Mon 27th Sept: Warning sign

I got back from my regular morning walk to find a man standing outside the gate asking if this was house number seven.  Having confirmed that was correct, he told me he was from the government, and he had come to put something up on the wall at the back of my house.  It turned out to be a CEDD (Civil Engineering and Development Department) notice warning: Keep Clear! and something about upgrading the retaining wall.  There’s a graphic showing falling boulders and families fleeing for their lives.  I pointed out that nobody could see the sign except me and my dogs, and they can’t read. I even asked to speak to the man’s boss, and told him that this was a totally ridiculous waste of (taxpayer’s) money, as well as being  incredibly stupid.  Well, rules are rules, so now I have a sign that warns me to stay away from my house as I may be crushed to death at any moment.  I have no idea what’s going to happen when the actual work starts.  I just hope the workers like dogs.

It being Monday, I was at AFCD in Pokfulam at two o’clock, the official after-lunch opening time.  However the staff were still eating, so I kicked around for thirty minutes, actually pretty hungry myself as I rarely have time to grab anything to eat before rushing to catch a sampan.  I had five of the Lamma doglets with me who had come for their microchips and rabies shots, so they were attended to first.  I still have a bunch of them at home who need to be done, as litters like the pointer crosses are already getting close to that age.  It’s frightening how quickly they grow.

Then it was time to have a look at the weekend’s intake, and there were two poodles that had been surrendered, an easy choice.  I went into each of the kennels holding new dogs and checked for temperament.  The instant tail waggers are obvious yeses, but it’s  a lot more difficult with the scared dogs so I have to watch carefully for less obvious signs, like the eyes and the way the dog uses them (looking away, up or down, they all mean different things) the mouth licking, and maybe the very tip of the tail twitch.  I don’t have long to make the assessments, and today was even more of a rush because I was already running late.

A happy shih tzu appeared from somewhere, with one of the staff asking if I wanted it?  Yes, yes, and I’ll take two of the mongrel doglets I reserved last week.  With the clock ticking, all of the microchips were done (none of the dogs had them), rabies shots and licenses prepared, and just as we were ready to go a distruaght woman appeared at the gates holding a small dog, without collar or leash.  She didn’t speak any English but I gathered that she lived in public housing (sigh), and had received the two notices to get rid of the dog or else face eviction herself.  She had carried the dog all the way from Tseung Kwan O to other organisations but had been turned away, and this was her final and only choice (in her mind).  The poor dog was pretty frantic and stressed itself, and it was easy for me to say we’d take it as it’s only a year old and a rather unusual cross between (and I’m guessing) a chihuahua and a shih tzu.

So bundling the woman and her (now my) dog into the van with all the others, we headed off for Ap Lei Chau to drop the small dogs off and pick up those that were going back to Tai Po.  It was already four o’clock by that time, and the usual traffic jams had formed at the cross harbour tunnel, so it was already past five when we eventually turned into the Tai Po Centre.

I can't speak highly enough of Trump, a wonderful and sweet boy

Quene and volunteer Fianna were busy with boxer Trump, having discovered that he had cut his paw pad, and there were already maggots inside the wound.  It seems to happen so quickly, and it’s something that been a real problem at Tai Po.  Using Fly Strike powder to draw the maggots out of the wound, they were then plucked out with tweezers, thirty of them at the final count (and probably more still inside). If you can imagine how painful it must be to have a paw pad sliced open, and then have someone dig around in it with tweezers, you will understand what an amazing dog Trump is.  He sat patiently and quietly throughout the process, eyes closed with his head in a lap, not protesting or even flinching.  What a dog.  I have no idea why he hasn’t been adopted, as he is the sweetest and most gentle boy possible.


4 Responses to “Mon 27th Sept: Warning sign”

  1. Ellen Says:

    We had one of those “dangerous slope” notice on the wall behind our place for YEARS, so long even the notice fell off long before anything was done.
    But be warned, it took them over a year to “fix” it!

    Big hug to Trump!

    • HKDR Says:

      I really hope this is the case with me too. The “slopes” are eight feet high at most, tapering down to about three feet, hardly dangerous even if they did collapse. Now the pretty stone walls will be shotcreted and all greenery removed to make way for concrete. I hope they never come back, but if they do what will I do with the dogs?

  2. stuart millis Says:

    feel free to send me details regarding the retaining wall thing if you’re worried about this – i work for an engineering consultant that deals with a lot of slope stabilisation works so could try and find out some more info for you


    • HKDR Says:

      Thanks Stuart, but I’m not at all worried about the wall, more about what I’ll do with all the dogs when the workmen turn up and what will happen to all my plants and trees. I don’t want everything shot-creted, but I know this is what the vandals will do.

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