Thursday, 16 August 2018

Thurs 16th Aug: Poodle out, poodle in

Yoko was one of the poodles used for grooming practise and exhibitions
This weekend should be a busy one at Ap Lei Chau with so many new dogs, although the rain doesn't help the dogs at Tai Po unfortunately, and I'm always aware that the focus of my blog tends to be more on the small dogs because they come and go far more quickly than the larger ones (young golden retrievers excepted).  It's understandable given the average size of a Hong Kong home that most people don't have the space for a big dog, but in many cases there's really not that much difference in the exercise needs of a small and active dog and a large, laid-back one.  Not all of my Lamma dogs are keen hikers, and although the option is open to all a lot of them just like to have a short morning outing then hang out in the garden or inside with the air conditioning.  Of course that changes in the winter months when the weather is cooler.

The new poodle boy from AFCD
The first of the six ex-groomer poodles was adopted today, and as expected the new Yorkie girl was also chosen.  Their places were quickly filled by the incoming chocolate poodle boy and Japanese spitz girl, both relatively young at five years.
This Japanese spitz girl is very sweet

There were also two new puppies from AFCD Sheung Shui, but once again they have tick fever so won't be available for adoption until they have been treated.  Tick fever is a real problem, not only because it delays the re-homing of infected puppies but also because any dogs that have had babesia or erlichia as a puppy or adult can't go to places like Australia and New Zealand.  If you are going to be moving (back) to countries that have restrictions like this it's always a good idea to check that the puppy or dog you're thinking of adopting hasn't ever had tick fever, if that's even known, and if yes then perhaps choose another.

Breakfast for tiny Moomin

While I was at Acorn I had a look at the baby pomeranian boy, now called Moomin, because he'd gone straight to the clinic when he came to us and nobody other than the vet staff had seen him.  I hadn't realised how tiny he was, just a baby and probably not even three months yet, so it seems quite bizarre that he had had any kind of surgery.  Someone, a vet nurse, had commented that sometimes early correction is necessary in extreme cases of patella luxation, and while that's true whatever happened to this puppy was a very amateurish job and still carried out far too soon.  Still, that's history now as the leg has been removed and there have been a lot of nice offers of a home for the pup, so choosing the best one is not going to be easy.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Weds 15th Aug: Full house again at Ap Lei Chau

Although Wednesday is my usual day off, thanks to the typhoon-that-wasn't I switched with Tuesday for this week and went over to the Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre today, and then on to a meeting about the Sarge'n'Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Gala.  This event is really shaping up to be an amazing one, and ticket sales are already going well so please contact Nicole at if you would like to buy seats or a table.

The pom puppy is available for adoption, minus a leg
The poor pom puppy whose leg was butchered before he was handed over to us had surgery today, and as expected the situation was too bad to be fixable and amputation was necessary.  Although that seems drastic, in fact recovery will be very fast now that the problem has been removed and the puppy can go home in a few days.  We have had a few offers of a foster  but now that the leg is no longer there we're looking for a forever home.  Three-legged dogs are just as capable and active as four-legged ones, especially if it's the back leg that's missing and the dog is small sized, so anyone who would like to adopt a three month-old pomeranian puppy boy, please complete the Adoption Questionnaire on our website (under Adopt).
3 year-old Yorkie girl Izzy

These are the 6 ex-grooming poodles, aged 2 to 5

We have other new dogs as well, a three year-old Yorkie girl, a five year-old Japanese spitz and another poodle, also estimated to be around five years old.   As a reminder, anyone interested in adoption is requested to complete the questionnaire as a first step, whether you are looking for a puppy, small or large dog, young or senior.  We don't hold or reserve dogs, but as new ones arrive on a regular basis there is almost always going to be someone to suit unless you are one of the too-many who think we keep a stock of small breed puppies hidden away in a store room somewhere.  The small-sized puppies we get - and currently have - are often less than perfect, just like the now three-legged pom, or the wobbly baby poodle boy and the blind Maltese girl.
5 year-old Japanese spitz

Talking of which, when these puppies first arrived it seemed that the Maltese was in better overall health, other than her eyesight, but it's the wobbly poodle Toto who is actually eating and playing like a normal puppy.  He can't walk properly and more than likely that is permanent, but he isn't bothered by that and we're keeping our fingers crossed that his condition will at least stabilise as he grows.
Wobbly baby pup Toto is doing better than expected

