My Pet Story: A tiny bundle of mischief

Chicken Nugget is a little fluff ball of awesomeness. — Photos: Kao Cui Lin

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Nobody finds it easy to tackle this pandemic, and it’s more difficult socially and mentally for extroverts like myself. As considerate citizens, my family and I barely went out of the house for over a year-and-a-half since the first movement control order (MCO) was imposed.

It’s now been two months since we welcomed my little Chicken Nugget into our home and our hearts. He’s a tiny Toy Poodle who is shy but fun in every way.

I knew that puppies meant work, after watching 600 hours of YouTube lessons and countless hours of googling, yet I’m shocked at the boundless energy and attention that is required when he arrived.

Here’s a peek at his chaotic first two weeks, and my handling of a fur kid for the very first time:

1. He ate his own silky poop (I couldn’t accept it!).

2. He had yeast infection so my sister and I had to take it to the vet’s. Booking an appointment was tough as there were limited openings and district roadblocks.

3. He hated bath time – he jumped and barked and scratched the bathtub while struggling wildly. He was scared of the hairdryer. Wrapping him with a towel was challenging. Learning how to bathe him was a traumatic experience for me.

4. He chewed on everything, including cloth materials, and behaved like a mini vacuum cleaner that sucked up everything he saw (which he could have choked on).

5. He urinated on all the floor mats. So we sanitised his whole body every single time he peed as our family abides by extreme hygiene. (We stopped doing that after learning that it made his skin dry and itchy).

6. He ate fast and would overeat. He got bloated after consuming some human food, as I had failed to read the meal restrictions carefully. I learnt it the hard way when I almost lost him within the first week.

7. He bit my feet or licked my face all the time. His biting and drool were things I had to learn to tolerate.

8. He ate – and pooed – four times a day, peed a lot, and needed a lot of playtime.

9. He went for a vaccination but was not allowed to be sent for full grooming till his third jab, which meant sharper nails, and fur that grew so long and covered his eyes.

10. He slept with me daily. Therefore, the sanitisation of my room was intense.

There were multiple considerations when making decisions on various things – from pet food and treats to interactive chew toys, from toothpaste to bowls, from ear wipes to diapers, and from crates to puppy bags.

Sleepless nights happened when we were pet-proofing the whole house. I learnt that having a fur kid involves the whole family.

He screams when I leave him at various intervals, I can’t even take a shower!

While all this sounds like madness, Chicken Nugget has changed the family dynamics and my routines in a good way. My sister and brother have taught me to be patient in handling Chicken Nugget’s mischief. I’m thankful for my supportive family members who constantly watch over this new puppy.

I have eventually gotten the hang of his meal times and food portions, potty training and bite control.

He is so excited to see me and follows me everywhere I go, being instinctively protective and loyal.

Chicken Nugget has provided me with warm companionship when he curls up next to me while watching me work.

Every new skill he picks up brings joy to us all.

Being a carefree woman, never have I ever thought I’d get a puppy, as the commitment is huge. But in return, I’ve gotten new knowledge and discovered a newfound community of dog lovers.

Also, having him forces me to exercise, reduces dark thoughts, and improves my sleep. It has made me a better person. Having a pet has created a more positive emotional state, at least for me.

Chicken Nugget has made the lockdown an amusing and cheerful time for my family.

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