PEOPLE AND THEIR PETS
Brought home by different families when they were mere puppies, these litter mates were reunited with their furry siblings at long last. We speak to their loving paw-rents to find out what the searching process was like.
How these paw-rents went on a quest to find their furkids’ siblings.
Lim Ko Vit, 37, Programme coordinator
Jean Leow, 36, Project manager
Mata, 9 months, Japanese Spitz
Jerrick Leo, 23, Student Agnes Tan, 23, Intern Pochi, 9 months,
Japanese Spitz When Jean Leow and Lim Ko Vit visited Wag A Tail in mid-December last year, they immediately set their eyes on a pair of Japanese Spitz twins that had just arrived in the shop. The fluffy white puppies were just three months old then—one was male while the other was female.
“It was around late evening and both puppies were sleeping on the same bed together as they just had their meals. The female puppy was the one playing gently with us,” shares Jean. Though initially won over by the friendly girl, Jean and Ko Vit decided to bring the male puppy home and named him Mata. In the process,
Jean asked the store owner if they knew anything about the girl puppy’s potential paw-rent. “Due to confidentiality they didn’t reveal anything. All they said was that it would be fun to hunt for Mata’s sibling,” she shares with a laugh.
Excited to show the world her newest Japanese Spitz boy, Mata, Jean Leow created an Instagram account for her beloved puppy in December last year. “I quickly started following many Spitz accounts and in the process, Instagram started suggesting Japanese Spitz profiles
to me,” shares Jean. “As I clicked on profile after profile, I stumbled onto a pooch’s profile that shared the same birthday as my Mata—24 September 2017. To my delight, I saw that the shop I bought Mata from, Wag a Tail, had followed the account. Doesn’t this mean that this pup might have come from the same shop and therefore be Mata’s sister?” After dropping the account a private message, Jean was ecstatic to find out the two pups were indeed brother and sister.
“It really is fate as we didn’t think of searching for Pochi’s sibling,” says Jerrick Leo. “Her litter size only consists of herself and her brother, so they are considered twins.”
Did the puppies recognise each other when they first met?
Ko Vit: We’re not sure if they recognised each other. (laughs) What we know is that they immediately hit it off by playing and friendly play fighting with each other.
What observations did you have of the reunited twins that day?
Jerrick: The way Pochi plays with Mata and with other dogs is different. Pochi’s a little cautious of her surroundings and other dogs, but when she’s playing with Mata, she’s more like herself.
How similar are they?
Jean: Their play traits are the same. They love to use their paws to pound and play with other dogs.
Ko Vit: They also lie on the floor and spread out their legs in the same way. (laughs) The twins also drink water the same way—they play with it.
Jerrick: One of the physical similarities that we found is they have the same ‘heartshaped’ paw, where two of their digital pads are connected.
What about differences?
Jean: It’s their sizes. (laughs) As they grew up, Mata outgrew Pochi. Now, Mata weighs 14kg while Pochi is around 8kg.
How often do you meet up as a fur-mily and what do you do?
Jerrick: Pochi and Mata meet up at least once every month. Recently, Pochi and her brother went swimming together for the first time!
Ko Vit: Yes, the swimming trip was really memorable for me. Both dogs were so fearful of the water and kept attempting to run out of the pool!
Any advantages of reuniting your pup with his/her siblings?
Jerrick: Pochi can always look forward to a wonderful playdate every month with Mata and we believe that having the siblings play together is healthy for their growth.
Jean: It definitely helps Mata’s social manners. (laughs) That aside, we love to exchange tips and it’s really helpful for both sides of the fur-mily. We also try to align to each other vet’s visit and grooming dates, share deals and go out together.
