Sun 1st July: Celebrating 15 years and 5 puppies
I was sent a message by volunteer Vivian, a regular Sunday Lamma visitor, that the tide was low and the sampan driver asked that I leave earlier than usual, but choosing and packing up the puppies isn’t something that can be done in a hurry. Then there’s the older group, dogs like Bea, Sophie, Diamond and Griffin to be leashed and got through the gate without letting a bunch of others out too, and they always get tangled up in their excitement. However much I try, by the time everyone is on board the stress levels have risen and my patience shortened by equal measure, and it wasn’t helped today when the sampan couldn’t reach the end of the pier and the crates, dogs and baggage had cross a plank to reach the boat. I was just grateful that the sampan driver, a regular, had even agreed to come to the pier rather than force us to go over the rocks to the neighbour’s pontoon. Had that happened I would have arrived at Whiskers’n'Paws about an hour late.
I was just as grateful to have a lovely sunny and dry afternoon for the puppy homing on the terrace, and by packing up time at five o’clock five puppies had been adopted. That’s a big number for this time of year. Not only that, but I had three volunteer aides, always a huge help, and Kat Kuok taking great photos again. It’s a long three hours and lots of work for everyone, but the result makes it very worthwhile. Today’s lucky puppies were Hazel, Borneo (double lucky because he had survived parvovirus), baby Magnolia, and siblings Roland and Saba, two randomly chosen brothers from a large group that had come to AFCD from Cheung Chau. They’re all equally lovely so it’s just a lucky dip picking the ones for Sunday.
There is this fascination for the puppies with the other side of the fence, and Kat captured the escape attempts so perfectly. Please have a look at her photos on the HKDR Facebook page because they’ll make you smile for sure.
It’s taken a long time for Dawny to find a home at Tai Po, not helped by the fact that she had double hip dysplasia so needed surgery on both sides, one after the other, but she finally left today. She was probably our number one sweetest dog, but there are many contenders for that top spot now that it’s vacant.
Tiny teacup Yorkie Dolly was an in-and-out dog at Ap Lei Chau despite her senior years and lack of teeth. She was adopted by a volunteer who fell in love at first sight, and that was it. I don’t think she even spent one night at our Homing Centre.
The typhoon that came and went so quickly that it was barely here at all made it very difficult to get dogs from Tai Po into foster homes for the duration of the bad weather. If you are able to help in times like these, please pre-register with Maria for the Typhoon Foster list so it’s easy for us to contact everyone as soon as there is news of a typhoon on the way. It’s very difficult for May and the crew at Tai Po to handle last-minute foster offers when there is already so much to do to prepare, but we really appreciate being able to get the dogs out at times like these. Just email email@example.com and let Maria know that you would like to be added to the Typhoon Foster list, and thank you.
Going back to Dawny and her double hip surgery, it’s probably hard for most people to realise how much it costs us to run HKDR on a monthly basis. The adoption fee that we ask barely covers the basics, and with dogs like Dawny (and very many others) we are left with high vet bills to pay for from the donations that we receive. If I mention a particular case we are often lucky enough to get a kind sponsor, such as with King’s expensive tick fever treatment (he’s doing so much better now thankfully), or Windy’s hip surgery, but these and many more cases are ongoing for lots of dogs. Quite a few dogs come to us from AFCD with heartworm which needs treating. There are accidents and incidents, like Bea hanging herself on a fence for example, or our older dogs needing mammary tumour removal (like my Sandy), or puppies needing hospitalisation for diseases such as parvovirus. Things like these happen all the time and the vet costs are high. Even feeding so many dogs, or making sure they have tick and heartworm prevention, leaves us wondering how we can bring in the funding that we need to be able to continue, and schemes like the ‘Love Ideas HK’ are the only way we can cover the cost of the extras, things outside the absolute necessities. That’s why we need your votes, and it will cost you nothing but two minutes of your time.
We also need more Life Saver Club members to help on a monthly basis with the long-term dogs and their costs. Things like this are our ‘bread-and-butter’ income, and are a great help. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for information about this personal dog sponsorship scheme, and “adopt” a dog even if you can’t actually take one home.
HKDR only exists because of the generosity of people like you, and every donation counts no matter how small.