Sat 28th August: Murphy’s day out

I’d arranged to go over to Whiskers’n’Paws in the early afternoon to collect Bugsy, a shih tzu boy being returned from his foster home.  As I knew I would have to be going over anyway, I’d also promised to take two of the pointer cross pups to show to a potential adopter (who ended up choosing Rowan, the young golden retriever instead).  At two o’clock, the time that I’d asked the sampan to come and pick me up, the skies were darkening and the thunder was rumbling in the distance and Murphy was getting very anxious.  He hates the rain even if he’s indoors, and he’s really scared of thunder and sticks very close to my side when the weather is bad or threatening.

When Murphy was at Pokfulam waiting to be adopted he would follow me everywhere.  If I went to AFCD he came along, and any vet  visit would include Murphy, who would be quite happy just sitting quietly in the corner as long as I was there.  So today I thought I’d take him along with me rather than leave him alone when I knew he’d be scared, so when I left my house with two bags, each containing a puppy, Murphy was running along behind me.

Although the storm never actually materialised, rather than enjoying his little adventure Murphy spent the whole time either sitting on my knee or crying to get inside (Whiskers’n’Paws).  It was one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time but I don’t think I’ll be doing it again.  To top it all off, as I was struggling to get onto the sampan after the puppy interview was over and I had taken back Bugsy, both dogs pulled back at the last moment and slipped out of their harness/collar.  I knew Murphy wouldn’t run off but Bugsy made a dash for it and was thankfully grabbed by someone who saw what had happened.  It was only because he was wearing a small bandana after his grooming session at Whiskers’n’Paws that there was something to hold on to, otherwise I dread to think what would have happened.

The Ottilie story still isn’t over although she’s being remarkably brave about it all.  The swelling under her chest is now obviously filled with fluid, and she walks with stiff back legs, and very gingerly. Despite her own problems she’s been busy grooming and cleaning others, something she’s always done.  In the evening I noticed a wet patch on her chest and having a closer look I could see there was a hole which was leaking pus.  Ottilie was desperate to lick it but couldn’t reach, so I just hoped it would drain during the night as much as possible.  I have to get her to a vet to have the whole area properly flushed but how and when?

I sent a photo of the (dead) snake that was resonsible for Ottilie’s condition to the Hong Kong Herpetology Society and they confirmed that it was a King Cobra.  Having now seen the result of what must surely only have been a graze with the snake’s fang, my walk through the woods wasn’t as relaxed as it would normally have been.  Even though I’ve always been fascinated by snakes and even kept a pair of pythons when I lived in Africa (a long time ago), I have a healthy respect for them, and even more so now.


8 Responses to “Sat 28th August: Murphy’s day out”

  1. Yolanda Yan Says:

    Ottilie: Be strong. You have come so far and please keep up the good work. My prayers be with you.

  2. DL Says:

    Poor Ottilie. I hope she pulls through.
    I quite like snakes too, and are fascinated by them. But I have to admit I am more into pythons and boas, not cobras! Are there spitting cobras in Hong Kong? Those are the truly scary ones.

    • Sally Says:

      I think all cobras are capable of spitting, but none as accurately as the Spitting Cobra (and no, I don’t think they are in Hong Kong). However, since my book of venomous snakes has now been totally destroyed by certain 4-legged individuals (I made the mistake of leaving it on my desk and came upstairs to find it it hundreds of small pieces), I can’t check to be sure.

  3. Helen Y Says:

    Sally, I think you need a hanging hammock from the ceiling in the centre of your room to keep your precious belongings. I think your 4-legged housemates actually enjoy seeing you get mad at their destruction game.

  4. Norma Says:

    I hope Ottilie recovers fully.
    I didn’t know you lived in Africa, it would be interesting to know where you lived, coming from there myself.

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