Saturday, 25 March 2017

Sat 25th March: Good luck Flanders!

The weather forecast was (happily) completely wrong for today, and hopefully Sunday's threatened heavy rain will also stay away (having just written that it started to rain).  Regardless we will be at Whiskers N Paws for the puppy afternoon, and inside if we have to be.  I have too many gorgeous pups who need homes, and nothing but a Signal 8 typhoon would keep me away.

The puppy at the back already has a home
One of the new puppies that arrived only yesterday and was sent to Tai Po has been incredibly lucky and has already been chosen for adoption.  She will be picked up on Sunday so there's no photo to show yet, but she's a very cute fluffy girl.
Flanders at Whiskers N Paws

Sweet Flanders was also finally given a chance, and he has left the Homing Centre for a week's trial. He's gone to Lantau where he has already been introduced to the delights of the local buffalo poo, something I think all the local dogs enjoy rolling in.

I missed having my day off today as I had to take Biff back to Acorn for scanning and a blood transfusion, with Diamond as the donor.  I'd been concerned there was something other than tick fever going on with Biff although the scans thankfully revealed nothing ominous, even though tick fever in itself is no laughing matter. Unfortunately however,  Diamond turned out to be a poor candidate  as they were only able to squeeze half a bag out of her before she "dried up", meaning another Tai Po dog will probably have to be sent on Sunday to finish the job and poor Biff had to stay at the clinic when I picked Diamond up at the end of the afternoon.

There's been lots of interest in Peanut, but she's a dog that needs a lot of exercise
Peanut finally left the Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre for a trial adoption, but other than that it was a bad day for the small dogs who seemed to be showing various signs of being unwell in one way or another.  To top it all I noticed that my Murphy was licking his paw a lot and on inspection saw that he had an infected toe, something which can be very hard to treat.   Unfortunately while Murphy loves being shaved and even having his face hair trimmed, he refuses to let me touch his feet so he tends to have big fluffy "slippers" which hide his toes.  Shaving his legs is going to be a job for Iris I suspect.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Fri 24th March: No shortage of small dogs or puppies

Dashboard poodle
After having written not that long ago that we were seeing very few smaller dogs coming in, I can now scrub that statement completely and change it to "we have a large number of small dogs arriving on an almost daily basis."  Just today I got a new two year-old poodle from AFCD in Pokfulam, now called Jolly (as well as three totally adorable new puppies), and he stood on my lap with his head lying flat on the dashboard as we drove along.
Jolly regular view

I should mention that although our regular driver is still off work, our previous driver Hing, now retired, agreed to help out for the day and first thing in the morning he had gone to Shatin AFCD to pick up an older schnauzer, as well as two further puppies, both of whom were sent to Tai Po as they were just that bit older than my Lamma youngsters.
Two happy pups now at Tai Po

Patrick 11 years boy

Chihuahua/pom Buffer

After I had been to AFCD and Acorn with all of the new dogs, including my Lamma boy Biff, who worryingly isn't improving, another group of small dogs arrived at Ap Lei Chau, this time from a breeder.  There's a young corgi girl, Adele, a pom/chihuahua type, Buffer and another mix that looks like a bit of spitz and who-knows-what. His name is sizzle, age five years.   We need homes or fosters please!
Adele the corgi girl
Pom or spitz cross Sizzle

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Thurs 23rd March: A rare outing for Biff

Biff and Buffy, beautiful and inseparable
We're still without a van and that's making life very difficult, especially when one of my big Lamma dogs needed to see a vet as a matter of urgency.  I'd been noticing blood on soft bedding for a while but hadn't been able to identify which dog it was coming from until today, when I saw that Biff's nose was bleeding as he put his head down to drink.  Although not a good thing in itself, the fact that Biff had lost a lot of weight and was feeling quite weak worked in my favour because he's a big dog and normally very timid, but he was quite compliant when being picked up and put in a crate for the trip to Acorn.
One, Two and Three as babies

As I was going over anyway I added puppy Two, due her third and final vaccination.  She's a gorgeous little girl, very bright and friendly and looking very much like a black pug in shape and size. She'll be at Whiskers N Paws on Sunday and I can highly recommend her to anyone looking for a smaller sized mixed breed, well medium sized at most.

