Polka Dog Updates (The Lucky Dog)

After weeks of search for a fosterer for Polka, we came back with disappointing responses. At first, we received a call from a lady, who was interested in fostering Polka. But after visiting him at the vet and bringing him for 2 rounds of walks, she decided that Polka was too big in size for her. We also received numerous messages from people who were interested to foster Polka, as they felt sorry for him, but backed out in the last minute due to various reasons.
It was evident that he could not adapt to being confined in the cage, which was so small that when he stands on all four legs, his head will touch the top of the cage. He would bark insistently to be brought out of the cage, and each time he barks, his head will bump onto the top of the cage, which resulted in a bruise on his head.

The bruise on Polka's head
With a heavy heart, we were brought to our last resort, which was to bring Polka back to where we found him (the workshop at the industrial park). It isn’t the best option but all we could do was to check with the people there if they could help us to look out for Polka, as well as to pass them food and other items to make sure that Polka would be well taken care of.

Much as we hated to release him back to the streets, we knew that we could not have Polka boarding in the vet forever, where he was kept in a small cage. After all, he had been a stray dog all of his life – he had been conditioned to a life where he was able to roam around freely, and to have him confined to a small cage was definitely something he wasn’t going to get used to.

Polka and Ah Girl at were at the vet together

After three weeks in the vet, we decided that it was time for us to release Polka back to where we found him. Fiona arranged for a pet transport to have Polka brought back to the workshop, and I had already called the vet to inform them that we would like to have Polka discharged from the vet the very next day. That night, I could not stop thinking about Polka – what the future holds for him and how will his remaining days will be like. I could not help but feel sad that we could not do more for Polka, and on the other hand, there are many other dogs out there suffering the same fate, or much worse.

Early next day, I went to the vet to pick Polka up and arranged for his discharge before the pet transport came. I brought Polka out of the vet and we sat at the car park while waiting for the pet transport to arrive. I could see that Polka was excited – he was expecting me to bring him for a walk around the vet, which I normally do. But soon, he realized that we were not going for his walk around the vet, and he started to howl and whimper. It was a heart-breaking sight. Soon, the pet transport arrived and after bringing Polka up to the van, we were off to the workshop.

Polka waiting to be discharged
As I drove my car behind the pet transport van, I could see that Polka was excited to go on a car-ride, as he was prancing back and forth inside the van. For a while, he even sat at the front seat of the van – he was clearly enjoying his ride back! As we were nearing our destination, it was evident that Polka knew where he was going. He was getting more and more excited, and started barking when we turned in to the industrial park.
Upon reaching, we brought Polka out of the van. It was not difficult to bring him out of it; he happily jumped out of the van without our assistance. As we brought him around the area we found him, all of a sudden, we heard someone saying in Mandarin “isn’t that Lucky? His owner has been looking for him!” and he was pointing to the workshop unit next to his.
I was truly taken by surprise – little did I know that Polka had an owner all along! Then I brought Polka over to the next unit, and his owner who introduced himself as Uncle Soon, was just as surprised to see Polka. He came over to us, beaming from ear to ear. He said that he could not believe that he will be able to see Lucky Polka again, as he thought that he had went somewhere faraway to go off quietly. It was obvious that Lucky Polka was as excited to see his owner again, as much as Uncle Soon. It was a happy reunion!

Uncle Soon and Lucky Polka finally reunited after 3 weeks!

Look at the love in his eyes
Uncle Soon shared that he has been taking care of Lucky Polka since he was a little puppy, and it has been 15 years since then. He even showed me a photo of Lucky Polka from his younger days. I updated him on the events that happened over the last few weeks with Lucky Polka, and also broke the news to him about Polka’s health (his heartworm condition, cancerous masses found in his chest and stomach). Uncle Soon said that he has taken care of Lucky Polka for the last few years, and he will continue to take care of him until his final day here on Earth.

A photograph of Lucky Polka from his younger days, pasted  on a wall in Uncle Soon's workshop

Before I left, I passed Lucky Polka’s medication to Uncle Soon, and explained to him on how frequent he should feed them to him. As he does not know how to read English, he told me to explain to him while he writes it down in Mandarin. With this, I knew that Lucky Polka is under good hands.
The following week, I went to visit Polka and Uncle Soon. It was a humid day, and Lucky Polka was lying down on the concrete floor to cool off. Upon seeing me, Lucky Polka stood up and started to smell my hand. He could recognize me! And he couldn’t look any better – he was looking so much happier! Apart from that, he seems to have gained weight as well. Uncle Soon says that he has been eating well, and have been taking his medication on time as well.

Lucky Polka, 1 week after being reunited with Uncle Soon
Like they always say, every cloud has a silver lining. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that Lucky Polka did not find a fosterer or adopter. If not, he would never be reunited with Uncle Soon. Lucky Polka is indeed, a lucky dog. I do wish that all the dogs out there will be as lucky and blessed as Lucky Polka.
I would like to thank Fiona and HOPE Dog Rescue for their guidance on my first dog rescue, and may there be more to come!

Written by Denise Lim. Photographs courtesy of Joceline Loo and Denise Lim