Tues 17th July: All ins, no outs
With fosters lined up for the four puppies at AFCD I was able to take them out, knowing that they wouldn’t have to come back to Lamma and be infected with kennel cough. Of course between yesterday and today another dog had been surrendered, a very sweet young pug girl, and another rabbit. Even the AFCD staff know that the number of rabbits being dumped is because last year was the Chinese Year of the Rabbit, and people are stupid enough to go and get one for that reason.
There were also some other surrenders at both Tai Po (border collie) and Ap Lei Chau. These two (very sweet) dogs were supposed to be Jack Russells, and while one could have passed as one if you just glanced at him, the other was far closer to a dachshund than anything else. They were in the van with me (and Norma) when I went to AFCD, as well as a new Yorkie (surrender) and Smokey the cocker spaniel, both needing vaccinations at Acorn.
So as usual I turned up at the vet clinic with an assortment of crates, dogs on leashes – and a cardboard box containing a rabbit. One of the benefits of working with one clinic is that they know what to expect when I walk through the doors – chaos usually.
Two by two the puppies were picked up (and they’ll be ready for Whiskers’n'paws very soon) and then each dog had its turn on the consult table. The pug was so sweet I called her Angel, and although she’s in reasonable condition she has the common patella (kneecap) issue which is probably serious enough to need surgery. She stayed to have her desexing operation, an absolute necessity for all of our dogs. She’s already had at least one litter but that’s it, there will be no more.
The Yorkie, Timmie, had to stay and have his teeth sorted out because, as with many small dogs, they were pretty disgusting. My own (large) dog, Inky, is twelve years old and her teeth are still in great condition and I’ve never cleaned them. Just eating a good diet with crunchy biscuits and occasional chews is enough, but the little ones often need regular dentals. It’s really important that this is done, not just because it looks and smells awful, but the bacteria from the rotten teeth affects the dog’s overall health, just as it does with humans. The stench that comes from some dogs’ mouths is unbearable, and bad teeth and infected gums are painful for the dogs too. One of the main causes for dirty teeth in even young dogs is a diet of soft food, whether rice or commercial dog food, and either bones or chews should be given to help prevent plaque build-up. Many people use dog toothbrushes or finger brushes too, and that’s good if the dog accepts it. However you do it, just make sure the teeth don’t get into the terrible state that many of our new recruits have.
Stuck for names for the “Jack Russells” (and everyone had a good laugh about that) I called one Jack and the other Russell. I was obviously not feeling inspired at the time, but it’s hard to come up with good names on the spot. I think of them when I’m out and about but then forget once I’m on the spot. Jack, the smaller of the two dogs, also needs a dental, but we’ll do that another day.
There had been some correspondence with the now ex-owner of the one year old border collie brought to us today, and in the end it was me who wanted her to come to us rather than stay in her home. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe that the owner wasn’t genuine in his desire to help her, but the fact that she had been kept in a cage since she was a puppy, and that even in her current home she was also in a cage much of the time, was making any progress with toilet training impossible. Apart from that my heart sinks when I hear the word “cage”, and I absolutely hate them. Even worse are the lick bottles that dogs are expected to drink from. How can a dog get enough water from one of those, especially in this weather when I know my own dogs drinks gallons. Lick lick lick, a drip at a time, is fine for hamsters and rabbits, but it’s not for dogs.
So the border collie arrived today and I sent a message to Tai Po asking that she be put into a nice enclosure where she could enjoy the freedom to run for the first time in her life. I expect to have quite a few enquiries about Icy but will only consider those that I feel will have the patience and knowledge to help her get over the awful start she had to her life, and also give her the exercise that is vital to her mental and physical well being.
The little peke cross that was found abandoned on a beach is settling in at Ap Lei Chau too. She’s a very sweet girl, even though her eyes are under-developed and even non-existent on one side. Someone, somewhere, knows her story but as always it’s rare that we ever find out. Tomorrow I’ll tell you the one about the greyhound.