Cover Story - Your Happiness Is Also Mine

The Hill’s X SPCA Dogathon 2020 held in January was an enormous success! This was the 34th consecutive year we have held this charity dog walk. At every Dogathon, we continue to see many touching scenes between humans and dogs, and we would like to share a few of these heart-warming stories.

 

Love is never a burden

On the day of Dogathon, participants and their dogs needed to complete a 5.5-km walk. We witnessed many paw-rents carrying large bags containing everything their furry friends might need during the walk. “These bags are full of things for my dogs, water, favourite treats, newspaper, poop bags and even baby wipes. The bags are heavy, but I am very happy,” said paw-rents with big and beaming smiles.

Dogathon was a half-day event starting at 8am, and many dog owners told us that they woke up as early as 5am to prepare for the event. Some noticed that their dog seemed to sense the day was a special occasion. “He was very excited and waiting at the door before I was ready! When we arrived, he was so thrilled to meet so many friends.” More than 760 dogs participated in Dogathon 2020 – undoubtedly one of the best events for dogs to socialise and make new paw-pals!

 

The Best Pawt-ner

Pooches are naturals when it comes to melting the hearts of humans. It only takes a bump from their cute button noses and a gentle prod with their paw to put a big smile on your face. If you want to witness how they capture everyone’s hearts, come to Dogathon and see for yourself. Regardless of age, gender or nationality, everyone was captivated by these adorable mutts. We saw lots of touching moments; owners subtly whispering supportive words in their canines’ ears before the start, and some trying to get their pooches ready for the run by showering them with hugs and kisses.

 

My Pride

The fastest finishing team this year was a lovely family of seven who told us that their neighbours always made fun of how chunky their pooch, Cherry, was. The family decided to make sure Cherry finished the walk first and prove their neighbours wrong! The energetic Cherry lived up to her family’s expectation. “Now I can tell everyone Cherry is the best!” said the proud young owner. Unlike Cherry’s proud hoo-man family, most pet owners were simply overjoyed that their fur-kids finished the walk!

 

Me and my furry friends

SPCA ambassador Elena Kong, joined the Dogathon with her two charming four-legged family members Teddy and Tina. “I tell people I am raising “children” instead of keeping dogs. My dogs always give me unconditional love. The benefits of having a dog is beyond words, only people who have or have had one would understand.” Elena nevertheless pleaded that if people are considering adopting a dog, they should visit SPCA centres first to understand more about them, especially to be aware of their responsibilities and expectations as an owner.

SPCA ambassador Susan Tse, also joined with her two fur-kids Kaka and Magen. “They are experienced volunteers! My dogs are super friendly and love cuddles. I always bring them to elderly homes to visit the residents. Some of the seniors were afraid at first, but after a little while they all started cuddling my dogs.” Susan also shared that a dog’s intelligence can be truly amazing, “my pooch is so smart that he will give me a leg instead of a hand when he is full!”

This is the 4th year that Ng On-yee, a Hong Kong Billiard Sports Athlete, has participated with her Golden Retriever Muffin. On-yee used to be afraid of dogs, however, everything changed since she adopted Muffin. “Muffin is always very happy. All my pressure from training and competitions melts away when I come home and am greeted by him.” On-yee has to travel the world for competitions and she admits that it is difficult to leave Muffin, but feels she has a special connection with him. “One time, I won a competition overseas and I called home to tell my family. They told me Muffin seemed to get the news in advance because he took a bag of treats from the table and ate it to celebrate. He’d never done anything like that before!”

 

Love goes on

One couple stood out – as they came without a dog! The quiet duo walked alongside the pooches and greeted them affectionately. We were so thankful for their support and wondered what made them join Dogathon. In a brief but heart-felt chat, the couple shared that they had just lost their cherished dog a few months ago, and they were walking in memory of their beloved canine. Wearing his fur-kid’s favourite leash on his arm, the husband told us that “we feel like he is walking with us today”.

Thank you for sharing so many touching stories and moments with us – we are inspired by each and every one of you – special memories we hope will last a lifetime.