Adeline Tan, 39, Librarian

  • Totto, 8, Pomeranian

When Adeline and Totto first met, the pup was nothing like the pooch she is today. Three years ago, Totto was dumped by a pet farm—completely shaven and with nasty skin infections, no less—when she hit five years old and was deemed too old to continue popping puppies to be sold. She was timid, and jumped at every sound she heard. “She shivered whenever anyone carried her, and refused to go for walks as she was too scared to leave the house,” explains Adeline. “She was also afraid of long household items like hangers, bamboo poles, umbrellas, and more.”

Like her namesake—the protagonist of Totto-chan: The Little Girl of the Window— the eight-year-old ex-breeding dog had a tragic start in life. Thankfully, kismet led her to Adeline, who lovingly nursed her back to health, and gave her a fur-ever home to call her own.

How did Totto look when you first met her?
She was underweight, had ticks and four bald and sore patches on her body, missing teeth, and extremely foul breath. She was very small—just over 3kg—and looked very sad. She didn’t like anyone touching her, and did not make eye contact with me or respond to anything I said to her.

Since Totto didn’t look her best, what made you want to adopt her?
I can’t describe it, but it wasn’t love at first sight for sure. I saw the adoption post on Facebook and somehow guessed that she would fit into my family. Some people say that it is always your dog that chooses you—I have to agree with this.

This is an excerpt from an article in our People & their Pets column. For the full story, flip to pg 44 of our Dec 2016-Jan 2017 issue!