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

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Hito Girl Found Love

Hito watching the USDAA Trials, July 2011.

I'd heard of Hito (a.k.a Girl Girl) since the day she was found, presumably abandoned, in a bad state, and walking by the roadside with her companion (Boy Boy). On standby to foster the two dogs should the need be, this never came up due to a series of events (her being at the vet’s, my being out of the country then, etc, etc).
Fast forward to two months later – June this year, and her rescuer asked if I would like to see her (I had been contemplating a new, third dog for some months, but none had been found suitable).

On her first visit to ascertain if my current two dogs in the house would get along with her, I was still ambivalent and unsure as to whether she was the right one. She was bright, affectionate and playful, but I was unsure if her addition would make my shy, introverted dog (Chimmi) retreat even further into his shell (he was also an adopted dog, a dog mill rescue who had the forlorn and cold experience of dog mill kennel life etched into his face and psyche).

Hito and Chimmi, her new brother – another adopted Chihuahua from a dog mill rescue project.

I realised that one evening visit would not reveal anything, so we tried an extended weekend stay at my home to watch the interactions and behaviours unravel between the three little ones. Thankfully, they all accepted one another’s presence rather quickly and were quite content to be together.

Hito and Ellie, her other (younger) brother.

And that’s how a weekend stay turned into a week, and a week became … permanent.  It’s easy to understand why her stay with us became permanent: she is one of the happiest, waggiest dogs I’ve ever met. She likes dogs, she likes people, she loves food, hearts play and is as content to lie down beside you and quietly fall asleep. The bigger question that emerged was: why did someone abandon her and her boy companion? She is such an easy dog, so affectionate and such a bundle of joy all by herself.

It’s been over two months since Hito came into our lives, and the irrepressible spirit in her is something that can make anyone smile whenever they look at her. She’s a pretty fast-learner too: we took her to Sentosa beach one day and this little power turbo paddler proved her aquatic prowess; she has also just started basic obedience training and has displayed the ability to do anything for a treat!
Hito swimming debut at Sentosa, June 2011.

She’s still a tad weary of new environments and bigger dogs, but with constant socialisation and exposure – walks and weekends at dog parks (where she cheers her agility-training brother, Ellie), we’re hoping she’ll enjoy outdoor life as much as her indoor one soon.
Perhaps because she had always been such a positive little thing in her own mind, getting Hito used to being a loved member of the family was all-too-easy. This was unlike her brother, Chimmi, who, maybe because he had spent far longer years in the confines of a dog mill kennel, took us months and months to bring out of his shell. Like Hito, when he first came to us, Chimmi refused to walk outside, he was also scared: scared of new floor surfaces, scared of stairs, scared of people, scared of … just about everything. Seeing Chimmi in the dog park today, tail held high like he owns the place, is such an amazing learning journey for both human and dog. Looking at him though, I wondered how more confident a dog he could have been if only he had a family, rather than a puppy-breeding factory environment, early on in his life.
There are more than enough dogs still waiting for such a chance today. And to anyone who has a heart and a will to make your own happy story with a new four-legged friend, look to adopt. Make a dog happy today, so that there won’t be any more “Chimmis” waiting in the sad wings of dog mill life.

Photo Credit:Dogmilllrehomers

Photo Credit: by Nicole Zhuang at the USDAA Trials, July 2011
Top picture of Chimmi in a kennel - What a difference a year makes: Chimmi in June 2010 just before adoption.
Chimmi is blind in one eye, has about four teeth left only from bad nutrition incurred during his dog mill days, but is the happiest dog in the park these days!

Written by: Lisa Marie Tan
Photo Credits by: Nicole Zhuang

To read about Hito's story please click An Abandoned Couple

We would like to thank our kind sponsors for helping Hito's And Boy Boy's medical aid.

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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