Thurs 2nd Sept: A long day for all

As if to make up for yesterday’s lack of dog action and relative ease, today was a long one.  While van driver Hing was busy ferrying furniture round, I was off to AFCD in Pokfulam, my home from home – or so it feels.   There were two six-month old girls that were waiting to be taken, and I had “homework” to hand in.  That’s what I call the licenses that need to have change of ownership recorded.  Until a dog is adopted the microchip details  show me as the owner, so it’s important that the information is changed once the dog has gone to a new home. In the very early days of HKDR we used to rely on the adopter to send in the completed license, but soon found out that most people didn’t do it. 

Hing arrived to pick me up and the dogs (in their crates) were lifted into the van for the drive to Tai Po, almost always a very smelly one as the dogs “unload” due to stress.  Even though I’m used to it after all these years, it’s always a relief to arrive at Tai Po and be able to get out.  I have to say that Hing always manages to remain cheerful throughout, and I remember the pre-HKDR van days when drivers have been gagging out of the window because of the aroma.

I was in a hurry to get to Tai Po by a set time as “Dogs” magazine had arranged an interview.  The reporter arrived just after I did and wanted to take photographs of a lot of the dogs, so while I was taking her round the “estate”, volunteers were seeing to the newcomers and also dealing with potential adopters, as well as taking care of yet another new dog that had arrived from a shelter.  The poor thing appeared to be shell-shocked, as many do when they first come to us, but he doesn’t know how lucky he is to have escaped life in a shelter. 

As much as I understand that those who set up and run these “dead end homes” for animals do so with the best of intentions, a lifetime of cage confinement is worse than death in my opinion.  Many of these shelters that are dotted around the New Territories offer what can only be described as the most basic of care, with very little money available for food, and none for  necessities like flea, tick and heartworm prevention.  Some of these places have small groups of volunteers who help when and how they can, but it’s still very much a hand-to-mouth existence, and the dogs in their care live miserable lives.

This particular dog was probably picked out because he looks like a springer spaniel, but his skin is bad and there was no money available for any sort of treatment.  Someone who volunteers at the shelter where he was asked if HKDR could help the dog, so now his new life starts. 

Bobo only arrived from AFCD on Saturday

Also starting new lives today were three other dogs at Tai Po.  Pom Bobo and another small dog, Fizzy, were adopted, as well as one of the few young puppies we keep at the centre.   Her adopters arrived quite late in the day, and obviously the family wanted to meet a good selection of prospects before making that important decision.  As much as adopters should have as much time as they want to choose a dog, it was getting very late and I had bags of food and a baby puppy I needed to take back to Lamma.  It was  getting dark as finally Hattie was picked as “the one”, and then there was all the paperwork and explanations about Hattie’s care to go through.  In the end I had to leave Kathy to sort out the final stage of the adoption, the purchasing of toys, bowls, collar and leash, as well as payment. 

Fizzi is such a sweet dog, and only 1 year old. He also came to us from AFCD on Saturday

I almost forgot the baby pup sitting quietly in her crate as I finally climbed into the van for the drive back to Aberdeen.  It had been a long day and I didn’t get home until nine o’clock, so I can only wonder what time it was before Kathy made her way back.

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