May 18th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments
I’m quite pleased that it’s raining hard at the moment because I needed to try out my new “curtains” that I had specially made to enclose the porch outside my Lamma house. Although there’s a roof as shelter from vertical rain, the splashback and the wind-driven downpours meant that it was never really dry, and with Ap Lei Chau being (originally) a fishing community, there are still lots of places where they make awnings and covers etc for fishing boats and sampans. All I had to do was take a rough sketch of what I had in mind, with measurements, and a few days later they were done. I hung them first thing this morning and just in time for the evening thunder and rainstorm, and I’m happy to say they’re perfect. It’s like having an extra room in front of the house for the dogs to gather, and I even had “windows” of see-through plastic put in so it’s not dark inside.
If I say it was one of those crazy days today what I really mean it was a normal few hours of madness. There was one puppy from Stanley for me to pick up from AFCD Pokfulam, a very pretty and friendly girl, plus several dogs from Ap Lei Chau that needed to go to Acorn for vaccinations and so on. Earlier in the morning another group had been picked up from AFCD Sheung Shui (New Territories North) which included a Boston terrier (Henry, his original name), a one year-old Japanese spitz (Snowball), a two year-old Maltese (Jester), a poodle (Sugar) and another puppy, super friendly.
Henry came with some freeloaders in the form of heartworms so he will need to have treatment for that, and Sugar had mammary tumours (which AFCD had told us about but I still wanted to take her as they can be removed). So while Sugar stayed behind for surgery, all the others were ready to go to Ap Lei Chau, plus schnauzer Lily, hospitalised for serious diarrhoea and now fit to return to the Homing Centre. I had the new puppy from Pokfulam and she turned out to have scabies, which although very easy to treat is also highly contagious so she couldn’t be put in a crate with the other new puppy from Sheung Shui. I also had a mini Sheltie from Lamma, a very old guy called Chiclet who is nearing the end of his days I feel. He was having trouble standing but we decided to go with medication and the wait-and-see approach rather than anything drastic as it may be simply old age taking its toll.
I’m not sure whose idea it was but with so many dogs to go to Ap Lei Chau, I was told that Hing would take the first group back and then return to pick me up. It’s an easy drive from Sai Ying Pun to Ap Lei Chau and Aberdeen (for the sampan), so I thought it wouldn’t be long before the van would be back. An hour later and I was still there waiting and, I have to admit, not now in the best of humour as I had planned to go to the office and it was getting far too late.
By now Chiclet had involuntarily produced a puddle of dark diarrhoea, so instead of coming back to Lamma he was admitted for observation and the signs aren’t good for the poor little guy.
Eventually the van turned up and the remaining crates loaded, while Lily was taken out of her hospital cage and clipped on a leash from the drive to Ap Lei Chau. Before we had left the clinic she stopped to have a poo, much admired by all as it was quite normal and not at all runny. Just outside the clinic door Lily stopped again, this time producing something quite a bit softer, then again a few yards along the road, and again, then again. Luckily I had newspaper with me but by now we were all waiting for Lily to hurry up and eventually, thinking that there was nothing left to come out, I jumped in the back of the van with the dog beside me. We had barely moved a few feet when the flow started, and I was trapped with no possibility of escape. The best I could do was to hold a towel to Lily’s bum and try to contain what was coming out, but it wasn’t easy with poor Lily struggling to get out but not being able to, and also not being able to stop. By now I was on a second towel and trying to keep Lily pinned to one spot so she wouldn’t make a bad situation worse, and by the time I got out at the sampan point we were all extremely stressed. I have to admit I was more than happy to hand the leash to Catherine for the remaining part of the drive to Ap Lei Chau, and was thankful that my own journey home was on an open sampan and not a bus or crowded MTR given the state of my clothes and the smell emanating from them.
It must have been a bad day for stomachs, because arriving home with the two puppies and one needing to be separated (how, where?) I was greeted with the sight of an explosion of diarrhoea (culprit unknown) which covered not only the entire floor but also the walls. I suppose it was the result of something ghastly that had been found – and eaten – on the beach that morning, but now it needed to be cleaned up before the night’s sleeping arrangements could be put in place.
If there’s one positive thing about working in animal rescue it’s that I now know how to spell ‘diarrhoea’ without needing to check, and finding happiness in little things like solid dog poo and a clean house.