August 17th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments
On my way to Tai Po I had a quick pit stop at the Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre to do an exchange of puppies, with tiny Muggle coming back and his bigger brother, Potter, going off to join Omar in his foster home. Although they are all from the same Whippety Dog litter, Muggle is much smaller and was getting beaten up by his big brother, the size making every playtime an unfair contest. Potter is the same size as Omar so they can wrestle it out evenly, while sister Missy (on Lamma) is also a small-sized version of a Whippety, and coincidentally the same grey/black/white flecked colouring. I have a vision of the two being adopted as a pair, as they are very unusual and special siblings.
From there it was on to Tai Po for a planned sort-out of dogs, and to check up on things in general. With so much going on away from the Homing Centres, and the actual travel time from Lamma to Tai Po being so long, it’s difficult to get up there as much as I would like, so I left home earlier than usual to make sure I had enough time to spare.
With Big Mike having been adopted and his enclosure having become vacant, there was a big shifting around of dogs to be done. With every adoption (or new arrival), which changes the group’s balance, each enclosure has to be assessed for the number of dogs, and whether they all get along. So with the help of the regular crew (May, Heyli and Kathy) and a couple of volunteers, a lot dog moving was achieved, while others worked on repairing the dog houses that needed it.
For those of you (volunteers) who know the dogs at Tai Po, sharpei Lucky and basset hound-cross Boogie have been moved to Mike’s old space, and they seemed very happy with the new surroundings. It did take some coaxing to get Boogie to agree to shifting himself, but once he got moving I think he would agree it was a good decision. Boogie is a very determined young man, and although he has a big volunteer fan club, he is not the most compliant of characters and is as stubborn as a mule when he wants to be.
Overall the dogs at Tai Po have a good life considering (that they are homeless), and it’s lovely to see them looking so happy. I had decided that I wanted to bring Jack Russell-cross Jill back to Lamma, as she is the one dog that hasn’t settled well at Tai Po and is usually hiding under one of the dog houses in the ex-Lamma doglet area. Enlisting the help of the Tai Po team we went up to the enclosure with a travel crate, intending to get Jill to run into it so I could take her away. The first problem was the over-enthusiastic greeting from the other doglets, all of whom were ecstatic as usual, and we agreed that it was time to let them join the “free running” dogs, that is, those that aren’t confined to any one particular enclosure. To be eligible to become a free-runner, the dogs have to be sweet-natured and to get along well with other dogs, and all of the ex-Lamma doglets qualified on all counts.
Having cleared all but a few of the doglets from the enclosure (leaving only a few males that hadn’t yet been desexed), it made trying to get Jill out from under the dog house a possibility. With all of the others there, any attempt at getting down to ground level would have guaranteed being buried under a pile of furry bodies. I stationed Kathy at one end of the dog house, May at the other, and placed the crate at the front before lying on the ground to try and push Jill out of her hiding place, but she absolutely refused to move. The next idea of moving the whole dog house away proved to be an impossible task, as the remaining doglets had stationed themselves on top of it so they could have a good view of the proceedings, as as fast as one was moved off, another jumped up. Good game, doggies, but not really very helpful. In the end it became clear that there was no budging Jill, so that’s a job for another day.
Getting our dogs adopted is obviously the ultimate goal, and the whole reason that HKDR exists. All of the admin and fundraising and everything else that goes on is really there to support the re-homing, although our long-term aim is that with education and governmental support of dog population control, the number of dogs needing our help will be reduced. Realistically there will never be a time when every dog will have a forever home, but just decreasing the thousands of healthy and friendly dogs and puppies that are destroyed every year, simply because they are homeless, will be a huge step forward.
Of all the surrender requests that I get, there is nothing more depressing and saddening than our own dogs coming back, most adopted as puppies with absolute promises of a lifetime home, but a year later joining the long, long list of unwanted pets. They were given to people that I trusted with the lives of puppies that I have loved and cared for, each one of them an individual life and personality, that maybe I’ve even nursed through early sickness, and for what? So they can provide entertainment for a while before being thrown out? How many are there that I don’t even know about, who may have ended in terrible situations, or even dead. Today’s reject was adopted in April last year, and is now destined for the scrap heap. Please, will someone offer Kelly a real home for ever?