“OMG! There are stray dogs wandering around our estate! They will bark and chase after us!
That’s the image of our street dogs, wandering around, hunting for food to survive. Some may be offered food and water but not all are that lucky. Others may die from hunger or illnesses. Have we ever thought about their lives as street dogs? Have we ever tried to understand why they behave the way they do? I recall many years back, while I was cycling in Pulau Ubin, I came across a few large stray dogs and was chased by them, nearly causing me to fall over a cliff. From then on, I was always afraid to encounter street dogs.
BUT today, as the owner of eighteen months young Talia, my perspective has changed. Talia is one of the 12 puppies SOSD rescued from Tuas. Frankly, Talia was not under consideration when my wife and I were deciding on adopting a dog. Our first choice was Sora the super puppy (and we always like to call her that because of her picture in SOSD’s website). I registered my interest with SOSD and waited anxiously for a reply, hoping to get to her before others. A volunteer, Kristy, linked up with a rehomer Hui Jin to arrange for a meeting at the fosterer’s place for an interaction session.
Sora is a high energy puppy but she might be too active for first-time dog owners like us. The kind and wonderful Hui Jin then introduced us to Talia and without a second thought, my wife and I went to see her that very night. Talia was very timid at the beginning and avoided us. Not even treats could lure her closer to us but we kept trying. After an hour, she finally opened up and allowed us to get near her. We even got to follow her around when she went down to do her toilet.
That very night, we started to discuss which puppy was a better choice for us. It was a tough decision to make, between a love-at-first-sight, and a calm and lovely puppy that will not whine and which would not destroy anything at home. We made up our minds the following morning and it’s the best decision we’ve ever made, other than deciding to marry each other.
Talia has now been with us for six months. She is so lovely that even our parents, who used not to like dogs, now miss Talia whenever they don’t get to see her. Talia has changed not only us but also the views of many around us. With a beautiful face and a sweet character, she is loved by many. My wife and I can’t be thankful enough to Hui Jin (our re-homer) and SOSD for rescuing Talia and bringing her to us. We hope that this story will change people’s perspectives about our street dogs, to adopt and not shop because street dogs are lovely too, so long as we humans start to learn how to love and care for them the right way.
We’ve also kept in touch with Sora’s adopter and we meet up for play dates!”
– Yuan Rong and Edmond, who adopted Talia on 1st May 2016