Rudolph first came to us after being given up by his trophy hunter owner. Imported from Canada as a young puppy, as he grew, interest in him waned and as usual, he was given away to someone on Lantau. He was happy and loved for the next few months anyway, though he had no training at all and as a large young, boisterous adult was quite a handful. Disaster struck and the couple were evicted which was followed by a life threatening illness and an inability to care for Rudolph lead to him being tied to a tree with a bowl of water and food during the day regardless of weather. He has food guarded ever since, as all he had to call his own was a bowl! Rudolph came to us mostly because nobody would take him, he was so big, strong and hard to handle. And so began the task of finding this extremely boisterous, manic, lush-coated and cold-weather Husky a home!
In what we hoped was a temporary measure, Rudolph was moved to a kennel where he was looked after by the staff, however they found it hard to handle him due to his size and strength and he wasn't exercised enough. Our volunteers went up there weekly and took him out as often as possible.
As Rudolph had become so large he couldn’t fit into the largest crate available and required to fit on one of the smaller planes to get him to Cincinnati. So we had to fly him to Chicago and his new dad drove for 6 hours in freezing temperatures to pick him up, with his new pack in the back of the car. The concern was that there would be potential strife between the newbie dog Rudolph and the established order. Amazingly and happily, this wasn’t the case. In fact Rudy (as he is now known) jumped into the back of the car with the other dogs and laid himself out on the seat! He stayed there quite comfortably for the entire 6 hour return journey. Once back at his new house he learned how to use a dog-flap and partnered up with his BFF, Togo, for a play in the garden. Rudy picked out his own bed and learnt to be around cats without trying to eat them, he submitted to brushing and playing with Doug’s daughter – all a lot to take in for a dog abandoned on a very hot island in the middle of the South China Sea!
The next step was to get Rudy into a harness with his dog pack – and do what he was born to do. Taking cues from his buddy Togo, Rudy made it through pulling the sled for 6 miles before tiring – that was his first outing and he learned quickly. His lack of exercise and poor muscle tone contributed to his tiredness but with practice and training, Doug felt it wouldn’t take long for Rudy to get up to speed. And so proved the case. Rudy now happily pulls the sled for hours with his team. He loves the snow and cold weather and will often be found romping with Togo outdoors. Happily Doug decided to keep Rudy as a teammate and buddy for Togo, we couldn’t be happier.
Our latest update was that Rudy is still his big fluffy goofball self. He still sleeps close to his bowl or even with his head in it (a practice he learnt when left alone on Lantau, to guard his food) and as the weather warms up, his favourite pastime is digging up moles with Togo in the huge garden. Never once has he tried to leave or jump a fence which was a favourite past time in Hong Kong.
He likes nothing better than hanging his head out of the car window when on a journey somewhere and hates it when Doug leaves without him! How times have changed for Rudy - we would love this sort of happy ending for all of our pups. This is just further illustration – if it’s needed – as to why breeds such as Huskies have no place in Hong Kong – they are outdoor, large and demanding dogs.
Please do not import them, but export them back to where they can live happily in a climate more suitable!