|Mickco's muse ex-HKDR Minnie Chan|
A few of my Lamma dogs are just there, meaning that they live their own lives and do their own thing without wanting any interference from me (other than food and accommodation of course). They tend to hang out in groups of friends they have chosen themselves, and they never mix with others outside their gang. It all works perfectly until they get sick, as happened today when I saw Mayo was staggering and with a bad head tilt. She's one of the siblings of Chippy who recently died so I was concerned that there might be a genetic connection and that Mayo could also have cancer, so I sent her to Acorn to be checked by Dr Tony.
The problem with dogs that are very timid and don't like to be handled is that they can't be checked while conscious, so any vet has to rely on a verbal description for things like the staggering and the head tilt, and keeping such dogs in hospital on a drip is pretty much impossible. It was too late in the day to send Mayo back to Lamma once she had been checked so she had to spend the night at the Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre, which I'm sure will be quite traumatic for her. The same applies to quite a few of our Tai Po dogs who may be quite happy to be around people but prefer not to be touched, so it's always a challenge when they need veterinary attention.
Mayo and her surviving siblings Bun and Hamburger are ten years old now, still not what I would consider a senior age as ten year-olds are normally still very active, but heading towards that stage of their lives like many of my Lamma dogs, and those at Tai Po too. As part of my planned retirement, at least from actively taking care of so many dogs, we will all be slowing down over the coming years and I envisage that in say ten years' time I will be left with just a few geriatrics to keep me company.