Friday, 19 July 2019

Fri 19th July: Mystery of Michelin solved

Toffee enjoying a scratch
By the time most of you read this post I fully expect that dachshund Toffee will have been adopted, at least I hope so.  I don't think I've received so many enquiries for the same dog in such a short time, and the strange thing is that he's not even particularly young at six years, and he's not interested in playing with other dogs and far prefers toys and human contact.   I thought that shiba inus were the breed of the moment, but judging from the stampede to adopt this sausage dog there's another even more popular one.  I hope that Toffee finds the home of his dreams and that the other potential adopters will look at the many other small dogs we have that are waiting.
Michelin and his family

One of the Tai Po puppies was adopted today, and it's a funny story because I'd been corresponding with his now-adopter for a while without actually knowing who Michelin was.  I knew it wasn't a name I'd given, and assumed it was an older AFCD puppy from Sheung Shui that had gone straight to Tai Po.  However after Michelin had been picked up by his family, others were asking where he came from and nobody was really sure.  It was Kathy, who keeps records of all the dogs, who said she was pretty sure he was one of a group dropped off at Ap Lei Chau a couple of weeks ago, and she was right, he was the only puppy that arrived at the same time as terrier Tina, who managed to escape and caused all sorts of problems in the following days (she's back and happily settled now).  Michelin, who at that point didn't have a name, went straight to Tai Po and now he's left to start a new life.
Tina is circled while Michelin is the one facing away

Icy looks very much like Michelin

I know where Icy came from because I remember her very clearly from AFCD Pokfulam.  She was one of the most recent Stanley Barracks intake, and from the start she was incredibly sweet and friendly, even while I dealt with an infected wound on her face.  Icy was at Acorn today having her second vaccination, and I think she recognised me and wanted to say hello before settling down on the back seat again.   For a family with children, one year-old Icy would be perfect, because she just wants to love and be loved.

Terrier puppy Pringle 
Our long-term volunteer Becky will be at Concordia Pet Care in Happy Valley on Saturday afternoon with a collection of puppies needing homes, as well as a couple of smaller-sized adults.  One of the puppies will be terrier-poodle cross Pringle, unless he's adopted in the morning, and he's a very cute little guy.  He had been adopted previously but family illness meant he had to come back, and I'm pretty sure it won't be for long.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Thurs 18th July: Our German shepherds

This Saturday
I still get enquiries asking about dates for our "Adoption Days", so I want to reiterate that every day is an adoption day at HKDR.  We have two Homing Centres that are open to visitors every single day of the year without fail, and that means Sundays, Public Holidays, and typhoons up to and including T10s. The adoption events that we hold are simply in addition to our Homing Centre venues, and we'll be at Concordia Pet Care in Happy Valley on Saturday afternoon with a selection of puppies, and again at Whiskers N Paws on Sunday 2pm to 5pm. However you can meet the same puppies any time at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre if those days and times don't suit you.   Here's the video of last Sunday's Whiskers N Paws puppy afternoon 

Our main Homing Centre at Tai Po is where most of our dogs stay, and that's four hundred-ish of them.  The site itself is huge and we're incredibly lucky to have it, and it's really worth a trip up into the hills to visit and see the work that we do.  All of the dogs that are living at Tai Po are waiting for homes, and although it's fair to say that a few of them are almost certainly going to be with us until the end we never give up hope that our long-termers will leave before it's too late.  We have dogs of all ages, medium to large-sized, long and short-haired, mixed and purebreeds, in other words the perfect dog for everyone.

