Thurs 24th May: Lovely stories to counteract the sadness
The small dogs are flowing in to our also-small Homing Centre so I’m hoping for a good clear-out this weekend. There were two further arrivals today, a young corgi and another poodle, also still a young boy. I was told about this poodle having been found wandering and ending up AFCD in Kowloon, but I need to go back to old emails and Facebook messages to remind myself of the story. He’s been waiting for approval for re-homing since then and it’s been a while. And there was yet another foundling, this one in Cheung Chau – again! It’s bad enough that people dump bigger dogs but little ones, who are obviously totally incapable of taking care of themselves? I suppose they assume that someone will pick the dog up and take it home, but that’s no excuse, not at all.
It doesn’t help that AFCD (Pokfulam) are also well stocked now as well, and there were many newcomers when I went today. The rare times when I go and there are no new dogs and hardly any occupied kennels are like Christmas and birthday combined, or (temporarily) winning the lottery. But today there were two dogs still remaining from the large group from Stanley so they were the ones I took, but there were four lovely older puppies, two very rottweiler-ish and two pretty black-and-tans, all so friendly, and so many more. When will this ever stop? I’m overcome with despair every time I walk into the kennel block and see so many new and hopeful faces. The surrendered dogs affect me the most, handed over by owners they – mistakenly - trusted and loved. What had they done to deserve this? In almost every case it’s not a problem with the dog, just a casual casting-off of an inconvenience leaving a lost and confused dog to wonder what has happened and why its life has been turned upside down (and soon to be ended).
I can only console myself with the knowledge that the dogs we save are going to be loved no matter if they find new homes or not, but those I can’t take haunt me.
Apart from the problem of having to decide which dogs to take from AFCD today, I also had a dilemma about Constance, one of the three mothers-with-pups that arrived in close succession. She was lucky enough to have found a wonderful foster home to move to straight from AFCD, and her pups are now ready to meet the public at Whiskers’n'Paws this Sunday (except two very lucky ones who will be adopted by their foster!) There would have been a good chance of Constance staying too had it not been for the fact that she took herself off for strolls round the neighbourhood every day, jumping the wall that surrounded the garden to get out. She didn’t run away, and maybe she just wanted a break from her annoying kids, but the neighbours weren’t impressed and Constance had to go. As her puppies were due for their first vaccination, I said Constance could also go to Acorn for desexing and I would take over from there. The big problem remained of where to send her to as Tai Po was too risky if she scaled the fence and disappeared, as well as not being really suitable for her and her wanderlust. In the end I had to bring her back to Lamma and hope that having a garden and an eight feet high fence would be satisfactory and safe. Now we need a home or a foster for Constance, and I’m sure she’ll easily adjust to being a normal companion dog as she’s such a sweet and gentle girl who loves human attention. Update: I’ve just found out that the only reason Constance leaves the garden is that she is so fastidious about keeping it clean that she won’t poo there, which explains why the neighbours aren’t that impressed! She jumps back over the wall once she’s completed her toilet duties elsewhere.
I have no idea where she came from or what her story is, but she’s obviously been around humans, maybe as a local village dog but more likely living on a construction site. The sad thing about these worksite dogs is that while building is ongoing, they enjoy the perfect life of freedom and food, being fed by the workers and being generally well taken care of. It’s when the building is completed and the workers leave that these dogs are in trouble, as they have nowhere to go and are not used to living wild. The situation has improved a lot from earlier times when construction site dogs were a big issue, but there are still too many around. (Josie at Ap Lei Chau is one of these dogs).
To counteract all these depressing thoughts I get emails like this one from the adopter of Chester, the old pom that cheated death by showing me that he wasn’t ready to go yet:
“I attach the pictures of Chester and Lily. They get on really well. Chester had to stay at the hospital at SPCA overnight about 2 weeks ago as he was really weak and sick. The vet discovered he has some liver/kidney problems and some urine infection. So he has been to see the vet every week and is getting better and stronger everyday. He seems to be almost blind, but he seems to be managing fine. His hearing is getting better everyday. He still needs a lot of medical attention, but is much happier and stronger. We really love him very much and Lily seems to like Chester a lot,too. They share one bed sometimes. I am sure he will be running around in a few weeks or few months time!”
The Scouts and I had an absolutely fantastic time and fun at Lady MacLehose Trail from 11th to 13th May. Although we didn’t quite managed to complete 100km, we managed to hike almost 80km in total in two and a half days, which is amazing for the first time try! All the Scouts did their best and kept walking in a heavy rain. We have never been so wet, soggy and muddy in our life! What an amazing wet weather we had! On the last day many of them had painful feet or legs, but they never complaint about their pain! They were so happy all the time . Also they all learnt how to help/support each other and how to work out problems together. Great team work! I am very proud of all the Scouts who participated this hike. The Scouts are thinking about completing 100km next time!
So far we raised quite a lot of money. We are hoping to get some more donations. So hopefully we will be able to pass the money to you by the end of next week.
You can see how much fun the Scouts had from these pictures.”
I have the perfect suggestion for the weekend if you don’t have any other plans (and even if you do, cancel them). Go to the Excelsior Hotel in Causeway Bay on Saturday and buy lots of toys, a dog bed and whatever else you fancy, then go to either Tai Po or Ap Lei Chau Main Street, or Whiskers’n'Paws on Sunday, and adopt a dog to use them!