Several people made their way from mainland Singapore to Pulau Ubin on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021, to share a quiet moment together at the spot where the island's late community dog, Kopi-O was killed after it was hit by a vehicle three days earlier.
The group brought along flowers and a painted picture of Kopi-O, and left it at the spot where the dog was killed.
The illustration was done by frequent Ubin visitor, Terence Tan (in green singlet in photos), who then gifted the portrait of Kopi-O to the island's residents.
Ubin community still distraught
After his visit to the island, Tan wrote in an update to his Facebook post on Saturday, Feb. 6, that some of the workers and residents on Pulau Ubin are still distraught from the incident.
In a subsequent post on Sunday, Feb. 7, Tan shared about what the group of well-wishers did while there.
Avoided going to Kopi-O's grave
The group had avoided going to the dog's grave out of respect for Kopi-O's owner, who had requested for some space to grieve in private.
Instead, the group went to Ah Ma Drink Stall, which was Kopi-O's favourite hang-out on the island where he was usually seen with his brother, Teh C.
Spot where Kopi-O killed
Tan also shared in another post the exact location on Pulau Ubin where Kopi-O was hit by a vehicle.
That spot was where Kopi-O would frequently stop to rest.
Tan also wrote about how he felt that Kopi-O is different from Hachiko, the loyal dog in Japan who never left its spot waiting for its owner to return.
This was after many commenters online made that comparison.
Tan wrote: "Having worked with residents of Ubin and lived there for a brief time, you can see how much dogs are a part of the town’s community, unlike the way we raise one dog to one household in Singapore."
He added: "Kopi-O was a little hero who enjoyed meeting many humans and dogs, kept his own sense of independence, and watched out for anyone who passed his way."
Tan also said that he will paint a few more pictures of Kopi-O in the future, as a way to "commemorate this really special dog".
Background on Kopi-O's death
Kopi-O, who has a legal owner, was a community dog on Pulau Ubin.
He died after he was believed to have been involved in a hit-and-run accident with a taxi on Feb. 3, 2021.
Island residents were so desperate to save Kopi-O that they brought him to a vet on mainland Singapore, but to no avail.
Kopi-O's reputation as the friendliest dog on the island was well-earned.
He left a lasting impression on many of the island's visitors, who became enamoured by his disarming and loving ways as he made friends with everyone and hiked long distances.
Following Kopi-O's passing and as news of his demise made it online, tributes poured in with Ubin visitors sharing photos and videos of Kopi-O, as well as commending him for being human-friendly, loyal and accommodating.
Kopi-O is survived by two siblings, Teh-O and Teh-C.
Following his burial, Kopi-O's brother Teh-O, was spotted mourning him atop his sibling's grave.
Top photos via Terence Tan & via