Saturday, 27 May 2017

Sat 27th May: One, Two, Three, and gone

A younger Bali with his winter coat
What an amazing weather day we had today, and I was happy to be able to fulfill a promise to my now half-paralysed dog Bali to take him to the beach for a swim.  I'd planned to do this on Wednesday but the Black Rain put an end to any outdoor activities, other than the daily walk which is never missed.  As it turned out Bali wasn't at all keen on the swimming part, but I think he enjoyed being wheeled up the path to the woods and back in a buggy.  I'm trying to make the most of what I know are the final months of his life, while at the same time seeing a rapid decline in Milo's condition too, and wondering who will outlast the other.  I face exactly the same dilemma as all other dog owners in wondering when is the right time to let go, and putting off the decision until another day for as long as I can.
Milo is weakening daily

Andrea was very busy at Ap Lei Chau handling the renovation fosters, with work due to start on Sunday.  We still have a lot of dogs that would very much appreciate being away from the smell and upheaval if anyone can take in a temporary small-sized guest for a week.  Please email Cindy at if you are able to help.  If there are any adults-only homes that could give one of the "Red" dogs a chance, it would be particularly appreciated. We all feel really sad seeing these dogs being passed over again and again, and all they need is someone to love and trust.

Maisy seems to be in good condition 
While quite a few little dogs were being picked up there was a new arrival, the mini pin (miniature pinscher) I mentioned yesterday.  I've called her Maisy but I don't have any information on her yet other than this photo.

One at Whiskers N Paws
At least one of our Homing Centre puppies will be waving a permanent goodbye on Sunday after having been chosen today with pick-up arranged for the morning.  One is the lucky girl, and that means I can finally close the file on the One, Two and Three litter and never again make the mistake of giving confusing names like that.
Babies One, Two and Three in January

Another puppy who won't be at Whiskers N Paws on Sunday afternoon is baby Theo, who was taken for fostering the previous weekend and wormed his way into the hearts of the family looking after him.  We still have four of this particular litter left, not to mention the many other hopefuls who'll be there.  Take another look at the album from last week here:

2 adopted, 4 still to go

Friday, 26 May 2017

Fri 26th May: There's no reason at all to buy a life

Me and co-stars at Whiskers N Paws
As mentioned yesterday I had a day off from my routine work today, although not exactly free time as I was filming a video at Whiskers N Paws.  We needed three dog "volunteers" to take part, so I chose Ben the three-footed poodle, new ex-breeder pom Alison and older puppy Dolly, one of the three lovely sisters.  Cactus came along to be in charge of the supporting cast and to act as an extra, and everyone played their respective parts well.

Dolly is a natural, so sweet with all dogs no matter what size, and I feel sure she would be just as lovely with a cat too, not to mention children. The two small dogs were also no trouble at all, even though Alison seemed to be wondering what on earth she was doing in this wonderland of toys and treats.  After her time as a breeder dog you can imagine the change of environment must be like entering another universe, but she was fine and very laid back about her afternoon's filming.

In preparation for our minor renovation of the Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre quite a few of the smaller dogs were taken for fostering today, with several more heading out over the weekend.  Sadly our "Red Dogs", that is those with some behaviour issues, are staying behind, but maybe with a bit of extra space and more attention with the easy dogs having left, they'll benefit too.

No detail on this mini pin yet, other than she's sweet and friendly
It does feel a bit like trying to hold water back as the small dogs leave, because there are always more coming in.  On Saturday we're expecting a miniature pinscher girl, a breed that used to be quite popular but which we don't see much of these days. There are the two tiny poodles at AFCD Pokfulam, and also one now at Shatin AFCD that is available for re-homing.  More and more I can say that as long as you have the patience to wait for the right one there is no need at all to buy a dog. It's not only at HKDR as there are so many at all of the rescue organisations, so please just look around and see whose life you can save and change.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Thurs 25th May: More little ones

Pom Alison is also from a breeder
I'm going to be tied up with other things on Friday,  so today was the last normal working day of the week for me before Sunday and Whiskers N Paws. I had to take the three new small dogs to AFCD for rabies vaccinations, the licenses of the now ex-breeder dogs having expired and the other pom not even having a microchip or license to start with.  While there I was shown two newly surrendered poodles, tiny little things with bubble haircuts and looking very scared.  I hope I'll be able to take them on Monday when the vet is back from leave, as well as the remaining Stanley Barracks puppy with the fuzzy face.

Dachshund mother Marble 
I had arranged to meet a potential foster for the new dachshund at Acorn, and coincidentally while I was there the adopter of the very similar dachshund puppy turned up.  I'm sure that these two are mother and daughter, and when they were introduced there was a lot of tail wagging and face sniffing.  Both dogs are very sweet, and while I was waiting for the licenses at AFCD I'd let the mother run around out of her crate, and she really enjoyed the freedom.  Once her inevitable skin issues have cleared up she's going to be a fantastic and very beautiful girl for sure.

