The deep bond UFM100.3 DJ Li Mei shares with her dog, Baby, is very different from what she enjoys with friends and family.
UFM100.3 DJ Yip Li Mei had just boarded a cruise ship when she received a heart-stopping phone call.
“Baby has gone missing,” said the frantic voice on the other end of the line.
It turned out that Yip’s mongrel-beagle had slipped his collar and run away from the boarding kennel where she had left him hours earlier.
“Even if he is hit by a car, please find him,” she begged, feeling helpless.
It was already evening, and there would be heavy traffic in the vicinity. Yip feared the worst.
But all she could do was wait. And trust that he would be found.
An hour later, there was still no news from the boarding kennel.
At her wit’s end, Yip called her mother to enlist her help in the search.
To her surprise, her puzzled mother replied, “Huh? Baby is sleeping in the room!”
“I couldn’t believe it, and asked her to double-check that it was really him. It was — Baby had found his way home!” Yip recalls.
“For a 10-month-old pup to walk home from the kennel, it was just astounding.”
That incident taught her that trust is a two-way street. And she had to have as much faith in Baby as he had in her.
She explains: “I felt a sense of guilt; why didn’t I trust my dog? He is so intelligent and his strong sense of wanting to be with his loved ones(us) led him right back home.”
She never sent him away again, and Baby has stayed at home with her helper whenever Yip has been away.
For Yip, trust is synonymous with Baby.
“Dogs are indeed man’s best friends, and never once have they let me down. I believe that a dog will do whatever it can do for its owner,” she says.
But how different is it from the trust between people?
“When a dog trusts you, it shows. When they believe in you, in your love for them, they will be loyal for a lifetime.
“For example, it trusts you to cut its nails, bathe it, feed it and is willing to eat from your hand.
“Trust is what a dog does with no second thoughts once it has made up his mind to do so.”
Baby has been a part of Yip’s life since 2013 when she found him at a construction site and decided to adopt him.
She explains: “We have a strong connection, a tacit understanding. When I take him to outdoor places such as Tanjong Beach, I don’t need to keep him leashed as I know he will always stay by my side.
“To me, Baby is my best friend, and my kin. When I am down, I will pour my heart out to him and my unhappiness will just dissipate. Like a confidante, he will just sit and listen to me — plus there is no way he can divulge my secrets.”
Yip adds that when she is upset, Baby senses her emotion and will stay close to her, never leaving her side, as if reassuring her.
On walks, Baby will always turn around to make sure Yip is within sight.
“I love him a lot, and he loves me too. Baby has an important place in our family; we are practically inseparable and wherever we go, we will take him along.”
In fact, Yip reveals that her happiest moment at the end of a long, tiring day is returning home to Baby.
“He will lay down beside me and we will just hang out. To me, that is one of the biggest pleasures in life.”