Thursday, 9 April 2020

Thurs 9th April: A very happy ending to a unique story

This was Romeo as a happy boy, and I want to see that again
Usually at this time of year, and I mean Easter, we'd be seeing a mad rush for the airport as the holiday exodus began, and I can't say I'm sorry that it's definitely not happening this year.  In fact I try to see the positive side of every situation if I can and there's definitely much that's been happening which has been good, including the many extra foster homes that have been able to take in our dogs and puppies for the working-from-home period.  We were all so happy that French bulldog Romeo was finally given his chance, and I'll be following up on how things are going so far as soon as I've finished this blog post.
6 happy puppies

Our driver Ming is on holiday this week so I asked one of our car-driving volunteers to help with picking up six puppies from AFCD in Pokfulam, and these happy girls and boys (three of each) are now running around and having a fun time at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre.  For adoption enquiries please start by completing the adoption questionnaire at  and for fostering please email Cindy at, thank you.
The day the 5 newborns were brought to Ap Lei Chau

You may remember the story in February about a woman coming to our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre wanting to surrender five just-born puppies.  The mother, a bichon frise, had suddenly given birth not too long after the owner had adopted her from a grooming shop, and I agreed to take the puppies on the condition that we could "borrow" the mother too.  As has happened before, and not too long ago either, dogs that are stressed during pregnancy or birth don't prepare for having puppies either physically or mentally, meaning there's no milk and the mother dogs aren't really interested in their offspring.  In this case the mother did help with cleaning and grooming her babies, but without the dedicated care of the foster prents who took the whole family in, the pups wouldn't have survived.

Today was a a big day for the puppies as they went for their first vaccination and two were taken home by their adopters (as a pair).  The bichon mother had already gone back home after losing interest entirely, so full-time care was handed over to the fosters.  They are keeping one of the pups and the others will go to their new homes soon, so please don't ask about adopting as there are none of these puppies available.  This is just to say a huge thank you to the amazing foster parents, and to wrap up this unique story with a happy ending.
5 beautiful healthy babies waiting for their vaccinations

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Weds 8th April: More puppies coming

We're taking in six new puppies on Thursday, mixed breed, and probably six to eight weeks of age.

Most mixed breeds have a bit or everything in them 
The most-asked question about puppies is "what breed are they", or what mix?  The answer is almost always that we have no idea, unless it's clear there's some obvious sharpei characteristics, or perhaps another breed that is distinctive enough to be able to see. 

When I started HKDR the mongrels were almost all "Village Dogs", but do you know that the local Village Dog, or Tong Gau, is actually an ancient breed?  You must have seen them if you've lived in Hong Kong long enough or have visited our Tai Po Homing Centre, as their look is quite distictive with a tan or black colour, pointy nose, prick ears and a curled tail.  Now you know how special they are will you look at them in a different light and give them the respect they deserve?  These dogs are really quite amazing being very smart, hardy and resilient, as well as being extremely loyal.

In fact these days there are few "pure" Village Dogs around as they have interbred with the imported breeds, especially those that have sadly been abandoned and have managed to survive long enough to mate and produce offspring.  The resulting variation in looks, size, colour and behaviour makes identifying specific individual breeds pretty much impossible without a DNA test, but even then the result may bring you back to the Hong Kong Village Dog.

Fergus the schnauzer is adopted
Fergus the schnauzer was adopted today, while puppy Turbo, the last of his litter, had a successful interview in his foster home.  Turbo and his siblings appear to have some labrador in them, but it's possible the ears will stand up as they grow.
Turbo in his foster home

Hong Kong Village Dog

Chinese Village Dogs are very special dogs. Originating in China, these dogs have some of the most ancient domestic dog ancestry around, going back over 15,000 years. Now, that’s quite the family tree.

About this Breed

Village dogs – medium-sized dogs with pointy snouts that freely breed and live near people around the world – from present-day Nepal and Mongolia are direct descendants of the first domesticated dogs, which originated at least 15,000 years ago in the same region. Genetic studies observe a clear divergence between village dog populations in East Asia (Vietnam and Island Southeast Asia), Central Asia (Mongolia and Nepal), India, the Middle East (Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, Turkey, and Afghanistan), and sub-Saharan Africa. Hong Kong and East Asian village dogs (like yours!) are some of the most genetically diverse dogs on earth, similar to their counterparts in Southeast and Central Asia.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Tues 7th April: Spud's adoption closes another file

Spud us staying in his home for ever
The file can be closed on another litter of puppies as Spud had his foster status upgraded to adopted today.  Spud's siblings looked very different from each other and included Wilf, Oscar and Emmy, all of whom have found their own forever families.

The Ap Lei Chau dogs go for walks now
The dog park at Ap Lei Chau has been closed for a while now, and that's been a blow for the dogs who enjoyed running and playing there.  Now the volunteers have gone back to the way it used to be before the park was opened, and the dogs are being walked round and about the neighbourhood.  Maybe it's good for them to be able to see what's out there beyond the Homing Centre and the nearby dog park, but what would be even better would be a real home.
Sidney at the Homing Centre

Zeb, with Salty and Feta behind

For some reason Sidney is still with us, although the last time we held the Sunday puppy afternoon afternoon at the Homing Centre there were two potential families very interested in him.  Sidney has no behaviour issues and is a lovely doglet, really ready for a home to love him.

For all adoption enquiries please complete the questionnaire at as a first step.

Also please note that due to the coronavirus situation we haven't been receiving the small-sized dogs and puppies that would normally be coming to us so there are currently none available.  Zeb and Salty are small-medium young adults and maybe this is their chance to shine.

