Our 2 weeks in Ipoh turned to 3 weeks. Not because we needed 3 weeks to see everything.
Our initial 2 weeks were prearranged as it was the preferred length of stay for our Helpx host at Bed and Bike Studio in Ipoh, Malaysia. It’s a cosy snug 12 bed dormitory in an office suit that pretty much resembles a cosy large studio style apartment.
As they had bicycles we could borrow for free we spent alternate days going in and out in the morning as the afternoons were much too hot it kills me.
On one of our ventures out, we were meant to go to a river and we took the local bus at a cost of probably Rm2.70 each to Gopeng bus station. From there we were to find another way there, probably through hitchhiking.
We got off the bus stop and had not even walked 2 metres when Clément spotted something that stopped him in his tracks. I asked him what was the matter and followed his gesture and eyes to a dark, little figure under a the bus station seat.
It was a puppy!
It was barely moving except for when it opened and closed its eyes slowly. Someone had placed a few pieces of dry dog food in front of him, but he wasn’t eating even when we brought the pieces to his lips.
We picked him up to have a better look at him, though we could already see he was covered in fleas. When we have a closer look he also had a large tick on his side and red ants were nibbling away at him. His skin was flaky, dry and discoloured, he had bare skin in areas where there should be fur. To top it off he was also extremely weak.
We took a look around, it didn’t seem as if this puppy had an owner. Or a mother and father around for that matter. I went to the small sundry store in front of us to ask for a box and they gave the perfect sized box for the puppy. We caught the next bus back into Ipoh.
We got back to the hostel, and right away took down the bicycles, tied the box with the puppy to the back and peddled to the vet in the noon sun.
The vet assessed the puppy to be not more than 6 weeks old. He was severely dehydrated, infested with worms and covered in lice on top of the fleas, ticks and ants.
The vet dewormed him, sprayed him for the bugs and gave him a shot of antibiotics for his mange, a kind of mite that infects dogs’ skin.
We had decided to extend our stay in Ipoh another week to ensure puppy could have all he needed from the vet before we continued our travels.
The next couple of weeks turned to parent duty for us. On our first night with Puppy he was already eating within the next few hours we took him in, and when it was time for bed he refused to sleep in his box and climbed out to wedge between Clément and I to fall asleep.
Toilet training was a constant hit and miss especially living in a property with stairs to go outside. We had to constantly carry him downstairs if we had an inkling that he wanted to urinate or defecate. Walking him was a joy from the start. He was always walking with us and if he stopped, it was because the were steps in front of him and he needed help getting up or down. Otherwise he would start running to us right away when I said “come baby come” or when Clément whistles.
We take him everywhere with us. We took him to Gua Tempurung where he wandered around the caves with us. We took him to Taiping with us and Kuala Sepetang. He was on the buses with us, in the cars we hitchhiked, on the boat we cruised the rivers on and on the ferry to Langkawi. He mostly sleeps in his tote bag and when we are out of a vehicle he eats with us at the places we stop at and walks with us to the next place we start to hitchhike. He’s an incredibly clever puppy, he adapts so well, he insists on cuddling with us in bed every night, he’s out little bundle of sweet bread, and already the best thing in our lives.
Dear readers, we are now a family. Let me introduce you to our incredible, little Puppy.