Friday, December 31, 2010

Lost My Dog, Beary

A few days ago, I lost my first puppy to dog disease, after meeting him 4 times, and having him home for 2.5 hours.  It's a heartbreaking experience.

I posted this on facebook, and while many friends showed their support and concern, this morning I woke up seeing a comment from a good friend: Maybe he doesn't like you!  hehe :P.  I was shocked and was extremely bothered by it the whole day.

Having known this friend for a while, I know she is a nice person and I am certain she didn't mean to upset me.  Though, I also know that she is not particularly passionate about small animals.  So, I can understand that she thought it was like breaking an iPhone on the first day of purchase or something.  That it sucked.

But no, it's not like that.  It's heartbreaking and painful to watch an animal whom you bond with suffer in pain and seek for your comfort and help.  The pup, Beary, had already recognized me after my 2nd visit.  When he was hyperventilating at my home, each time he would try to climb up to my neck to rest his head on my neck for reassurance.  The last day I saw him, at the vet, when I took him from the pet shop staff, he once again climbed up to my neck and fell asleep with his head resting next to my neck.  He was having higher temperature and feeling very sick.  This, I think, is what they call connection.  I didn't see him doing this with any of the store staff or my friend who also held him.

People wonder why I am so attached to this little animal after just spending so little time with him.  I think anyone who has ever had a pet particularly close to him would understand.  I have lived with many animals in my life.... numerous birds, turtles, 4 rabbits, a cat, many fish, but none of those made me feel needed and trusted like Beary did.  For the first time in my life, I felt like I could truly give support to another living creature - and it wasn't because I had done anything to gain its trust and prove my love... I hadn't even had a chance to feed the little thing.  It just trusted me and felt safe with me.

Some friends told me to go to SPCA or Hong Kong Dog Rescue to get another dog.  I am fully pro-adoption, but for me, getting my first dog is a special thing to me.  It's not like I just want A dog, ANY dog... I want a dog I am genuinely excited about and feel a connection with.  I love Golden Retrievers, for example, but I cannot afford the time and energy to accommodate their active lifestyle needs.  I like tollers, but they can't be found in Hong Kong, not to mention at the Dog Rescue.  I like some poodles, but I am only excited about certain ones I... just like... and they are likely to be quite young.  Adopting dogs is a very respectful thing to do.  But at this stage in my life, without any dog raising experience, I am not ready to get a dog for the sake of saving a life, I want to first keep a dog whose breed and temperament suits my lifestyle and whose presence excites me.  I don't know how to explain this to others without being misunderstood.  It's like, I am totally pro-adoption of babies (human) and if my future husband is equally supportive, I would go for it.  Though most people do prefer to have their own when there are so many kids out there who need a loving family.  There you go. Who am I to tell people not to have their own but to adopt?!

Past two days I went to see a silverish dog in a very reputable shop which directly took from breeder and kept for me to consider.  The shopgirl explained how special and rare the color was for a poodle, how healthy and active that dog was, and my friends told me how cute the dog looked......  I thought to myself for a while, perhaps I should just get this one since it's a very healthy dog and I wouldn't need to go through the heartbreak from keeping a younger pup.  Last minute, when I had to make the decision, I told the staff I wasn't sure about the dog and they should sell it to others.  The fact was, the dog was cute but I didn't feel special chemistry with him.  As smart and active as he was, I felt so much pressure having to outsmart him and dominate each interaction.  Though the Beary incident was so painful - it's been 2 days and I am still crying - I still believe that I shouldn't just settle for a supposedly "good" dog.  I don't care if my dog is rare and will be praised by others.  I just want a dog who can share that bond I had with Beary.  I honestly don't know what I did to gain his trust, but my friends and the staff saw how Beary wanted to be close to me especially when he was very sick.

This experience really makes me understand how precious a bond is between a human and his dog.  Unlike humans, it really is unconditional. 


  1. I hope you will gain back your strength soon. It's indeed heartbreaking when especially you had the bond with Beary. It's really the pert shop's responsibility, and the fact is they are usually irresponsible.

    I think your fren is really insensitive. Dont feel bothered by that, as from the way you described it, he would feel the luv he could gain from you, so he luved u.

    It doesnt matter with buying or adopting. Just do what you feel good. Adoption is just another option. For me, my 3rd dog, yes maybe I would go for adoption as well. And I totally agree with you about the connection - both of my dogs served different purpose & I got from pet Shop, One from my sis's dog's baby. They gave me a signal to make me want to have them, rather than they are "special breed".

    Anyways, dont be upset. it's sometimes beyond your control in such matter. Take care.

  2. Everyone's value of life and bonding is different. In this case, the life of a little animal and the bonding with a pup. These mean a lot to me, and you, but not to everyone. Some people can marry a person they don't connect with. I can't

    Friends say, don't waste your time and money to try and save him, you'll be heartbroken when it dies. I appreciate their concern but to me, a life is more important than my money and heartbreak. I am heartbroken already.

    I finally gave up taking the pup back because various vets, nurses, and even the founder of the hk poodle club advised me the dog had very serious symptoms of distemper and unlikely to be savable, and even if saved, the long term damage would cause him more suffering.