Noddy's just starting to get his big boy teeth
Some lucky dogs are in foster homes, like German shepherd puppy Noddy whose just celebrating the arrival of his two adult front teeth.  He's also now fully toilet trained and will wait to go outside in the morning, so he's really ready for his forever home. Unfortunately the family that was going to adopt him didn't materialise so I'm waiting for another one that's suitable for a big and silly pup. 
Cooper is also long-haired but was shaved at AFCD

We still have one year-old German shepherd Cooper at Tai Po, and five year-old Moses, plus Jenna, another German shepherd who's been with us for some time now.  It's not that we haven't had offers of homes, but knowing that there really aren't that many places that are suitable for such large dogs we've been holding out until the right ones come along.  All four of these German shepherds have wonderful temperaments, but they do need space and an environment that is suitable (and by that I mean not busy and built-up city areas).
Jenna is the only girl German shepherd
Beautiful Moses

There was an error in the poster that I shared yesterday, so I want to make sure that the date of the upcoming event "Bohemian Pupsody" is corrected to Saturday 21st September in your calendars if you're going to be coming.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Weds 17th July: Waiting for their big day

This dachshund boy must be enjoying the air conditioning
The dachshund rescued from living in a cage on a balcony arrived today, and I imagine he's very relieved to be out of the blistering heat that we're currently experiencing.  Volunteers at the Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre were busy giving the place a major cleaning before he turned up, something that's necessary when you have dogs coming in from all sorts of places meaning infections can easily spread, just as happens in kindergartens.   It only takes one puppy with kennel cough to set it off, and that's something we've been dealing with recently. While most are off-colour for a few days before bouncing back,  for others the inital dry cough can turn into something more serious.  We've had a few cases like that which have meant a stay in hospital, and a couple that were very worrying for a time.  Luckily everyone seems to be on the mend now, but it's been another period of high vet bills as well as feeling bad for the dogs and puppies concerned.
Judy has been acting as big sister to the Z puppies

The Z Litter are growing up but still small sized
Volunteer Harryn was also busy taking photos of the dogs, as we have many really lovely young and small-sized adults and puppies.  After a wobbly start which included having tick fever, ringworm and then kennel cough, the "Z Litter" have finally got the all-clear and are ready for their next big adventure of a real home.  During the weeks they've been with us they've gone from being very scared babies to enjoying playing with the older puppies, and especially Judy I'm told.  It's rewarding and exciting seeing the changes take place, physically and in behaviour, and I've been able to witness this myself during our many visits to the vet for blood tests which finally ended in them being well enough to have their their first vaccinations.
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For me Wednesday marks the run-up to the weekend and Whiskers N Paws (also Concordia Pet Care twice a month including this coming Saturday), and we have a lovely video to share of last Sunday's puppy afternoon thanks to Alex Suttie, who offered his services.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Tues 16th July: Always new dogs coming in

Dakota gets the obligatory inspection
It's like a never-ending story, the dogs coming in and hopefully only staying for a short time before leaving again, only to make space for the next intake.  That's why we don't hold dogs if people want to adopt but aren't able to take their chosen puppy or adult immediately, because we can't afford to block space that might well be needed for others.  Today we had an unepected new guest, a dog who was found wandering on the Peak with a note attached to her collar saying her name was Dakota.  She had no microchip so we can't trace any ex-owner, but maybe someone will know this girl by looks or name?  You can see how she was greeted when she arrived at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre, and also the huge number of puppies we already have that are in need of homes.

Every time I go to AFCD there is almost always a new intake of dogs and puppies, either brought in by the dog catchers or surrendered by their owners.  Bearing in mind that the Pokfulam Animal Management Centre is only one of four AFCD kennels, and probably the least active in terms of the number of animals, you can see the problem.  There is rarely a time when there aren't dogs and puppies waiting to be rescued, and today I took a family of three little dogs and a "wildling" puppy (thanks to someone else for thinking up that very suitable name), one of those who may or may not turn out to be fine once feeling safe.  I took this little guy because he's so skinny and I hope it's only because he needs feeding up, but that's something for the future.

