Happy 5th Birthday!

This is koko writing a post here.

Today is hero’s fifth birthday, and I would like to share with readers the journey thus far with our beloved dog, whom have been a big part of our lives.

It all started one rainy afternoon five years ago as cheche and I were lounging on the sofa reading the paper.

“Let’s get ourselves a dog!” exclaimed cheche, suddenly breaking the silence.

For a moment there, I sweared I could hear my brain cells popping trying to think of a response to that unexpected suggestion, as to try not to take this conversation any further.

“You mean the battery operated kind? Like Aibo?” I muttered, hoping for an affirmation.

“No! I mean a real dog,” she replied. “Having a dog in our lives would be great.”

“But, but do you think we can handle a dog in the house? Having a dog requires time and commitment!” I protested.

“I always wanted a sharpei, and there’s an ad on the paper today,” she pleaded determinedly.

After due deliberation, we agreed to go and have a look but reminded ourselves not to be hasty in any decision. So off we went to check out the puppy in the advertisement.

We arrived at a house in a residential neighborhood in Klang. As we entered the house, a stocky man with body tattoo came to greet us and led us to the kitchen at the back to view the puppies. The house was filled with other puppies as well, bulldogs, poodles, pugs and even a pair of fila brasileiros. We saw two sharpei pups inside small cages lined with soggy newspapers, one was apricot and the other a fawn red, both males from the same litter. The sharpei puppies were still at their infancy, about one month old, and they looked very fragile and weak.

“Only the white color one is for sale,” said the man pointing to the feeble pup inside the cage. Cheche and I looked at each other, pondering what should we do next as we were more worried for the well being of the puppies in such condition than anything else. Without much hesitation, I told the man, “We’ll take the puppy.”

He advised us to allow the puppy to stay a further two days before bringing him home due to his weak condition. We nodded in agreement and left the place after paying a deposit. But as fate would have it, the little apricot sharpei puppy and us were not meant to be. We received a call the following day informing us that the puppy did not make it through the night. And so was the brother.

Two weeks later, we received a call from the man again. This time round, he told us he would be going to Indonesia and a friend of his has sharpei puppies for sale. He asked whether we were still interested. As the sad event of past weeks was still fresh in our memory, we told him only if the puppy were old enough to travel, then we would consider. He gave us the assurance.

With that, hero came to us on 4th December 2006 at three months old. Little did we know what to expect then. I was hoping for an instruction manual that came with him. Seriously.

“As a family, we do things together... and hero is a member of the family,” said cheche. “A dog does not care how much money you have or who you are. All they care is how you spend time with them,” she continued. As young urban professionals, spending time means a trip to the local shopping malls, dining at chic restaurants or a cup of coffee at swanky cafes. We couldn't have possibly brought hero with us for most of our outings.

And for this very reason, there was a time we asked ourselves whether getting hero was a right decision. Those endless non-stop vacuuming in the house which drove cheche crazy at times. Those long extended couple getaways we used to escape to every now and then seemed to be a distant memory and not to mention the numerous occasions we were refused entry to our favorite places because we have a dog with us now.

But when we looked at his wrinkly face and how he never fails to put a smile on our faces with his silly antics and goofiness, any doubt about our decision was clearly misplaced. With hero around, he really does brighten up our days. Bliss is the wagging tail of a dog welcoming you home each and every day. Bliss is the licking tongue of a dog waking you up each and every morning.

We always try to give hero a happy life as we possibly can. So we made efforts to spend time with hero by bringing him for short excursions out of the city. However, little did we realize that what were supposed to be mundane trips for hero turned out to be such exhilarating experiences for ourselves as well. Through such outings, we swam with the fish in the open sea, we had the opportunity to watch baby turtles hatching by the shore, we came face to face with monitor lizard in the jungle, we encountered dangerous snakes in the mangrove swamp and lots more exciting adventures.

“I hope he will bring you much joy,” said the heavily tattooed man as he handed over a fidgeting puppy to cheche on a sunny morning five years ago. And when we looked back, not only did hero bring us joy, but he also showed us the meaning of unconditional love and taught us about unbridled loyalty. It was inspiring to observe how hero always found joy over simple things in life, often reminding us of the child we once were... where we just laugh and play, and worries were so far away. Most of all, hero pushed us beyond our comfort zone to uncharted adventures... and in the process of doing so, sprinkled our lives with endless drops of happiness.