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Tues 14th Aug: A microchip is for life

These pups are some of the lucky ones
I was all set to go to an early meeting before seeing that the T3 signal was up, so that put an end to all my plans for the day as it meant having to stay at home.  Apart from the meeting, there were also four older puppies to be taken out of AFCD, so it was our driver, Ming, who was left to pick them up and get them to Acorn.  Being around four months the pups were sent to Tai Po to begin the next stage of their life's journey, which began somewhere on Lamma where the lack of any Trap, Neuter and Return programme means there are always unwanted puppies being born.  I don't have much hope that TNR will ever be officially approved and carried out, and have accepted that it will continue to be volunteers who are left to do this important work.

We didn't expect any of our adopted dogs to end up like this
Once again a microchip gave away the dirty secret of the couple who went back to Australia last year leaving their golden retriever with the helper, who was of course unable to take care of a dog.  It turned out that this was an ex-HKDR dog, adopted from Tai Po in 2012 and now back with us at the Homing Centre.  An email to the couple asking if they had any explanation is still waiting for a reply, and I assume they will be making all sorts of excuses to themselves for their appalling behaviour, none of which will be acceptable.  Yes there are blood tests and restrictions on taking dogs to some countries like Australia and New Zealand, but if there had been any such problem then we could have stepped in and helped.  There is never any excuse for just dumping a family pet, never.

I like to think that the dogs who end up at HKDR are the lucky ones, but obviously there are exceptions, such as the golden retriever just mentioned.  We try our best to make sure that adopters really are what they claim to be, that is committed to the dog's whole life and to taking care of it until the end.  We see and hear some terrible stories about dogs and puppies and what has happened to them, and today we took in one such example.

At the end of the afternoon Iris got a message asking if we would accept a white pom puppy, still a baby at around three months.  It had been bought from a pet shop, and like so many small breeds it had a luxating patella (kneecap).  In all cases any corrective surgery on a puppy that has suspected knee or hip problems should be delayed until the puppy has stopped growing because some things sort themselves out naturally anyway, but carrying out surgery on growing bones can have a devastating effect.  We will never know which vet, amateur or professional (in which case shame on that person) attempted patella surgery on such a tiny pup, but the results are so terrible that I can't show photos as they are very upsetting.  We rushed the puppy to Acorn, but the leg was already green and full of pus, not to mention the puppy being in terrible pain with a bone sticking out, so Dr Tony will operate on Wednesday to see what can be done.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Mon 13th Aug: Six poodles and a shih tzu

Details of the 6 poodles will be posted soon
The six poodles arrived at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre as promised, and rather than being pet shop or breeder dogs I suspect they were those exhibition dogs used for training groomers, or for grooming competitions.  They are too old to be sold in pet shops yet they don't seem to have had puppies, and we recently had some other "show" poodles who had a similar background.  It would never have occurred to me that dogs are kept specifically for this purpose, but they are.

These new poodles aren't in bad health or condition, other than all having shocking teeth for their relatively young age, and one being infected with heartworm.  They are mostly under five years and very friendly, that being a prerequisite for dogs that have to be groomed for a living.  Once they have had their dentals and been desexed they should be very nice pets, the drawback being as usual the lack of toilet training.   There are four females and two males, and if you are interested in adopting one (or more) of these poodles then please start by completing the adoption questionnaire on our website (under Adopt).

This shih tzu is still quite young according to his clean teeth
Apart from taking the new poodles to Acorn for their health check, including heartworm tests and vaccinations, I also took the newly surrendered shih tzu boy.  It was confirmed that his poor sore feet were due to demodex mites, which can be dealt with, but he also seems to have pneumonia so was prescribed heavy duty antibiotics to knock the infection on the head before it gets too serious.  Everything else will have to wait until we know that his lungs are clear, but he's a young dog so I think it will be fine.

