Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A taxi ride and a visit to the vet...already???

First, the ride...
This beagle had my first taxi ride in Hong Kong yesterday. Now, in Malaysia, dogs are not allowed in taxis. Not so in HK. Animals are allowed in taxis with a surcharge payment of 5 HKD (around 60 US cents). I suppose in a country where most of its residents rely on public transportation, it makes sense that taxis carry canine passengers as well. However, not all taxi drivers like to carry canine passengers as mum and I found out when we tried to hail a taxi. Although the taxis had the "For Hire" sign, some did not stop for us. However, the fourth taxi driver that did not stop for us was a really nice chap. Mum and him were happily chatting about the plant on his dashboard in the limited Malaysian cantonese that mum could speak.

Meanwhile, I wasn't pleased that mum didn't allow me to get on the seat. She said that it's not our car and other passengers may not appreciate sitting on dog fur. So, she made me sit on the floor. Naturally, I tried to get onto the seat. So mum gave me the sit command and as reward for good behavior, I got to eat doggie treats. So that kept me happy throughout the journey.

Then, the vet...
Which brings me to the purpose of this beagle's taxi ride in the first place. My humans decided that a visit to the vet is required due to a couple of pee incidents. The first happened whilst I was staying with gramps before I joined my humans. Gramps had given me a wonderful bath that evening and this beagle was so comfortable that I fell into a deep sleep. The next morning, gramps discovered that I had wet my bed during sleep. The second incident happened in HK. I was sitting in the kitchen watching my humans eat dinner. When I got up, my humans discovered a small pee puddle where I was sitting.

Their conclusion - possible case of incontinence. After all, this beagle is 9 years old. So, that's how we ended up visiting the vet at the HK SPCA. My vet, Dr. Laurie is a very nice German gentleman and immediately put me to ease. Mum told him that I did not like going on the steel table so he examined me on the floor instead. He gave me a clean bill of health on the physical examination. Then he went away to test my urine sample. Fortunately, it was clear too. No case of infection. So, he concluded as my humans did that it was urinary incontinence. He said it was a common issue among female dogs that were spayed when young. So, I'm now on Propalin syrup which mum injects into my food twice a day. I 'm supposed to take it for two weeks to see if that helps me. Chances are I may have to take it for life. Unfortunately, one of the side effects is loose stool. So my humans have been monitoring me to see if I need to "go". They are getting a lot better at reading my body language. When they see me pacing around, they now know that I need to pee/poo.

By the way, thanks for the suggestions and prayers about our situation. My humans is seriously considering gettting a patch of real grass in a box to put on our balcony. They now have to do some research on where to source for that in Hong Kong. Until then, my humans will have to take me down often to relieve myself. Meanwhile they are relying on Urine Off to get rid of the pee odor when I do have accidents (which apart from the Typhoon 3 incident, has been kept to a minimal).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hits and misses

It's Kess' fourth day in HK. It's great having her here with us. She is adjusting well in most respects. She enjoys meeting new canine and human friends on our walks. She loves going on the lift to go down for a walk. The staff at our apartment love her. She'll perform tricks for treats for them and all parties benefit! Those are our hits...

And now for the misses...from house to apartment. Back home, we used to leave the door open for her to go to the garden to pee. But we can't do that anymore coz we don't have a garden! So, our biggest miss is Kess having pee accidents in the apartment. On her first day, she had 2 accidents. We learnt from that and adjusted our pee walks. In a day, we take her downstairs 7 times. First thing in the morning, after breakfast (which is also her long walk), mid-morning, mid-afternoon,evening (second long walk), after dinner and before bed time. The schedule worked fine for 2 days, until typhoon 3 signal hit HK today. Strong winds and showers put a halt to our pee schedule. I did take her out around noon despite the wind and rain but she was more interested to sniff than pee. After a small branch falls from a tree, I decided to head back before a bigger branch fell! Well, lo and behold, pee accident no. 3 happened in the apartment, followed by pee acccident no. 4 an hour later.

I had followed some tips on the internet about soaking some pee and transferring that to a section in the back room where we had laid newspapers where we had intended for her indoor pee place. Somehow, it's just not working...Sigh...Maybe I just need to keep at it. I'm frustrated and I'm sure she's confused too... We welcome any suggestions to help Kess live happily in our apartment.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The beagle has landed

From the desk of Kess' mama:

The long-awaited call came at midnight, "Kess has arrived. She's fine. We'll have her delivered to your home in an hour's time."

Finally, the beagle has landed. She survived the journey fairly well, with the exception of a little tantrum spell where she tore a rug we had put in her crate for her comfort.

