“I have always loved dogs since young, but issues like responsibility and space have always been problems. It was always at the back of my mind, but when I started seeing the different dog adoption agencies’ Facebook posts, including SOSD’s, I realized that I have never actually considered adopting as opposed to buying. The more I read about the profiles of these dogs, and the plight of dogs being used for breeding, the more I was convinced that adopting was the way to go. I also preferred bigger dogs, and adopting a dog was the only way to get a bigger dog given the HDB restrictions.
One day, I saw that SOSD was having an adoption drive at a park near my home and I told my family that I wanted to take a look. Surprisingly, they were all interested in going as well. We had not really talked about owning a dog following the numerous rejections I had as a child, so I was quite surprised by this.
I went to the adoption drive with no expectations about the kind of dog I would be able to connect with, or even whether I would be able to adopt one. As we interacted with the various dogs, I could see that my family was opening up more to the idea of having our own dog. When I saw Zelia with her fosterer, something about her attracted me. It was probably her bouncy ears and her personality. I could tell that she was both curious about everything and afraid at the same time. But something about that made me feel like she was a dog that I could connect with and hence I spent more time interacting with her and her fosterer. I became convinced that she would make quite a good fit for my family.
The day I brought Zelia home and walked her for the first time was really surreal for me as I had been dreaming of that moment since I was a child. It definitely wasn’t easy getting Zelia to open up given that she was afraid of pretty much everything, but that made it all the more satisfying when I finally earned her trust and saw that she was very sweet, playful and affectionate. Some memorable moments include times when she would come to me with her toys and continuously nudge me and ask me to play with her. This was especially since I was quite stressed with school at that time and Zelia “forced” me to take a break every now and then.
My family has also gotten closer because of Zelia. I feel like we can all open up and express our emotions when it comes to Zelia. She is like the new kid in the family.
The thing about street dogs is that you really need to be open-minded and interact with them for yourself. You will then realize that as long as you can connect with the dog, it can bring you joy and that will allow you to gain a new friendship regardless of it being a store-bought or adopted dog. The advantage you have with street dogs is that you get to hear about how they’re like from the fosterers before adopting them. When it comes to buying a dog you’re probably basing everything on looks and you have no idea how the dog actually behaves, you may not even be able to connect well with the dog. If you actually see them for yourself, many street dogs are actually really cute and look very nice!”
– Darren, Zelia’s adopter.