For some reason I was thinking back to the very early days of my dog rescuing life in Hong Kong, when I knew absolutely nothing and things like dog licenses didn't exist.   I remember when the law requiring all dogs to be microchipped and rabies vaccinated was introduced and I had to take my dogs to the vet to have it done.  I didn't understand why it was necessary, but now of course I wish more action could be taken against those people who don't have it done, and breeders in particular.  There has been no rabies in Hong Kong for decades now, it's thanks to this that dogs can travel more freely to other countries, including the UK, with no need for quarantine.

This beautiful boy had never been walked
I mentioned the newly surrendered golden retriever now at Tai Po, and the fact that he was all over the place the day he came to us, which coincided with the Black Rain and thunderstorms.  As expected he's settled down now, but he is still a challenge to walk as it seems his previous owner had never walked him, ever.  So now he thinks a leash is a toy to be played with so he needs some training with that, but otherwise he's a lovely dog and extremely handsome.   If you are interested in adopting, please complete the questionnaire on our website (under Adopt).   We have called him Tucker.

We're also expecting another labrador from a breeder on Saturday, a yellow one this time, and I've been told she's three years old though breeders are such liars we'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Weds 24th May: Renovation fosters still needed

What a day for this poor dog to be surrendered
If there was ever a day that showed us how badly renovations and repairs are needed at Tai Po it was today, as the Black Rain cascaded down and many places were ankle deep in water. There couldn't have been a worse time for the surrendered golden retriever to arrive, and although we had planned and hoped that he would be leaving straight away with an adopter, he was so stressed and anxious that he wasn't taken after all.   We hope - think - that a combination of the weather and the fact that he was being abandoned contributed to his barking, as I can imagine that it was a real shock for him.
These two dogs are extremely close

We still have the golden retriever who came to us from a breeder along with a poodle glued to her side, and although lucky enough to find a foster home these two are still in need of a permanent place to stay.  They are incredibly close and it would be very hard for the poodle especially if they were separated, so we are looking for an adopter who could take both.  The retriever is very small and the poodle not a tiny one, so they are actually quite well matched.

Renovations at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre are due to start this Sunday and we are still in need of short-term fosters for the small dogs please.  If you can help by taking in one (or more) please let Cindy know at

The new dachshund is almost certainly the mother of this puppy
We have three new little ones that arrived just today, one of which is almost certainly the mother of the dachshund puppy we took in from a breeder recently, and who was lucky enough to find a home despite leg problems.   The mother is six years old and it's clear she has had many litters, but she's a sweet girl who deserves proper care and love.  If you are interested in adopting please complete the questionnaire on our website (under Adopt) or contact Cindy for foster enquiries.

I checked the weather forecast for Sunday and was happy to see a big sun rather than rain, so let's hope it's right.  I have too many puppies and they need homes, so come to Whiskers N Paws on Sunday to meet them all.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Tues 23rd May: Thankful for kindnesses shown

In this work I see the best and worst of people, or at least as far as views on dogs are concerned (I deliberately keep politics out of my blogs). Today we said goodbye to two old foster dogs who had reached the end of their natural lives, but were at least loved and taken care of until their final breath.
Tansy the day I took her from AFCD
One of these was a little dog called Tansy, and she had been in hospital for a few days in the hope that she would recover from her breathing difficulties and could go home again.  Sadly she suffered a seizure this morning and her condition worsened, so the decision was made to let her go.  Her foster parents wanted to be with her so hurried over to Acorn to say goodbye, and on Wednesday morning welcomed their own human baby into the world.   I think it was a wonderful act of kindness to be thinking about Tansy and her wellbeing at a time when a baby was about to be born, and in the greater scheme of things appropriate that as one life came to an end, another began.
These were Tansy's nails at that time

The second dog to leave was Jonah, an old boy who had been struggling for a while so his end was an act of kindness.  He too was in a foster home, so I would also like to say thank you for the care and love given when it was most needed.
Jonah was 15 years old when this photo was taken

Thanks too to the kind sponsor of the new fencing that was delivered to our Tai Po Homing Centre today, and which will be the first stage of our big renovation there, as well as the sponsor of the two dryers that also arrived - and just in time for the rain.
The renovations will start with new fencing