Dr Tony was the only vet on duty at Acorn, and as luck would have it there were a few emergency cases to be dealt with so it was a long afternoon.  As suspected, Biff has tick fever and a very low red cell count, and it's a complete mystery to me how he got it.  Not only are my dogs all given tick (and heartworm) prevention and I rarely see any ticks at all, bit being so timid Biff has refused to go further than the garden since he was a puppy.  His sister, Buffy, is bolder and likes to go out for walks or to the beach, the only time the two of them are separated.  They are so close you never see them apart normally.  Anyway I will have to go back again with Biff on Friday for the second round of treatment and I hope he responds well.

Simon looks happy now
Tiny Simon the teacup Yorkie left the Homing Centre for a short trial to see how he and the resident Yorkie get on, and so far so good.  I also got a lovely update and photo on schnauzer cross Otto, who looks so beautiful after his haircut.
Otto looks like an Easter Bunny

There are so many dogs of all sizes and ages waiting for homes, including these lovely Ap Lei Chau residents (photos by volunteer Harryn).
Ap Lei Chau residents

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Weds 22nd March: Keeping up and the importance of education

We all love getting updates on our ex-HKDR dogs, no matter how long ago the adoptions took place. Sometimes it's sad news of a death but even then it reminds me of the happy years that particular dog had, and what could have been if he or she hadn't been rescued.

Wobbly in foster in January this year
There was one update today that was especially good to read because this tiny little teacup Yorkie had come to us from a breeder not too long ago, and he wasn't expected to survive for long because he had "axial subluxation" meaning his spine and skull weren't fully attached.  We called him Wobbly because his head wobbled around, and while we looked at all possible options including surgery and a body wrap, there wasn't really much that could be done.  It was remarkable that not only was this little boy adopted but he even made the journey to England where he now lives quite happily, even though still wobbling.

Another dog that was adopted from us as a puppy eleven years ago is in need of a new home due to unfortunate circumstances:
Can you adopt Kaya?

Urgent appeal on behalf of Kaya, adopted from HKDR as a baby puppy 11 years ago. Can anyone give a home to this lovely lady in need?
"Good Morning. I would like to enquire how i can surrender my dog, she was adopted from your center some 11 years ago, she's a very gentle and adorable dog which i'm very reluctant to let her go, unfortunately, my wife passed away some three years ago and i have been looking after her, due to my new work which i have to be in China most of time i have to make that decision to surrender her."
An older dog like Kaya is ideal for a home that doesn't have the time for long walks, or for those who can't commit to a 15+ years of a dog's life.
Please complete the adoption questionnaire on our website (under Adopt) if you can help.

Thanks to Cecilia and Eugenia for volunteering

I like to talk about adoptions, but of course there are lots of other important things going on such as fundraising and education.  Cactus is in charge of both training and education, and with so much on her plate we needed to recruit additional volunteers to help with school talks. Today it was the turn of Cecilia and Eugenia to assist in hosting a talk at the Ming Wai International Kindergarten, and it was a great success.   If you are interested in volunteering on the educational aspect of HKDR, or hosting a talk at your school,  please contact Cactus at or check out this link

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Tues 21st March: Goodbye Otto, hello Simon

Otto is now a permanent family member
There's bad news for all of those who were interested in adopting young schnauzer Otto, as his foster family are keeping him after he wormed his way into their hearts.  He had been off his food and we were concerned about his health, but it seems he's better now and just a picky eater.

Tiny 3 year-old Simon

Of course there are lots of other small dogs available, and more coming in all the time including a tiny teacup Yorkshire terrier that I took from AFCD Pokfulam when I was there to get Louis the poodle registered under my name.   Louis, by the way,  is a very sweet boy, not a small poodle but nowhere near as large as a standard, and I can highly recommend him for anyone wanting an easy family member.  He is eight years old so is mature enough to be calm and easygoing while still young enough to have many years of active life left.
Louis is very sweet and easy

Anyway, while signing the papers for Louis I was told about the Yorkie, and that he had been found in a pitiful condition when police arrested his drug dealer owner.   AFCD have been treating the Yorkie, now called Simon after one of the staff there, until the owner, now in prison, signed the surrender form so he could be released for re-homing.

