Friday, 31 May 2019

Fri 31st May: Another dog and the weekend coming up

New schnauzer boy, 5 years old, now called Hopper
Yet another little dog joined us at Ap Lei Chau today, a five year-old schnauzer boy who seems to suffer from separation anxiety, something that's quite common in smaller breeds and especially poodles and schnauzers.  I suspect it has a lot to do with them having been taken too young from their mothers and then separated from siblings, subsequently relying on their human families for comfort, play and everything else.

Lack of early socialisation affects a dog's whole life, which is why it's always upsetting to see people apply to adopt when the puppy (or even adult) will be left alone all day.  Dogs are animals that naturally live in family groups and are never solitary, so to keep a single dog on its own for many hours is wrong, and even worse a puppy.  Although dogs aren't humans, using the baby analogy is a good way to explain the situation, as in would you leave a toddler alone all day, every day, and expect it to amuse and train itself?   Puppies learn from watching adult dogs and playing with siblings (or at least other puppies), as well as their human families, and we see the results of early isolation, and even caging, all the time.   I hope this new schnauzer boy will enjoy having the company of so many other young and happy dogs at the Homing Centre, just as we have seen so many others open up and change once they come to us.

Cat turned into a very sweet and happy girl
Little Cat, mother of the Kitten Litter, was just such a dog, shy and withdrawn when she first arrived but becoming a very sweet and happy girl after a while.  Cat left the Homing Centre today for a trial adoption, and it was the first time I realised that her tail curled up and over as I had previously only seen it down.

The weather at the moment could best be described as unstable, but it won't affect the puppy afternoons at Concordia Pet Care on Saturday, or Whiskers N Paws on Sunday, even if we can't use the outdoor terrace.  As a reminder once again we have a lot of puppies staying at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre so you don't even need to wait for the weekend to meet them, and the same applies to our puppies in foster homes.  Chelsea, for example, is a gorgeous four month-old girl who has been in foster for a few weeks so is really used to living as part of a family.  She's toilet trained, super-affectionate, playful and very pretty (like a whippet), so if you would like to meet her please email Cindy at to arrange, or come to Whiskers N Paws on Sunday.
Chelsea is in a loving foster home and can be seen any day

Even more than those puppies who get to be seen at the adoption afternoons, please remember that we also have lots of really lovely slightly older puppies staying at our Tai Po Homing Centre, and you can meet them any day of the week between 10am and 6pm.  I'm glad that I don't have to choose between them because they are all sweet-natured and will make fantastic family members.
Just some of the Tai Po puppies waiting for homes

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Thurs 30th May: Two more lovely young/small dogs added

Mother/sister Pippa
I can't remember the last time we had so many young and smaller-sized dogs available, and another two were added to the happy play group today when I took a poodle/terrier-cross pair from AFCD.  I'm sure they have one of those fancy designer breed names which includes a "doodle" or a "poo" but I'm not even going to begin going down that road because to me they're just gorgeous, happy and friendly little dogs, with the added bonus of having the type of coat that suits people with allergies to dog hair.  They're siblings, and are actually mother and father to a puppy that AFCD won't release just yet (and again I'm not going to even start on that story and my frustration).  Now called Pippa and Biggles, the family ended up at AFCD without microchips so I had to estimate an age once again, and I made them two years old.  They are definitely young dogs, and they were so happy to be released from their isolation today (even the puppy was kept separated from his mother) that they immediately started to play with the other dogs.  They will be going to be desexed on Friday so won't be available to meet until the weekend, but if you're interested in either or both, please complete the Adoption Questionnaire on our website (under Adopt).
Minto has a new and forever family home

Father/brother Biggles

"French corgi" puppy Minto was adopted today, while puppy Jenny (Dudley's best friend) was taken home for fostering with a view to adoption.
Noddy and Big Ears in foster

German shepherd-cross puppies, Noddy and Big Ears, went to Acorn today along with many others needing checks and vaccinations, and it was the first time I'd actually met them as they had been taken straight to their foster home.  Unfortunately they have a fungal skin infection (which is now being treated) so Noddy's tail has some hair loss, but they are a gorgeous pair and with the sweetest temperament.  Big Ears looks like a real German shepherd, complete with sloping back and those unfortunate back legs that has become standard for the breed, while Noddy is a ball of fluffy love.

