Monday, April 13, 2009

My neighbour just rescued a dog!

Yes, my neighbour just rescued a dog!

He was originally found by the local animal welfare group on the island, PALS (Protection of Animals, Lantau South) which is run by people who love animals and wage a constant crusade to rescue the abandoned, mistreated and abused pets and assorted wildlife in the area, of which there seems to be many. Members of PALS design photo posters to tempt would-be owners into a new pet. The photos are always super-flattering of the animal and even the one eared mongrel with a face only his mother could love produces an “Awe” when the poster is glanced by passers by. These ads also contain a little blurb about the animal which usually mentions canine characteristics or feline features as well as some logistics of this "Soon To Be Your Pet" candidate. Descriptions like “Cindy is in need of an attentive owner who would benefit greatly from a constant companion” which when translated into truth, of course, means “Cindy is a pain of a dog that cannot be left alone because she will eat the sofa” - it is so easy to read between the lines! Posters can be found all around town and in the villages on lamp posts, in vet clinics, bars, coffee shops and in some places there are collection boxes for donations to PALS. The ads are very clever and provide the required amount of guilt by osmosis to convince you that you need to take home a new pet. I am wise the their tricks though, so, whenever I feel the pang of weakness whilst looking at Maurice the Mongrel, I stick a bank note into the collection box and walk away quickly. In all fairness, the volunteers at PALS do a great job and should be commended for the concern they show for waifs and strays – if only there was an organisation like that in Lantau South to look out for the welfare of people!

So, in spite of my protestations and plea's for her to resist the temptation, my neighbour took home one of the rescue dogs. He looks like he would be three times larger if he filled up all the sagging skin he is carrying and handsome isn't a word that comes to mind at all when thinking of how to describe him, but, he is the gentlest, softest dog you could imagine and has not an ounce of aggression in his body, (which is sizable)! I will take his photo of him and post it for you soon.....And so you know who I am talking about, the poor chap has been labelled "Fugly" by his new mistress! Say no more.

Speaking of pets, I read a couple of books a while ago about dogs and their owners. One was Marley and Me by John Grogan, which has since been made into a film starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson and the other was A Dog Year by Jon Katz. I loved both books and even though I don't live with a dog myself, the dogs and their antics had me laughing out loud and crying at the inevitable endings. I haven't seen the Marley film and don't intend to even though the story is great, because I fear the film would spoil the image I have in my mind of Marley and the Grogan family. Jon Katz, I believe, still trains dogs and writes dog training guides too. Both worth reading, especially if you want a cheerful, easy to read escape for a few hours.

So, I'm off to continue with Stella Duffy's The Room of Lost Things. I didn't get very far with it yesterday as the picnic got in the way -- you knew we would, though, didn't you!


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  2. How lovely, I would love to be a volunteer for PALS, it sounds like they do a great job. I have a copy of Marley and Me on the increasingly large pile of my 'books to read', I fear I will be way too upset at the end of the book (like when the lion died in 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe') and so it generally slips down my 'to read next' list.
    Is Fugly one of the dogs in the picture you posted? They all look really cute, but I am totally fooled by a pup with sad eyes so suspect were I to come across these posters that you refer to I would indeed soon have a house full of dogs....not that Eric Cantona Parnell, my 'dog of many breeds' would be impressed, he has little time for other pooches, other than his lady friend Whiskey the Westie who lives a few doors down my street.
    Perhaps you could scan in the poster that tempted your friend to adopt Fugly so we can see the cunning ploys adopted by the clever PALS people!
    I too am testiment to the fact that all dogs, if left alone long enough will eat almost anything, as a puppy Eric chewed the walls, the sofa, cushions, socks, underwear (he still would eat socks and underwear if I am not careful) oh and once he ate one of my shoes.....needless to say he has NEVER been tempted to try that again :o)