Jason (The pup, Part#4)

Filed in Dogs of our Lives

A couple of weeks ago, Jason was hit by a car. That's his name, Jason. We were trying to avoid naming him because it would mean that we'd end up keeping him, building an attachment to him that would be difficult to break. So instead of naming him, we were calling him "number 11" 「十一號」. It then occurred to me that this was worse than naming him because it inferred that he was going to be our eleventh dog, so we named him. I wanted to name him Lucky because I think he's been lucky to have met us, to have survived the screwworm flies and to have made it this far. My wife didn't like the name though so I asked her to come up with one of her own. She named him Jason.

We hadn't taken the time to train Jason on a leash. Actually, I had taken him out a few times on leash without any problems. He would tug hard in different directions, look back puzzled at the leash and then eventually realise that he wouldn't be getting away so he'd relax. Unfortunately, we normally take five dogs out at a time so adding Jason to the bunch was not an easy thing to do. I was ok with it because I'm a big guy but our helper wasn't up to the task. Nevertheless, Jason liked to follow us out on our daily walks.

Dad with Jason

It was while on one of these walks that Jason got hit by a car. The helper came back after the walk and told me how she heard him yelp and saw him do a summersault or two before getting up and bolting off down the road. He didn't come back and the helper couldn't find him.

That night, I walked down the road four times looking for him, calling his name and whistling for him as I walked. It was raining the fourth time I walked down but the air was warm and getting wet was not my primary concern.

I had to give up and come back home, hoping that he hadn't been seriously injured and that he hadn't collapsed from internal bleeding.

It rained heavily that night.

Around three in the morning, I heard his signature bark. Ever since we had him, he would race outside to take his walk and do his business and then race back to the outside of our garden gate and bark to let us know that he was back. Eventually, I was able to teach him to run around to the front gate where I'd let him in, but waiting and barking at the garden gate was still the first thing he'd do each time he returned.

I recognised the bark, went around to the garden gate and let him in. It was raining but he was fine. The next morning, we discovered in the better light that he had a scrape on his face, just above the cheek bone. Otherwise, he was in great health. This was one amazing dog. Sleeping tablets can't put him to sleep and cars can't kill him.

He was lucky. That incident with the car taught him to be wary of cars. Prior to that, he would walk all over the road, ignoring each and every car and truck that went past. It was as if they didn't exist and I worried about him often. Now, he was scared of the cars, so much so, that he refused to go with us on our walks. After getting to the top of the village road, we'd continue on our way and he'd backtrack back to the house and wait for us there.

Over the last couple of weeks, he has continued to improve, becoming less and less wild. He still likes to nip when he plays with us; especially me; but it's just fun and he's not trying to hurt anyone.

We placed advertisements to find a new home for him in the local ParknShop store, and on the windscreens of the cars parked in one of our village car parks but no one called.

Jason was staying with us.

Then a week ago, a young girl asked us about Jason. She knew an old lady who was looking for a new dog. One of her dogs had just died and the others were aging. She had had lots of experience with dogs so dealing with somebody as lively, strong, rough and playful as Jason wouldn't be a problem.

Yesterday, I silently took Jason out the front gate leaving everyone else at home. I opened the car door and he happily jumped in. It was difficult keeping him still and in the back seat while driving to the pier in Bak Sha Wan 白沙灣 but we arrived safe and sound.

We got out of the car and walked over to where the ParknShop store used to be. I couldn't see the girl who had organised to meet us there but she might have been late. We walked around a bit with Jason excitedly trying to go everywhere and smell everything all at the same time.

And then we saw the girl. She was waving at us and walking up from the end of the pier. We walked down to her. Her strong sun-tanned shirtless husband took Jason's leash from me and began walking him down toward the end of the pier. Jason didn't mind that somebody else was holding the leash and continued to try to go everywhere and smell everything.

When we arrived at the end of the pier, they began going down the stairs to a waiting motor boat. Jason was scared out of his mind because he'd never been on a boat before and never been down stairs near water. He did get on the boat though with some pulling from the man and he stood on one of the middle benches, slightly off balance but doing ok.

He was going to a new life, a life on a fish farm, something I'd never imagined. It wasn't going to be a posh life in a home with canned dog food. It was going to be a life where he wouldn't be allowed indoors, where he'd be eating rice and bread for most of his life, and where he'd probably have the best time of his life running around everywhere, getting exercise, playing with the other dogs and possibly riding boats with his new owners every chance he got.

Of course, what happens next is unknown to me. I can only hope that he'll be fine but I instinctively feel that he'll have a wonderful life.

I miss him though. It was a tough time we had together; meeting him on the road, trying to get him to the vet, teaching him not to bite so hard, to be softer and easier with us humans and trying to teach him to be a better dog.

I watched the boat with its single bright light as it headed out to sea under the darkening sky. For ten minutes, I watched before it turned left around an island and disappeared from sight.

I sought out the girl today and asked her about Jason. She said he's fine. He's tied up away from the other dogs to prevent fighting at this early stage but he's eating well and not making any noise. They're quite surprised by his good nature.

