Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Weds 22nd Nov: Update on Amber

When one tennis ball isn't enough
It's time I wrote an update on Amber, the golden retriever who was surrendered to AFCD with lymphoma, and thanks to the generosity of sponsors was able to be given expensive chemotherapy.  Photos sent from her foster home show that she's loving life and having the best time with the resident golden retriever, and while this treatment isn't a cure it will give Amber a reprieve for an unknown length of time, hopefully considerable.

I was contacted today by someone who has an ex-HKDR dog, adopted a long time ago, and who is getting ready to move to Australia - with the dog of course. Unfortunately there seems to be a last-minute hitch so I was trying to help, but for anyone who has a dog here and who might be moving to Australia it's good to be fully informed and prepared in advance.  Here's the link that tells you everything that's required, and you can check for similar online information for countries like New Zealand that also have rigid rules about importing animals. 
In comparison the UK is easy, and the rest of Europe, the USA and Canada a piece of cake so there should never be a reason or excuse for not taking your dog(s) with you when you leave.

Apply via the website
I hope everyone is enjoying the cool weather and taking advantage of it by going for long walks with your dogs.  For registered volunteers don't forget that you can take any of our HKDR dogs out for hikes or fun by completing the Hiking Form, and the Tai Po dogs especially love spending the day away from the Homing Centre.  I know my Lamma dogs are full of energy these days and are really enjoying the change in temperature, and even my barometer dog  Safari, who refuses to leave the house if it's too warm, has been up and raring to go every morning recently.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Tues 21st Nov: Needing homes for the in-betweeners

Candy 6 months and NOT toilet trained!
I'm making weekly visits to the Tai Po Homing Centre at the moment, trying to carry out minor repairs and improvements, and will be doing so until the work is finished.  If anyone would like to help out when I'm there please feel free to join me, bearing in mind it's manual work and you need to be quite fit and handy.  Today's job was cutting away old fencing and replacing with new, just to give you an idea of what's involved.
Dasher by name, breed and energy levels

Although the major renovation work was done by contractors there are always minor things that need repairing, and it's a never-ending task.  In fact I have decided that we really need an on-site Repair and Maintenance staff member who can make sure that things are fixed before they get too serious, dog beds and houses are repaired as needed, and all of those other jobs that tend to get out of hand if left unattended.   If you are interested, or you know someone who might like this kind of work, please email me at  A Cantonese speaker would be preferable but ability and a willingness to work hard and without supervision is more important, with a love a dogs an absolute necessity.   Personally I much prefer manual work to sitting at a desk, and I'm sure there are others who feel the same.
Beagle boy Scout, 2 years old

Apart from the success of this year's Peak to Fong, there could be some more good news on the horizon regarding a potential new Small Dog Homing Centre, as our current leases for both Ap Lei Chau premises expire in a few months.  We have been searching for a bigger place where we can combine the office and the small dogs and we may just have found somewhere, but as always I won't do more than hint until something has been signed.
Boris the bulldog, 2 years old

Beagle girl Mabel, 6 years

Beagle boy Hooter, 2 years old

Wendy is a very sweet 6 year-old girl
Right now we are really in urgent need of a larger space for the small dogs, as we are completely full at the moment.  It's the bigger-than-tiny dogs that are the problem, breeds like the beagles and shiba inu who aren't really small dogs in terms of exercise needs but are too small to be at Tai Po.  We took in another dog today from AFCD who is one of the in-betweeners, and while we were told she is a shiba-corgi cross she looks like an overweight shiba inu to me.  Wendy is a very sweet girl but too big for the small dog Homing Centre so we need a home for her as a matter of urgency.