Simon is underweight, even though fully healthy he would still barely register on the scales, and has large bald patches which are being treated as ringworm.  It was too late in the afternoon to take him to the vet so he will go on Wednesday, but luckily he is a very sweet boy whose experience hasn't affected him mentally.  I have already received a number of adoption enquiries after posting his photo on Facebook, so I don't think he'll have to stay at the Homing Centre more than a day.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Mon 20th March: Batman for ever!

As we didn't have a van or driver today I decided to stay at home, especially as I had the four babies to feed and look after.  As it happened they all went off to foster homes (in pairs) during the day, so thanks to the kind offers of help I was able to remove the giant cage from the table top and take my space back.

Otto went straight to a foster home after arriving
Since young schnauzer (cross) Otto turned up unannounced at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre we've received a lot of enquiries about him, although he's not very well at the moment so we're holding back on any actual adoption.  So today when I got an email asking if we could take in a four month-old schnauzer of course I didn't hesitate to say yes.  I was told it was urgent, and the puppy was brought to us just a few hours later.

It just goes to prove that what I keep saying is true, we never know what to expect and that there is really no need to go to a pet shop to buy.  You may have to wait for a puppy if you only want a particular breed, or you may be lucky, just as the adopter of the schnauzer puppy has been.

Homing a small breed puppy is a piece of cake, and while every adoption is good news these types are in and out so quickly they hardly have time to register in the memory.  At the other end of the scale are the mixed breeds who come as babies and stay for years, and there are so many like this at Tai Po I couldn't even begin to count them.  It's only when one of them finally gets a home that I recall how and when they arrived, and we still have plenty who were with us during our Pokfulam Kennels days.

We are all so happy for Batman
Batman was one such puppy long ago, and he grew up with us and made the Big Move in 2010 to our current Tai Po Homing Centre.  Finally his special day has arrived as his adoption was confirmed after a short trial period.  He fitted in so well that it didn't take long at all for his new family to say "We do" and make it officially for ever.

The new Cap139B Animal Trader Laws are effective as of today, 20th March 2017, which means all sellers of dogs and puppies must show a license number. If you see anyone selling puppies, even privately, without a license number please report to AFCD and help stamp out illegal and unregulated breeding and selling of lives.


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Sun 19th March: Rainy chaos

Of all the days for it to rain it had to be today, and although we started off outside on the terrace at Whiskers N Paws you can see from the photos that the puppies were pretty wet and miserable.  The older ones didn't care so much but in the end we moved inside where it was crowded, but at least dry. Thanks to our volunteer photographer Dani Bartlett for great photos under very difficult circumstances Puppy Adoption Day 19 March 2017 — at Whiskers N Paws

Unfortunately I didn't get a name for this lovely donor
I was also attempting to do a video interview for Two Presents, the gift sharing company, as well as accept a Two Presents donation (for which many thanks of course) so it was pretty chaotic at times.

The problems had started even before we got to Whiskers N Paws when I got a message letting me know that the HKDR van had been in an accident so wouldn't be available to pick me and the puppies up.  The damage to both vehicle and driver wasn't too serious and the other car involved accepted blame, but that didn't help when I had to get thirteen little ones in five crates over to Horizon Plaza, and it was the Whiskers N Paws van and staff who came to the rescue, and again at the end of the afternoon.
Rafi remembers me from his baby days

As I'm sitting here next to the giant cage containing the four baby pups, their little "arms" reaching out through the bars begging me to pick them up, I am reminded of Rafi, the now five-month old who was also once such a baby.  I bottle fed him and his four siblings for only a couple of days before they went off to a foster home, and although all were adopted Rafi ended up being returned.  The adopter had done nothing in terms of vaccinations or anything else, so we were actually happy that we were able to "rescue" Rafi again.  The funny thing is that I hadn't seen him since the days when he was a tiny wailing baby, as he went straight from his foster to the (horrible) home, yet he remembers me very well.   In fact throughout the three hours of the afternoon, whenever he saw me he just wanted to shower me with love and kisses.  It really shows how deeply and profoundly very young babies are imprinted with memories, and even I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't experienced for myself.  

Jack was one of this lucky litter
We already knew that Rupert, who went to foster with adopter and now also volunteer Amber, was going to be staying, and it was his brother Jack who was the other lucky one with sister Jill being taken for a trial.
Rupert at home