I will say fate brought Kori and me together, as I had totally no intention to adopt a second dog as much as I wanted to. I was at Kranji industrial estate one night driving past some factories when I vaguely saw something moving amidst the grass. I got off and headed towards the grass patch, but it was all quiet when I stood there looking around. Just as I was about to turn and leave, I heard a faint yelp from below. I looked down and saw two pair of eyes peeping at me through the grilles of a drain cover!
It took awhile for me to coax them out, and although I did not manage to touch them, I managed to feed them some food and they gobbled everything down hungrily. These 2 puppies were so scrawny and undernourished at first sight, and as I stood there watching them eat, I wonder what the future held for them as strays.
Noah’s Ark learned of this and decided to take them in to be fostered while looking for new homes for them. Kori was the first among the two sisters to be caught and as her fosterer could only take her in after a few days, I was asked to foster her for the time being.
At first glance, Kori looks just like any other mongrel – brown in colour with a black muzzle, a very sweet and docile girl. When she first arrived at my place, Kori was quiet and well-behaved. After a few days of keeping her under shelter but outdoors, we decided to move her indoors. That was when she got an actual chance to interact with Kiro, and everything fell easily into place.
My sister and I have never thought that Kiro would be able to accept another dog in the house, being extremely territorial and also spoilt from all the given attention. However, Kiro began playing with Kori through the baby gate which kept Kori confined, and Kiro soon took to her very quickly, most probably due to her submissive nature. Kiro would sleep on the floor by the front of the baby gate instead of on his own bed, as if keeping her company especially when all of us were not in!
My family decided to give it a try and let both of them interact for a few days under close supervision. Initially, we had to keep reminding Kiro to be gentle with Kori as she was still a puppy and Kiro tends to become a bit rough when playing. He often forgets how big he actually is now, especially when he charges full speed at someone who just came home!
Mealtimes were crucial as Kiro has all along been pretty touchy about food, perhaps due to starvation as a stray when he was young. Initially we separated the feeding area just to play safe, until one fine day when Kori was accidentally let out when Kiro had yet to finish his food. All of us were amazed when Kori started eating from Kiro’s food bowl and Kiro did not snarl at her! There and then, we knew that Kiro had already accepted Kori in his heart, and that he knew she would be here to stay.
As always, the puppyhood of a dog is a memorable but also somewhat frustrating period for the owner, just like the childhood of a kid for his parents. I dare admit there were times when I just could not handle her and will throw my arms in surrender, but never once have I thought of giving her up. As Kori gradually gained confidence, the hidden playfulness within her surfaced and just the other day, she tore up a credit card statement which my mum slipped under my door when I was sleeping. I woke up to a floor of “snowflakes”, just that paper bits were in place of the snowflakes. Gosh!
Kori also does annoys Kiro at times, like when she snatches his toys or bones, or keeps wriggling nonstop on his bed when he is trying to get some sleep. Kori does have her own bed, but she constantly wants to be near Kiro. Previously when Kiro growls at Kori for misbehaving, she would whimper in fear and quietly retreat to one corner and stay there. But now, though she will still back off, in a minute or two you will see her wanting to play with him again! Ah, the joys of being a puppy.
Kiro has grown so attached to Kori that when she went for her sterilization and was out for the whole day, Kiro was happier to see her return more so than my sister who brought Kori back. He kept licking her as if knowing what she had gone through, and was very gentle with her during her recovery.
Kori, our new family member, has been an absolute bundle of joy. I know that dogs are faithful creatures who will love you all their lives. Alike Kiro, my family has also promised Kori a lifetime of commitment and companionship, love and care. Sacrifices definitely have to be been made from time to time, but when I see her silly smile and wiper-like tail greeting me at the door every night when I return home, everything that I have done is certainly worth it.