A video showing an elderly woman in Singapore bringing a senior dog out for a walk circulated online last week.
Getai host Wang Lei, who filmed the video, said that the elderly woman has been bringing the dog out for daily walks, despite the fact that the canine is too weak to walk on his own.
Speaking to Mothership, the daughter of that elderly woman, Georgina Lee revealed that they have been caring for the dog, named "Zhu Zhu", for 17 years.
Lee is the actual owner of Zhu Zhu. Although she was present with her mum on the day of the video, she was not caught in frame.
Rescued from a construction site
17-year-old Zhu Zhu (that's equivalent to a 119-year-old human) was adopted by the Lee family when he was just a two- to three-month-old puppy.
Zhu Zhu was found at a construction site back in 2004. Lee recalled that her friend saw a worker trying to feed Zhu Zhu ice cream, and wanted to find a home for him.
Lee was still a teen back then, and had to make an effort to convince her parents to keep the dog. Lee's mother eventually relented to her request.
"Yes, my mum didn’t really want me to keep the dog but I kept assuring her that I will manage everything myself, food, bath, shower, medical etc."
Since then, Lee read up more about dogs and, fortunately, Zhu Zhu has been a really good boy. As he is quite a glutton, that's how the name "Zhu Zhu" — which means "piggy" — came about.
"Zhu Zhu has always been well-behaved and never create any problem from young so it changes their mindset that a dog can destroy a house. 😂 Ok, except that he sometimes steals food when we are not looking. He loves food, that’s why his name is Zhu Zhu," Lee told Mothership.
An important member of the family
Zhu Zhu has since been an integral part of Lee's life, celebrating various milestones with her.
Zhu Zhu remained a good-natured dog as he grew up, and Lee describes him as a "gentle silly giant" that does not get irritated easily.
"When small dogs and cats bully him, he won’t attack them back. He raise his head high up so they can’t attack his face," Lee shared.
A resilient dog
Due to old age, the Lee family has witnessed Zhu Zhu becoming increasingly frail in recent years.
Last year, Zhu Zhu went from being partially blind to completely blind. He used to be able to take short walks, but started tripping and falling quite often, and now he has become too weak to walk.
"Last time... I would take him to the park and garden... and we run a lot," Lee recalled.
Now, the family brings Zhu Zhu out with a stroller given to them by another pet owner who lost her dog to old age.
Lee will also carry Zhu Zhu out of the wheelchair for him to poop as that's what he prefers.
"Now when I bring him down, I will carry him out of his wheelchair and let him stand by leaning against the wall. Because Zhu Zhu doesn’t want to be in the wheelchair (to poop), he has not given up on himself yet. He kept trying."
Don't keep a pet dog just because it's cute
Zhu Zhu looked more like a "bear" when he was a puppy but he grew up to look more like a wolf, Lee told Mothership.
"I didn’t expect my bear to grow this big and become a wolf look, but I love him the same. So don’t get a pet just because it is cute."
From his appearance, Lee eventually found out from a vet that Zhu Zhu is likely a German shepherd mix breed.
As a pet owner, Lee also wants to remind people not to get a dog just because it's cute.
"There is a lot of homework to do before you think of having a dog, I think it will be good to do some read up to prepare yourself and the dog — at least that was how I started, to have such obedient and healthy (long life) dog," Lee said.
Top image via Wang Lei's video and courtesy of Georgina Lee