Thurs 2nd August: Deadly rooftops
It’s hard enough for humans to drag themselves through the sticky heat of the day, but imagine what it’s like for the smaller dogs, those whose bodies are only inches away from the sweltering concrete pavements with and no escape. The very word “roof” brings images of dogs suffering, panting and gasping for some cool relief, and a rooftop is no place for any animal in this weather. As if I needed to be reminded, while I was at Acorn yesterday a shih tzu was rushed in as an emergency case, but too late, the poor little thing was dead from heatstroke. It’s a dilemma having to choose between exercising your dog and making sure it doesn’t suffer the same fate as the shih tzu, and at the moment I’m sticking to the woods for my morning walks, where the shade from the trees keeps the temperature down to a comfortable level. Luckily the recent rain has left pools of water, albeit muddy, that the dogs can lie in and drink from, but even this had hidden dangers in some areas. Leptospirosis is back, and although it’s one of the five infectious diseases that is included in the regular vaccinations that dogs have, there are different strains that require additional shots. If you walk your dog in places where there is still water, like rock pools and stagnant puddles, please consider the extra protection that’s available and don’t leave it until it’s too late.
I hadn’t planned to go to Acorn for any reason other than to pick up some new small dogs that had come from AFCD in Sheung Shui (there was a poodle, Maltese, shiba inu, and a black multibreed pup thrown in for good measure). However, I’d been passed a bunch of licenses that needed to have ownership changed, and other paperwork which meant I had to stop off at the Pokfulam AFCD Animal Management Centre on the way. And you know how the story goes after this, I had to have a look at the new intake and left with a big fat pug that had just been surrendered. What was surprising in this case was that the owners had also ‘surrendered’ the dog’s X-rays which showed a bladder completely full of stones, with additional stones in the kidneys. It’s really rare that we have the luxury of such medical information with dogs taken from AFCD, and an X-ray is like finding hidden treasure. Usually it’s left up to us to discover that there is a health issue and what it is, and no matter how many times I have asked that anyone surrendering a dog at least be required to pass on such basic information, it doesn’t happen. It would make such a difference to us, and more importantly the dog, if we knew something of its health history.
I called the pug Faye as a play on the word “fei” (even I know that means fat) and left her to have surgery to remove the bladder stones and her uterus, while I took the new dogs to Ap Lei Chau. When Faye comes to our Homing Centre she will be joining two other obese pugs, Julius and Bunter. It’s very easy for pugs to become overweight and it does them no favours, especially when it’s so hot. It’s often hard enough for them to breathe properly anyway, and to add the additional burden of layers of fat is just unfair. We know why this happens, it’s simply too much (bad) food, non-stop treats and not enough exercise. If you’ve ever known a pug puppy they are very active and playful, and that’s how they should stay. You are literally killing your dog with kindness if you overfeed like this, and bladder/kidney stones are almost inevitable.
My diary is starting to fill up with events planned for the post-summer high season, and I’m not just talking about our own “Viva Paws Vegas” gala and Peak to Fong. On Saturday 1st September there will be an AFCD-organised Adoption Day at Stanley Plaza, and additonal dog-related events at the same venue in early December. We’re also planning a party that month at Whiskers’n'Paws (these are always very well-attended), so there’s a lot to think about.
But coming up very soon is a different kind of ‘event’, a clothes sale this Staurday to be held at our Ap Lei Chau Office , at the other end of Main Street from the Homing Centre, and the opposite side of the road. Some time ago a clothes shop closed down and left us with a ton of (w0men’s) clothes, and we need to do something with them, like sell to raise funds. So here’s a chance to buy lots of (mostly smaller sizes) summer outfits at stupidly low prices. They’d be perfect for young girls who look great in anything, and who want lots of party stuff.
We’ll also have a lot of soft dog beds at reduced prices, again a stock clearance.