Probably a bit of a cross, this 2 year-old needs a new home

Every day when I check my emails there are surrender requests, either just a short message asking "Can you take my dog?" with no details, or the official Surrender Form which can be found on our website.  Some of the reasons for the dogs needing new homes are acceptable, such as the young husky (cross) whose owner suffered a stroke, while others are just upsetting.  Among the worst are the requests for help from Filipina helpers whose expat employers have left Hong Kong and desposited their dog with the helper.   Of all the scummy tricks this is the lowest, and anyone thinking of doing that should be ashamed.  It happens time and again, and expat-favourite places like Discovery Bay are full of such dogs.   If you aren't a Permanent Hong Kong Resident then either don't get a dog or take your commitments with you.  It makes me furious when I hear these stories, and it's totally unfair on both the dog and the helpers.  We can always take the small dogs because they're easy to re-home, but that's not the case with the larger ones, and especially mixed breeds.  These are the dogs whose whole life and family is suddenly taken from them through no fault of their own, and it's just very sad, and unacceptable.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Sun 12th Aug: A big surprise at Whiskers N Paws

I never had a chance to meet this adorable pair of rascals
The two Frenchie-poodles left Ap Lei Chau before I had even had a chance to see them, and it was the fact that they adore children that really clinched the deal.  We knew that there had been young children in the previous home, and apparently the two dogs were so happy and excited to meet the potential adopter's daughter that they were all over her.  We're always careful about homing dogs we don't know with young children but in this case it seems that it's what the dogs wanted most of all.

As always there are always replacements for dogs that leave the Homing Centres, and we took in a shih tzu of unknown age (no microchip) today, and on Monday we are expecting a further six poodles from a closing-down pet shop.  I have no details and so don't know if this is another one of those cases like the supposed ex-breeder dogs who all turned out to be about fourteen years old, or if these poodles will be reasonably young.  We'll just have to wait and see what turns up.
This poor boy had been badly neglected by his previous owner
The poor shih tzu's feet

Bounty had her adoption confirmed after a short foster period
Despite the rain it was a very busy afternoon at Whiskers N Paws, although by the end of the session only Bounty had been officially adopted but quite a few puppies had been taken for fostering, or moved to new foster homes.  Tiny Misty, Bounty's sister, left her full-time post at Whiskers N Paws to move to a foster home, so that meant a vacancy at the store.  Asher was the lucky boy who will now become Jill's friend until either or both are given their chance of a real home.

Jill's brother Jack found himself a lovely foster home while sisters Rum and Raisin, who were due to come back from their foster home, were were lucky enough to find new temporary homes to go to rather than being returned to our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre.  They are both super-sweet girls with lovely temperaments, just like Amy who was also taken for fostering.

Candy's trial adoption was today's big surprise
The biggest surprise of the afternoon was that adult Candy was chosen for a trial adoption.  Candy was adopted as a baby pup and then later returned, and as volunteer Cammy had her lookalike sister she offered to foster.  Candy came along today more for a day out than anything else, but it turned out to be much more than that when she left with her potential new family.

Eric Tang was today's puppy photographer, and as a regular volunteer at Whiskers N Paws he really knows how to get the best shots.  Here's the link to the full set:  Puppy Adoption Day 12 August 2018

Some of the puppies who did have to go back to our Homing Centre are really lovely too, and I know all adopters struggle to choose which one they will take.  It doesn't mean any of the pups are nicer or better, they are just luckier.  You can meet our Homing Centre puppies any day of the week, or again at Whiskers N Paws next Sunday afternoon.
The Buyandship volunteer team on Saturday turned up despite the rain

It was a bad weather day on Saturday but the volunteer team from Buyandship 國際網購轉運(香港)had no fear of the storm! They managed to take some dogs out when the rain was less heavy during the day. Thank you team!
**From August 3rd to September 3rd, Buyandship will donate HK$2 to HKDR for every transshipment! Simply shop online, ship with Buyandship and rescue dogs while doing so!– For every 1 shipment you make via Buyandship = HK$2 will be donated.
**All donations will be paid by Buyandship. No additional shipping or handling fee will be charged.
**Learn more about the Program:

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Sat 11th Aug: Ins and outs at Ap Lei Chau

Patsy and her kids are very sweet dogs
It's been predictably quiet because of the rain, but there were still some lucky dogs at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre.  Sweet new Patsy found her forever family, so her son Shorty will be hoping he will also be chosen very soon.
Shorty is only a year old and a very happy and playful boy

Of the two he is the easiest in terms of character, as he is happy and outgoing as well as being very friendly with both people and other dogs.   Patsy is a sweet girl but she's been more reserved, understandable when you have been evicted from your home and come via AFCD.   I can't imagine what dogs think or feel when they lose the only place and people they have ever known, even if it hasn't been a great situation.  It's clear that Patsy and her dog family came from a less than ideal home because she has already had at least one litter, and the other sons that are now staying at Tai Po weren't in good condition even at only a year old.  They are all sweet-natured though, so at least they haven't been affected emotionally.
Chip and Dale are from the same family as Patsy and Shorty

Rocket went for fostering with a view to adopt
I was very happy to hear that poodle Rocket was taken for fostering with a view to adoption, as he's a sweet boy with a sad background too.  He was the one who was surrendered to AFCD with a coat so overgrown that he couldn't even open his mouth to eat, and it's worth remembering that all poodles really do need constant grooming to keep their curly hair under control.

