My Pet Story: Lessons I learnt from my dog

Scrappy was named after the nephew of cartoon character Scooby-Doo. Photo: Ayra Vijayaratnam

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On March 8, 2008, my late father was campaigning with his team in a Seremban neighbourhood when someone noticed a small puppy in a drain. She appeared abandoned. They enquired around the neighbourhood to see if she belonged to anyone but no one knew whom she belonged to.

As it was getting late in the day, he decided to bring the puppy home so we could adopt her. It was a surprise as we already had four dogs at the time but I was delighted anyhow to have an additional member to the family. She was named Scrappy, after (cartoon character) Scooby-Doo’s nephew.

Scrappy was a fun-loving dog who was always up for a good time. She was optimistic and loved having people around her. When my mother did the gardening, Scrappy would follow her around the garden. She looked forward to her occasional evening walks in the neighbourhood and would not want to come back until she had explored every corner she wanted.

We got her a few toys, and her favourite was a squeaky pink bone. She liked playing with her toys even as she became older and was reluctant to share them with the other dogs. It became a routine to give her and the other dogs a massage after their dinner.

While we didn’t know her actual date of birth, we “celebrated” all of our dogs' birthdays on March 8. We would order a cake from my aunty, and buy them KFC.

Unfortunately in July 2019, her health began to decline. I was worried and took her to a vet when she began coughing. She had an X-ray done and the vet informed me it did not indicate anything abnormal.

She was given antibiotics and some other medication. She recovered a few days later.

In September the same year, she fell ill again and this time was much worse. The vet informed me she had a late stage of lung cancer and any treatment would not be possible at that stage.

I brought her home where she lived out her final few days. She passed away in early October 2019.

Scrappy taught me many things. She made me realise it is important to enjoy even the small moments in life. She taught me the importance of optimism and not giving up till the end. Even when she was ill, she did not let it stop her from enjoying what she could during that time. She took any opportunity she had to explore new things and had an inquisitive mind.

I still miss her but I am sure she is in a much better place now. We still miss her very much.

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Stray dog , adopted dog , dog health , dog care


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