Remember SOSD’s largest ever rescue – an Alaskan Malamute called Lambo?
Fate often brings people together, and in this story, fate brought a huge dog and a couple together.
Crystal and Alex got married a year ago and were eager to emigrate to San Francisco and start a family. However due to work commitments, they had to spend some time in Singapore.
Being a big-built, Russian man, Alex’s dream was to have a giant teddy bear-like dog, so they were set on getting one or two Alaskan Malamutes after they settled down in San Francisco.
“During a Chinese New Year gathering, we were enthusiastically updating some long-time friends about our plans. A friend present, who is an ardent volunteer at SOSD, quickly mentioned that coincidentally, a three-year-old Alaskan Malamute had recently been brought into the shelter.”
One thing led to another and before long, Crystal and Alex were at SOSD’s shelter waiting anxiously to meet Rocket (previously known as Lambo).
“Rocket, at 47kg, was the biggest dog the shelter had ever received. My immediate thought when we first laid eyes on him from a distance was ‘Oh. My. God. He’s HUGE’..”
“Are we really doing this??!” Rocket ploughed towards us dragging his handler with him. Rocket was shaven down to his skin due to tick and flea infestation. He was also very malnourished and we could see his rib-cage pressed against his skin and his hip bone jutting out of this thin body. His skin was flaking from bacteria and yeast infections; some parts looked red and inflamed. And don’t even get me started on the smell produced by the yeast infections. I glanced at my husband and we saw that endearing look in Rocket’s eyes; immediately, our hearts went out to him. We knew we wanted to give this gentle giant the home and care he deserves.”
Crystal and Alex adopted Rocket knowing that it would be a tough (and very expensive) road to recovery for him.
Seeing his progress after weekly visits to the vet made everything worthwhile for Crystal and Alex.
“Rocket is a very loving dog that would happily welcome us with his wagging tail. He is also a goofy fella that sometimes thinks he’s the size of a Chihuahua.”
Rocket is an intelligent dog, picking up basic commands quickly. He is also a skilled escape artiste.
“Once he found a way out of his confinement area to take a pee and returned unnoticed!”
However, things weren’t all smooth and rosy for Crystal and Alex. Rocket’s aggression issues started to surface. He had severe food guarding issues probably because of food deprivation in the past. He also did not know how to interact with other dogs and even lashed out at people in close contact with him i.e. Crystal and Alex, and his groomer, sometimes causing physical hurt.
“Given his size, he was a challenge unlike anything we’ve experienced before. But giving up on him was never an option for us. When we took him in, we were committed to giving him a loving home; he became family. With lots of patience, encouragement, support from our SOSD re-homer, and exposure at dog parks (and treats of course!), he has learnt to be confident and comfortable around people and other dogs. He has shown us that where there is a will, there will be a way.”
“Today, Rocket’s a happy, healthy boy who gives us back so much love. We saw him bounce back from his unfortunate past and flourish into this 64kg massive ball of fluff he is today, and we are very proud pawrents because of how far he’s come.”
SOSD’s next adoption drive is:
18th Dec (Sunday)
1pm – 5pm
Paya Lebar Square
60, Paya Lebar Road,