【The DOGS】Maple + Pancake + Baby = a sweet family

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Maple (aged 8.5) and Pancake (aged 3.5), both adopted, look like a great pair of buddies in good health, but in fact it has not been all smooth sailing on their journey. They were not getting along at the beginning; Maple had to go through a few major surgeries due ligament rupture twice. It’s the perseverance of their humans, who didn’t give up trying to get the two dogs used to living in harmony for a year, made magic happened. It’s the love and sense of responsibility of their humans, who got Maple the timely medical attention and treatment needed, keeps the family together.

With a newborn baby coming into this loving family, Maple and Pancake now become elder sister and brother. Pearl Ching, the dog mum, shared with us their dog parenting life. “Maple syrup” goes really well with “pancake”, we wonder if the baby would be named as “butter”.


What are Maple and Pancake like?

Maple is sassy, cunning and caring. She thinks she is a human and she acts like a human. Pancake is cheerful and playful. He likes to cuddle, and when he barks, he barks loud, it’s likely a reflection of his timid character.


When and how did you meet Maple & Pancake? Do you still remember the day you met them?

I went to meet Maple after knowing she was from AFCD, available for adoption on Hong Kong Dog Rescue’s blog. On the day we picked her up, Maple looked upset and showed no interest to play in a nearby dog park to where we took her. Later the day, she settled at our home but refused to eat and sleep. I could hear her walking around all night long. She must have been someone’s dog because she was toilet-trained. She didn’t bark at all in the first three months, which led me initially believe she was debarked, luckily she wasn’t.

As for Pancake, I had him when he was just 4.5 months old. His previous owner bought Pancake from a pet shop, who was kept in a tiny cage ever since then. The owner later found taking care of a dog was too much of a responsibility that he put Pancake up for adoption with the help of a friend. We were one of the 50 people who wanted to adopt Pancake. The next day after we got him, a vet found he had Demodex Canis and fungal infections. Since it was contagious, Pancake and Maple needed to be separated for three months. Perhaps due to the lack of interactions in the beginning, their bonding took quite some time. We kept on trying and were happy that they finally got along fine after one year or so.

Did you see a change in your pups before and after adoption?

I could see Maple has become more and more vocal, comfortable and confident at home. I think Pancake was too young to be fully aware that he was given up, so I didn’t really notice a change.

柯基狗Left: 5-year-old Maple when first adopted. Right: Maple is now 8.5 years old.

Are there any habits or quirks that your pups have which you think are adorable?

For Maple, she doesn’t enjoy going for walks in our neighbourhood because she prefers to explore new area. When she doesn’t see our car right away (implying she needs to walk a bit further to get on it), she will turn around, head back to the elevator and go home. Another habit of her is to wait for everyone to come home before she heads to bed, even if we come home at 3am.


For Pancake, he likes to have his wet nose touch people’s legs to let them know he is around. He likes tucking his head underneath pillows and cushions when he sleeps.

What food do your pups like most?

They like all kinds of food. Maple likes strong-tasted food, and is picky about fruits (won’t eat sour berries). Pancake eats everything.

柯基狗Left: Pancake is eager to snatch some snack. Right: Maple is waiting with a bit more patience.

Where do you usually shop for their daily needs?

They eat home-cooked food, so I often go to wet market and supermarket. For other supplies, I buy from Whiskers and Paws. I also like to order bow ties, bandanas, clothes, collars, leashes, treats, from overseas and small local shops. I have ordered from the US, Korea, Japan, Ireland, UK, Singapore, Canada…

Where is their favourite hangout place(s)?

Cyberport and Stanley. We like bringing them out to dog-friendly restaurants.


Congratulations on the arrival of your beautiful baby! How do your pups respond to your new member of the family?

The first day I brought my baby home, Pancake was frightened by the crying that he hided in the kitchen, while Maple was staying calm beside the crib. Slowly Pancake gets adapted to the noise, and now he always look out for opportunities to lick and stay with the baby. Maple likes sleeping next to baby’s crib. Every time the baby cries, both of them will come running to let me know.

Have any tips and tricks to prepare your pups in advance of baby’s arrival?

I talked (almost every night) to the dogs to let them know there will be a new family member arriving. I was brain-washing them.  I think they understood (at least Maple did)! During my pregnancy, Maple would follow me to the washroom at night and only return to bed after I did. I gave Pancake baby crying soundtrack to listen to beforehand. After the baby came home, I have still been giving alone time to bond with the dogs to make sure they don’t feel left out.


What do your pups mean to you?

Maple and Pancake are my children. They are sister and brother to the baby sister.


Related reading: Where can you adopt in Hong Kong?
Related reading: Overly rationalize buying a pet?
Related reading: 5 easy tips on living with dogs and babies


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