Sandy Yam, 28, Director of Common Chefs Bistro
Lilo, 1, Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Cindy Tan, 50, Manager Hayley, 1, Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Melissa Lim, 29, Tutor Kenzo, 1, Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Vance Tang, 11, Student Vivi, 1, Pembroke Welsh Corgi Having a photoshoot with four Corgi puppies was certainly a challenge—they kept getting distracted, wanted to play with each other, and were running about the entire house. The best part of the entire experience (apart from meeting four Corgi puppies) was that all four pups are real siblings—they were all born on 26 June 2017 and came from the same kennel. In fact, their litter comprises seven Corgis and so far, only four have been reunited, though the plan is to continue finding the rest of their puppies’ siblings.
“I thought it’d be good for Lilo to find her siblings and to be honest, it wasn’t that hard to find them all,” shares Sandy Yam. “There’s actually a group chat with all the Corgi owners in Singapore, so all I did was post Lilo’s birthday in the chat and someone knew someone who just adopted a Corgi with the same birthday as Lilo. He linked us up and that’s when we started the search for the rest of their litter.”
Apart from sharing the same birthday and similar markings, the four Corgis couldn’t be more different. Each has its own distinct personality and markings: Lilo, the model sister, loves humans and is always good-natured; Hayley is the quiet and reserved one; Vivi is a playful and excitable ball of fluff; and Kenzo is the only male pup and loves to eat. We speak with Sandy, Lilo’s owner, and Cindy, Hayley’s owner, to find out more.
Tell us about your pup’s personality. Sandy: Lilo is really friendly and yearns for human attention. She is also very attentive to her surroundings. If another dog is fierce to her, or if we start scolding her, she’ll automatically roll over and be submissive.
Cindy: Hayley is a rather reserved Corgi. She’s quite anti-social and doesn’t like other dogs coming straight at her. She chooses her companions and prefers calm dogs.
How did you find the rest of the litter? Sandy: It’s all because of the Corgi group chat and of course, social media. Melissa, Kenzo’s paw-rent, was part of the group chat but we only realised that they were siblings after their vaccinations as their vaccination dates were really close, which meant they might share the same birthday. As for Vivi’s paw-rent, Vance, his mum follows my Facebook account and saw me
posting several videos of Lilo. She found her really cute and asked which kennel Lilo came from. After that, she brought Vance down and brought Vivi home. I’m actually in the midst of reconnecting with their fifth sibling, Rufus. His owner posted his puppy picture in the group chat and I found a striking resemblance to Lilo! That was when I reached out to ask if they were from the same kennel and shared the same birth date.
How did you feel watching your furkid finally meet his/her real-blood siblings? Cindy: It’s a very good feeling. Now I hope to be able to let Hayley meet them more often. We meet once every three months because our fur-mily is quite big.
Can you please tell us one memorable incident between your furkid and his/her siblings?
Sandy: During their first birthday celebration, Kenzo stole Lilo’s treats. As a result they ended up showing teeth to each other, which wasn’t a sign of aggression but more of scolding! (laughs)
Cindy: Once, when they were much younger, Lilo came over to play with Hayley after their obedience training.
They played for hours till both were so tired that they fell asleep next to each other. But what was surprising next was the ever-so-shy Hayley woke up and began nudging Lilo to play with her! At that point, Lilo was really just too tired but Hayley persisted and began placing her head and paw on Lilo’s head. It was such an endearing moment for us!
Do you feel like your furkid’s life has changed for the better after meeting his/ her siblings?
Cindy: Yes for sure! Hayley has learnt to be slightly more sociable. Even by calling out “Lilo”, she would run to the gate! Sandy: Yes, Lilo is much more pampered now. Her godpaw-rent,
Cindy, always gives her food. (laughs)
Give us tips for paw-rents who are looking to reunite their furkids with their siblings.
Sandy: Be proactive and don’t be afraid to take the first step to search for their siblings. Be humble, because every paw-rent has his/her own paw-renting method, so take each sharing session as a learning point.
Cindy: Try to look for the others as soon as you can, as this gives the furkids exposure to one another from a young age and allows them to bond better. Understand that they aren’t immediately going to take to each other and each of their playing styles might be very different. Lastly, before having them all meet up together for the first time, it might be good for them to meet up in pairs first to get used to one another!