March 11th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment
What a difference a week makes in a puppy’s life. I had to choose a whole new selection for the afternoon at Pacific Pets in Stanley because last week’s group (the sharpei pups) were all in foster homes, two of them waiting for their adoption interview to see if they would be chosen (both were!) and the other pair also under the ‘maybe’ status. A puppy’s whole future depends on luck; the timing of its birth (being ‘ripe’ for adoption in mid-summer is the worst timing), how it looks and who the adopter is. Will it be someone who knows what the commitment to a life means or someone who is thinking, even as the adoption paperwork is being signed, that they will simply get rid of the dog when it becomes inconvenient.
That’s the hardest part of doing adoptions for me, that I have to trust what I hear while at the same time knowing that things can change very quickly. I have just been scanning through the newest photos of some Tai Po dogs posted on Facebook, and there are always some that are returnees, adopted as puppies and back with us as adults. A lot of puppies leave HKDR and have the most amazing lives, their past completely forgotten, while others can only dream of the short period when they too had a home. I have several on Lamma, the most recent being Crumble, returned when she was only six months old, and the oldest being Bali. There’s
also Fido and Marnie who came back during their “teenage” period, a time when puppyhood meets becoming an adult, a confusing change in status for dogs as well as humans. Marnie in particular is the most loving dog, submissive and so easy to have around. She’s no trouble, just another dog that shouldn’t be with me because she was promised a home for life.
Then there are those that are the hardest of all (for me), the ones that in the wild would never have survived, like Roley the blind boy. Would I have taken him from AFCD if I’d known about his disability? He was such a funny baby, a singleton in his kennel who came running towards me with his tail wagging so furiously, I didn’t even stop to think about checking his eyes when I picked him up and carried him out. I could see he had patchy skin (ringworm) but that’s never killed a dog, and it was only at Acorn, where he went for his routine check up and vaccination, that his rolled-up eyes were clear to see. Now he is a young adult, an amazing dog who has never let his blindness worry him, but I can see that he also has hip dysplasia and I have to make a decision about whether or not to have surgery done. He did have a adoption interview at one point and he even went to Whiskers’n'Paws, something he took in his stride as he does with everything else in life, but he is still with me.
Now I have another dilemma, that of the baby pup who spent too long in hospital (not Acorn) and has been back with me for a week now. The weakness that was one of the reasons for her extended hospitalisation has nothing to do with her health, as I can now see that she has something wrong with her back legs. Although she’s still tiny, she’s been with me for too long now, and fought so hard to survive, for me to be able to make any immediate dispassionate decision. Sometimes with new babies which turn out to have something very wrong with them, having them quickly euthanised is the kindest thing to do. It doesn’t happen too often, thank goodness, but it does happen from time to time. On Monday I’ll take this girl to be checked to see what the prognosis is, although that usually means waiting to see if and how the problem resolves itself, by which time it becomes impossible to make “that” final call.