Mon 30th July: It’s Gaia’s day today
My activities for today were somewhat limited as I had arranged for Griffin to be dropped off at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre between four to five in the afternoon, and I needed to be around to take him home as soon as he arrived. I also had a meeting with Cactus and Alice, a long-term HKDR volunteer-turned-dog trainer, to discuss the details of our upcoming training courses, something that has been in the planning stage for too long but is now finally coming to fruition. I’m asked all the time if we offer such courses and finally I’ll be able to say yes, starting in September. These will be available to all, not just ex-HKDR dogs, as part of our drive to teach positive training methods and to make sure dogs stay in homes rather than be given up due to behaviour problems or general antisocial behaviour.
Luckily I’d been asked by the Pokfulam AFCD staff to miss my usual Monday visit because they were short of staff, and that suited me just fine. It meant that I didn’t have to look at dogs that we have no space for, at least not until tomorrow. Quite honestly with the numbers being surrendered right now it’s getting to be a real problem to cope, especially when you are dealing with people like the woman who wanted to surrender her two year old white pom. It’s not licensed (a legal requirement), vaccinated and has never had any heartworm prevention, in other words has had absolutely nothing done. I’m accepting it only because it’s not the dog’s fault that the owner is tossing it out because she’s leaving the country, and it’s a very homeable type, size and age. We do ask for money to cover all of the things that we will need to do and in this case it’s everything, but this is the reply I got: “who the hell you think you are. you are not the judge. everyone has their own story. if i don’t care, i don’t even need to talk to you. are u trying to make money from the surrender!!!!! ?????”. Hmm, does that mean it’s a no then?
In another case of an HKDR puppy-now-dog that was being given up, a surrender request came in some time ago. I saw that the dog was not on any heartworm prevention so asked that it be tested for heartworm before coming to us, and given a Proheart injection if negative. This is just part of what came back: “I asked your group for help to find Kelly a new home and YOU RAGE ON ME ABOUT NOT USING YOUR BRAND OF HEART-WORM MEDICINE FOR KELLY! What type of mood-altering, psychotropic, narcotic are you ingesting? Are you so full of yourself that you feel you can inflict your “holier-than-thou” attitude on people because they come to you requesting your royal audience.” That was followed by a I-don’t-need-your-help-thank-you-very-much sort of comment, but strangely now it seems we’re back in favour. That makes four ex-HKDR puppies now waiting to be handed back, and those are only the ones I know about.
You’d think these people might come cap in hand to ask for help but as you can see that’s not always the case. I’m so used to be abused and called all sorts of names and it really only makes me laugh, but then I think of the dogs and stop smiling.
Anyway, every day has its ups and downs and it was a good day for Gaia at Tai Po as she was taken home to start her new life. She’s always been a very sweet and happy character so I’m sure she’ll make a wonderful family member. Just looking at Gaia’s photo I realised she’s a dead ringer for Diamond, one of the Lamma doglets that still makes the weekly trek to Whiskers’n'Paws even though she’s way past young puppyhood. I keep hoping that someone will want an older puppy, one that has past all of those baby stages and is toilet trained and able to walk nicely on a leash, and then fall for the lovely girl sitting quietly and patiently in her usual spot waiting until it’s time to go home.
I should just mention Griffin one last time (until there is something new to report), and the funny thing is that as soon as he got to the Homing Centre, where even I thought he’d be a bit subdued with so many dogs checking him out and barking at the “new boy”, he was as relaxed and cheerful as any dog could be. He was wagging his tail and greeting everyone (humans) as his best friend, and he was quite happy to walk along the busy Ap Lei Chau Main Street to get to the HKDR office at the other end, where he had to wait while I went to the supermarket for some essentials. I suppose he was just not suited to the home he went to, and maybe it was the children or maybe it was the lack of dog company, but all I can say is that I hope he will find a new home that will be right for him. For now he is back on Lamma and busy bouncing on the bed again.
We need some help with the upcoming “Viva Paws Vegas” event if anyone reading this has a contact for audio and visual equipment suppliers. Of course with all of our fundraising events, we are looking for low cost everything, and free if at all possible. So far we’ve been very lucky, which might have something to do with well-honed begging and pleading skills, so please put your feelers out to help with this one if you can. Email Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org, or me if that’s easier, if you have any ideas on where or how we can get the equipment needed.