A gorgeous family of three girls
The three small dogs are a tight family of poodle mother and two terrier/dachshund (maybe poodle, who knows) daughters, real or adopted.  Whether or not they're blood relatives they're very close, and I wouldn't want to separate the two younger ones at least.  They're all so lovely and desperate for cuddles, and they squeezed together on my lap when I went into their kennel and sat on the floor so they could see I wasn't scary.   One of the younger ones will need patella surgery and Dr Tony will be doing that on Thursday before he goes on holiday, so we are urgently in need of a foster home for both of them.   Please let Cindy know if you can offer space for these two (even better three) gorgeous girls by emailing

When I had the younger dogs licensed I called them dachshund crosses, but for those who like that breed we'll be taking in a real one very soon, a poor boy who has been living in a cage on a balcony.  I wonder how many dogs endure this kind of miserable existence, stuck on balconies or rooftops and left on their own day and night.  It doesn't bear thinking about, and according to the current laws it's not illegal or considered to be cruelty.  Things have to change but in Hong Kong the process is so slow, and even then laws are pointless if there's no enforcement.

Talking about something completely different, we're only two months away from the first of this year's big fundraising events as "Bohemian Pupsody" is taking place on Saturday 21st September.  Tickets are already available and we have an amazing evening planned so I hope you can make it.  Dress is Black Tie or "Freddie Mercury", whatever you want.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Mon 15th July: Happy start to the week

The big black boy is Fei Jei now Hugo
It's always good to start the week with happy adoption news, and there's another big one from Tai Po as Tibetan mastiff Fei Jai (now Hugo) left the Homing Centre to move in with his loving new family.  The only sad part is that his friend, Fei Mui, is now on her own and in need of a home like her brother's.   Fei Jai/Hugo has proved himself to be remarkably easy and tolerant of even the small dogs in the home, so we expect that Fei Mui will be the same.
Fei Mui is alone now :-(

German shepherd puppy Noddy is also still waiting for his perfect forever home, and although there have been several offers they're not really what I'm looking for.  Noddy is currently enjoying being loved and cared for by my neighbours, so he's got a big space with a garden and full time attention.  At four months he's a big boy, very sweet but a typical puppy in his behaviour and he'd really love to have a dog playmate.

As arranged on Sunday, puppy Patch was picked up by his adopter, and as anticipated he's pretty scared in his new home.  It needs to be remembered that for most puppies this will be the first time in their lives that they haven't had other puppies, siblings or not, to play and sleep with, and it can be very traumatic for the less confident ones like Patch.  In the wild puppies will live with their parents and siblings as a family group throughout their life, so it's important that puppies adopted individually should have the comfort of their human family even if they no longer have other dogs around.  Ideally there should be at least two dogs in the home so that there is always a companion, but a single dog can be content as long as the human family include a new puppy in everything and don't keep it separated in a cage, or in another part of the home.  It's a very sad and lonely life for any dog to be away from its family, whatever the age.
Patch going home
Lucky Phoebe has a brother to play with

There was another very happy adoption at Ap Lei Chau as older puppy Phoebe joined her new family, and this time there's another dog for her to play and bond with.  Now only Sadie remains from that particular litter, and she's a wonderful puppy, very pretty, sweet and easy.

Lucky Wilby gets to stay in his foster home
Yet another lucky puppy also had his adoption confirmed after his foster family decided to make his stay permanent, and Wilby also has a big ex-HKDR dog brother to look after him.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Sun 14th July: Whiskers N Patch afternoon

Julia is going to be medium-sized and has lots of energy
We had an unexpectedly busy afternoon at Whiskers N Paws but almost everyone had eyes for only one puppy, pretty Patch.  Patch and his brother Wiki had been at the previous Sunday afternoon session and it was their photos that drew everyone to meet them today, although Wiki stayed at home due to having the cough that's making the rounds at the moment.  The thing is that although being very lovely, Patch is quite a timid puppy and that means we have to be selective about finding the right home because it will take a while for him to settle and inexperienced adopters could make things worse, not better.   So there were quite a few disappointments when we had to say sorry, please choose another puppy, and it's again sad that with so many happy and beautiful characters available it's the pretty one that was most peoples' choice.  Patch did find a suitable home so he's off the available list,  and Wiki has a waiting list for when he's better. 

