August 5th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments
There’s an outbreak of a pretty serious strain of kennel cough around at the moment, and while it’s not clear where or how it started, it’s now affecting a lot of dogs. The term “kennel cough” is a general term for any sort of infectious cough, and it refers most commonly to bordatella (which all boarding kennels require dogs to be vaccinated against), but whatever this particular virus is it hits hard and fast. It’s not restricted to either of our Homing Centres, as dogs that have gone straight into foster homes have also been affected, and it’s almost certainly what poodle pup Buttons (now Duncan) fell victim to rather than the initially suspected distemper. (He’s now had to be hospitalised as IV fluids and antibiotics are essential if there is going to be any chance of him surviving).
I had arranged to take two more baby pups to Ap Lei Chau today for pick-up by a foster, but I got there thirty minutes earlier than the arranged meeting time. I didn’t think it would matter if the puppies had to wait a little while in their travel crate but on arrival at the Homing Centre I was told that all the dogs were coughing, and a few had already been to see a vet. That left me with a dilemma; did I take the puppies in and risk them being infected, or leave them outside in the scorching heat, neither option being ideal. I found a shady spot outside to put the crate, deciding in the end that the heat was the lesser of the two evils, but I can’t say that I wasn’t worried. Baby pups are fragile and it’s amazing that any of them survive in the wild, although it’s probably just as well that nature sees to it that most don’t.
One puppy that did make it, thanks to a great foster home, is Wafer (now Stanley). He was a borderline case when he arrived as a tiny scrap of malnourished (ringwormy) skin and bones, but he pulled through and has now outgrown his best friend Mushu (ex-Treemite) who became nurse and mentor to Stanley when we needed some comfort.
The problem of the coughing leaves me with another problem, and that is where to put any new (small) dogs that arrive? I stopped off at Pokfulam AFCD today to hand in a bunch of licenses that needed to have the registered ownership changed, and was told that a Yorkshire terrier had been surrendered. I thought I heard “one year”, but when I saw the little thing in the kennel I realised what was actually said was “one new”, because there was no youngster in there. Still, despite her gummed-up eyes and very long nails, Minka is a sprightly old lady, and when I put her down on the ground to have a run around while I was waiting for her license to be issued, she was off like a rocket. I suspect she has been a caged dog all her life, and to have the freedom to stretch her legs and explore must have been hugely exciting for her. She’s a sweet girl, but I really, really need a foster home for her because I can’t risk her getting a cough. Can anyone help? If you can, please email Maria at email@example.com
I’ve finally cracked the problem of how to eat a meal without having to share it with a crowd of puppies. Checking all of the donated pieces of furniture at the warehouse I found a metal not-sure-what, which makes a very good high table top to go with an equally high bar stool. Now I can perch myself – and my food – high enough to be out of reach of greedy piglets.