and cupboards were being ferried from the gate to the house and Alice was explaining the niceties of dog walking to the guests, volunteers were going back and forth with their various charges and I was trying to get the last of the gazebos (tents) up at the side of the carport.  There’s never a dull moment.


4 Responses to “Mon 5th July: Never a dull moment”

  1. Hoppy Says:

    Dear Sally,
    Will you consider accupunture for the paralysed pug? I have seen magic done on a 10+ yr old small size dog, running crazily after 2 mths treatment.
    Hope this helps.

    • Sally Says:

      Yes, of course, but I think the injury is probably too old to benefit much. We have used acupuncture before on dogs with this problem.

  2. max Says:

    Any updates on the newborns and mother? Being taken out now?

    • Sally Says:

      I’ve reserved them but will need to wait a bit to see how they go. I’m not sure how many of the pups will survive and there is nowhere safe for them to move to at Tai Po right at this moment.

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