Originally meeting in New York, Richard and Tierney moved to Tokyo, before arriving in Hong Kong where they live with their three beautiful dogs, Eddie (12), a Basset Hound, Pinot (6), a West Highland Terrier, and SophieCheesecake (5), a Basset-mix.
Animals have been a big part of the couple’s life.
Because of this, the couple decided to buy Pinot from a breeder in Japan, although the conditions in which Pinot had been kept were poor.
“[The breeder] had space, but not a lot of it. It was a factory- perhaps nicer than most, but it was still a puppy mill,” Richard explained. “We did the tests to see if Pinot would come to us, like clicking near her ears, and she was just not interested; not good at interacting. We ended up feeling like we’d rescued her because this place wasn’t up to scratch. We made a decision after that, that we weren’t going to buy straight from breeders anymore; we were going to adopt.”
Tierney added, “her first 24 hours with us, [the vets] had to hook her up to an IV to rehydrate her. She had worms, kennel cough, ear mites- everything. 10 weeks in a row at the vet.”
Deciding to adopt in future, Richard and Tierney brought SophieCheesecake over from Tennessee in 2014 and learned how she had been found walking the streets. She had lost so much weight that her ribs could be seen through her fur. “She was wild initially”, Richard recalled, “and didn’t know how to live with other dogs or humans.”
Tierney remembered how previously “[she] couldn’t move without yelping in pain and no-one had diagnosed her. She had an MRI and lumbar puncture before we could figure out the issue… [s]he came to us with serious behavioural issues that have taken years of patience and affection to train out of her. She’s still not perfect, but is getting better all the time.”
Despite SophieCheesecake’s challenges, the family love nothing more than relaxing after work by watching TV together in the evening and heading out for walks at the weekend when the weather isn’t too hot. Sometimes Eddie provides the entertainment too…
“[He] once got into a cereal box. It was pretty empty, but he spent an age trying to get his head further into the box and eventually became stuck. Once he realized that he was stuck he tried briefly to get the box off (his short front legs wouldn’t really help him much). After that, he just gave up, so we let him stand facing the wall with a box on his head for two minutes before we helped him out!”
The dogs certainly keep Richard and Tierney busy, but seeing them get healthy and enjoy life is worth every second.
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