The first thing we did when we were reunited was to take her for a walk. The pet relocation agent had let her out to stretch her legs and pee after she arrived at the airport but she needed a little reward for being such a good traveller. Here is a picture journal of her first 18 hours in Hong Kong:

Kess'first ride on the lift. She enjoyed checking out her reflection in the mirror.

Enjoying a liver treat (courtesy of Evie) after her journey

After checking out every nook and corner of our new home, Kess does what she usually does - groom herself. That's how we know she's totally settled down.

This morning, after breakfast, Kess checks out the Hong Kong city view from our balcony.

Kess' first experience with the muzzle, due to the cases of dog poisoining on Bowen Road...As expected she did not like it at all. In the end, we took it off because she was unable to pant in this nylon muzzle. In this balmy summer weather, we will have to look for another option. We've seen other dogs with a plastic muzzle with breathing holes. We'll have to look for that in the pet shops here. Meanwhile, we just have to be super vigilant during our walks.

Walking on Bowen Road trail, a lovely green oasis in the midst of tall Hong Kong skyscrapers.

A happy beagle after her walk!

Time for a snooze...

As Cesar Millan says, dogs really do live in the moment!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Missing Kess

From the desk of Kess' mama:

I miss my little beagle. Thankfully, we'll be reunited in a few short days. Kess has gone to the govt vet for her physical examination and all her paperwork is now in order. She is happily staying with my parents, probably being spoilt to bits! Every morning, she will wait at the stairs for my mum to wake up and take her for a walk. No doubt dad will give her a piece of bread for tea (she never gets tea time when she's with me).

J and I have been in HK for close to a week now. Apart from putting our human affairs in order and setting up home, we've been busy exploring where to take Kess for walks. We found a great trail nearby, the Bowen Road trail, a popular walkway with joggers and dogs. When I go for a walk in the morning, I see lots of dogs, some walked by their humans, others by the domestic helpers. The one downside to this lovely trail is that there is a serial killer on the loose - dog serial killer! Since 1989, there has been more than 70 cases of dog poisoning and more than 20 deaths as a result of it. The most recent case took place just before Christmas last year. The killer leaves cooked chicken, laced with powerful insecticides. Who knows what posseses a human to do such a cruel thing? The police have offered a hefty reward for information on the killer but there has been no progress so far.

Anyway, to be on the safe side, we've bought a muzzle for Kess. She'll probably hate it but this beagle is a champion sniffer and super greedy. Back home in Malaysia, I've lost track of the number of times she has picked up food from the ground before we can stop her. So, we just can't risk her being poisoned. All throughout the trail, warning signs have been posted to alert dog owners to be careful. With a bit of precaution, I'm sure Kess will enjoy walking on this trail. For starters, she'll definitely meet a lot more dogs than back in Malaysia. So she'll have an active social life.

Counting the days till she arrives....

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Busy, busy, busy

As the move date draws closer, life in our household is chaotic, to say the least. My humans have been busy spring-cleaning, deciding what to bring over to Hong Kong, what to leave at home, what to recycle/give away and what to throw. Not surprisingly, our home is pretty messy at the moment, with boxes and bags scattered all over.

At the same time, my humans have been busy trying to sell the car, close accounts and the 101 things in their "when we have to move overseas to-do-list". To top it off, they also have been busy catching up with all their friends before they go, which equals quite a fair bit of farewell lunches and dinners. Me, I am quite happy to go over to our neighbour, Aunty C's home when my humans are out. I will definitely miss our awesome neighbours!

My humans have decided to send for me 1 week after they leave. In the meantime, I will stay with gramps. They figured that the 1 week will give them time to run their errands and sort out all the stuff they need to do in their "when we arrive overseas to-do-list". Then, when this beagle finally joins them, my humans, or at least mum, will be able to spend some quality time at home with me to help me settle to condo living in a new country.

Mum continues to worry how I will cope with the travel and being in a crate for long periods. Although the flight to HK is only 4 hours, pick-up to the airport, will take place 6 hours before flight time. I will spend a couple of hours at the KLIA Animal Hotel where mum has requested for me to be let out of the crate until preparation for departure takes place, approximately 2 hours before. Upon arrival at HK Airport, it will be another 4-6 hours before I can be reunited with my humans as I would have to clear Customs Inspections, get my 2nd rabies jab and get a HK microchip, which is of a different standard from my existing chip.

So, as you can see, we are really quite busy. So, this would be it for now. My next post will be from HK. Until then, take care.

P.S. The mess below was created by a beagle who didn't like to be left home alone and has nothing to do with the move...

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