Saturday, December 28, 2013

Happy Adoption Day!!

Today marks Mango coming home with us for a full year!! I posted his picture here last year, the day after we brought him home. This is one long post about how I came to have my very first dog. Hahahaha.

Let's see some photos as a "progress report" of sorts, shall we? Buttload of pictures again. Haha. My dog is too photogenic please. But if you really want to know the whole process which I got him, please read.

When he first came to our home, he was really shy. He still is shy now, but I'd like to think he's wayyyy better right now. It's a complicated story of how I got him. Eunice msged me one day that C (a friend we made from Bishan dog run from bringing Echo and Nugget there frequently before Mango) msged her and asked if she wanted another Sheltie. Her friend's uncle was giving away his dog and was going to send the do to SPCA soon if noone takes him.

And she sent me the following 2 pictures:

Of course I forwarded the pictures to my sister who was on holiday. Prior to this, I've been on the lookout for any suitable candidates for adoption from all sorts of adoption sites. My main criteria was that it has to be a HDB-approved breed/size. And okay with cats. And also my family has to like the dog. All the past dogs I suggested to my sister all got rejected but she actually gave me the go-ahead to go view him. WAH. Hahaha. I got C's friend's (M) number and arranged to see him on 23/12/12.

Details about him that I received: Owner doesn't want dog / dog is about 2years old / dog kept in kitchen/toilet area / dog about to be sent to SPCA / dog barky and poops/pees everywhere. That was probably all I knew about him. But hey, it's not everyday you have a 2year old sheltie up for adoption, so Eunice and I went to view him.

Today, he poos and pees on the newspaper in the kitchen. So far, only 2 incidents where he peed where he wasn't supposed to some time when he first came. Probably didn't know where to go. But no problems! The barking is a little bit of a problem, but Shelties are barkers. So no issues there.

My first photo of him.
When we saw him, he was confined to the space some flat have at the end of the kitchen and the common toilet area. Barked at us before we got into the house but ran for cover in the common toilet when we went near him. Anyway, met M's aunt (not her uncle's wife, but another aunt) and grandparents. Apparently dog was at their place, but belongs to that uncle. Oooookaaayyyy. We spent like all of 15mins there and the grandparents kept asking if we will be bringing him home today. Erm... no? I had to think about it. But it was kind of love at first sight? And please look at his fur in the above picture. It felt like those wire sponges you use to scrub pots.

Next up was to spam my sis with photos and bugging her. She agreed for a trial and I went back again on 28/12/12 to pick him up. Liased with M and asked her to maybe let him sleep with a towel for the week and let me bring him home with the towel so at least there was something familiar with him when I brought him home. Had a week to prepare for him and also think of a name. Didn't see M's aunt when I went to pick him up, only the grandparents and helper. Also, when we asked the grandparents what he eats, they said he ate whatever they ate. Eg. Bread and butter for breakfast and whatever they had for dinner. Eunice and my reaction was to glance at the bin and we both saw what looked like fried chicken bones. /facepalm Was given him, a towel and his receipt when the uncle bought him. Ehhhh. Thank goodness we brought our own collar and leash? No bowls either. Ooooohkay. I actually carried him all the way from their place to the lift because he didn't dare to walk out of the house/into the lift with us. Afterall, we're just strangers to him.

So we went walking around the neighborhood for him to get used to us and also help him let off some energy in case when we got home, he can't sleep and I'd have huge problems. He kept trying to get into any lift he could go near. I was more worried about the car ride home cos they live pretty far away. Went to Bishan Dog Run and let him just walk around to lose some energy before meeting my brood of 3 at home. Wrong choice because some asshole with an uncontrolled Labrador in the dog run attacked him and got a chip out of his right ear. Thanks so much for traumatising my dog on his first few hours with me. But he got over it pretty soon because we met a few other dogs and he was friendly/curious but very cautious/shy with them. Probably have not done this before or at least in a long while.

As much as I didn't want to confine him in the kitchen again, I had to do it because of integration purposes. The cats have to be able to see him and not be able to touch him yet to 'slowly' get used to his presence in the house. I think till this day, only Muffin still can't get along with him. 

First contact with the boss, Thierry.
Right after Thierry hissed at him, he peed on the spot, standing in that position. Scared witless from having never seen a cat up close before, probably.

Family had a quarrel about him. Helper didn't want to work anymore and want to go home cos she's muslim and she can't handle touch him blabla. But she will never have to if the rest of the family looked after him, right? Anyway till date, she hasn't had to touch him at all. Also, he doesn't even try to touch her. It's like he knows! Grandparents were in favour of my ultimatum-wielding helper until after about a week, they had a 180deg change and were discussing getting a non-muslim helper instead. Haha.

Contacted M to let her know that there was a chance that the adoption might not go through and was informed that if he was returned, they were going to send him to SPCA. Her uncle's decision. M has a dog of her own that cannot tolerate another dog, so she couldn't take Mango in. So... I said I'd continue trying with my family and let her know of any changes. If it really fails, we'll rehome him instead of sending him back. But that never happened, obviously. Thank God.