Because of hero, we watched the prettiest sunrise and discovered the most beautiful of beaches. Because of hero, we crossed the deepest rivers and trekked the most difficult of trails. Because of hero, we drove the longest miles and traveled the most winding of roads. Because of hero, we climbed the highest mountains and saw the most colorful of rainbows.

And it is because of him... we have the happiest of memories.

Happy Birthday furry one! It has been a truly wonderful journey and thank you for leaving such endearing pawprints on our lives.

You are our hero.

koko, cheche + meimei


Bolo said...

Hap-Pei Birthday Hero!

houndstooth said...

All dogs should mean so much to their humans! *sniffle* Happiest of Birthdays, Hero! May you celebrate many more!


Maggie Mae said...

OoH dis post made mom cry happy tears. What a wonderful tribute to our sweet friend Hero!

Happy Happy Birthday Hero!

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae

sprinkles said...

Happy Birthday, Hero!

My boys will both turn 5 at the end of the month. So hard to believe.

I agree with Maggie Mae, this was a beautiful tribute. I feel exactly the same way about my chihuahuas.

Tiger said...

Happy Birthday Hero! I enjoyed reading about your story and how you came to be with your family. Hope you had a wonderful day!
- licks and sniffs,

Mango the Maltese kiddo said...

Hello my twin brother Hero,
Happy Barkday to you
Happy Barkday to you
Happy Barkday to you
Happy Barkday to you
Happy Barkday to you
Wishing you a happy one brother Hero, treats, toys, love, attention, whatever you want, you'll get!
Please give your baby sister Meimei a big wet lick for me.
(I was hoping I'd be the first one to sing the happy barkday song to you.
In Texas, it's still the 5th of September so I'm still 4 years old)

Maggie and Mitch said...

Happy birthday, Hero! To be loved is the greatest gift of all!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Shane Kent Louis said...

Happy Birthday! enjoy your day!

Dog Fence | It's All About Pet Fences

verobirdie said...

This is such a nice post, and it says all!
Happy birthday!

jessyeoh said...

Hi Hero, so coincidence, my shar pei, Popeye it's birthday today too...

Wish Hero , Happy Birthday

House of Queens said...

Happy Birthday Hero - from Midori the Beagle and Char Siew the Shar Pei.

Mango said...

What a beautiful post. Dogs do change our lives and usually for the better.

Mango Momma

Lois Lane/Laney said...

Happy Birthday Hero! What a beautiful story. I teared up while reading! Your family loves you so much!

LP said...

Happy Birthday Hero!

Your birthday post made our eyes water. We know you are loved as much as you love back and that is the best gift of them all!!
We hope you have many more happy years with your family and many more adventures together :)

the critters in The Cottage

Anonymous said...

I too have tears in my eyes as I read your post. Happy Birthday to Hero! He is lucky to live with humans who appreciate him and care so much for him.

Anny said...

Such a wonderful heartwarming post for your furry fellow. It made me smile. Happy Barkday Hero! You sure did travelled far to get to your forever home. May you have many many more adventures together!

monica said...

wonderful post! happy birthday big boy!! reading the post, my momma became more and more scared it was a good bye tribute for Hero, being in past tense and all... but luckily.. HIP HOORAY for HERO!!!!! 5 years !

Bundy the Bullmastiff

Suka said...

hey Hero,

Happy 5th Birthday!!!! What a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to you from your humans! You are such a special pup, and your humans obviously love you very much.

I hope you had a wonderful, fun-filled birthday, with lots of yummy birthday treats to eat!

Wishing you many many more happy birthdays in your life!


Jed and Abby in MerryLand said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Hero! You're very lucky to have found a family that loves you so much and takes such good care of you. And you have given them so much in return - including good practice for when MeiMei came along. :)

Jed & Abby

Cocorue said...

hey dear dear Hero,

a very very happy belated and may you have many many more to come....

you ARE one lucky dawg to have found your koko and cheche

coco and tiffy

Elizabeth said...

from Buster and his family who admire you so much!
I'm sorry we are late with this comment but things are crazy round here.
Buster admires Hero's adventures so much and wishes
he could visit him.
Love from all of us in New York.

Thor and Jack said...

Happy Birthday Hero!

Thor and Jack

JB's Big and Small Worlds said...

That is a sweet post. Hope you had a great barkday, Hero!