It is our weekly routine every Saturday evening. After piano class, I will walk Cass to a pet shop next to the music center to say hello to the puppies there that we meet weekly. We will coo over those super adorable pups. Most of them are imported exotic dogs. Each time we step into the pet shop, I will have a hard time pulling Cass out of the shop. Last Saturday, it was especially hard for me to persuade Cass to leave the pet shop. There was a new puppy in the shop and it was a mega cute and fluffy Samoyed. It was like a ball of white cotton with super cute eyes and nose that resembled shiny black longan seeds. The eyes had double eyelids and long eye lashes. The Samoyed pup connected with Cass immediately and was barking at Cass while tapping the glass panel with its paws excitedly, following Cass wherever she went to. Cass and I were totally besotted with the gorgeous Samoyed!
The Samoyed pup looked exactly like the one in the picture below. And the price tag for the Samoyed pup?
A frigging RM7,000!!
I gulped looking at the price tag. It was one of the most expensive dogs in the pet shop. Other breeds like Husky and Chow Chow cost RM5k – RM6k each.
Cass begged me to buy her the Samoyed with twitchy nose. But hello, it’s a frigging RM7k!! Even if it was RM700, I would have to say NO to her as we live in a condo where pet dogs are not permissible, though some residents keep small dogs. Plus I have NO time to care for a dog, NO extra budget for a pet and NO space for it.
Since that Saturday, Cass has been bugging me to buy her that Samoyed pup. Each time she begs me with pleading eyes, I will give her the same reasons why we can’t have a pet dog yet.
When Cass pestered me for a pet dog yesterday, I told her that when my third and last pet dog, Spotty died, I told myself that I will never have a pet dog again. I told her how heartbreaking it was for me each time my pet dogs left me for doggie’s heaven.
My first unofficial pet dog was a stray that my brothers and I named ‘Brownie’ in English and ‘sau keok‘ in Cantonese. Sau keok means skinny legs in English. Brownie was a skinny, female dog that lived at our back lane. My brothers and I would feed Brownie with leftover food and bones every evening. We adored Brownie very much. I was 12 years old that year. One day Brownie gave birth to a litter of brown pups. My younger brother, Roy and I were besotted with the pups. When my back lane neighbor gave the pups to her friend, I would cycle with my brother Roy behind me on the bicycle to visit the pups whenever I could in the evening. One morning during the school holidays, I was woken up from my sleep by a loud gun shot, followed by the eerie sounds of a dog yelping in pain. Till today, I can still remember Brownie’s last cries when she was shot to death. I ran out of my room to the back lane and my back lane neighbor told me that the Dewan Bandaraya guys had killed Brownie. I then saw a group of men in uniform killing more stray dogs at the back lane with a long sharp spear. My heart dropped. The sight was too gruesome and cruel. I ran inside the house bawling while screaming “Brownie is dead, they killed Brownie!!” I mourned for Brownie’s passing for weeks.
Less than a year later after we moved into our new house, our neighbor’s Spitz dog gave birth to some pups. He gave us a white Spitz pup which we named Ricky. Ricky looked like a Samoyed. Everyone adored Ricky but he did not live long. One morning, my big brother Ray left the front gate opened when he went up the school bus. Ricky was ran over by the school bus! I ran out of the house, shell shocked to see Ricky writhing in pain on the road. It felt like seeing my own heart beating its last beat on the road. Ricky was frothing in the mouth. I ran up to my parents’ bedroom and with tears streaming down my cheeks, I begged my dad to bring Ricky to the vet. That evening when dad fetched me from the ACS swimming pool after swimming lessons, he broke the bad news to me that the vet had to euthanize Ricky as its pelvis was crushed. I will never forget that fateful day. I was holding back tears all the way from the ACS swimming pool to the vet’s office, where my dad brought me to say my last goodbye to Ricky. I will never forget the look on Ricky’s eyes in the cage. The last goodbye was SO SO SO painful. I mourned painfully for Ricky’s death for days by locking myself in my bedroom. I remember my parents coming into my room to console me. They promised me that they will get me another pet dog.
Months later, big brother Ray’s bestie told him that his dog had just given birth to some puppies and asked us if we wanted one. I couldn’t be happier! I begged my parents to let me have a replacement pet dog. I still remember my mum bringing me to Alan’s house opposite the turf club in Ipoh to bring the puppy home. That was in February 1987. For the first time, I saw Alan’s mum, whom I have no inkling that she would be my MIL 13 years later! I was 14 years old then. We named the puppy Spotty as it has light brown patches on its body. Spotty lived healthily and was very much loved for 12 years. It died just a few months before my younger brother Roy left Malaysia for the UK for further studdies. Spotty died on Roy’s lap on the way to the vet. I again mourned and cried for days.
Heartbreaking huh? Much as I would like to have another pet dog, I can’t imagine going through another round of grief when my next pet dog passes on. I guess I will not have the courage to keep another pet dog… at least not for another 10 years.