One of the lovely labrador girls
I wasn't intending to go to AFCD today but dropped by to get new licenses for the two ex-breeder chocolate labradors that came to us recently.  (They are still waiting for homes or fosters by the way, if there are any labrador fans who could take them in).  While I was there I decided to take a poodle who had been surrendered a while ago, and who had been difficult to befriend due to his intense fear. I'd been taking it slowly and giving him treats while sitting in his kennel, and although he was still unwilling to come to me I couldn't leave him any longer.  I looped a leash around his neck and walked him out, and as he refused to get into a crate I sat him on my knee for the drive to Sai Ying Pun.  I could feel him relaxing bit by bit, and by the time we arrived at Acorn we were best friends and he wanted me to carry him, which I did, while my Lamma dog Biff was being seen by Dr Seems, and also puppy Edward.
A very happy-looking Barry (White)

The next stop was Ap Lei Chau, and I wondered how Barry would handle the New Dogs Welcoming Committee.  All new arrivals are given the once-over by the residents, adults and puppies alike, and it can be very scary for the short time it takes for the crowd of sniffers to approve and then disperse.  It seemed he did well, and the photo Iris sent me, taken at the nearby dog park shortly afterwards, shows a very happy face.  Barry is five years old if anyone is interested.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Mon 22nd May: Ready to renovate

Gorgeous Bruno is one of the fuzzy-faced Stanley Barracks pups
It's the start of a new week, and hopes for all of the dogs and puppies that they may find new homes soon.   I'm still waiting for the Veterinary Officer at AFCD in Pokfulam to come back from leave and give the OK for the waiting dogs to go, including one lovely fuzzy-faced Stanley Barracks puppy, but I did at least manage to get an old chihuahua out who has been waiting for too long.   He has a testicular tumour which needs to be removed, and the good news is that this obviously also means castration at the same time.  I called this sweet boy Tolkien, and he is a very patient and easygoing senior.

These 3 sisters are permanently happy
It's time to get a lot of older puppies licensed, so there were four from Ap Lei Chau in the van today: the three happy sisters Ruth, Dolly and Nova, and extra boy Mungo.  They are all such lovely characters but they need homes and I can't understand why nobody has chosen them yet.   You can meet them any day at our smaller Homing Centre at 21 Main Street, or on Sunday afternoons at Whiskers N Paws.

While Cindy has been busy dealing with renovation fosters for the small dogs, there are still more coming in, mostly from breeders, with three now waiting to arrive in the shape of a dachshund and two poms.  Even though we're trying to make space so the painting and repairs can take place we won't turn dogs away if they need help, so please let Cindy know if you can take in a small guest for even just a short time by emailing

Volunteer Jamie is also now very busy with both the Tai Po Homing Centre major renovation plans, and the upcoming gala dinner event.  We already have the theme, venue and date fixed as Saturday 9th September at the Aberdeen Marina Club, and as always it's going to be an amazing night I know.  If you or your company are interested in being a part of this special evening as sponsors please contact Jamie at

Volunteers and supporters at last year's Game of Bones event

As for Tai Po, the materials are due to arrive this week so the actual work can begin, and all of this is a result of last year's "Game of Bones" Gala event when funds raised were directly allocated for the big Homing Centre and the much-needed renovations.  The site manager, May, has also been busy with sourcing this and that, and I'm excited about the impending arrival of samples which are coming to Lamma for me (and the dogs) to test.  Watch this space for photos when everything is in place.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Sun 21st May: Where did everyone go?

Teabag is now officially Bonnie
We nearly got blown away by the wind on the Whiskers N Paws terrace, but at least while it looked as though it was about to rain it stayed dry for the whole three hours.  As always the puppies had a great time playing but there were no adoptions, unless you count Teabag's paperwork being completed.  To say it's depressing would be an understatement, because until some puppies are moved into homes there is no space for any new ones.  A few babies were taken for fostering, for which I'm very happy and grateful, but as I mentioned yesterday there is a downside to fostering which is that at some point the puppies will come back.
Enzo was so desperate for love

What made the afternoon really sad for me was seeing puppy Enzo so desperately looking for someone to love him, and eventually finding a lap to settle down on.  Having been raised in a wonderful foster home from the age of two weeks until his short-lived adoption, he has only ever known a family life and is so unhappy now that he has to live with other puppies outside.  I can't explain what went wrong in his supposed-to-be-forever home, but I'm glad he came back if it wasn't the right one.

Many thanks for the double Two Presents donation
Without any new adoptions to write about there was at least a lovely double Two Presents donation from a brother and sister team, and my apologies for not having noted the names.

Although as at Whiskers N Paws we were expecting potential adopters at our main Homing Centre at Tai Po, no one actually turned up and it was only tiny April at Ap Lei Chau that was adopted in the end.

Little pom April was today's lucky girl

Hong Kong Dog Rescue (HKDR) added 223 new photos to the album Puppy Adoption Day 21 May 2017 — at Whiskers N Paws
All photos by Helen Kwok