We also have Boris the young bulldog back at the Homing Centre.  As sweet as he is, he can't cope with children or a noisy environment so we're hoping he can find a home away from the hustle and bustle of high traffic areas.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Mon 20th Nov: Suffering from PESS

I was suffering from PESS today, that's Post Event Stress Syndrome, which is strange since not only was Peak to Fong a great success but I'm really not involved in the organisation at all.  In fact the whole event is almost all volunteer-run and organised, and for those of you who have commented on the amount of work that must have gone into getting everything to run so smoothly, I totally agree.  Every year I am struck by the dedication that our volunteer team put into Peak to Fong, and even the logistics involved just in getting everything set up in Lan Kwai Fong on Sunday morning and then taken down again later in the day.  So thank you to everyone.

Now it's back to the daily routine, aside from the numerous upcoming Christmas Fairs that we will be attending, so keep a lookout for dates and places on our Facebook page.

Rupert is a lovely boy
I had to take older puppy Ashton to AFCD for his rabies shot and license today, and of course there were new dogs and puppies waiting to be taken out.  One of them was a four year-old poodle, a very sweet and healthy boy who had been evicted from his Public Housing home.  His new name is Rupert and he is now available for adoption at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre. Dogs are strictly forbidden in Public Housing, a fact that is often ignored until the eviction notice arrives, and whether or not it's a fair rule it still exists.
Ashton moved to Tai Po today

I didn't take any new puppies today as I need to work out where to put them, and feeling sad and guilty I ended the day by sending Ashton to the Tai Po Homing Centre rather than bringing him back to Lamma.  He has been enjoying a great life, playing on the beach every day with his friend Harvey, but he needs to be seen by potential adopters and learn the basic of walking on a leash.  He is a sweet boy and I feel terrible every time I send puppies away like this, unless of course they are going to their forever homes.

We have new dogs arriving from AFCD in Shatin on Tuesday, all smaller sized so they will be squeezing into our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre so if anyone is able to offer foster homes to any of our smaller dogs, please contact Cindy at  If you are interested in any of the dogs, small or large, please complete the Adoption Questionnaire on our website (under Adopt).  Even if you can't find what you are looking for on our website, as new dogs come in all the time we may have exactly what you want very soon.

Grace is back from her trial home
Older puppy Grace came back from her trial adoption today, and not for anything that she had done as she is the sweetest of characters.  I have to admit that I cried when I had to leave her at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre because her previous foster space with my neighbours had been taken by Rafi.  Maybe it was because of PESS, but I just felt so sad for her, so please, if you are looking for the perfect family dog who has no faults at all, consider Grace.  You can meet her any day of the week at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre between 10am and 6pm.

Bounty is now Brownie
The photos of Sunday Whiskers N Paws puppy afternoon were posted after I had written yesterday's blog, and thanks to Marco Lam for a wonderful set.  Album Puppy Adoption Day 19 November 2017

I'm sure the adopters of sisters Bounty and Truffle will treasure these baby photos for years to come, and I look forward to seeing how they grow and turn out.
Truffle's new family will stay in touch with her sister

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Sun 19th Nov: Peak to Fong - what a day!

It was quite a crowd at the Peak
There was some concern about the weather initially, but it turned out to be a blessing that it was cool enough to make the walk from the Peak down to Lan Kwai Fong in Central a comfortable one, even if I had to work extra hard because I had offered to take Frank, one of the fuzzy-faced Stanley Barracks boys.  He wanted to say hello to all of the other dogs but was especially interested in a pair of baby boar who popped out of the woods at the side of the path to say hello.  If it hasn't been for the wall I think I would have disappeared down the slope attached to Frank's leash, but that never happened thankfully.
The Petble mascots with our Ap Lei Chau dogs team
Thanks to all of the volunteers who helped out in many ways

The event was brilliant from start to finish, and everyone had a great time.  We had live music to add to the atmosphere, and I have to thank the three different bands who were all amazing Levelling Out, Atlantis Philharmonic, and Jack Rabbit Slim 

I love Peak to Fong because I get to meet so many old friends and ex-HKDR dogs, and there's nothing better than seeing them so happy in their lives.
Straight from The Wanch bar, Atlantis Philarmonic 

Photos are already up on our Hong Kong Dog Rescue Facebook page and there will be many more to come.

