Thurs 9th August: Four dogs to Tai Po
I’d arranged with May that I’d be sending three dogs from Lamma over to Tai Po today, two being older doglets who really need an opportunity to be seen, and the third being Constance, mother of four puppies still waiting for homes.
I’d also made an appointment to meet a puppy adopter at Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre at one o’clock, earlier than my usual time because I had a meeting to go to in Central. However, by the morning I realised that I had too much to do to be able to fit in a trip to Central so let Linda know I’d have to give it a miss, but having already agreed a time for the puppy handover I stuck to that.
With the three larger dogs in the van, I handed Evita over to her new family and in exchange took Pashmina, the returned Samoyed puppy, who was joining the others at Tai Po. There were also two new shih tzu surrenders who needed to go to AFCD for licensing, and with the idea that I would take them on to Acorn while Hing drove the four dogs to Tai Po, off we went. Norma, one of our most regular and dedicated volunteers, was with me, just to hitch a lift to her Mid-Levels home.
Our first stop was AFCD where I was reminded of why my timing is the way it is. They close for lunch from one until two o’clock and we were fifteen minutes early, so there was nothing going to happen there. OK, I said, we’ll go straight to Acorn, and gave the clinic a call to check that one of the vets would be available. Sorry, there are two bone surgeries this afternoon so no appointments free. I hate to hang around and just waste time, so we did a quick turnaround, dropped the two shih tzus back at the Homing Centre, and set off for Tai Po together.
I’m glad I made that decision, because by then I was already feeling terrible about the three Lamma dogs and wanted to see that they would be OK at Tai Po. Dobby is from the same family as Griffin, and identical every way except he’s all black. He has the same build, shape and tail, as well as the same funny and lovely personality. It felt like I was sending Griffin away, and that was hard.
Elliot is the most laid-back character, so calm, affectionate and easy, and I had been taking him to Whiskers’n'Paws every Sunday for a long time, hoping that someone would choose him for their family. Now I felt Tai Po was the best place for him to be seen and hopefully adopted.
Constance was a teenage mother, but she took her duties very seriously when she had to. Now free of her puppies (and desexed of course) her playful nature returned and she loved to run on the beach and play chase with Dobby. She’s an incredibly affectionate dog, and smart too, and again I knew that nobody would ever see her if she stayed on Lamma.
Here’s Constance and Dobby having fun on the beach: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCPQh_zv21I&list=UUYVaAyG75Q7h66FnqRNnQLQ&index=3&feature=plcp
Norma sat in the front seat of the van, while I shared the back seat with the three dogs for a final cuddle. Pashmina snoozed quietly in the back until we arrived at Tai Po at the time of day when it’s too hot for the dog walkers and several dogs are allowed free-running in the forecourt. As May came out to greet us, we let all four dogs off their leashes to see how they would react to the others, and they were completely fine. Pashmina’s now ex-owner had said she had become reactive to other dogs so we were watching carefully, but there was none of that behaviour.
508fd232fff0dc3ba50020dc04bd22a5 After a while of fiddling around doing odd tasks, I suggested to May that we move the dogs up to the same enclosure so they would be new boys together, and we agreed on a suitable one. With Eva joining, we walked the dogs up (and they were all remarkably calm) and into their new home. It took about one second for Pashmina and boxer-cross Clay to say hello before they were off playing, taking it in turns to chase and be chased. Then Pashmina (whose name has now been shortened to Pasha) discovered the splash pool and nothing else in the world mattered after that. She had found her own private heaven. I can say absolutely and categorically that there is not an ounce of aggression in that puppy, not towards people or other dogs. She is simply delightful, funny and beautiful, as well as being very easy.Pasha being hosed
While Pasha was entertaining us all with her bliss, the other three dogs were happily exploring, and it wasn’t until I crossed to the opposite enclosure to say hello to other ex-Lamma dogs Alison and Jersey, that Dobby started to fret. I felt so bad for him as he stood up with his paws on the fence looking at me as if to say ‘please don’t leave me here’, and I feel the same every time I have to send a doglet away. It’s really very hard, but not as hard as it is for the dogs. If only they could all be adopted as puppies I wouldn’t have to make this heart-wrenching move.