Wednesday, February 26, 2014

gone to the dogs, part 3

The day before SB and I were to go to Ap Lei Chau to meet more dogs he had an acute gout attack. During a hike, he had kicked a rock very hard and was barely able to hobble the next day. I questioned whether he had broken something but he assured me that twenty years ago when he had his other gout attack, it was the same situation. He had previously also injured his toe and the injury brought on a gout attack. It took a week before he was able to walk without incredible pain. Eventually we had the pain under control and set out for the Sunday adoption day at Whiskers n Paws.

Boy did we choose the wrong Sunday. It was miserably cold and rainy, and there didn't seem to be any big to medium sized dogs (we amended our criteria from large only in hopes of more options). There were several puppies and small dogs but they seemed to all be claimed or at least were being considered for claiming so we didn't want to barge in on a dog that wasn't even our ideal anyway. Our trip wasn't entirely fruitless since we met Stella, who knew many of the dogs from Tai Po and gave us some names to check out. It was only when we were leaving that we found out that the people surrounding the dogs were mostly volunteers and not adopters. Oops.

While I applaud the mostly teenage girls who volunteer to mind the dogs, and they are doing a very good thing by socializing and playing with them, it might be helpful to also present the pooches to potential adopters. Again in their defense, it was cold and rainy and they probably had t-shirts on under their jackets that labelled them as volunteers, but unfortunately all SB and I saw was a large group of adults and children grabbing up dogs to adopt. Later, we reassured ourselves that the dogs there that Sunday were all smaller than what we wanted so no harm was committed.

On the next Saturday, we made our way to Tai Po. We had several dogs to re-view as well as a few of Stella and May's suggestions. SB also wanted to check out the black puppy who turned out not to be a puppy but a smaller dog. Still not fitting our criteria but SB confessed that he felt claimed by her. Her name was Tamara. I looked her up online and discovered that she had a sister named Elsie and though SB assured me that the two could be split up, I was not convinced.

When we got to the homing center May joked about SB's reaction to Tamara, akin to the head turning of a teenage boy seeing a girl he fancied walking by. But when I asked about whether Tamara could be adopted alone, May hesitated. While it would be better to adopt them together, they could be split up just so at least one could have a home. It was heartbreaking but SB adamantly didn't want two dogs and I could not bear to split them up so we asked to see single dogs. When she discovered that we didn't mind black dogs, May brought out Bridget. She was not only not large, but still a puppy...but she was something else.

Bridget had recently arrived at Tai Po and it was clear that she was already a hit with the staff. She was clearly not meant to be there surrounded by canines because she was such a people loving dog. She wriggled as close to us as she could get and was extremely affectionate. My heart melted into a puddle on the floor. SB threw a tennis ball and Bridget not only fetched it but she dropped it at SB's feet!

We played with Bridget for nearly half an hour before realizing that there were more dogs to see. Those poor other dogs didn't have a chance; they were all practically antisocial compared to Bridget. Two of the friendly, aloof dogs didn't alter from that behavior since SB last saw them and one sweet dog showed no interest in fetching the tennis ball or even wanting to run around. So she wasn't right for us but Melinda would make a fantastic dog for someone who treasures a calm, kind companion.

At the end of the day, I was set on taking Bridget home but first SB wanted to see Tamara one more time.

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