The Tai Po dogs team with volunteers

I had to leave mid-afternoon to head to Whiskers N Paws and the puppy afternoon, where two of the new chocolate-coloured puppies were adopted.  They will be living close to each other and play dates have already been arranged.  Photos by Marco Lam (who had also raced over from Peak to Fong) will be posted later.

Limbo left his "wife" Coco when he was adopted
The male pointer, Limbo, was also adopted from Tai Po, so if you want the beautiful female you had better be quick.

Gino's Gelato presented another Giant Cheque
I have too many people to thank for a really wonderful Peak to Fong 2017, but would like to give special thanks to Petble for sponsoring the T-shirts, Gino's Gelato for donating another giant amount of $30,000, all of the participating vendors, our volunteer teams and everyone who raised extra money by finding sponsors for the walk.  I'm still waiting for the final result but I can say it was a very successful event in every way.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Sat 18th Nov: See you all at Peak to Fong!

As predicted, the temperature dropped significantly today and it will be pleasantly cool for the Peak to Fong Sponsored Walk on Sunday.  Please be sure to wear something warm for the start as it gets quite chilly at the top of the Peak, although by the time you reach Lan Kwai Fong you should be nice and warm.
Hand in your sponsorship forms and money to receive your free Disney T-shirt for amounts over $800
Collect your free goodie bags at the end of the walk

This post will be short as I have to get ready early (as I'm writing this on Sunday morning) , but as a reminder both of our Homing Centres will be open as usual, 10am to 6pm, and the puppies will be at Whiskers N Paws from 2pm to 5pm.

I'll be at Whiskers N Paws later in the afternoon

Friday, 17 November 2017

Fri 17th Nov: Countdown to Sunday

Peak to Fong 2016: at the Peak
It's almost time for the biggest dog-human street party of the year with Peak to Fong 2017 taking place on Sunday.  There is still time to buy your ticket/T-shirts at the various outlets stocking them,  but online sales finished a week ago so that service is no longer available.  We won't be able to sell any T-shirts at the Peak either, so please get to wherever you can to pick up yours before Sunday.  Here is a list of the stockists:
Last call for Peak to Fong tickets

Ace is such a good boy
Long-term volunteer and adopter Semirah took her dog Ace to a talk for the Boy Scouts of the Mary Rose School in Kowloon Tong for children with special needs,  while volunteer Kimmy gave a short introduction to HKDR and our work.  Many of these boys had never interacted with a dog before, especially a large one, but Ace is a professional when it comes to this kind of work.  He is incredibly patient and tolerant and is a perfect example of a beautiful Hong Kong mixed breed.  Thanks to the school and teachers for inviting us to be there, and to Ace, Semirah and Kimmy for giving up their time to volunteer too.
Semirah with Ace and the Boy Scouts

As you all know I'm a fan of mixed breeds, mongrels, mutts or whichever name you choose to call them, but many purebreeds end up at HKDR too.  We have several very sweet ex-breeder beagles at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre as well as many other breeds like shih tzu, poodle and mini pins, and look how well they get along.  Volunteer Harryn, who took these photos, made a very true comment about the high cost of housing these days and how families need to squash in together, and here's how they do it!
One big happy Ap Lei Chau family!

This is a file photo of a perfect lemon-and-white pointer
Coco at Tai Po
We have larger sized purebreeds too, including our recent addition of the two pointers.  Here's a good summary of the breed, not that well known in Hong Kong: Pointers are even-tempered, congenial dogs, and despite their large size, make good house pets so long as they get sufficient exercise due to their extremely high energy levels. Pointers are intelligent, affectionate, clean and intensely loyal. Their aggression level is very low to non-existent and they normally happily coexist with other dogs and cats. They are not typically territorial and can be reserved with strangers. They are very good with children and fit in well with family life generally. Pups can be somewhat boisterous and their long legs as they grow, make them appear somewhat clumsy in a charming way. They will bark at suspicious noises, but are not a great watchdog breed. While Pointers were bred to be hunting dogs, they are perfectly content to be given adequate exercise by other means. Since they are a galloping breed, regular exercise is important for them, as it is for all sporting breeds. A good-sized, securely fenced yard is a must to keep a Pointer safe, since they are bred to hunt a good distance from their person. Pointers are habitual "couch potatoes" who enjoy relaxing on the family's chairs or sofas. This is a natural part of their desire to feel part of the pack.

