"Adopt, not shop" is an oft-heard maxim.
Beyond being a pithy statement, one pet owner in Singapore has shown the far-reaching impact that adoption can have through her poodle, Beanie.
Sharing the story to Facebook group Adopt Dogs and Cats In Singapore on Aug. 26, Kimberly Wong said that Beanie was a breeding dog for the first seven years of her life.
When Wong adopted Beanie in 2019, the poodle was "filthy" and had severely rotten teeth, to the extent that the vet had to remove 11 of them at one go.
Beanie also had a ear infection that lasted for months.
Another heartbreaking thing Wong discovered was that Beanie did not know how to play, as she had never seen a toy before.
The poodle would also keep spinning around, as she never had more space in the past to do more than turn in circles, Wong wrote.
In a separate post on Aug. 31, the pet owner provided more details on what Beanie was initially like in her new home.
Wong described the dog's detachment and denial of her surroundings that appeared to be her coping mechanism, so that she did not have to confront what was happening to her.
"From the moment I picked her up, she seemed frozen. She wouldn’t make eye contact with me, and she stayed completely silent. Her eyes were blank. It was like she was pretending she wasn’t there. I think she was switching off her brain so she could act like her life wasn’t happening. I could imagine her doing this whenever the breeder forced her to do something she didn’t want to."
When Beanie went into heat, she would hide from Wong and her family, as she was afraid that she would be forced to mate.
Many other sensations and things were foreign to the poodle as well, such as air-conditioning and soft surfaces, as she's only had hard surfaces in her lifetime.
Wong said that the dog also refused to eat and sleep, and would force her eyes open every time they started closing.
One year later, however, Beanie has blossomed into a whole other dog with plenty of love and patience.
Wong acknowledged that it wasn't an "easy road", but felt that it was worth every minute.
"She’s happy now. She eats SO MUCH. She loves lounging on the couch and getting her chest rubbed. She grumpily covers her face with a paw if she wants to sleep and I leave the light on. She’s almost always wagging her tail."
Wong then relays a message to owners of former breeding dogs, asking them for the same love and patience that will help the dogs blossom as well.
And of course, adopt, not shop.
"If you are wondering if you should adopt or buy a pet, I hope you choose to adopt. When you see puppies at a pet store, I hope you remember Beanie's story and everything that happens to breeding moms behind the scenes."
If you would like to read more about how Wong found Beanie, she has written about it on her own page.
Top image via Kimberly Wong/Facebook