Sunday, 20 May 2018

Sun 20th May: Willy and Cello

Willy and Cello are always together
I'm hoping that someone reading this will agree on two things, firstly that a pair of dogs is better and easier than one, and secondly that they want to adopt Cello and Willy, two older puppies who have become the best of friends.  Every Sunday afternoon at Whiskers N Paws you can find them together, playing non-stop and having so much fun.  They are the same age and size (six months coming up for seven, medium size) and somehow they just click. Both dogs have been in different foster homes until today when Cello was returned to us, and now the need for a home has become more urgent.  If you think this lovely pair will fit perfectly in your home, please complete the adoption questionnaire on our website (under Adopt).
Running together
Westling together

Obviously neither Willy nor Cello were adopted today but others were, and predictably it was the younger ones.  Margaux made her debut with brother Wonton, and she was the first lucky baby to go. Gloria was the second one, and she has been staying at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre with her siblings and the other dogs and puppies there, so was quite confident running round the terrace even though it was also her first time at Whiskers N Paws.

Ivory was a different puppy after just a week at WNP
Anna and Ivory have been guests at Whiskers N Paws since last Sunday, and during the week they have been having training as well as lots of fun and attention.  They have obviously loved their time there and it has made such a huge difference, to Ivory especially as she was a timid girl initially. We were really quite amazed to see how happy and confident Ivory had become in such a short time, and it resulted in her being taken to a real home for fostering.  Her place has now been taken by Pebble, who also needs the same kind of confidence boost that Ivory had.

Quentin shared his birthday via Two Presents
There were three very welcome donations during the afternoon, with young Quentin Ng sharing his birthday using Two Presents.  For many youngsters (and proud parents) a big part of the fun is writing their first giant cheque, and anyone who has been kind enough to share their birthday via Two Presents is more than welcome to come along any Sunday afternoon.
Ian brought Laura along to help donate his birthday cash

Milk Tea (left), Bolton (centre) and Laura next to Bolton are HKDR dogs
If anyone remembers puppy Laura (I know, there have been so many), her family came to make a very generous cash donation as part of young Ian's birthday.  Laura and her dog-brother Bolton, also from HKDR a long time ago, came along too, although Laura just wanted to go home.

The third (huge) donation was from Kellett School, and thank you to all parents and students for choosing HKDR to receive such a fantastic gift.

Thanks also to our new volunteer photographer, Chris Lu, for a really wonderful set of photos, and also to Semirah Darwin for getting them edited and posted so quickly.  Our behind-the-scenes volunteers do incredible work which is seldom seen but very much appreciated.

Huge thanks to the parents and students of Kellett School!

Judo is a wonderful dog, a perfect family member
I was also extremely happy to get a photo and message from Tai Po that lovely girl Judo had been adopted.  She was surrendered to AFCD by her family as they weren't allowed to have dogs in their building, but she had obviously been loved.  Now she has a new family who can enjoy having a ready-made and really sweet dog in their home, and I know Judo won't disappoint.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Sat 19th May: Sidney is the last "Meat Puppy"

The heat is intense, in case you haven't noticed, and although there are warnings every year about heat stroke in dogs I do want to remind everyone that it can and does kill very quickly.  If you have any flat-faced dogs like pugs or bulldogs, please don't walk them during the day, and for every dog all daytime walks should be kept short and in the shade.  The pavements and roads are blistering too, and for small dogs it must be torture as their bodies are so close to the ground.

Nibs is the darker Frenchie, officially blue in colour
Luckily French bulldog Nibs, now Oli, went to a home that's large enough to allow plenty of indoors play space and running, and both the resident Frenchie and Nibs/Oli exhausted themselves racing around and wrestling.  There's nothing better than watching two dogs having fun like this, and it saves the humans from having to provide the entertainment too.
White poodle, 2 years old

Nibs/Oli left the Homing Centre in the morning and as promised the two young poodles were brought to us in the afternoon.  I'm still trying to think of names for the two year-old siblings, but I have a feeling it won't really matter as they'll be adopted soon.
Black poodle 2 years old

Hamlet's new life starts today
Hamlet went off to his new home today (hooray!) and Harry the Malinois is due to be picked up for fostering in the morning, which again is great news of course. I'm really concerned though about the cold-weather dogs, Freddie the husky and Hercules the Malamute, because they must really be feeling the heat these days.  I hope someone will take them home before too long.

Zelda was also formally adopted today, having initially been fostered by her new family when she first arrived, as well as having been regularly visited in the following months.  Now it's time for Zelda to officially join the household, and she can't stop smiling.
Sidney is so sweet and loving

With Zelda's adoption there is only one of the Chinese New Year "Meat Puppies" left, and that's Sidney.  He is the largest of them all, but a really soft and sweet boy with a dopey kind of face to match.  He needs minor surgery on his eyelids to stop the lashes scratching, and then he will be perfect.
Zelda never stops smiling

Mary Dimitropoulou was today's volunteer photographer at Heal, and as you will see we have some youngsters available now.

