Mon 25th June: All aboard the Love Ideas HK bus
There were other things going on today besides the usual dog stuff, neither of which I was involved in but they’re all part of what working at HKDR is about.
Linda and a group of volunteers (thank you!) boarded the Love Ideas HK bus to help promote the campaign, and HKDR in particular of course. We know that there are still a lot of supporters who haven’t voted yet, and if you’re one of them can you do it now please. Getting enough votes for our five projects means a huge amount to us, not just in monetary terms, but because it means that we can do the things that need to be done, like replacing the broken-down fence and building the solid shelters at Tai Po, building on the education programme and completing refurbishing the Ap Lei Chau Centre.
Cactus was at school again today, this time with poodle Harvey and new cocker Smokey, both of whom behaved perfectly. Education is key to the future if there are going to be any changes to the current concept of shop-and-drop, meaning buying a puppy and then getting rid of it shortly afterwards. When these schoolchildren grow up they will be the ones who can make a real difference, because those in charge now don’t seem to have any idea at all.
Meanwhile I was making my Monday pilgrimage to AFCD, knowing there was yet another poodle being surrendered. It turned out to be a poodle cross, about seven or eight months old, and I suspect it was the usual poodle thing of being hyperactive and too much work. I swear I’m going to impose special (young) poodle adoption criteria because every time we home one it either comes bouncing straight back, or there’s an ongoing email dialogue about behaviour issues and so on before eventually the dog is returned. I had a thought about the latest two poodle pup adoptions, the above comments being relevant in both cases, and I looked at the adoption photos (not having actually met the adopters) and asked myself could I imagine these people getting down on the floor with a dog and rolling around with it, letting it bounce up and down on them while tugging at their clothes and trying to lick their faces? In fact maybe this is the new test for adoptions. The volunteers do it, and if you can’t bear the thought of getting physical with your dog then don’t get one that wants and expects this kind of interaction. There are many much more sedate types that would be suitable.
The staff at AFCD were keen to let me know that there were two beautiful puppies that had been left outside the gates to the Animal Management Centre, and would I have a look at them. So damn and sigh, I have two more additions to my Puppy Club, very sweet and pretty and obviously having come from a home, not the hillside. They are both girls and I suspect the boys were kept. That’s the standard method of birth control, as while boys can father puppies at least their owners won’t be responsible for the result.
The new puppies will be at Whiskers’n'Paws on Sunday, or maybe not this week as I already have so many, and I will have to wait and see if they are lucky enough to find homes. When people ask me why do I care if they buy a puppy instead of adopting, or what it is to me if they choose to do that, it’s hard to try to put it into words. So here is my analogy, the best way I can think of to explain how it feels to me when someone chooses to support the pet trade rather than adopting. Suppose you were just about to eat lovely meal that you had specially planned the menu for, and sitting next to you is a starving African child, facing imminent death if it doesn’t eat very soon. But rather than give away your food to the child to save its life, you eat it yourself – because you particularly like what’s on your plate and you want it. And rather than adopt to save a puppy from death, you choose to buy – because you particularly like a certain breed and you want it. I want therefore I get, even if that causes the death of another. Just recently at HKDR we have had all sorts of purebreed puppies, from poodle and pug to boxer and samoyed. There is hardly been a breed over the years that we haven’t had in, even a Chinese Crested hairless. If you really want a “pure” breed, then can’t you wait a bit? And if you really want a puppy now, then have a look at the mixed breeds and tell me exactly what’s wrong with them that they really won’t do.