August 23rd, 2011 | Uncategorized | 6 Comments
Starting with a lovely, happy update, here’s a photo of Bella, the bulldog who used to be called Melon, or Big Mamma Melon, because of her incredible weight and size when she was rescued from a breeding farm. She was one of a group of twenty that arrived on a hot Sunday, so hot that one died in the van (not ours) on the way to Tai Po from Yuen Long, and including three very young puppies, only one of which survived. I brought three of the older bulldogs back to Lamma as we didn’t have space for so many at Tai Po, and Melon was the last of them to be adopted. By then she had lost an incredible amount of weight, and had undergone surgery to remove the facial folds which were affecting her eyes, as well as a long and difficult desexing operation (due to scarring from many Caesarians). Seeing her so happy in her new home, snuggled up with “brother” Bruce, is just wonderful.
There was much less happy news about Red, the poodle recently adopted from Ap Lei Chau. He had been picked up from the street as a stray and I guess everyone’s feelings about that are pretty obvious. He’ll come back to us, but what’s frightening is the length of time he stayed in his adoptive home (a couple of weeks), and that we weren’t even asked (to help). We would have taken him back without question, and I’m not sure why people like this particular dumper don’t understand that dogs have microchips for a reason – so they can be identified. I established with AFCD just recently that they do follow up on such cases, and while there will be no charge for actual abandonment, there will be a charge for having a dog wandering around. We were notified about Red very quickly, but how many don’t we know about?
What I do know about is a dog that was adopted from us two years ago and that there was subsequently a baby born and now the dog is no longer wanted because he has nipped the toddler. I don’t have the full facts, but I’m going to guess that the sixteen month-old baby was allowed free access to the dog, and that the dog retaliated to poking and prodding by nipping (much as an adult dog would do with a pesky puppy). I’m told the options are either that HKDR take the dog, or it will go to AFCD. I suggested our own HKDR trainers (although to be honest they train dogs, not babies), but that was rejected. After a sleepless night thinking about this poor dog, not even being given the decency of being held in its owner’s arms while being killed but being sent to AFCD to die in fear, I came up with the idea of buying a large crate and putting the dog inside whenever the toddler was out and about. In this way the dog could be safe from attack by probing fingers, while the parents could be assured that the baby wouldn’t be nipped again. The sad thing is that in a very short time the baby will be be old enough to understand that the dog needs to be left alone, but by then it will be too late for the dog (unless my crating idea is considered). Please, if you have babies and toddlers at home, remember that your dog deserves some protection from them. Even the most tolerant of characters has a tolerance limit, and it’s not fair to punish a dog (with death especially) for reacting normally.
I made one of those licensing trips to AFCD today, taking ten older puppies to have their rabies shots and licenses issued. The van was already stacked with bags of dog food to be taken back to Lamma, and it all had to be moved to make room for the crates full of puppies. I piled the food on top of what I thought was a bag of towels, only to discover later that it was full of longans, picked from the trees at Tai Po that are now laden with fruit. The site used to be an orchard, and the trees have sprung back to life after having had all of the suffocating weeds cleared away when we moved in. As much (organic) fruit as you can eat is available to all Tai Po volunteers while stocks last!