IPOH, Feb 16 — They thought their act of adopting a dog was simple enough — to give them a home.
But some owners found out soon enough that the canines filled a void in their lives.
And this year’s Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration with their pooches will be extra special as it is the Year of the Dog.
For Maggie Yong, 50, and Wilson Goh, 48, their white poodles, Pau Yei and Tau Tau, mean the world to them.
The couple has no children and said their lives were empty before the poodles came along.
“Both of us would be doing our own work. Everything changed when we rescued these dogs three years ago,” said Yong.
“They never fail to cheer us up with their playful character.”
Goh believed that CNY this year will bring them more luck and prosperity.
Another dog lover, Jojo Foo Sook Jing, 38, said her interest to protect and take care of dogs grew after she rescued Mun Yi four years ago at the Ipoh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA).
The beautician said the brown poodle was only used for breeding by its previous owner.
Foo said Mun Yi’s condition was bad in the beginning, with wounds on her body but she has recovered well.
Foo is now an ISPCA committee member and volunteers at the shelter.
“I know other dogs also need help,” she said.
Foo said she prepared five dresses for Mun Yi this CNY, with each outfit costing around RM100.
Malaysian Kennel Association Perak chairman Lau Yit Neng, 50, who owns five dogs, said he sent all his dogs for grooming ahead of the festival.
“It’s the dog year and having dogs in the house is believed to bring luck. So, these pets deserve special treatment for the festival,” he said.
Lau said his friends and relatives had invited his German Shepherd, Justin, to visit their houses for the festivities.
“Everyone wants a dog in their house for CNY, so my relatives and friends have asked me to bring Justin to their home as Chinese believe brown dogs can improve their luck,” he said.
Winnie Yup, 35, and husband Tan Kok Chee, 34, who own O My Dog Pet House, said the number of dogs sent for grooming ahead of CNY had increased by about 50 per cent compared to normal days.
“Dog owners want their pets to look nice and clean during the festival, so the dogs get their hair trimmed, nails cut and paws cleaned,” said Yup.
ISPCA president Ricky Soong said he had received many queries from the public on dog adoption ahead of the festivities.
“However, we are not blindly giving away dogs as we are afraid the interest is only because of the dog year hype,” he said.
Soong said the adoption process will include background checks on the applicant.
He said the shelter has about 100 dogs now.