She said I can visit him. I'll give him two weeks to adjust and accept his new environment and owners, and then I'll visit.

It'll be great to see him again.

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16 Responses to “Jason (The pup, Part#4)”
  1. sapphire says:

    Jason 和你終如守得雲開見月明,恭喜晒!
    跟Jason 在相片中的那一位 gent 應該是河世伯啦?我曾在一週刊見過你跟他的合照,今次應該無搞錯。

  2. 河國榮 says:

    yep. that was Dad. Mum and Dad were here in Hong Kong for two weeks, coincidentally when Jason was hit by the car. Dad liked Jason too ;-)

  3. Jess says:

    I'm so glad that Jason has found a new home. I hope his new owners will love him and give him a happy life.

  4. junny says:

    While reading your entry, I was hoping that Jason would end up staying with you, but it's good that he's found a new home. I hope Jason's new owners will love him dearly and take good care of him. :) If you can, please post pictures of Jason. He sounds like a really adorable dog.

  5. junny says:

    Oops, I just realised you DID post a pic of Jason. Apologies for my lapse, and he is really adorable!!

  6. Daniel says:

    It is really a moving account how a dog lover said good-bye to his much loved pet, though we all understand you cannot afford to keep it because you are already taking care of 10 dogs.

    You are just such a nice guy!

  7. Cynthia says:

    Love to heard the happy ending for Jason. Of course I was hoping that you could keep him. I hope his new owner will love him as much as like you and your wife. Please visit him more often if you have time. You and your wife such are wonderful couple...both are dogs lover and have good heart.

  8. jayce says:

    i gasped when i read "Jason was hit by a car" and held my breath reading on..
    *whew* luckily he is fine!!

    This lucky guy... can really escape anything! haha, really wish him all the best! Hopefully he will enjoy his new life in the farm!

  9. L says:

    hey i read the interview you had with some magazine, prob months back?
    anyway, i remembered the link and google it after i got home and it links me here! A ha!
    just to say that i think you've got guts to live up to your dreams as an actor here.
    work hard and best of luck to your future career!

    PS: i'm a dog lover too, i have 3 dogs at home. and ya, i live in the N.T. as well, hope to bang into you some day?

  10. Alison says:

    When I first saw the title, I thought Mr. J is called Jason and he ended up adopting Doggie #11. For a split second, I even thought the man in the picture is Mr. J. Ha, ha, I'm quite imaginative, ain't I?

    Anyways, can't say how happy I am for Jason. I hope the family will treat him well and he will adjust to his new life quickly and happily. He's truly an amazing dog.

    I think all of us, esp. Greg and his wife, are relieved.

    Separately, Greg, do u think shopping malls like Uptown Plaza allow pets? I plan to bring my toy-size pom to attend the SPCA talk. :-)

  11. Karen says:

    Hey, just came across your blog, I think it's so awesome that you have one you can share with the public/fans. I've been watching you in TVB series since the 90s and I've always wandered who that "gweilo" was lol. It would be really interesting if you could post something biographical about your life in Hong Kong as an actor. I'll see you on TV...

  12. ros says:

    Hello, i came from Malaysia..I always watch your drama or film since 90s too..
    Sometime when u acted as an officer of police..I really thought that it does suits you well as a policeman.
    So how's your latest drama or film..

  13. Bobo says:

    河國榮: 你好嗎?我看到壹週刊有關你的專訪,我覺得你好有理想,一個外國人來到香港生活了二十年,真不容易,我亦好佩服你學習廣東話學得好好,自問我自已想學好英語反而學來學去也學不好,你在無線做藝員已有很長時間,你知道嗎,你的名字已很多人知道,因為你改個名改得好,在香港你的知名度很高,須不致大紅大紫,但已經好成功,希望你不要氣餒,要繼續努力,不要給自己太大壓力,你要記著,一個成功的人過去亦一定經過重重挫折及失敗,我相信你一定會達到理想,我會為你打氣,努力.

  14. s says:

    I got a reply from you! Hey, your picture in this blog looks very handsome!

    I am very impressed by your chinese!

  15. Jo ^c^ says:

    This blog was recommended by a blog fren of mine~~ what a great recommendation! love reading all of the post u made, and GO AUSSIE GO, i had been living in Sydney for the past 15 years, and just recently came back to Hong Kong for work and trying to settle in and once again calling Hong Kong my home. Is wierd to think you as an AUssie had been living in Hong Kong for so long, and also thinking me as chinese can also lived and studied in SYdney like i was born there! what a wonderful world we live in, i hope you continue to share your experiences with us, great work, and i miss talking to an aussie~~ whahhaha!
    DO U STIll keep up with the Aussie News? Hackett had broken the 800m FreeStyle World Record in the Championships (main point is, he had broken Ian Thorpe's record wahaha ) what a champ!

    Ps I am a great fan of urs PLUS TVB, a true TVB Addict!! gREAT PERformance made in CHING MAI HARK SUM LUM! wish i could taste those cakes myself!

    CHeers Mate
    Jo ^c^

  16. Alex says:

    This is awesome, I'm a big fan of you since I was little.
    Good Read.
    Cheers!!