You can meet them again at Whiskers N Paws on Sunday, 2pm to 5pm, along with others who weren't at Heal today.
Wonton and Margaux
All photos by Mary Dimitropoulou @ Mary Dimitropoulou Photography

Friday, 18 May 2018

Fri 18th May: Alternatives for allergy sufferers

This lovely bulldog girl will come on Monday
There is always a demand for young and small purebreeds like the French bulldog puppy and the shiba inu, so there is never any concern about finding them homes.  I hope the same will apply with the one year-old English bulldog girl who will come on Monday, along with a young poodle, a mixed breed puppy (see below) and a senior golden retriever, also already with a potential home.   We're also expecting two new poodles on Saturday, again young I'm told, but while the other four are from AFCD so we can be sure that they will  arrive, I can never be cetain about the dogs being surrendered from private homes.  So many times they end up not coming for whatever reason.

For now I want to talk about the six month-old mixed breed puppy that is part of Monday's intake, because so many people ask for non-shedding types like the poodle variations; labradoodle, cockapoo and so on.  I really dislike this obsession with designer cross-breeds, mainly because what people don't seem to understand is that if you mix a breed with another breed the outcome isn't always the same.  Take the original cross-breed, the labradoodle, half labrador, half poodle.  A litter from two types of parents won't all look the same, something that should be obvious if you look at human siblings.  Some labradoodle puppies will have the required curly coat, but others will have the flat labrador coat.  Some will have the typical temperament of one parent, some the other and the rest a bit of both.  You can't dictate the result when you mix breeds, and those that don't conform with the desired look are disposed of.

Ozzie (l) and Oona at Tai Po
If you suffer from allergies and you want the type of coat that is better for this condition (bearing in mind that there is no such thing as a 100% non-allergenic breed), you can consider other types of dogs.  Schnauzers, shih tzus, Westies and Yorkies all have coats that are less likely to cause an allergic reaction, and any of the silky or wire-haired mixed breeds fall into this category too.  There is also the type I call the fuzzies, and we already have a pair at our Tai Po Homing Centre, Oona and Ozzie.  To be honest these are my personal favourite "breeds", and long-term readers or HKDR followers will remember the Monkey Dogs and Gala, and even the first Oona from Pokfulam days. I still have one of the originals on Lamma, Fuzzy Monkey, and you can see that she is almost identical to the current Oona.
My Lamma Fuzzy Monkey

Monday's fuzzy-faced pup would suit allergy sufferers
The puppy coming on Monday is a fuzzy-coated boy, and I'm sure he's going to turn out to be lovely.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Thurs 17th May: Departures and arrivals

Judy found herself the best home
As promised, one-eyed poodle Judy was taken home today by one of our long-term supporters, and adopter of several previous old and broken little ones who had the best time of their lives until the end.  As a space was created for another it was filled, and Judy was the lucky one this time.  We know she will never want for anything again, especially love and the best care, so we're all delighted.
Nibs is just 9 months old

The shiba inu also left, minutes before the new arrival of a nine month-old French bulldog, one of the dogs I didn't want to mention yesterday in case he was another no-show.  To give his now ex-owner credit, she gave him up because she knew she couldn't provide the type of home and life that he needed, so she wanted something better. I promised to find the right home for him, which we will of course.  In fact after I'd left the Homing Centre and seen that Nibs was fine with the other dogs, an ideal family walked in and met him, and he should be picked up in the morning.
Trying to get a photo was difficult

Although I do have a litter of puppies on Lamma, and others are staying in foster homes, we have puppies available for adoption every day of the week at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre, and now also at Whiskers N Paws. 

Anna and Ivory were the two lucky girls chosen to stay behind after last Sunday's puppy afternoon and they have been loved and pampered since then.  They are also receiving basic obedience training, in between relaxation sessions on the couch.
Anna enjoying relaxtion sessions at Whiskers N Paws
Anna and Ivory's WNP hangout

Ivory is a very sweet puppy

There will be new young puppies to meet at Saturday's Heal puppy afternoon, 1pm to 4pm, 10 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, and of course they will also be at Whiskers N Paws on Sunday, 2pm to 5pm.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Weds 16th May: Homes promised

Judy has a wonderful home to go to
Two Ap Lei Chau residents will be leaving this week, the new shiba inu and tiny one-eyed poodle Judy, so until the new intake arrive we'll let the puppies enjoy the extra space.  We are expecting some new dog surrenders, although I'll wait until they are actually with us before giving details.  I've been caught out too many times before, showing photos of dogs that never ended up coming.  It's quite a strange way to do things, ask a rescue organisation to take a dog before even beginning to look for an alternative, but that's what many dog owners do it seems.
The new shiba will go to an experienced home

This was Oliver in the winter showing off his new coat

I feel confident enough about two other upcoming Tai Po adoptions to mention them too, the first being Oliver who will go home with one of our volunteers.  The second one is Hamlet, a long-termer who has waited for many years for this opportunity, so thank you to both adopters for choosing these lovely boys.

