“When I look at my three dogs, I feel blessed with so much love and joy. While taking care of a dog is not an easy task its one that’s truly, amazingly life changing,” said Jolene D’Souza, human of Toggi, Twiggy and Turtle. I like to call them the T3 pack 😉
Read on to know their ‘tailz’.
Tell us a bit about your pack – Toggi, Twiggy and Turtle.
Jolene: I adopted Toggi in 2011 when he was two months old from an animal welfare centre in Ras Al Khaimah. When I first got him home, he looked like a stuffed toy. He was so much fun to be around and soon became my buddy on numerous road trips and adventures. Back then, I didn’t even have a driving licence and I remember sneaking Toggi into my purse so I could take him in a cab to meet my friends. Every story of my life has a special Toggi chapter in it. He never gave me any trouble raising him. He was always this obedient, lovable, happy baby and is 11 years old this year. After Toggi I thought I could never possibly love any other dog in the same way. But then I was proved wrong when Twiggy and Turtle came home this year.
I was passing through a pet store in January, and I had no intention of getting another dog. However, I was so shocked to see the state the dogs were in it broke my heart. All of them seemed so scared and traumatised. Twiggy was this cute little ball of joy and energy when I first saw her. She immediately started wagging her tiny tail and seemed very friendly. Turtle weighed less than a kilo and he was fast asleep in his food bowl. He looked very weak and wouldn’t respond when I tried to touch him. It was then that I decided that I wanted to bring them both home with me. I wish I could have rescued all the dogs in there that day.
I later found out that the puppies I brought home with me were Belgian Malinois mix. A breed with high levels of energy and intelligence. Since I brought them home, my life has completely changed. My home has so much life in it, so much energy and a whole new set of responsibilities. It has been so much fun watching them grow into the beautiful doggies that they are with their adorable personalities.
Read more Rescue Tailz here
How different are they from each other?
Jolene: Twiggy is a hyper-excited, intelligent puppy who never wants a moment of silence. She is Houdini, a master escape artist who can get out of any enclosure in a matter of minutes. Most times, she cannot contain her excitement and stuffs her mouth with a toy as a means of keeping it together. Her tail never stops wagging which has earned herself the ‘Wigglybutt’ nickname. She is also the rebel leader of all the mischief at home. I slowly watched as my beautiful home became her playground and her giant chew toy. She chewed through her toys, the sofa, side tables, coffee tables and one day I came home to my living room that had turned into a sea of styrofoam balls as she chewed through my bean bag as well. Twiggy even managed to peel off the wallpaper at home and chew through it. I’ve to keep Twiggy busy with a lot of toys to minimise the destruction of my home. If I had to make a list for all the things my little velociraptors chewed through, it would be endless.
Turtle is this little baby who loves his food and loves to cuddle. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for extra treats or some more food. When I’m in the kitchen preparing their preparing their meal, he will teleport from wherever he is and whatever he is doing, even if he is fast asleep and show up next to me with a wagging tail ready to devour his bowl. He is always ready to cuddle and catch a nap on my lap. When Turtle was a little puppy, he once found a cigarette butt on the floor and swallowed it whole. I had to rush him to the vet and get him to puke it out. After waiting 20 minutes, he finally puked it out and was almost about to eat it back again! The whole ordeal was scary but also ridiculously funny. When the two of them are together, there is a lot of happy-chaotic energy which I try to disperse off with daily runs in the park or the beach.
What are some of your favourite things to do with them?
Jolene: One of my favourite things to do with the puppies is watching them run off-the-leash. They have boundless energy and can keep running for hours. Taking a walk with them at the beach while watching them run is one of the most rewarding feelings. Just the three of them running by the shore while the sky turns into pretty colours is just pure bliss. At home, sometimes I feel like my roof might come crashing down and I would be sitting in the middle of all the mess with this wide grin of happiness on my face because at the end of the day, nothing matters when I see their silly, happy faces and tails wagging at me. My life revolves around the puppies, and I don’t mind because I feel blessed with so much love and joy.
Please share some big lessons that your dogs have taught you.
Jolene: My dogs have taught me so much discipline (ironically) with my lifestyle. Sleeping early, waking up early and exercising with them is a must. They teach me that nothing is more valuable in life than the small moments of everyday surrounded by the people we love. It doesn’t matter how much we have at the end of the day, but how much we are willing to give matters the most. My dogs are a representation of angels on earth and the purest forms of love.
While having a dog in life is truly incredible, its a huge responsibility too. Could you please share some thoughts especially for humans considering fostering/adopting a dog?
Jolene: Taking care of a dog is not an easy task. As a dog-parent, you must consider a minimum commitment of 10 years. Keeping them accompanied while we are away at work for long hours or traveling is something to strictly consider. Medical bills, daily walks, sufficient space at home, cleaning up constantly and relocation costs if you move to another country are other things to consider. What you will receive in return is a happy soul and a partner for life which makes the whole journey completely worth it.
Finally, as a human of three beautiful dogs what’s that one message that you’d like to send out to our readers?
Jolene: I’d always advice to adopt a dog. There are so many out there just waiting for somebody to bring them home. If you cannot adopt a dog, there are so many other ways in which you can get involved in making a dog’s life better and make a difference. Fostering a dog is another great option or even donating to the local shelter or helping them out on weekends. You would be giving a second life to a being who will forever reward you with unconditional love and joy.