Three adopted Japanese shibas — eight-year-old male Hero, three-year-old female Wish and the latest addition to the family in 2017, a male named Tiger — are the main protagonists of a Facebook page created by their owner, called Hero&Wish, which has over 5,000 followers.
Tiger was originally a stray, although it is unclear what caused him to be homeless. Fortunately, he tramped onto a school campus in southern Taiwan. While classes were underway, the forlorn sound of feeble footsteps reverberated in the corridor outside. A teacher went out to investigate and discovered Tiger, with an astonishing trail of bloody paw prints in his wake. The teacher hurriedly brought Tiger inside the classroom and after deliberating about what to do, found some tins of cat food to feed the starving dog. Tiger didn’t much mind what was put in front of him and wolfed down the cat food, thankful for a square meal at last.
Meanwhile, the teacher enlisted the help of the school nurse to check on Tiger’s wound. They discovered a wound on Tiger’s front right paw so deep that you could see right through to the bone. He was taken to a vet for professional medical treatment and after a thorough examination, the vet determined that Tiger’s wounded leg would need to be amputated.
Photo courtesy of Facebook page Hero&Wish
Following an operation to remove the leg, Tiger went to live at the school. Teachers and students looked after him, including cleaning and changing the dressings on the amputated stump. It was a huge undertaking. Teachers also raised funds for his long-term medical care to ensure his health would always be provided for.
Originally, the school intended for Tiger to become the school dog. However, having been a stray for so long, Tiger found it difficult to trust humans and would often become aggressive as a way to protect himself. His fierce and aggressive personality put the school in a difficult position. Finally, after much consideration, the school decided that, to protect the safety of students, they would have to put Tiger up for adoption.
The teachers at the school carefully vetted potential owners, taking into consideration a range of factors including the quality of care, environment and training. After much deliberation, they finally settled on a new owner and sent Tiger up to Taipei, hoping that he would be happy in his new home. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out as planned: Tiger found it difficult to adjust to the new environment and would bark and growl from the balcony of his new home. His owners couldn’t stand the noise, and nor could their neighbors, who complained about the disturbances. Eventually, Tiger was sent back to the school.
Photo courtesy of Facebook page Hero&Wish
Later on, Tiger was introduced to his current owner, who had already adopted two dogs, Hero and Wish. After arriving at his new home in Taichung, Tiger’s instinct for self-preservation rose to the fore again. He behaved aggressively toward both his new owner and the other dogs, would fiercely guard his food and left his female owner covered in cuts and bruises.
However, his new owner had no intention of giving up on him and spent time and energy communicating and interacting with Tiger until they were able to develop mutual trust. The love and patience of his new owner gradually rubbed off on Tiger. Now he, Hero and Wish get on like a house on fire.
Tiger’s owner says: “Although Tiger is an imperfect angel, he has made my life perfect.” She encourages anyone interested in adopting a furry friend to visit an animal shelter and give stray or “imperfect” animals a second chance in life.
(Translated by Edward Jones, Taipei Times)
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