This weekend is a busy one with puppies going to Concordia Pet Care in Happy Valley on Saturday afternoon, and Whiskers N Paws on Sunday, but remember you can meet puppies any day of the week at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre.  The five tiny black-and-white babies  won't be at the puppy events as we don't want them to be stressed by over-handling, especially by children, but they are available to meet at the Centre.  They have now been separated from their maybe-mother, Amber, and she's certainly relieved to be free of the demands of little kiddies with sharp baby teeth trying to suck non-existent milk from her.

Amber is happy to be free of her maternal chores

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Weds 29th May: Dog rescue isn't as simple as it sounds

I had a full day working from home rather than a day off today, as we have so many projects in the pipeline that need to be dealt with.  It would be simple if dog rescue was just about taking care of and finding homes for dogs, but there's so much more to it than that.   Somehow we have to raise the money to pay for food, vet bills, rent and staff salaries, even if we try to keep overheads as low as possible, and we wouldn't be able to manage any of this without volunteer support as well.

It's easy to donate via
Donors and sponsors also play a large part in keeping HKDR running, and the extra food donations as well as other materials are important to us too, even the newspaper we use for the puppy toilet areas.  In fact we can use pretty much anything when it comes to helping, such as cleaning products, rubber gloves, mops and buckets.  We get so many requests from young students wanting to volunteer or do something useful, and while we can't accept anyone under eighteen years of age to walk the dogs or even be with them,  collecting miscellaneous donations is one thing that anyone can do as part of their school projects.   Our younger supporters (and adults too!) can also help by sharing their birthdays and other celebrations via, making donating easy and hassle-free.

Another aspect of dog rescue work that we consider to be almost as important as finding the right homes for our dogs, is the follow-up support we provide for all adopters.  Nobody who takes a dog or puppy home from HKDR is left to deal with everything by themselves, whether it's training or anything else.  It's important to us to know that everything is going well and that nobody is struggling to cope, because in the end it's the dogs that will be affected.  The last thing we want is to have a grown-up puppy returned for behaviour issues that could and should have been addressed right from the start. That's why we say: You're Never Alone with an HKDR Dog.

We have some new volunteer recruits to our fundraising team, and work is already underway on this year's big event at the Aberdeen Marina Club taking place on Saturday 21st September.  A "Save the Date" memo is about to be sent out so I won't spoil it by giving anything away here, although I can say we are all excited about the new look and feel of this important fundraiser and how it's taking shape.

Minto has a home to go to after his vet check
Although he still has to go to the vet for a check-up and vaccination, the little "French corgi" puppy Minto already has a home to go to. We have so many other young and small-sized dogs available at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre including two gorgeous little pug girls (although Tiggy is currently in a post-surgery foster home) , Peppa the French bulldog, Freckles the spotty-nosed mix, poodle Twizzle and, of course, the baby pups and their mother.
Freckles is a gorgeous young boy
Twiglet is also young and very sweet

All of the above are very sweet and easy young dogs so finding homes won't be a problem, but we also have some special cases who need more experienced adopters who have the patience and knowledge to help the dogs overcome their past.  One of those is pretty Marnie who was abandoned at AFCD following her ex-owner's divorce when neither side wanted her.  She arrived at the Homing Centre as a very scared and confused little girl, but she's already much happier and is beginning to accept human attention as well as enjoying being with the other dogs.  We think she would do best in a home where there was another confident dog so she could continue to watch and learn as she's doing now, so if you can help her by offering a place in your family (no children please) let us know.

Marine is much happier these days

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Tues 28th May: Remember the dogs and puppies at Tai Po

I had to brave the weather in the morning as dogs have to be walked regardless of rain and storms, although I have to admit a couple ran back home as soon as they had relieved themselves in the woods, and Halo was shaking like a leaf to start with but soon got over that.  It's ironic that she's scared of thunder yet will happily take on any snake she comes across, cobras included, even after having been bitten once.