Sweet Hamlet will have his own home very soon
Meet the puppies at Heal in Sai Yung Pun

Our puppies be at Heal this Saturday 1pm to 4pm, which happens to also be the official opening of the Animal Wellness and Rehabilitation Centre, so you can drop by and take a look at the hydrotherapy pool and ask questions about how dogs needing rehabilitation and post-surgery therapy can be helped.
The hydrotherapy pool

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Tues 15th May: Finding the right home is important

Frederick is young at 2 years, and very handsome
It would be lovely to find homes for the cold weather breeds like the Siberian husky Frederick, and the Alaskan malamute Hercules.  Their breed names really give an idea of the countries and climates these dogs should be living in, and outside in Hong Kong's summer months is not at all suitable.  At the very least they need full time air-conditioning, and ideally to move to another (cold) country completely.

Both Frederick and Hercules are lovely dogs, in looks and temperament, but potential adopters do need to be realistic about their needs.  Malamutes are very large dogs with a long and thick coat which needs regular grooming, and huskies are vocal and demanding.  There have been several offers and enquiries for both dogs but none that we consider to be really suitable.  The idea that any home is better than being in a "shelter" doesn't apply to HKDR, as we don't keep our dogs in cages or isolated unless necessary, and they have more space to run around with their friends than many homes can offer.  However, it really isn't good for Frederick or Hercules to be outside right now so we need to think about what can be done if no suitable homes can be found, like sending them abroad.   If you are interested in either of these lovely dogs please do let us know by completing the adoption questionnaire on our website (under Adopt).

Harry is funny, sweet and lovely
Another lovely young purebreed which needs a specific type of home is Harry the Malinois.  These dogs have replaced the German Shepherd as police dogs, and although intelligent and loyal they really need experienced owners and again lots of mental stimulation and exercise.  Harry is a very sweet boy with humans, which is lucky as many Malinois aren't, so is there anyone who has the space and energy to give Harry what he needs?
Hercules isn't as active as Frederick but he's very large and hairy

Morgan is adopted
Yet another breed that is really unsuitable for most Hong Kong homes is the border collie, yet there are more and more people breeding and buying them it seems. I've seen border collies all over the place recently, and it's just wrong.  This is the most intelligent of all breeds and they need exercise, more exercise, training and mental stimulation, not thirty minute walks on the street.   That's why we waited for the right home for our border collie Morgan, although many people wanted to adopt him as soon as he arrived.  Now he has a friend and a home, he's happy and we're happy.
Morgan and his new friend

As an additional souvenir for the participants of our fantastic Lamma Adventure Day, here's a drone's eye view of the event, with thanks to volunteer Dora.  HKDR Lamma Adventure Day

Monday, 14 May 2018

Mon 14th May: Sorry Willy, no luck today

I have to retract the premature announcement about Willy from yesterday, as that adoption sadly didn't happen so he is still very much on the hopeful-and-waiting list.  His foster family love him to bits but can't keep him as they already have two dogs at home. However they have provided Willy with the very best start in life and that will stay with him for ever, so if you are looking for a fantastic family member who is great with children, Willy could be just right for you.
Who can take their old dog to abandon at AFCD?

I had to take the recently-surrendered shiba inu to AFCD to arrange a license change, and left with one new puppy and an old pom who had been surrendered.  It's incredibly sad to see old dogs, especially the tiny ones, being taken to Government Kennels and abandoned like that.  Dr Andy at Acorn found there was pain in the back and legs but no other obvious signs of illness, so "Old Pom" (no name so far) was dispensed some pain relief medication and we'll see how that goes.

I also had to take the most recent litter of AFCD puppies back to Acorn today to have their blood re-tested, and the results were interesting.   All of the pups had come with a low red cell count, a sign of tick fever, which was expected given where they had come from, and two were treated with a Berenil injection while three had another less risky option.  The two who had Berenil had improved considerably while the red cell count for remaining three had plummeted.  Berenil often works very well but it does also very occasionally have fatal side effects, which is obviously very upsetting, so I have been avoiding using the drug lately. However today's results speak for themselves and I ended up having the other three pups injected with Berenil and assume that it will also work for them.