Dog Lovers at UM

Text: UM Reporter Teresa Li, Trainee UM Reporter Annie Lai │
Photo: Provided by the interviewees │ ISSUE 76 February2018 MyUM

This year is the Year of the Dog. We interview several dog lovers at UM about their stories with their pets.

Touching Moments with Piggy

Claries from the Department of Communication was born in 1994, which was a Year of the Dog. She has a Poodle named ‘Chubby Piggy’.

Piggy was adopted by Claries when it was several months old. Over the past eight years, Claries has experienced many touching moments with Piggy. ‘Several years ago, she went through a sterilisation surgery,’ says Claries. ‘When the surgery was over, we called out her name from outside the window. She was still in pain but she tried her best to respond.’ Piggy doesn’t like to be separated from Claries, so she would sit on top of Claries’s suitcase when Claries tries to pack for a trip.

Chubby Piggy sits on the top of a suitcase

Like Owner, Like Dog.

Piggy is a neatness freak just like Claries. She quickly learned to poop in a designated area, and would refuse to go into the house if Claries forgets to wipe her bottom clean after she has finished her business. Piggy has curly hairs, and so does Claries’s mother. One day, Claries’s mother was walking the dog outside when a little girl on the street said to her mother, ‘Look! Mom! That lady has the exact same hair as her dog!’

The Arrival of Hope

Lias is a fourth-year student from the Department of Sociology. About four years ago, her elder brother bought a three-month-old puppy named Hero on the internet and shipped it to Macao by air. Now Hero is five years old, with a Chinese name ‘Arrival of Hope’. Lias’s brother gave the dog this name because he wanted the puppy to bring hope for the family.

Lias believes it is important to spend time with the pet. ‘A dog’s life consists of only one or two decades, but they spend 60 to 70 per cent of their time waiting for their owners, while we only play with them when we are free,’ says Lias. That is why Lias always walks Hero once or twice a week no matter how busy she is.

Lias and Hero

Tolerance, Caring, and Patience

Laurence is a third-year student majoring in Japanese studies. He has a Bichon Frise named Little B which he has kept for ten years. His family was initially against him keeping a dog, but eventually grew to like Little B.

Laurence treats Little B like a daughter. He would hide the food she is not supposed to eat, care for her, tolerate her mistakes, and treat her with patience. This year, Little B turned ten years old, which is old age for Bichon Frises. Laurence hopes that when the inevitable day comes, Little B won’t suffer.

Left: Laurence and Little B,  Right: Amy and Barbie

Barbie Trumps Nasal Allergies

Amy, a staff member from the Honours College, has always wanted to keep a dog since she was a child, but her mother with nasal allergies was against it. About nine years ago, Amy bought a Poodle named Barbie and brought it home as a fait accompli. ‘I heard that Poodles rarely shed, which makes them suitable for people with nasal allergies,’ says Amy. ‘So I lied to my mother and told her I was taking care of it for a friend, and might return it any minute.’ Amy says her mother probably already knew at the time that she bought the puppy but chose not to expose her lie, because she instantly fell in love with the palm-sized Barbie. Amy’s mother dotes on the dog like a granddaughter and takes her wherever she goes.