KOTA KINABALU: It will be a short lived happiness for Alixson Mangundok, as the stray dog that accompanied him during his three-day walk from here to his hometown Kota Marudu has been claimed by its owner.
The owner, who goes by the name Aelisah Ajun in Facebook, posted on her page that she thinks the dog could be hers as she had lost her similar mutt, named Kutu, on March 26.
Ajun said she immediately got in touch with Mangundok through social media after coming across news of the latter who chose to walk 70km home so as to not pose any health risk to anyone amid the Covid-19 pandemic, with the dog he named Hachiko.
Mangundok, who has since spoken to Ajun, said plans have been made to reunite Hachiko with its real owners.
"The owners said they would come here and collect him after the movement control order (MCO)," he said when contacted.
He said though he feels sad that he has to part with Hachiko, he knows it is for the best, as he could leave anytime and continue his work overseas.
Mangundok said he has been travelling a lot while working along the way and who knows how soon he will pack up and leave his hometown again.
"So, it is bittersweet for me but for now, as long as Hachiko is still with me, I will cherish our time together and take good care of him," he said.
Ajun, in her Facebook page said that she and her husband have been taking care of Kutu since before Chinese New Year.
"That time, he was a stray but loved hanging around at our shop so we decided to care for him," she said.
She said when they first got Kutu, it was infected with fleas and they did all they could to treat him, gave him medications and washed him clean.
Ajun said Kutu went from having serious skin conditions to a body full of healthy fur.
"On March 26, we decided to go back to the shop to bring him back home as it would be easier to care for him there due to the movement control order, but he was nowhere to be found and we were devastated," Ajun said.
Not long after that, news of Mangundok and Hachiko went viral in the news and social media.
"I am proud and glad Kutu was someone's companion during that person's tough time, and glad Kutu made that person's journey much easier but he is mine, and I want him back because I love my dog," she said.
She said though many have asked her to let Kutu stay on in Kota Marudu, and that many would not understand why she insists on getting him back, it is her heart and her love for Kutu that matters.
"When Kutu went missing, I was heartbroken and I told my husband everyday to search for him, even though he is just a dog," Ajun said.
"Thank you brother Alixson for taking care of Kutu and feeding him, God bless both of you," she said.
She said she will get Kutu his favourite ayam penyet meal once he returns home.
Did you find this article insightful?
95% readers found this article insightful