Of course Tai Po is full of wonderful dogs of all ages, and nothing would make me (us all) happier than to see them leaving to go to new homes.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Mon 6th April: Got spare time? Why not volunteer

We're continuing to receive many enquiries for small dog adoption or fostering, a lot of which are from people who are currently working from home and have plenty of time to provide full time care.  What worries me is that when (and if) life goes back to how it was before, there will suddenly be a realisation that looking after a dog is much more of a commitment that it seemed, and those dogs will be looking for new homes again. 

Our Red Dogs and volunteers
As it happens we don't have any small dogs still waiting unless they're our "Red Dogs" whose needs are rather more special than others, but we do have a lot of larger dogs staying at our Tai Po Homing Centre who although bigger in size are often half the work in terms of care.  Small dogs tend to be far more needy and demanding, while many big dogs are very easy and laid back in comparison.
More Red Dogs 

As a suggestion for anyone who has suddenly got a lot of time on their hands, why not sign up as a volunteer at Tai Po and help with dog walking and care?  We certainly have more than enough dogs who would really appreciate your time,  not to mention the few staff and current volunteers who are being run ragged trying to handle everything.  If you can help out during the week we can fast-track your application, and you can email me directly at if you'd like to sign up.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Sun 5th April: Sundays aren't Sundays any more

We're open at Tai Po every day 10am to 6pm
Sundays aren't Sundays any more as there can be no puppy parties or gatherings of any sort, so all adoptions are being handled online, either via our volunteer Foster Coordinator Cindy (who really needs a medal for all the extra work she's had thrown at her) or questionnaires which come to me initially.  Only our Homing Centre at Tai Po remains open as usual, but as most enquiries are for young and small-sized dogs - which we don't currently have - most potential adopters are just asked to wait until things return to normal, if they ever do.  

Tara was chosen today 
So much of life as we knew it has ground to a halt that we aren't even getting many dogs or puppies coming in from any of our usual sources, and that includes puppies.  Little Tara was chosen today from her foster home, so that leaves brother Turbo still available, as well as some others like Bailey, who unfortunately has tick fever, and the shy youngsters like Cora and gorgeous Charlie. 
Cora's shyness is getting better

Some things haven't changed and that's our need for newspaper please, as well as face masks and gloves for the staff and cleaning crew at the Homing Centres if you have spare to donate. 

Charlie will need a home with another dog to help his shyness

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Sat 4th April: Jack and Salty

These are strange time indeed as I've written before, and with so many people working from home we're getting more offers of foster homes than we have dogs, unless you can take in a larger adult from Tai Po.  We certainly have plenty of those available, and if this current situation leads to forever homes for any of them it will be amazing.

Salty is a small-medium size
However I want to talk about two small-medium Ap Lei Chau dogs that need a mention, as they've been overlooked so far.  One of them is Salty, so called because he was found at the waterfront having presumably fallen off a fishing boat.  He was a psychological wreck, absolutely terrified, and from his behaviour and the string around his neck we assume he spent his puppy months tied up and alone.  It took a while but Salty finally came round, and now he loves human attention as well as playing with his dog friends, something he had no idea about whn he first arrived.   In fact if Salty has a behaviour problem now it's that he hates being left, so we're looking for a home where Salty can have pretty much full time company.   He's still a young dog, only a year old, and once settled in a home he should become a lot more relaxed about everything although that may take time.  We can't let him go to a home with young children, but he'll make a good companion dog for adults.

Jack is such a happy boy and he loves the dog park
The other medium-sized dog is Jack.  He came to us as a puppy along with his sister Jill, and while she was adopted Jack only got as far as a foster home. He did very well in that home but eventually came back to us, and has stayed ever since.  Jack's problem is that he's shy with strangers, but if you knows you he's such a loving boy.  He also loves playing with his dog friends so a home with another dog would be ideal, and having an outdoor space would be even better.
Wilf on the day he was taken to his new home

We had a few puppies adopted today, two staying in their foster homes.  Wilf is now a full-time brother to sharpei Raisin, adopted some years ago, while Tilly is one of our most recent litter intakes.
Tilly is staying for ever

Casper was another lucky boy, adopted immediately after coming back to the Homing Centre from his foster home.

There can be no puppy adoption afternoons for the time being so all enquiries will have to be online, and meetings arranged after we have received completed questionnaires.

Please complete the form here:

Our French bulldog Romeo is also still waiting for a home,  although we are very clear about hs strong dislike for other dogs.  His ideal home would have its own garden or outside space which he wouldn't have to share with other dogs, and we would really love him to have that chance.
Who has the right home to offer Romeo?

Casper is now adopted 

Friday, 3 April 2020

Fri 3rd April: Finally it's a yes for Adele

Adele/Addy is staying for ever
Adele is one of our older puppies, more of a doglet now, and she has been in a wonderful foster home for several months, during which time a very strong bond has developed.  Every Sunday at Whiskers N Paws I'd ask if there was any chance of adoption and was told no due to future travel plans.  Then the Sunday puppy afternoons stopped due to the coronvirus situation and I was afraid that a home for Adele - Addy for short - would be very hard to find, but then one came along and Addy was due to be moving today.  I'm sure you guessed it, in the end the foster couldn't bear to part with the dog she had grown to love so much, so now Addy is there to stay and another one joins the Failed Foster Club.

Sidney and Zeb are staying at Ap Lei Chau
We're still receiving many offers of foster homes, especially for small dogs, but now we have none staying at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre other than those that are due to go to forever homes, or are really too shy to be moved out.   Doglet Sidney is still available, but again we're hoping for adoption
rather than foster, and there's also Zeb who turns one year old this month.

Our Tai Po Homing Centre is open as usual and we have lots of beautiful dogs and older puppies staying there (all medium to large), so maybe this is a time when they will have a chance.
Lucy is still waiting at Tai Po for her new family (with no small children).