If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. Mark Twain

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Decision Which Changed My Life Forever....


I was reading Tia's blog and saw this photo of a Shih Tzu named "Russell" (by his rescuer), who had been abandoned sometime in March.
The previous owners had tied him to the void deck and left him there for a day with no food and water. God only knows what human beings are capable of.
For some reason I felt compelled to do something. I've always loved dogs and have always wanted to have a dog of my own but I never took the plunge because I knew having a dog is a huge responsibility and a serious commitment and back then I wasn't sure if I was ready.
I asked Tia to bring Russell over to my place because I live alone and I was more than happy to look after him.
Initially the plan was to foster Russell, while we search for a good home for him.
On the first day, I changed his name. Because he was not responding to the name "Russell" at all. I started to randomly call out different names and he seemed to respond to "Cookie" only. So on 13 April 2011, he became Cookie. Cookie Darling!
Within a week, I knew he was not going anywhere.
I fell in love with Cookie.
The first night he was here, he vomited 6 times.
Tia and I freaked out. We guessed maybe he was car sick, or perhaps he over-ate or maybe he was really sick. The next day we brought him to the vet and it seemed that the vomiting was due to stress/ anxiety and not because he was physically unwell. The poor baby had to endure painful injections, taking blood and paw scrapings. I will never forget the sounds he made crying out in pain while the vet scraped his paws to check for parasites.
When he first came to me he was underweight, according to the vet. Only 6.5kg.
I started feeding him dry dog food mixed with wet food (canned chicken dog food), and as an attempt to fatten him up, I mixed in one whole square can of chicken meat mixed with the dry kibbles for every meal.
The rest of the week was horrible.
He had severe separation anxiety and I could not leave his sight, not even for a few minutes. I could not even go and take a shower without him peeing all over my living room floor. I could not go downstairs for 5 minutes to buy food without him peeing all over.
I basically could not leave his sight AT ALL.
I did not have a cage or a pan to confine him so he would end up peeing all over my house. I was tearing my hair out in frustration and having OCD certainly did not help. I was mopping my floor so many times a day that my hands started peeling.

After grooming, he looked like this
a happy and healthy dog.
My friends brought me a cage with a pee tray at the bottom and it was GOD-SENT. Thereafter, I would put Cookie in his cage whenever I had to go out, even for 5 minutes. He would pee but the pee would end up on the newspapers in the pee tray, so I no longer had to clean my floor like crazy any longer and I only had to change the newspapers. My house no longer reeked of dog pee. as the smell and stickiness took some effort to get rid of!
The second week I brought him for grooming.
After the first few difficult weeks, things got much better.

We settled into a very comfortable routine. I would feed him in the day and I would walk him at night. He would get so happy and excited every time I asked him, "Cookie, wanna go gai gai?"
He understands "gai gai" = going out for a walk, and "mum mum" = food!
I really enjoy walking him too and he gets quite a lot of attention from strangers. Whenever some people stopped to pet him, he would bask in the attention and wag his tail enthusiastically.
One amazing thing about Cookie is that he NEVER barks.
He has only barked twice since the first day he arrived and neither does he chew on random stuff, except for his toys. He will only whine a little if he wants to go out or needs attention. I consider him to be an extremely well-behaved dog and I am very lucky, indeed.

I love his face when he is sleeping
I had no experience in caring for a dog. I was so afraid I'd do something wrong and hurt him, or worse end up killing him! The first time I bathed Cookie, I felt like a new mother! But I just had to do it.
And surprisingly, it was rather easy.
I bathe him every 3 to 4days, depending on how dirty he is. He gets dirty rather quickly, since I walk him every night. After every walk, I wipe his paws, boy parts and backside with a clean wet cloth.
We forged a very special bond within the first month.
He sleeps in my room every night and has his own bed under my bedside table. And I am always beyond amused to hear him snore and woof in his sleep in the middle of the night.

He is so sticky that he will follow me every time I leave my room, be it the bathroom or to grab a quick snack from the kitchen. If I went to the bathroom, he would wait outside for me and walk back to my room together. He is such a sweet boy.
Would a boyfriend do that? I dont think so.
One of my favourite photos of him
Before I had Cookie, I was either home alone all the time, facing four walls and the TV. Or I would go out and come home to an empty house. Life was dull and monotonous.
I had gone through an unpleasant period in my life and had completely lost all faith in love and relationships. I became an empty shell, devoid of heart and soul. I forgot how to laugh and even stopped believing in love.

I was mostly angry - at myself and at others. I had no appetite and I couldn't sleep at night.
When Cookie came into my life, I felt my soul coming back to me. Slowly, but surely.
My friends noticed that I became a lot happier and more cheerful person.
I mean it when I say- I did not save Cookie. Cookie saved ME.
I think God sent Cookie to me for a very good reason. He was lost and heartbroken - so was I.
God probably wanted to let us know that there is still love and hope in this world.
I wrote this in my blog to Cookie:

When you first came to me, I promised you I would love you and look after you.
I looked into your eyes and talked to you.
 I tell you I love you everyday so you won't ever doubt it or forget.
I have accepted you into my home and my life, and now into my heart.
You bring me so much happiness and joy I don't know how to describe.
I have a good reason now to wake up every morning- I need to feed you! I love watching you eat, I love watching you sleep.
And Cookie Darling, I look forward to the many more days I will spend with you.
And I promise you, no man will ever replace you in my heart because nobody can love me in such a simple and pure way like you do.
I love you Cookie Darling. I promise I will always look after you and you never ever have to be worried or frightened again.
Love always, Mummy.

Written by Lynette


  1. this reminds me of my dog and i must admit, your post made me cry. i'm so glad you have cookie in your life. :)

  2. thank you for this heartwarming post! makes me feel warma nd fuzzy inside when i imagine that somewhere out there, there is a certain Lynette and a certain Cookie who truly love each other.

  3. I love it that you have found true love at last. What a lovely story and ending. I hope both of you will enjoy a long time of togetherness. I have 3 dogs and a cat and I love them just like how you love Cookie.

  4. I am crying, love the sweet relationship you have with cookie. Like you, i always wanted to keep a dog but was worried that i was not able to take real good care of him. Thanks for your story.

  5. I am curious... Does Lynette work? If she does, then Cookie would be so frightened at home alone during the first few weeks, right? I always wanted a dog but am afraid that it might feel neglected while I go to work. What do people who own dogs but work do?

  6. Wow, this is beautifully expressed and honestly sweet. Thank you for posting this for others, including me, can relate to it. Adopting was one of the best decisions I've ever made, and nothing compares to having 3 happy shadows follow me obligingly around the house, and yes, they give me such a wonderful reason to get up early in the morning too! One of the purest forms of love, is given even when the other expects nothing in return, and what you wrote expresses that vividly. :)


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"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."- Unknown