Thurs 16th Sept: Relief!

I was actually looking forward to going to AFCD today because I couldn’t wait to see Garland, caught yesterday after five months on the run.  Her rescuer, Sue, had warned me that Garland was no longer the sweet puppy that we remembered and was now a very scared and timid dog, and we should expect it to take time for her to become normal again, if she ever would.  My previous experience of pet dogs that had run away and been living wild was that they quickly reverted to being domestic dogs again after they were caught, and I was eager to see if this would be the case with Garland.

Garland's not looking too sure of herself

As I went into Garland’s kennel she was crouched in corner looking very nervous, and she gave a low growl.  Using my usual methods I slid in beside her, but not too close, and not directly facing her.  First I held out a leash for her to sniff, and to test her reaction; would she snap or not?  No, she was fine with that, so I moved the leash over to her neck and stroked her.  Again she was fine.  After that it was easy to exchange the leash for my hand, and to gently touch her and let her smell me.  She wasn’t jumping up and down with excitement, but nor was she showing any signs of being worried about me stroking her, or even pulling her onto my lap as I  moved closer.

We had already agreed with Garland’s adopters that we would take her out of AFCD and keep her until the weekend, as the timing of her capture had coincided with the mother and daughter flying off to settle the daughter in university for the first time, and we all felt that it was best to wait until the husband could be at home with Garland.  We were also concerned about the possibility that Garland would need time to revert to her old self, and maybe she would be better off in experienced hands.

It was easy to get Garland into a crate for the drive to Tai Po as she was happy to be picked up.  We stopped off at the Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre to pick up a couple of dogs that were returning to Tai Po (two dachshunds and Mark the beagle/terrier), and then it was a case of waiting to se how she would react and respond to being in a “home” and with other dogs.  Well the short answer was she was absolutely fine.  Within minutes she was wagging her tail and even asking some of her new friends to play with her.  There were no signs of nervousness as she trotted round the office, sitting with the other dogs as the food was being prepared or the now-almost obligatory warm egg tarts were brought in fresh from the bakery.

Tai Po-based volunteer, Helen, picked Garland up a short time later and will be her carer for the next few days, but the main worry is over and now all that remains is a feeling of relief (and happiness).

Sue came to AFCD to see how Garland was doing and to give her a hug

Doing my rounds of the (very large) Tai Po site after Garland had left, I met some of our new guests for the first time.  When we were at Pokfulam I was there every day and would see every new arrival, but these days I don’t get to see them in the same way.  We had taken in three dogs from AFCD Sheung Shui sicne my last visit, one of them an eight month-old black labrador.  The other two are a golden retriever and a German shepherd, all lovely dogs, and all once pets that were simply not wanted any more.  Will it ever end?

Murphy and Gideon on my designer bedspread

Today’s photo from Lamma is of Murphy and Gideon on my bed.  I have to cover it with the striped waterproof “bedspread”, thanks to someone (and I still don’t know exactly who it is) who pees on it almost every day.  Gideon is another puppy-now-doglet who has started to refuse to go downstairs during the day, and I think he’s going to have to move to Tai Po very soon.


One Response to “Thurs 16th Sept: Relief!”

  1. Norma Says:

    So happy to see Garland is settling into her old ways so quickly. A lovely photo of Sue with her, such a reward Sue! Thank you for not giving up on her.

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