Share A Secret: I gave away my husband’s precious dog after celebrating the Year of the Dog
The Weekly’s readers share their most well-kept and intimate secrets
February 24, 2018
Ever since our marriage a year ago, my husband Jake* had kept his promise that we would not have children until we enjoyed our “couple life” together for several years. I knew that Jake really wanted to have kids, but he’d agreed to this promise on one condition: We’d get a pet in the meantime to fill that void in our family life.
I’m not a big animal lover, unlike Jake who loves dogs and rabbits, but I told him that if it’ll make him happy then we could have a family pet. Earlier this year, Jake asked if we could adopt a puppy; his colleague’s dog had just given birth to a litter and asked if he would like to adopt one of the puppies. I knew Jake really wanted a pet, so I agreed to it.
When Dotty* arrived in our home, she was just a three-month-old pup. I had never seen Jake so ecstatic in his life. He was madly in love with our new pet, and immediately showered her with hugs and spent every free minute of his time playing with her.
Over the next couple of weeks, Jake went from a doting husband to a doting dog owner. It wasn’t only the time and energy spent on Dotty, Jake splurged on building a huge dog house and play pen in our spare bedroom, filled with the latest dog toys he could find from the Internet. No expenses were spared for Dotty’s diet; Jake would buy expensive organic dog food and artisanal treats. He also brought Dotty on regular visits to luxury pet spas and grooming studios to get pampered from head to toe.
Gradually, our lifestyle changed to suit Dotty’s existence. We no longer went on our weekly movie date nights as Jake wanted to spend time every single evening with her. We used to love dining out at new restaurants often, but ever since Dotty came, we started eating in; most restaurants don’t allow pets and Jake could not bear to leave her at home. Weekends meant a walk in the park with Dotty or playtime with her at home… our frequent shopping trips to the malls stopped. We even cancelled our holiday trip overseas as he could not bring Dotty along.
I did not really like Dotty that much to begin with, but as Jake grew more obsessed with her, I found myself becoming angrier with her as I felt more and more neglected. It might sound silly to say that I was jealous of a dog, but that summed up my feelings perfectly.
The week after our Lunar New Year celebration (coincidentally it’s the Year of the Dog), Jake came home to find Dotty gone. I had been home earlier and a very “distraught” me told him that that morning, our house cleaner had accidentally left the front door opened and somehow Dotty wandered out. She tried looking for her outside after realising she was gone but could not find her anywhere.
Jake almost collapsed on the floor upon hearing this and immediately ran out shouting Dotty’s name. We spent the next five hours that night walking from block to block looking for her. I had never seen Jake so upset.
We reported Dotty as lost the next day at the police station and put up flyers in our neighbourhood. Jake was hopeful that Dotty would be returned by someone who had picked her up, but I knew that Jake would never see Dotty again.
I was the one who gave Dotty away. That day, I had taken extra leave after the CNY public holidays and drove down to a pet adoption centre with her and left her there. I concocted a story that she was from an old neighbour who had recently passed on and nobody could take care of her dog, so I had decided to help put her up for adoption.
*Names changed to protect privacy.
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