August 12th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments
Not all of the dogs that leave AFCD come to us at Tai Po or Ap Lei Chau. I was there today to help another dog, an old black mongrel girl called Hak Mui, who had been a faithful friend and companion to her owner for thirteen years, until death parted them and Hak Mui became homeless. Nevertheless, she stayed where she had always lived, on the waterfront at Kennedy Town, but she was no longer wanted and was driven away many times by the locals. Each time she returned to the only place she knew as home, even when her legs were tied so she couldn’t walk back, and she chewed through the ropes to free herself. Eventually AFCD were called and Hak Mui was taken to the Pokfulam Centre, but because she was microchipped (in her since-deceased owner’s name), she couldn’t be destroyed. I was contacted by someone who told me about Hak Mui and her sad story, and with the help of other individuals who were touched by this loyal dog’s story, today she left for her new home on Lantau. Hak Mui is fifteen years old now, with fading eyesight and a bit wobbly on her legs, but she greeted her rescuers with licks and a wagging tail, and I was so happy to be able to play a part in this heart rending example of love and loyalty. I know Hak Mui is nearing the end of her life, but she will not die alone or unloved, and that’s what matters.
There is nothing that saddens me more than the betrayal of owners who abandon their dogs, whether it’s to AFCD or anywhere else. There is not a single case of a dog abandoning its owner, no matter how badly or cruelly it’s treated, and seeing the ease with which so many people give up their pets is the hardest part of this work. Hak Mui’s unwavering loyalty to her owner, even though it had been two years since his death, should make everyone who has ever abandoned their dog ashamed (but sadly, it won’t).
I have to say I’m looking forward to the end of the month, the time when the long holidays come to an end and things return to normal. Every year the summer means a marked slowdown in adoptions, combined with scorching hot and humid weather making everything double-hard work, whether it’s walking the dogs or climbing up and down the steps at the Tai Po Centre. Then there’s the rain that adds to the misery, so whichever way you look at it it’s tough for everyone, dogs included. Apart from the cooler temperatures we’ve got a lot to look forward to, including a new indoor space at Whiskers’n'Paws for the Sunday puppy homing afternoons, so we will have shelter in all weathers, plus a special sectioned-off area at the end of the terrace to make identification of available puppies easier. The puppies love galloping round the huge space that is now available, but they’re missing the point of them being there – to find homes.
We’ll also be starting our educational workshops in September, some of which will also take place at the new Whiskers’n'Paws space, the aim of which is to teach potential adopters (and their children) about responsible pet ownership and what to expect from their new puppy, as well as offering support to existing dog owners. More than anything we want to stop dogs from being thrown out because of (perceived) behaviour issues that can easily be resolved with help and advice.
I had to make one of those tough decisons today about little dog Hay, who was rescued from a horrible life along with another little dog who was euthanised as soon as he arrived (because of a large and inoperable tumour). Hay had been doing OK up until now, but his condition had started to deteriorate and he was losing weight at an alarming rate, especially bearing in mind he was only a few kilos to start with. After discussing all the options with Dr Tony at Acorn, I felt it was time to let Hay go, although it was sad to say goodbye to such a sweet little guy. We know with many of these dogs that their days are limited, sometimes due to age and often the years of previous neglect, but we try to make sure that they are in a home for their remaining time.
If you can give a last chance home to one of our seniors, please let us know. Here’s another Golden Oldie who has just found a home for life, little Minka, the Yorkshire terrier, whose foster has fallen for this sweet girl and will be formally adopting.
For some good news, the update on Mike-now-Pilot is that he’s doing fantastically in his new home, and is not only fine with other dogs that he meets but he’s living quite happily with his two new cat friends!