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.

Pets (Singapore) - - Contents - BY GIL­LIAN LIM

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!

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