Thurs 6th August: A lovely surprise

I’ve taken two litters of puppies out of AFCD Pokfulam recently; the eight “pointer” pups (99% the real thing), and the seven baby pups that were born there on 5th July and have now gone to foster homes.  In both cases the adults had to stay behind, one being the mother of the babies and the other the “auntie” of the pointers, an exact older version of the only tricolour pup in the litter.  I was pretty sure, as posted on my blog the other day, that I wouldn’t be able to take the mother dog as she was a wild dog, and the auntie was so timid that I couldn’t get close to her either. 

I knew at some point that I would have to make a tough decision about these dogs, and wanted to give it one more try today when I was at AFCD.  Having watched the mother take care of her puppies since the day they were born it felt terribly cruel and callous leaving her to be killed, but reality also has to come into the equation.  Anyway, I approached her kennel again, and to my surprise she wagged her tail and came forward to tentatively sniff my hand.  That sealed it for me – I wasn’t going to leave her.

However, just because a dog isn’t agressive that doesn’t mean it’s going to willingly walk out of its kennel on the end of a leash, particularly if it’s never had a collar round its neck before.  This dog was no exception, and a crate was the only way I was going to get her out.  Easy enough, but then there’s the microchip and rabies vaccination to be done, pretty impossible once a dog’s actually inside the crate.  With the expert help of one of the AFCD staff, the one I call The Master because of the speed at which he can chip a dog, we got the mother boxed into a corner so she couldn’t move, then quick as a flash the needles went in and bingo, done.

With the mother now safely in a crate, it was on to the auntie.  She was a strange case as she would sit quite happily while I went into her kennel, not running to the outside area as most timid dogs do, but she refused to let me touch her.  I tried every trick in the book, but no, I got a warning every time.  I was honestly wondering if I was doing the right thing in taking her, thinking that however beautiful she was (and she is), if she was untouchable how would we ever be able to get her desexed and vaccinated, let alone adopted.  Anyway, once again with the help of The Master, and a towel over her head, the dog was chipped, rabies vaccinated and in the crate.

Arriving at Tai Po I was faced with the usual dilemma of where to put the newbies, and I decided that the best place was one of the top enclosures with other gentle dogs.  It was a bit of a gamble because I knew that if one, or both, of the dogs refused to be caught again, we’d have a real problem.  Taking that risk, the crates were taken up to the enclosure and the doors opened.  To my complete surprise, the auntie dog (now Tita, Tagalog for auntie) immediately turned into a completely different character, one that was sweet and submissive, lying down and offering her belly for a rub, and happy to be stroked and have her ears scratched.  I can’t tell you what a buzz I got from that,  knowing that I had been so close to giving up on her and seeing now what an absolute gem she was.  I was so happy in that moment, and so relieved.

The mother stayed in her crate while I was there, but I understand she came out later and was fine too.

In contrast to the elation I felt with these two dogs, I got two emails from people who had adopted from us and now wanted to return the dogs.  One is  (now) a four year old mongrel (family leaving Hong Kong), and the other a pomeranian (doesn’t like the new baby).  It’s like a punch in the stomach reading these emails, whatever the situation or circumstances, reasons or excuses.   I know that nobody can predict the future and that there are times when there is genuinely no alternative, but it doesn’t change the way it makes me feel.


12 Responses to “Thurs 6th August: A lovely surprise”

  1. max Says:

    Thanks for the great news of saving mother and auntie!

  2. Manuela Ribeiro Says:

    Hi Sally
    I am a faithfull daily reader of your blogs and I am very happy about the outcome of Tita and “Mommy” situations. I also saw your reply about Hercules. Thanks a lot. Keep us posted. Have a nice day.

  3. Steve C Says:

    Leaving Hong Kong isn’t a very good excuse. If I can adopt here, I will be planning in advance by giving mine regular blood tests so that the process of shipping them elsewhere would be as short as possible should I ever have to relocate. Dogs are a lifetime commitment and is still the case if you are here as an expat.

  4. kandy Says:

    I feel very touching with this little story, and feel gratified that doggie mother:) and doggie aunt 🙂 were saved finally because of the insistence and efford of lovely spirit. I wonder why doggie mother and doggie aunt had such a dramatic change, and do believe that it is the love they feel. Sally, “Master”, thank you very much.

  5. fatball Says:

    really good news for the pointer mother been rescue, thank you all of u

    any pictures for the mother?????

    • Sally Says:

      It’s not the mother of the pointer pups, it’s the auntie. The mother is a black mongrel, and her pups are all in foster homes now. Photos will be up soon, I’m sure.

  6. KY Says:

    The mother escaped from the enclosure but we found her later hiding near the back door and got her back. The pointer felt more relax and lying down to show her belly when I got closed to her. She is really a very beautiful dog.

  7. YC Says:

    Sad to hear people giving up their dogs for whatever reasons and excuses that could be. Somehow maybe there’s really nothing people can do but honestly just wish if maybe could spare a few seconds and ask yourself a question if you could take care of this little fluffy thing wagging his/her tail at you for his/her whole life, and ask if you won’t abandon him/her for whatever reasons for him/her would’t abandon you as well, and if you would take him/her with you to anywhere you would go or relocate. Guess the problem is people need to realize this is such a huge commitment. So just take a deep breathe and think and if there’s any hesitation in your heart, and if you felt like this is such a big commitment and if you doubt on your determination, then maybe it’s just not yet the time.

    I have hesitation, and a dog is not a playmate only but a lively creature who has feelings. And if I am not ready for such a huge commitment yet, I wouldn’t take on it just for my own pleasure at this moment.

  8. Helen Y Says:

    Thanks Steve, you said what i want to say about expats abandoning their pets. To me that is totally irresponsible, it is a life and have feelings and a heart to be broken as Sally said. Relocating a pet to most countries are very possible, if not, you don’t relocate yourself, period.

  9. littleclouds Says:

    The first reason is a lame excuse, any expat and anyone in general should consider that one day they might move abroad (again) and if that happens they will be committing to taking their dog too. If there is doubt because its a huge effort or because of money or because it just isn’t convenient anymore they shouldn’t of adopted in the first place.
    You should start putting that as a ‘PLEASE NOTE’ on adoption forms to filter the uncommitted.

    • Sally Says:

      There are such comments on the questionnaire, but it doesn’t make any difference in the long run. What people say and feel one day may change the next. We do ask everyone to think carefully before adopting but with some dogs returned within 24 hours it’s obviously lost on some people. We try our best and hope that we make the right decisions about adopters, but we make mistakes. I’m sure we have turned down good homes, and let dogs go to some homes that have turned out to be nightmarish. The memory of those stay with me forever.

  10. chris Says:

    Those baby vs dog things piss me off. I realize it’s with good reason that the most inalienable rights are those of human mothers but what kind of mother would leave a dog who loves her!? It’s not the dog’s fault you’re a foolish fool. At least if you had a real dog then you would just seem weak. A pomeranian!? If your pom will eat your baby then you have no clue how to raise anything. An Irish Setter would likely give its life to defend your miserable progeny, but at least they are sometimes scary. Giving up a pomeranian for a baby needs to be outed for what it is: a tradein on your last accessory for your newest one.

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