My Pet Story: The dog that loved to eat durian

Pinky enjoying some durian. Photo: Tan Ling Suan

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Pinky pitter-pattered into my life one day in July 1993 when I was living in my semi-D home in Kuala Lumpur. Yes, she was such a gentle creature, moving softly everywhere, never howling for food or spilling any.

The three-year-old new resident followed his owner, my daughter-in-law from Melaka, who had come to stay temporarily while the apartment she and her husband had bought in a housing estate not too far away was being renovated. And that was the beginning of many joyous moments of having a pet in my home for the first time.

Pinky got her name because she was quite pink at birth, a mixed breed of Spitz and Chihuahua. She always seemed somewhat shy and docile, and therefore appealed to some visitors who, like me, are usually wary of dogs when meeting for the first time. It was heartening to see how quickly everyone warmed up to her, wanting to hold her and play with her.

A little niece who was staying with me overnight because she wanted to visit the National Library the next day was so taken with Pinky that she said to me, “No need to go to the library. I want to spend the day with Pinky.”

There are two small albums filled with photos of Pinky, dated from 1993 to the end of 1998 when my son and his wife moved to their new home in Seremban and of course with Pinky too.

Here’s a poem written in October 1994, dedicated to Pinky:


Pinky is my little dog,

She’s good from morn till night.

She was very pink when born

But now she’s very white,

She loves to run around to catch

The little sticks we throw;

But we never get them back –

They’re now hers, you know!

She sits quietly when the car

Leaves the porch and gate;

She’s excited when we’re back,

Especially when we’re late!

Have you ever, ever heard

Of dogs that love to eat

The popular durian? Yes, she does,

She thinks it’s quite a treat!

She smells it even before we go

To unload it from the boot;

She follows the bundle into the house,

Impatient to share the fruit!

We give her one seed at a time

So all can eat in peace –

She eats faster than we ever do,

Returning with a look like “Please”.

But we are firm, only a few

For fear she may turn ill –

Can doctors cure a durian-sick dog?

Can we afford the bill?

Of course we had hearty reunions with Pinky every time we dropped by their home in Seremban – especially for special occasions like the grandchildren’s birthday parties or at Christmas dinners there.

Pinky passed away quietly from natural age in 2004, after living for 14 years, and was buried in their backyard.

And here I am, seven years after, recalling and sharing the story of a special “old friend” in my life, immortalised in the memories of all those blessed to have had encounters with her.

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Pets , family pet , dog behaviour , durian


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