Limbo at Tai Po

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Thurs 16th Nov: The value of TNR volunteers

Female pointer Coco
The two young pointers went to Acorn today for heartworm tests, and everyone in the vet clinic commented on how lovely they were, and how gentle.  Coco the female is black and white, and Limbo the male is tan and white, and although they are understandably very close having been together since they were puppies, at only fifteen months they are fine to be homed separately.  You must know the process by now, so if you are interested in adoption please complete the Adoption Questionnaire on our website (under Adopt).
Male pointer Limbo

Although I was there today I haven't been going to AFCD in Pokfulam as often as I used to, and for several reasons.  The main one is that happily there seem to be far fewer dogs ending up there, either being surrendered by their owners or being picked up by the dog catchers, and I can only make a guess at why that is.  I hope that a big part of it is that education and awareness are reaching the general public and that dog owners are becoming more responsible in their care and commitment.  It would be nice to think that's the case anyway.

The second reason is that there are so many small organisations, whether formal or just a loose group of like-minded people, who are rescuing dogs (and cats) so fewer are ending up at the government kennels.  This is obviously a good thing as long as the dogs and puppies don't end up in small shelters that are often having to close, and in any case can't provide the proper care that is needed.  It costs a lot of money to take care of animals if they are going to have enough food and veterinary care, which is why we have to ask for donations and hold fundraising activities like Peak to Fong.  Nothing is given for free and our overheads are huge, so a lot of small groups get into financial trouble after a while and the animals in their care end up being homeless again.

As I have said many times before, desexing is the only answer to the stray or abandoned dog problem, and TNR (Trap, Neuter and Return)  has proved to have reduced the feral cat population so successfully that there are very few unwanted kittens being born now.  The most valuable volunteers of all are those who catch the stray dogs, have them desexed and vaccinated, and then release them back to where they came from to live the rest of their probably short lives without any further puppies being born.  I take my hat off to them, as not only is the work difficult and expensive, they also have to face harassment from various quarters as well as the obvious dangers of climbing hillsides to set traps, often in the dark.  However without such people there would be far more stray dogs ending up at AFCD or living totally miserable lives, and there are now whole areas and villages where almost all of the dogs have been desexed.   I look forward to the day when this work is taken over by AFCD, as it should have been a long time ago.

Dasher is in perfect shape and health and extremely active
Going back to my AFCD visit today, it was to take out a very lively dachshund that had been surrendered without a microchip or license but fifteen years old according to the now ex-owners.  I found it hard to believe, as did the vet who checked the dog over, and a full blood test showed that everything was perfectly fine.  The only thing that I couldn't help but notice was the very unpleasant smell coming from the dog's furry and green teeth, but that's easy enough to sort out.
This gorgeous chocolate girl looks unhappy but she's not

There were also three adorable puppies with furiously wagging tails, aged about two months and perfectly healthy.  I had to leave them at the Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre in the hope that fosters or adopters could be found, so please, if you can help get in touch with Cindy at or go to meet the pups any day between 10am and 6pm.
Cheeky and his brother Elvis over the years

There was some unexpected sad news from Tai Po about one of our long-term dogs, Cheeky.  He had come to us with his brother Elvis when they were baby pups and we were based at our Pokfulam Kennels, and had moved to Tai Po along with everyone else in May 2010.  Cheeky had eaten his breakfast today and been taken out for a morning walk, then lay down and died.  Although it's always sad to lose one of our dogs, in truth I wish every death was as calm and seemingly painless as Cheeky's.  Now that we have been in operation since 2003 and there are a lot of dogs still around from those early days it's inevitable that we have to face losing them, and few are lucky enough to just drift away.