It’s been over a week since our dog died and everything is still so fresh. We had a sad Christmas and we will celebrate the new year without a dog anymore. The pain is still there and the trauma is now developing. It’s my very first time to adopt a dog and we treated him like our own baby. My mom, of course, didn’t approve at first but we pushed through until she also got attached to our newly adopted dog.
Back then, when I was just a kid, I really hate dogs because of the trauma I had before that I was chased and almost got bitten by a dachshund. I remember running for my life and climbed a flag post at school just to keep safe from that playful dog. After that incident, I developed the trauma for dogs. I am so afraid when i see dogs on the streets and sniffing people passing by. I never petted a dog before and i’m just so afraid that they will bite me without any reasons.
But everything changed when I met my boyfriend that had a dog as a pet. It was a Pomeranian and even though, it’s a small dog breed, i was still afraid that his dog will suddenly bite me because you know, i had trust issues ever since. But his dog was a good boy, he never bites, he’s friendly, cheerful and super energetic. He’s like a ball of cuteness running around inside their house. It took me months and years to fully trust dogs again and with the help of my boyfriend’s dogs, I think i’m doing well not until they had a German Shepherd trained for defense. Their k-9 was very intimidating, he’s a large breed and i still get afraid when i see him or when he sniffs me around.
Even though, i’m still quite a scaredy cat for large breeds of dog, everything was compromised when my sister found a puppy abandoned at the curbs of the street inside our subdivision before the lockdown for Covid19. He was a very cute dog, well-developed puppy, clean but crying. My sister immediately got him and brought it home. She was having second thoughts on adopting him because we know that my mom won’t approve but we were successful and everyone got attached to his cuteness.
They say that our dog was an askal, but he was a mix, he definitely looked like a Labrador. Though, breeds don’t really matter to us, as long as we were able to shelter an abandoned dog, that is enough for us. Everything is doing well, our dog has grown so quick. He is very cheerful and playful. I always got bruises and cuts because he liked biting me just for fun. Not until he started showing symptoms of a deadly virus that we didn’t knew beforehand. He started not eating, he became lethargic and was always sleeping. Everything happened so fast until he died last 3 weeks ago after months of fighting a deadly virus.
This is when I realized that we made a very bad mistake and i hope you can learn from us too. I wish that before getting a dog, i knew all of these things beforehand and maybe, that could spare our dog.
1. Get them vaccinated as early as you can
This is the first mistake we did. I had a cat as a pet for years and we never really brought our cats to the vet because they have strong immune systems but we didn’t know that dogs should be brought to the vet right after you got him. It’s like a baby that you must have them vaccinated as quickly as possible. We didn’t know that dogs should complete a 5 in 1 shot as a puppy. Our dog started his 5 in 1 shots when he was a fully grown up because just like I said, we got him middle of march and by the end of march to may, we’re all not allowed to go outside because of the lockdown and pandemic that’s why it took us months before we got him to the vet. We brought him by June and it was very late already, he got infected in the middle of his 5 in 1 shot.
2. Don’t ever skip their vitamins
When he first started showing symptoms, our vet didn’t bother but assured us instead that he was just having fever due to his scratched scrotum and there’s really nothing to worry about. She then prescribed some vitamins to boost his immune system but since I go to work every day, I have no choice but to leave the instructions to my sister. Our dog is a very keen dog and he knew that we were putting medicines secretly on his food. He won’t eat until we remove it so there were really a lot of days that we had to compromise and skip his vitamins just for him to eat his food. It’s a mistake that we should not have did it but everything’s late now.
3. Never let them out of your residence
Another major mistake we did was to let him freely run outside our residence and we seldom had him tied up to his leash. Our dog was a very spoiled dog, he knew that we can’t bare him crying because he really hate it when we tie him up. So we had to compromise again and let him go out of our house and he just happily runs and sniffs other dogs. He started to be really rebellious when he had grown up because every night, he won’t let us sleep with his cries just for us to let him out. He always wants to be outside and he would always bother and annoy us. As annoyed as we were, we ended up opening the door for him just to be quiet already and let us sleep. We didn’t know, we were opening the door to his death and we just realized it now that he’s dead, that we should not have spoiled him and let him outside every time he cries.
