Mon 12th March: A day in the life of Iris
You may have seen the new Facebook craze which shows six photos of someone under a heading of, say, Dog Trainer, and with sub-headings of “What my friends/mother etc think I do”, and the final one being “What I really do”. You could say that about any of the jobs at HKDR, but today it would have to be Iris at Ap Lei Chau who whose job was under scrutiny. The image of what being Manager at the Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre is, and the reality, are almost certainly not the same.
The first thing that happened was that the adopter of the schnauzer Trinket, who left just yesterday, said he would be bringing the dog back because he was ten years old, not eight as he’d been told. I won’t go into the details of the emails that followed, it’s enough to know that Trinket is once again in need of a home.
In the morning the little dog (Grace) that had been surrendered on Sunday had been sent to Acorn for all of the necessaries, along with Minnie the new peke cross who also needed desexing. The ex-owner of Grace, a sweet little mongrel girl, had told us in both the online surrender request, and the official surrender form that has to be completed, that she had had the dog for six years and it had no microchip or license. So after picking the two dogs up from Acorn when I was there in the afternoon with two new small recruits from AFCD, I took Grace back to AFCD to have her licensed. It’s routine that all dogs are scanned for a microchip, and it was a bit of a surprise to find that Grace did indeed have one, and not only that but the license was still valid until 2014 meaning it had been issued only last year. On top of that the registered owner was not the same person who surrendered the dog so I couldn’t have ownership changed to my name. The words ‘liar liar pants on fire’ are ones that I have to use too often, and my subsequent request for the truth about Grace’s background has so far gone unanswered.
Those same words applied to the little schnauzer girl (so sweet) who was one of the dogs I picked up from AFCD. She’s ten years old and was given up because the now ex-owners “live in a no-pets apartment”. Funny that they only just found out, at a time when the dog could be considered old and has the usual skin problem, though only mild. Honestly, is it worth even bothering to ask why a dog has been surrendered, or anything about it, when the answers are almost inevitably a pack of lies? And then we get the situation as with Trinket (who was also a surrender and came with a license stating he was eight years old, and and ex-owner saying the same) when it appears that it’s us making up the facts.
On top of all of this Iris also had to deal with an incident involving someone who wanted to try the old dominance methods on our dogs, that person having just come in and not being familiar with the place at all. It was something I found quite bizarre, a bit like going to someone’s home for the first time and doling out punishment to the kids. So Iris ended up having quite a full day but not in a good way unfortunately.
Not all surprises are bad and I had a lovely one with the offer of home – finally – for George. It’s a foster to start with but if all works out with the resident dog then George will be staying. I’m so happy about this, my fear that George might have to move to Tai Po looking like becoming a reality as the days passed and there were still no enquiries about him. Apart from being disappointed I was also so surprised as here is a dog that is young, good looking, sweet and friendly, good with all other dogs (and cats), easy to train (and already knows many commands) and has such a sad story that I felt sure the offers of a home would come flooding in. I was wrong, but never mind because if this works out it will be George having the last laugh.
I took five baby puppies from AFCD today, along with the aforementioned schnauzer girl and another senior lady shih tzu type. The pups are already bigger than Baby Black, the little singleton I’m taking care of, and I didn’t realise until I got them to Acorn that they are still really very young, about two weeks to be exact. They have no teeth and their eyes are barely open, and so far they are refusing the substitute powdered milk I’ve been trying to (bottle) feed them. They’ve been quietly waiting for their mother to come back for them, and it must be twenty four hours now since they last had a proper feed. I’m following up on an offer of a foster for them, but if that doesn’t pan out then I’ll be in trouble – or rather the pups will be. If they survive they’re going to be big dogs, that’s for sure.