"French corgi" Minto
I was thinking about staying home rather than going over to Ap Lei Chau and onwards, but as the rain lessened I decided to carry on as planned.  There were two puppies that needed to be taken out of AFCD and then to Acorn, and as it turned out an extra one that had been found wandering in a (human) park.  This little guy looks like a cross between a corgi and a French bulldog, so he is now a French corgi, six months old and now licensed under my name.

We now have a good number of smaller-sized puppies and young adult dogs at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre, including the five baby boys who are incredibly cute and starting to play now

If you are interested in adopting any dog or puppy, please complete the Adoption Questionnaire on our website (under Adopt) before anything else so we can see if the home is suitable, or can suggest alternatives. I'm sure there will be a lot of enquiries about the "French corgi" Minto, but there's only one of him so we will choose the best home we can.

The smaller dogs are easy to find homes for and we often have many offers for the same ones, but it's the larger dogs and puppies that tend to have to wait and wait, sometimes - very sadly - for ever.  Now that we have been around for sixteen years (since 2003) and have been at Tai Po for nine of those, it's inevitable that even dogs who came to us as puppies are reaching the end of their natural  lives.  We have so many really beautiful and amazing puppies and doglets at the big Homing Centre, so please remember then when you are thinking of adding to your family.  Many would-be adopters are concerned about the size of the potential dog they might want, but the larger ones are often much easier, meaning less hyper and needy. 

Prudence with our staff member Yannie and the students 
While the dogs are waiting to meet their forever families they help to spread the word about adoption, and the beauty of mixed breeds. 

Prudence enjoyed giving an educational talk last week at TWGHs Kwok Yat Wai College to more than a hundred students and they all loved her. Hopefully they will go on to become responsible dog adopters themselves when they are old enough. Three year-old girl Prudence is very friendly and outgoing, only medium-sized and still waiting for a home.

Monday, 27 May 2019

Mon 27th May: Come while there's full stock

The pups are old enough to be adopted
I took the new dogs for their licensing and health checks today, and all of the adults are young while the tiny pups were at least old enough to be microchipped and vaccinated.  Although they came with a dog we were told was the mother, it seems unusual that there would be not a single baby that had her colouring, and since she's not really producing milk I strongly supect she's just a foster parent.  The pups suckle for comfort but they're actually eating baby food quite happily.  That means they are ready for adoption although at this stage we would need them to go in pairs, or to be with another dog that would accept a puppy's attention and play.  They are all boys, black-and-white except for a black and fluffy one, Daniel.  They are going to be small sized adults, or small-medium at most.

We have quite a collection of small dogs at Ap Lei Chau
The adults are all very sweet and friendly, especially Fuzzy who is probably only a year old and already spoken for.  Lucky adopter!  Freckles is the only boy and again a lovely and happy little dog, and in fact all of them will make great family members.  Dogs come and go on a regular basis so even if you've visited before and there wasn't anyone suitable on that particular day, please keep checking as the perfect match may well turn up at any time.  You will need to complete the Adoption Questionnaire if not already done, and you can find it on our website (under Adopt).

Poor Tiggy will be fine after a couple of weeks
We also have black pug Tiggy who is currently in a foster home recovering from her desexing, eye, and knee surgery on both legs, poor girl.  She's another young and very sweet dog who will be an amazing family dog.

Wallis made sure that she was chosen on Sunday
Our little joker Dudley was picked up today, along with his would-be sister Wallis if everything works out over the coming week's trial.  They're both wonderful puppies in their own way, as are all of the others that are still waiting to be chosen.  Dudley's best friend and partner-in-crime, Jenny, will be going to her own foster home this week, while Wallis's lookalike sister Chelsea is already in a foster home and brother Perkins stays at our Homing Centre.  They are both brilliant puppies, highly recommended (by me).