4. Always be cautious when going to the vet
When we first visited the vet, our dog was really doing fine and that very day that he was just to start his 5 in 1 shot, the clinic had a distemper case. Though, the vet didn’t let him in, everything makes sense now that the clinic was poor in sanitation. Our vet was handling 2 dog patients at a time, our dog and another dog infected with distemper. I don’t want to put the blame on the vet but i was quite sure that our dog got infected with distemper at their clinic because their sanitation is really poor. Our vet should have rubbed her hands to an alcohol first before going back to vaccinate our dog after handling an infected dog but i didn’t see that she did. If only i knew back then, I should have brought our own muzzle because their muzzles were used by lots of dogs. I feel so much regret realizing now that it’s like we brought him to his own death and we didn’t knew.
5. Choose the right vet
From the very start, we already made a mistake of not choosing the right vet. We didn’t knew that a lot of veterinarian (though, i don’t mean all but a lot) were all just about money. They mistook our dog’s early signs even though we brought him earlier to have him treated but everything they did to our dog was wrong, they prescribed the wrong medicines, they gave us false hopes and we were not given enough guides and instructions to handle the infection. The day that our dog tested positive for distemper virus, there was no empathy. They just handled it calmly and like a professional but they really didn’t care. All they cared about was the money. There are really few veterinarians left out there that is passionate on their career and really concerned on your sick pets so please, just please, find and choose the right vet that your dog will be thanking for. You will know it the moment you enter the clinic if your vet is dedicated to help your dog.
6. Don’t let them eat bones
Though our dog didn’t die due to gastrointestinal issues, I just want to let new dog owners know the harm that it could do to your dog if ever you give them bones as food. In movies, dogs were always given bones and even in children’s books, it was always illustrated there that fish is for cats and bones are for dogs. In reality, bones are not for dogs and we made a mistake here too. We always cook him chicken because he really likes it and we don’t remove the bones because we thought our dog can handle it. But don’t ever make this mistake too because it could cause serious illness to your dogs and their food might be the reason of their death.
7. Don’t give them too much salt
As i said, our dog really likes chicken as his food but I just realized today that we gave him too much salt in the past too because we always cook his chicken with soy sauce. Though he didn’t have any kidney issues, I just want to let new dog owners know that giving too much salt to your dog could lead to serious illness to their kidneys. Always be weary of the foods you give them and if by any chance you give your dogs canned food, dog foods, and treats, always look for the sodium content of it because their sodium intake is very much different to ours as a human.
8. Don’t give them rawhide
I just knew it too that rawhide is a very deadly chew toy for dogs. Rawhide is tagged as the deadly chew toy because it’s made of very dangerous materials that are supposedly not to be taken by a dog. Our dog had his first rawhide when he was 4 to 5 months old, he is now a grown up and we wanted him to stop biting me for fun so we had him his rawhide that we didn’t know was very dangerous. If by any chance, you also had issues with your dog biting you always and wants them to stop, opt for a chew toy that is safe, maybe a stuffed chew toy or make their toys yourself just to be safe. Never ever give them rawhide because it’s like their playing with their own death.
10. Be prepared for the costs of their maintenance
We were really an ignorant dog owner, we didn’t knew back then that getting a dog is a responsibility and you have to prepare for the costs of his shots, medicines and maintenance. Please don’t call us an irresponsible owner because we did everything just to save our dog. It’s just that we didn’t knew that having a dog is like having a baby. We were used to having cats that doesn’t need that much attention and not that costly. We didn’t research beforehand that dogs are way different between cats, the illnesses that could kill them and that’s another mistake that we had to charge to experience. If you plan on getting a dog, keep in mind that it will be costly just from his 5 in 1 shots, his food, his maintenance shots, vitamins and boosters.
We may celebrate the new year without him anymore but we will always remember him and how he made our home full and happy even for just a short period of time. We will forever embark this in our journeys and will always learn from this mistake, if I should call it as it is. It may take quite a while for us to recover from his loss and it may result us to not adopt a dog again but I hope this coming 2021, we will ready our hearts and allow healing.
I might have made some mistakes beacuse we really don’t have enough knowledge on how to handle a dog yet, but please don’t judge us or even criticize because we really did everything and even exhausted the costs just to save him. Maybe his time was really just short and we were just instruments used by God to extend his life so that he could feel that even if he was left abandoned by some wrekless owner, we were able to give him a home and he felt very loved because he was spoiled af.
Now, call me crazy or not but the brighter side I’m thinking on this sad story is that I believe that dogs will cross the rainbow bridge and he will reincarnate and meet with his owner again in another dog. Just like from the movie, a dog’s purpose, I believe we will soon reunite with him when we are again ready to get a new dog.
Ala King a.k.a Tuytuy
March 2020 – December 2020