March 14th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments
Baxter, one of the puppies that I took off Dog Island some time ago (with brother Freddie) drew the short straw when it came to his genes. Both dogs look quite German shepherd-ish, but only poor Baxter has inherited the hip dysplasia so common in the breed. It’s not even a mild case, with one hip completely gone (the ball and socket separated) and the other on the verge of doing the same. It had become apparent only as Baxter grew into his current almost-adult size but over the past couple of weeks I could see it was serious and needed surgery, so the worst hip was done today and the other one will have to wait until the first side can bear the weight. If you don’t know about the procedure it seems quite bizarre, and I still can’t quite get my head around the fact that it means removing the “ball” at the top of the femur which leaves nothing connecting the leg bone to the hip. The leg is left literally dangling, supported only by muscle, and over time a false joint is created by scar tissue. During rehabilitation it’s vital that the dog is exercised to keep the leg moving and to help speed up the healing process, and it’s especially important in Baxter’s case that he gets up and running (walking) because if this leg is left to wither, the other hip can’t be operated on and Baxter would be left a total cripple.
My big problem is that with so many other dogs Baxter – as a weakling – is bullied, and that doesn’t help him in any way. He will have to go to a foster home where he can get the exercise he needs, and be able to eat good portions of food to build up his strength and muscle. He’s a very sweet-natured boy who has also suffered from skin issues (maybe it was the stress of being bullied) so my heart goes out to him. His brother has fared so much better because his hips seem to be fine.
While Baxter (and another dog, Jinx) went to Acorn for X-rays and surgery (for Baxter), I was packing up the five baby puppies I’d taken from AFCD the day before. I just don’t have the time to feed and take care of real babies that need bottle feeding, and thankfully an old friend from the early days of HKDR offered to help. What a relief! After trying once more to persuade them to drink something, I waved (a happy for me) goodbye as they started on their trip to Fanling where they’ll stay for the next month.
With the van tied up with delivering the puppies and then picking up a (gorgeous) terrier from AFCD in Sheung Shui, I made my way back to the Ap Lei Chau office to do what paperwork needed to be done before stopping off at the Homing Centre to say hello to the dogs there. Lizzie is always happy to see me (having been a Lamma puppy for some months), and there’s always a warm welcome from the little ones (well, most of them) for visitors anyway. Trinket is back (yesterday’s story), and now there’s the new schnauzer girl too. Venice is very sweet with people, a real angel, but typically she doesn’t care much for other dogs so she’s got her own space for now. Hopefully she’ll learn to enjoy the games and the company of her own kind before too long.
I had to go back to Acorn to pick up Baxter and Jinx, and my timing was perfect as the van was just pulling up outside the clinic as I arrived. I immediately fell totally in love with the new terrier, maybe because he looks a lot like a young version of my Sandy, but also because I love the scruffy terrier look anyway. With an adopter (actually a line of them) already waiting for a dog just like this I don’t expect he’ll be with us longer than a day at most.
I get all sorts of enquiries for dogs, ranging from people wanting exotic types (young puppies of course) to those who even specify a certain colour as well as sex, breed and temperament, but I haven’t come across one like this before. A woman who claims to live in an extraordinarily enormous house wants a giant sized ferocious dog – any one will do – to protect her, and says as she’s often out we can just leave the dog on the doorstep in a cage. I suppose that’s one way to home a dog that nobody else wants, but somehow I think not.