The pups lined themselves up like this on Sunday

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Sun 26th May: Sad goodbyes mean happy beginnings

Peppa is so sweet and acts like a puppy
I just had a few moments to take a look at the new dogs at our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre before heading over to Whiskers N Paws, but they are all young, gorgeous and small-sized.  French bulldog Peppa is like a puppy too, and although her age when she first came to us in a horrible condition was estimated at being four to five years, I think she may be much younger.  That's the trouble with the ex-breeder dogs, or those that come with no microchip/license, we really have no idea of their real age and have to guess.  Dogs that have been kept in a poor environment and fed rubbish food often appear to be much older than their years so it's really hard to know.  For photos of them all take a look at yesterday's post
Jenny heading for the planter box and greenery

Having escaped the rain on Saturday I thought we were going to have downpours all afternoon, but happily it wasn't too bad and the puppies were able to enjoy some time on the terrace.  However today they all decided that climbing into the planter boxes and eating the bushes was more fun than playing chase, and we spent so much time picking them out of the boxes or collecting them from the other side of the fence that eventually only Jenny and Dudley were left outside.  There are some beautiful shots of the inseparable pair here
 Puppy Adoption Day 26 May 2019 — at Whiskers N Paws
All photos by Tatiana Yankovskaya, and sadly this is going to be their last day together as Dudley was chosen to go home with Wallis, while Jenny is due to be picked up for fostering during the week.
Dudley and Jenny have been inseparable

It's always a sad time when friends and siblings are separated, but when it means that they will have their own family and a whole new life starting it's easier to say goodbye.  Littermates, especially sisters, may grow apart as adults, so we do usually recommend adopting puppies from different litters as a pair.

Doglet Santa, adopted as a baby pup and suddenly returned, had her new family status confirmed today after a very short trial period.  She'd settled in so quickly that the adopters had no hesitation in saying yes to keeping her forever.
Santa's Day was confirmed after a very short trial 
Buddy went home today

I know there are a lot of disappointed would-be adopters for Buddy the Maltese, but he was dropped off today and immediately taken home by his new family, who already have an ex-HKDR dog.  I tried to email everyone who had wanted Buddy to ask them to consider the new dogs, and as a result I think Fuzzy may be adopted once she has had everything done on Monday.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Sat 25th May: A very busy and happy day

It was a perfect day for swimming
Thanks once again to the HK Observatory for getting the weather forecast so wrong and giving us a perfect day at the Pulse in Repulse Bay.  I think it's true to say everyone had a fantastic time, and as there are too many photos for me to post here please go to our to see many more.  Thanks to everyone who came to join the fun, and to the vendors for supporting as well as the volunteers who helped take care of our participating puppies including Dudley, Sailor and Jenny.
Sweet Jenny will be at Whiskers N Paws

Sailor was one of our HKDR Ambassadors

Sinbad was adopted today
You can meet all of the puppies again at Whiskers N Paws on Sunday, but not Sinbad because he was adopted today from our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre, while adopted-and-returned Santa was also given her second chance when she was taken home for a trial.
Peppa came from the same source as today's group

However the real news from Ap Lei Chau was that along with the return of French bulldog Peppa, now once again waiting for a home, we took in a whole group of small ex-breeder (possibly, maybe) dogs and puppies.  They include a pug, poodle, freckle-nosed mix (now Freckles), fuzzy-coated mix (now Fuzzy) and a mother with five totally unlike-her babies.

Thanks once again to Catherine's Puppies and Kaz O'Carroll for the rescue and transport, and to our staff Andrea and Zing for working late into the evening to welcome and settle the dogs and puppies for the night.
Freckle-faced boy Freckles
Fuzzy girl 

Poodle girl
These may not even be this small mother's pups
Pug girl

Obviously we will have to get all of the newcomers to see a vet and to have them microchipped, licensed and their age assessed, but they are at the Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre now if you would like to meet them.  The puppies (all boys) can be adopted in advance as we assume they are healthy and will be ready to go home soon, but again we need to get them microchipped and vaccinated first.

