Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Peak to Fong


On Sunday I turned over my rugby kids to another coach so that I could accompany my furbabies on a dog themed event sponsored by Disney. It was a fundraising hike for the Hong Kong Dog Rescue, which was well attended by canines of all shaped and sizes. People walked, carried, and wheeled their pets from the Peak Galleria to Lan Kwai Fong, where a street carnival awaited us.

The walk wasn't anything special; in fact, it was a bit of a mess unless you were the owner of a small dog. For the rest of us, it was a painfully slow progression downward. There was a traffic jam due to a two meter rise in the trail at one point, if that gives you an idea of the fitness levels. It was a test of our dogs' social abilities, being crowded with so many humans and dogs. All of our friends commented with us that the dogs were pulling harder on their leads than normal and some were exhibiting signs of stress. The highlight of the walk was passing a busload of mainland tourists, many of whom were very displeased to be confronted by so many dogs. Apparently a few of  the tour groups did not know that this was the annual dog walk day or didn't care but their clientele sure did. I got a few chuckles watching several tourists retreating back into the bus with great haste. If you are afraid of dogs, this was probably the closest that you would get to your worst nightmare come to life. Heh.

Down in the Fong, we met a wonderful couple who had helped to care for Elsie and Tippytoes back when they were inmates in Tai Po. The woman was very happy that both dogs seemed to recognize her and greeted her. She kept asking if we were sure that they knew her and we kept assuring her that they certainly did. It's not like Tippy has every thrown herself into a random stranger's lap, although she has tried to enter other people's cars but that is because she knows that taxis mean fun destinations.

I was concerned that Elsie, being the more skittish of the pair, would not enjoy the festival but whatever reservations she may have had disappeared around the time that someone fed her a dog treat sample. She had so much fun that she went straight to bed when we arrived  home, her belly filled with two doggie gelatos, carob dog treats, organic dog treats, numerous other dog treats that were handed to her at the various booths, and half of a muffin wrapper.

Oh yeah, and ten pieces of chicken. There was a competition for catching chicken. We were standing close by and Elsie became very interested when the competition began so SB took her for a closer look. Most of the competitors were small, cute lap dogs. They didn't seem so enamored with the chicken. One owner had near perfect aim and the chicken pieces were literally bouncing off the dog's face. SB asked if he could enter the competition but was told that the entries were closed. After a few more minutes of Elsie bobbing her head back and forth watching chicken being thrown and not caught, the organizers took pity and let her enter the contest.

It did not start well. SB placed her on stage and she hunched over facing the wrong way and looked miserable. Then he got the chicken and she turned to face him like a plant following the sun. The sun being chicken, not SB. It was not SB's day to be accurate. His first pitch went wide right but somehow Elsie dove and the chicken never touched the ground. SB threw high and she jumped, clamping that chicken like she was performing at Sea World. This continued for eight more throws with SB lobbing bricks at her and Elsie making remarkable saves. She sure does love her chicken. They scored 10 out of 10 and tied for the win with two larger dogs that may have had a golden retriever in their family trees. You can't expect a golden not to win in competitions that involve food.

 Elsie going for the win (source: Hong Kong Dog Rescue)

 Elsie was displeased to discover that her prize was not more chicken.


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