Mon 23rd August: Identity crisis

The new re-homing procedures from AFCD (Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department) mean that every puppy taken from their kennels must be microchipped, no matter how young they are.  (Puppies that are three months or over must also be rabies vaccinated, although the legal requirement for this is actually five months).   So today when I took yet another velvety black puppy that belongs to the same litter as the other four  velvety, black and identical pups I already have on Lamma, the dilemma is how do I know which puppy is which when it comes to re-homing? 

Previously it hadn’t really mattered as the pups would all be vaccinated at the same time and were really interchangeable, but now I have to be sure that each puppy matches the microchip number already implanted under the skin.  Even more confusing, the first two from this litter were taken just before the new rules came into being, so they don’t have microchips.  One obvious way of identifying the pups would be to put collars on them, but I know from years of experience that collars stay on puppies for, oh, about a day before they are chewed or pulled off.  I brought the microchip scanner back from Tai Po today so I can scan the pups and try to mark down any sort of individual  and identifying differences, but they are all so alike!

Flower needs a home!

The Staffie (Staffordshire bull terrier) that was surrendered to us on Saturday finally agreed to be led out of her hiding place today, and what a sweetheart she is.  Poor Flower, although she’s only seventeen months old she has already had a litter of puppies, presumably home-bred and sold to pet shops or other homes that have no idea.  Flower herself seems to be one of those dogs that has rarely, if ever, been taken out, and she just wants to be with a human for comfort and security.

There’s another case we’re trying to help with, but it’s almost impossible given the home situation.  A couple took in two puppies a year or so ago.  They were strays, picked up from the street or somewhere, and the couple – both nice people – thought they were doing a good deed.  However, the puppies were left on their own for around ten hours a day, and never taken out.  The result is that there are two large dogs living (with the couple) in a very small apartment, and because the dogs have been kept inside and never exercised, they fight, so must be separated.  Now one dog is in one room, while the other is in another (and the whole apartment is only around three hundred square feet), and because one of the dogs barks throughout the day it is muzzled the entire time.  The couple are asking for training help to stop the dogs from fighting, but this is like asking them to stop being dogs.  The couple aren’t knowingly being cruel, but this life must be like a living hell for the dogs.

The rain looks as though it’s here for the coming week so I’m very glad we got the four new shelters up on Saturday.   As long as we don’t get any house guarders (those that sit at the entrance and won’t let any other dogs inside) I think they should be able to squeeze in together.  I hope so anyway.

Maria while she was still full of milk

Some of you may remember me taking a mother and her eight puppies from AFCD a few months ago.  Maria took good care of her pups while they needed her milk but they were separated a couple of weeks ago, and the pups were moved to Lamma (and two were adopted on Sunday).  Maria herself is a medium sized dog, and the puppies vary from small to large.  Here’s one of the larger ones, and what a beautiful boy he is too!

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4 Responses to “Mon 23rd August: Identity crisis”

  1. Norma Says:

    Try the old stand by nail varnish trick to identify the dogs. Use the green, blue and more obscure colours and paint one or two nails then log this into their charts for easy reference.

    • Sally Says:

      I love the way I only have to ask and I get the answers! I never thought about nail varnish (since I gave up wearing it once I started working with the dogs, but yes, that will work. Thanks too to Claire for the same suggestion (I feel so stupid!)

  2. Marie Says:

    can’t help but have a soft spot for FLower the Staffie girl although I have never met her.. I am sure she is just wonderful as most Staffies are.
    Nicknamed “The Nanny Dog” as they are known for being fantastic with children n blossom on love and attention x

  3. Claire Y Says:

    Hi Sally
    Just a thought but how about little blob of coloured nail polish dabbed somewhere on the puppies to help idenitfy them.
    Dab a little polish on the puppy and dab the same colour against your records so they tie up.
    It doesn’t come off during play or rain and you can just snip off the little bit of fur when you need to.
    Of course in your case you may have to bomb down to Sasa to buy up a load of colours but at least it’s cheaper there!

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