I posted the photo and details of Maltese Buddy on Facebook and have been inundated with adoption enquiries for this cute little guy, so hopefully those who don't get to take Buddy home (as there can only be one adopter of course) will consider the new arrivals.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Fri 24th May: New rules for surrender requests

I'm daring to feel a little bit excited about Saturday, as not only is it Summer Funday at the Pulse, 2pm to 7pm, but we have a few potential adoptions that are getting close to becoming a reality.  No names obviously, but hopefully there will be at least a couple of puppies that won't be at Whiskers N Paws on Sunday.  We're also sending some puppies to Saturday's event so you can meet our little comedians Dudley and Jenny, as well as others.
I think Dudley's going to enjoy the pool at the Pulse

Cooper the German shepherd has his tests done at Acorn today so now we're just waiting for the results which will confirm what the problem is.  He's really just a giant puppy himself and I can't wait for him to find a new home that will give him everything he deserves.
Giant puppy Cooper

I went to bed seething, which I know isn't good but I had just received an email from the owner of the Jack Russell puppy telling me that he had given her to a friend.  The handover to our adopter was scheduled for Saturday after I'd spent so many hours going back and forth with this man, as well as replying to adoption enquiries and trying to arrange meetings, and all the while receiving reasurances that whatever happened he wouldn't back out or pass the puppy to anyone else.  I know I kick myself regularly for believing what people say, but this is the very last time I will fall for this trick and from now on I will need to have the dog's license in my hand and changed to my name before I'll spend a single minute trying to do anything for these people who are so desperately begging for help.  As it happens the owner of the labrador did exactly the same thing, so if ever there was a message it's been received loud and clear.

(I was also unhappy because the new super-duper television I'd just bought to replace my old one stopped working after only two weeks so I couldn't even enjoy a relaxing with the dogs, something they enjoy even more than I do).

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Thurs 23rd May: Changes need to be made

A very skinny and shaved Cooper
I first saw one year-old German shepherd Cooper at the AFCD kennels some time ago and was immediately drawn to him because of his large size, looks and friendliness.  I was told his owner would be coming to pick him up, which was good news of course, but as time passed nobody came.  The dog had bad diarrhoea which I assumed was EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency), common in German shepherds (as well as many other genetic health problems), so I mentioned he needed a special diet as well as digestive supplements.

More time passed and Cooper was still there, so I started pressing for answers as to why, and why - since the owner had long stopped any contact - I couldn't take Cooper out for veterinary treatment.  It was all down to paperwork and procedures, and I was becoming increasingly angry that a sick dog should be held like that when it was very clear that the owner had no intention of coming back to claim him.  I was on the verge of making a formal complaint when Cooper was finally released today, but it's cases like these that need addressing as part of the proposed amendments to the Animal Welfare laws.  Too many dogs get caught in the "procedure trap" resulting in long stays at AFCD, and it shouldn't be like this.  In my opinion, if a licensed dog ends up at AFCD and the owner is contacted but fails to collect the dog, then it should be asumed to have been abandoned and allowed to be re-homed.

I should mention that I have no complaints about the AFCD staff I deal with on a regular basis as they are as helpful as they can be given the rules they are forced to abide by, and they do genuinely care about the dogs.   The problem lies higher up the lines of authority and the inflexibility of certain people.  The irony is that in being so afraid to step out of line and make a common sense and humane decision they draw even more criticism, and almost every day on Facebook I see stories and complaints about how cases are handled.

As it happened, just as I was about to leave the Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre to go home after having dropped Cooper off there so he could go to Acorn in the morning, I was asked if I could do a live video interview with RTHK giving my opinion on the Animal Welfare proposals.  The Cooper story (and other similar cases) were obviously on my mind but you can give your own feedback  here:

Purely by chance I had learned the whole story about Cooper, not from AFCD obviously as they would never reveal any information, but I would hope that when and if the new Animal Welfare proposals become Law,  dogs owners like Cooper's ex would be prosecuted for failing to ever walk or socialise their dog, or treat his health condition, not to mention abandoning him at AFCD and cutting off all contact resulting in his long stay there. 