Puppies have different personalities and energy levels, just like humans, and it's really important that the dog and adoptive family are a good match.  For example, Judy is a very cute and fluffy girl who is also a ball of energy, so she needs a home that wants a lively companion.  Julia is also a pretty girl who plays non-stop, but she's very sweet and will be a medium-sized adult.  Having been in a foster home Julia is very used to apartment life and being part of a family, so that's a huge bonus.  Lewis is a lab-alike who's going to grow into a big adult, but he's calm and quiet. Please do ask us to help you find the right personality and temperament for your home, and not choose a puppy on the way he or she looks.  It's so important to get it right and that's what we're here for.
Judy would love a home with another dog and to have lots of playtime

Bambi Yau was the volunteer photographer for the afternoon and she did a fantastic job which you can take a look at here  Puppy Adoption Day 14 July 2019
Sahara was adopted today 

Fortunately not everyone wanted Patch, and one family who came to see older puppy Sadie (another lovely and easy girl) ended up adopting my recommendation of Sahara, probably the sweetest of all puppies ever.   Sahara was one of the recent Stanley Barracks intake, and all of the dogs that come from there have obviously been treated very well and they have lovely temperaments.

Little Cat has found her forever family at last
It was also busy at both of our Homing Centres (and it's strange how this happens without any obvious reason) resulting in little Cat, mother of the Kitten Litter, being adopted finally.  When she first came to us she was such a scared dog, and she had TVT (an infectious venereal tumour) which meant she had to be kept separated from other dogs.  That didn't help her behaviour, but after the chemotherapy treatments and her recovery, Cat started to open up and enjoy life.  Once her tail went up I could see she was very like a shiba inu, and with a sweet and happy nature.
Tiny-now-Harvey, the gentle giant

I'm looking forward to being able to share good news from Tai Po about several dogs who could/might be leaving soon, but I can confirm that Great Dane Tiny has found his new and forever home, and I can also guarantee that this is a Great Home (because I know the adopter).

With so much rain this year leptospirosis is back, and I've been getting reports of dogs being infected and even dying from all areas.  Lepto, as it's commonly called, is transmitted via rat urine, and while it usually stays underground the heavy rain has brought the infected water to the surface so it's really important that you keep dogs away from fresh water catchments, and even streams that come down from the Peak for example.  In my experience the vaccinations aren't 100% effective because like flu there are so many strains, and the best way to avoid your dog getting sick with this awful disease (which also affects humans) is to stay away from water.  Take fresh drinking water for your dogs when you walk, and stick to the sea for swimming.

To end with some good news about two pet shop chains closing their puppy-selling activities, and I hope we can see this happening right across Hong Kong before too long

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Sat 13th July: More names needed

Little Pippa found her forever family
It's been a strange kind of day with quite a few almost-adoptions but only one confirmed, and that was Pippa the poodle-terrier cross from our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre.  We know there will be at least one large dog adoption coming up,  and quite possibly more assuming things work out with other dogs in the potential homes, but at the same time we had a new arrival at Tai Po and not quite what we were expecting.
Poor old Wallace 

I meet, or have comunications with, all sorts of people, and over the years there must have been thousands.  Most are genuine and very nice, some horrible and a few genuinely need locking up, but I haven't encountered such a blatant liar before.   The surrender request for this particular dog was completely made up, including the photo which showed a rather handsome face and not the poor thirteen year-old village dog that the man turned up with.   The mother-in-law, whose dog it was, was being shunted off to a retirement home where she didn't want to go, at least while her long-term companion dog was still alive, so it was all very sad.  We called the dog Wallace but he's not a happy boy and the whole situation made me angry and upset.
This is the photo we were sent on the surrender form

Three of the new puppies, happy, healthy and handsome
Sunday's coming up and we'll be at Whiskers N Paws for the afternoon and bringing along as many puppies as we can manage to fit in.  Hopefully the weather will stay dry and the older puppies can enjoy a runaround on the terrace, one of the things I'm sure they'd look forward to if they were able to think ahead.   The new intake will be there even though I haven't thought up names for them yet, so I'll have to do that before Sunday afternoon.