November 1st, 2011 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments
I do seem to be spending a lot of my time ferrying puppies to and from Acorn Vet Hospital these days, whether it’s for regular vaccinations or yet another bad cougher. At least one of today’s group had something a bit different – adorable Jasmine has raggy, scabby ears which looks like it could be scabies (sarcoptic mange), but that’s infectious and her littermates don’t have anything similar. It might be ringworm but that’s also infectious, and neither showed up immediately in preliminary tests so we’ll just have to treat as everything. It’s a shame because she is so pretty (and sweet) but looks, of course, have nothing to do with anything.
Rhubarb, who had been hospitalised with a bad cough, was well enough to come home and she’s as bright as a button now, just like her sister Custard who made a similar very swift recovery.
I asked Dr Tony about Strawberry, the baby pup with the infected toes, and how she was doing. It seems that she’s very well, growing and putting on weight, but her toes are falling off bit by bit! It sounds horrific, but as with pretty Jasmine, looks are of no concern to dogs and she will be able to cope just fine without toes. In any case, with what I’m anticipating will be quite a long coat it’s likely that you won’t even notice.
It’s ironic that the fact that Stawberry was so ill at such a young age made her a lucky pup, as she has a wonderful foster home and I’m sure she won’t be one of those who wait forever for a permanent one, toes or not. Foster homes are really vital to us and our dogs, and while many carers go on to adopt, we also need fosters who only keep the dogs and puppies temporarily so we don’t run out of vacancies. Fostering is the perfect option for those who want to help but don’t have time for dog walking, or those who would love to adopt but can’t make a long term commitment. The only difference is that not every dog is available for fostering, as it’s pointless to put a young and healthy (ie. very homeable) dog into foster care when they need to be available for meeting at any time. Fosters are vital for very young puppies, dogs that need or have just had surgery, the seniors who really just need a retirement home or, for the more experienced, dogs that have some behaviour issues that they need help with.
Taking on a dog that is very timid, for example, and seeing it turn around to become a normal and happy individual is immensely rewarding. Raisin the sharpei was quite an extreme case, but after many months of patient encouragement from our Ap Lei Chau volunteers she was ready to be adopted. Her new “mother” continued with the gentle approach to help Raisin make the transition to her new home, and now I understand she is like a different dog. It’s such a fantastic feeling to be part of that life-changing process and to see the result at the end of it all.
I have a pretty young female on Lamma who was also a very timid puppy. I’m sure it was her adorable look that made me take her from AFCD (because being human I’m influenced by looks, unlike dogs who don’t give a damn) but it took a long time for her to stop running away from me. Now Speckle is almost a year old and couldn’t be more affectionate if she tried. She always performs a little dance of joy when I’m near her, and does everything she can to get my attention. She stands up and likes me to hold her front paws while she wriggles her back end in happiness, and she gets so excited about our moments together. I can’t help smiling every time we do this, our end of the evening routine before bedtime, remembering how she used to be when she was young. I can’t say how long it would take for her to accept another human or settle into a new home, but the potential is there for her to be the most amazing dog.