Cooper's long coat was shaved while he was at AFCD
Cooper's back legs are typical of a German shepherd, weak and wobbly, but hopefully with some exercise to strengthen the muscles he'll improve.  He's a beautiful young dog and incredibly friendly, so if you are interested in giving him a home where he can experience a real and happy life, please complete the Adoption Questionnaire on our website (under Adopt) as a first step.

Saturday is almost here and that means it's almost time for Funday at the Pulse. Entry is free so drop by any time to enjoy the company.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Weds 22nd May: Three little dogs

As you know, readers of my blog are first to see details of new dogs arriving so here are two that I think will be popular and a third that is more urgently in need.  The reason I want to share the details in advance, even at the risk of the dogs not actually turning up, is so there can be homes waiting rather than the dogs needing to stay at the Homing Centres.

Peppa is a very sweet girl and now fully healthy
French bulldog Peppa came from the horrible breeder and was quickly chosen.  However her adopter now has to undergo surgery and feels unable to give four year-old Peppa the care she needs so is doing the right thing by giving her up.  During the time she has been in the home Peppa has recovered from the scabies and ringworm she arrived with, so she's now fully healthy and a very sweet girl.
5 year-old Buddy wants a home with lots of cuddles

Buddy is a Maltese and very much loved by his family.  However after the arrival of a fourth child Buddy is finding it very hard to cope, so after discussing options with me they have agreed it would be kinder to find Buddy a new home where there are either no children, or older ones.  Many dogs are sensitive to the high energy and inevitable screaming of young children, and just can't handle it.

For both of these dogs please complete the Adoption Questionnaire on our website (under Adopt) if you are interested in giving a new and loving home.

Little MeiMei has cataracts so can't see

Another small dog, this time a senior and blind, is also due to come to our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre and we really want to find her a foster, if not a rest-of-life home, before she arrives.  Details of this terrier cross are a bit sketchy and even her age is only given as "around" eleven years, but that's not too old for a little dog.  However the blindness is a concern when joining a multi-dog environment so there must be someone who is willing to take care of such a gorgeous little girl.  Please contact Cindy at if you can help.  We will provide all food and whatever else is required, as well as cover any vet costs.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Tues 21st May: You're never alone with an HKDR dog

Best friends Dudley and Jenny at the dog park
The older (four to five months) Ap Lei Chau puppies moved up to our Tai Po Homing Centre as planned, leaving the smaller and younger ones with a bit more room to breathe but still not really enough.  A month is a long time in puppy terms and you can practically see them growing as you watch, and there are still plenty of older-than-babies left behind. We're lucky to have the dog park so close to the Centre so they can all stretch their legs and run around, but what they really need are homes to call their own and families to love them.
Dorothy (dog park photos by volunteer Harryn)

Sometimes puppies are lucky to be at the right place at the right time, like the two sharpei youngsters who arrived on Saturday.  The boy was adopted immediately with his sister being taken for fostering, but after only a day she hard wormed her way into the heart and home, so now both Archie and Evie are staying forever.  They have really hit the jackpot.

We're keeping our eyes on the weather forecast but regardless of anything it's going to be a great day on Saturday at the Pulse in Repulse Bay. 

Remember too that every day is adoption day at HKDR so you can come any time to meet the dogs.

Bringing a dog home is a big decision. That’s why a big part of what we do at HKDR is “professional matching service” - matching interested families with the right dogs for their very own lifestyles, based on years of homing experiences and knowledge gained from taking care of our adoptable dogs day in, day out.
However, our job doesn’t end on the day the dog goes home with you. We know it’s just the beginning of a long, beautiful journey for both you and the dog, and we promise to provide FULL post-adoption support to every HKDR adopter along the way!
No one will ever be alone with an HKDR dog...Not with the strong team we have at HKDR, including kennel staff who truly care about our dogs and certified dog trainers who are committed to providing lifelong training support!
Interested in adopting a dog from HKDR? All we need is for you to come forward and tell us about you! Let’s begin the adoption journey by filling the Adoption Questionnaire:

Archie and Evie, lucky pups