Oh and his previous name was "Lucky". Wow. Look where that got him. Was throwing around ideas with Sis while she was still overseas about names and she was like "hmmm let's see what names I can come up with right now...? Zara? Topshop? Mango? Eh Let's call him Mango!" So... that's how Mango got his name. HAHAHAH not the fruit! But the retail shop!

Thierry and Mango in Dec 2013.

Left: Refusing to leave the lift landing / Right: Out on a walk

He had this huge problem about walking out of the house, walking in/out of the lift, walking up/down stairs, maybe just walking. Every sound that was a little louder would startle him and sent him scurrying towards the direction of the lift landing, pulling at his leash. Had to repeatedly make him do the same thing over and over again to help him overcome his fears. Other than the fear of loud noises thing. And fear of strangers walking behind us during walks. I've got a paranoid dog.

Peeing at a grass patch =x

Mango Echo Nugget
Look at his fur! Looks totally dry even when it's drizzling as compared to Nugget's. That's how coarse it was. Kept bringing him out to meet Eunice and her doggies and other doggies to make sure he was properly socialised. And please look at his tail.

Mango's tail in August

Sad dog
That was him after Sis picked him up from the vet when he went to get neutered. Recovered in no time! After which I tried to register him for a license but found out that he actually has a registered license? And this was in March/April after neutering him. Tried contacting M and she said she'll inform her uncle but after a month of no action with repeated reminders, I contacted AVA directly and told them of my situation and they contacted the owner directly for me and I got his license!! Officially our dog on 5th June 2013!! Felt like some legal battle shit about custody and stuff. LOL drama. But not so drama actually.

When his fur was starting to grow out in Feb
Sent Mango for regular grooming approximately once every 4-6 weeks? Had to do that because his fur was absolutely crappy. Was still very rough and coarse though it was getting better. Still not perfect, but according to the groomer, shelties should never be shaved down unless absolutely necessary because it spoils their fur.

May 2013

See the long fur at the sides of his face? I didn't really notice it until somewhere in Aug, I looked at his pictures and hey! They were not there anymore!! Haha. Totally didn't noticed the groomer trimmed it. But he looks like a girl in the above picture? Maybe more 'man' when trimmed.

May 2013


Swimming! August
Brought Mango with Echo and Nugget for Mango's first swim sometime in May.. Subsequently we went to the beach 2-3 weeks after. He was really scared of the water at first but took to it pretty okay. Did better at the beach! Had a huge gap inbetween swimming days cos we always couldn't make it on weekends. But during Aug-Nov, we kept bringing them swimming!

Upetgamart's pool at Pasir Ris closed in Sept and they shifted to West Coast in Oct. Preferred the previous pool =( Ehhhh. What else? Oh!!! Pet cafe!! We started going to Paw Pet-radise really frequently until there was a period that they saw us at least once a week. Scary stuff. Hahahaha. But we got to know the owners very well! Regulars leh.

Also saw Mango 'tiger-face' at another dog for the first time cos the dog kept trying to hump him. Personality coming out! Recently, he'd grumble/make noise if we kept makinghim do tricks but not give him the treat in our hand! Naughty.

See the sides of his face! Hahahaha. Manlier?

Doggie classes.
So.... In March, Eunice and I decided to buy some Groupon coupon for a 6 lesson dog training classes. And we didn't manage to match available dates until June? I've done some training sessions provided by a dog trainer for Gentle Paws with Dillon before, but I guess these things need discipline? And probably a refresher course. By June, Mango could already do some stuff like sit, down, paw, heel, beg, high5. Just wanted to learn other options for training and also some additional stuff or if I did anything wrong/room for improvement.

6 weeks flew by and we were done! Learnt how to get him to heel properly (but he always walks on my right instead of left), taught him spin, weave, stay and some other things.

As of today, Mango knows...
- Sit
- Come
- Stay
- Down
- Sit (from down position)
- Stand (from sit)
- Paw
- Wave (like waving goodbye)
- High 5
- Spin
- Weave
- Bang! (most fun trick to show people!!)

Can't rmb if he knows anything else that I didn't list down... Hmmm. What else should I teach him? Can't get him to fetch so far cos he refuses to pick up the toy or hold it in his mouth for long. *facepalm* Want to teach him how to look at the camera for photos! And how to carry things in his mouth! And how to balance stuff on his face! Hahahahaha.

So here's Mango doing bang in slow motion! Hahaha. Laugh so hard every time I watch this.

National Day picnic!

Fur progression



Mango's 3rd birthday on 23rd Sept


So that's the story of how we came about to have Mango. I know I didn't adopt from a shelter, though as much as I wanted to. But because of HDB restrains and my family wanting a smaller dog, we had to look elsewhere. And it so happened he was available and ticked all our boxes. I'm all for adoption, but if you were to buy a dog, I'd say please buy from a reputable and responsible breeder. Also, a pet is for life. You probably need to realise that your pet needs you and just because you're sick of it doesn't mean you can shove it to a relative to get them to look after your pet. That's being irresponsible. Please take responsibility of the life/lives you bring home. Maybe if you weren't impulsive to buy that dog in the window/adopt that dog, the next person could have given it a better forever home instead of you. Think carefully!

Happy Adoption Day! So happy you came into our lives. =))

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