Half French bulldog, half poodle, a girl and a boy
The two dogs that we had been asked to take arrived as promised, and they are very cute I have to admit.  They are a cross of French bulldog and poodle, and a lively and mischievous pair at just a year old.   I get a lot of adoption enquiries for puppies that are quiet and laid-back, neither of which apply to any puppies really and certainly not this pair.  I'm sure they're a lot of fun but they will need good exercise and socialisation, so if you're interested please complete the adoption questionnaire on our website (under Adopt).

Following on from the story about Rolex, the dogs who managed to escape being put to sleep, here's a photo of the lovely boy.

Beautiful Rolex

Friday, 10 August 2018

Fri 10th Aug: A dog's tale

I took a dog from AFCD whose story I want to share.  He arrived at the Pokfulam Animal Management Centre around three weeks ago in such a terrible state that he was due to be put to sleep immediately.  He had large and very deep maggot-infested wounds all over his body, and he stank like a cess pit.  Anyone who has had any experience with screw worm will know that the smell hits you long before you have even looked at the source, and it's really disgusting.  However, the vet wasn't available at the time to euthanise the dog so one of the AFCD staff started to clean the wounds and  pick out the maggots one by one, a process that took four days apparently.   To facilitate the extraction of the maggots the gaping wounds had to be pulled open, and during this painful process the dogs stood still and allowed it to happen. Thanks to this and the wagging tail that greeted the staff member, the dog wasn't put to sleep and his now-clean wounds began to heal.

I wasn't aware that the dog was even at the kennels until he was ready for re-homing, with nothing left of his ordeal except large scars, and I can only imagine he had been attacked by a wild boar or maybe a pack of dogs to result in such terrible injuries.  Today when I took him out he was slightly nervous but still very easy to handle, and he now has the name of Rolex.

Rolex looks very much like Skye, shown here
Coincidentally when I opened my Facebook page this morning there was a photo of a dog from two years ago, long since adopted, and she looks almost exactly like Rolex.  So as I don't have his photo yet I'll share the one of Skye to give a good idea of how lovely Rolex is, and I hope that his story will win him a home before too long.

Poodle Speedo was adopted today, and with our other little poodle Maddie having been taken for a trial adoption the day before we're running low on small dogs again.  However as always, as dogs leave newcomers arrive, and assuming they actually turn up, especially given the bad weather, we will have a couple of unusual new youngsters on Saturday.
Speedo was adopted today

Chow chow Chowder was also given a second chance today when he left the Homing Centre again for a trial.  This time I feel pretty sure it's going to work.

I would also like to mention the mother and son Patsy and Shorty, as they are really sweet dogs, young and although not tiny, still what I would call smallish to medium sized.  Shorty is just a year old and very puppy-like and playful, while Patsy is a bit more reserved but has started to ask for petting.
Patsy was quite shy at first, but she's quickly warming up

The weather is pretty grim but I think everyone will be enjoying the cooler temperatures if nothing else.  We'll be indoors at Whiskers N Paws on Sunday regardless of any rain, so please come along to meet the puppies and enjoy their play and cuddles.

Puppies will be back at Whiskers N Paws on Sunday again, having real fun while hoping to meet their forever families. Come and show them some love!
🎈HKDR Puppy Adoption Day - Every Sunday 2-5pm 幼犬領養日 - 逢星期日2-5PM🎈
Address: Whiskers N Paws, 10/F Horizon Plaza, Ap Lei Chau 
地址:鴨脷洲新海怡廣場10樓Whiskers N Paws
(8 min walk from South Horizons MTR Station; 1 hr free parking with any amount of purchase) (港鐵海怡半島站步行8分鐘;憑任何消費1小時免費泊車)