The pictures of Marco when he was a stray living on the streets of Jelutong in Penang are heartbreaking to say the least. Suffering from a serious and painful skin condition, all his fur had dropped off his body of just skin and bones.
And to make matters worse, the poor stray was abused by the wretched people he came into contact with.
All that changed however when Nerissa Law adopted this diseased, malnourished boy and pledged to change his life for the better.
Nerissa guesses that Marco is probably around 11 years old but whatever his biological age, Marco is young at heart.
“He is a super happy dog when he sees us and super emo when he is alone,” Nerissa says, explaining how Marco is a rather emotional dog who dislikes being by himself and makes no bones about telling the whole neighbourhood about it.
“He will howl softly and then it will get louder and louder when he is in an emo mood,” Nerissa says, adding that everything changes however when he’s in good company.
He loves his walks and a good belly rub but when no one’s around to pamper him, Marco takes to scratching his own back by going belly up and rubbing his back on his pillow and bed – talk about being resourceful!
After living for so many years with barely anything to satisfy his growling hunger, Marco these days eats to his heart’s content.
Among his favourites are KFC, “tau ewe bak” – a pork dish with a soya sauce gravy, chicken rice and human junk food of every kind, shape and taste.
But no matter how hungry or greedy he’s feeling that day, it’s still a resounding “no” to vegetables.
Despite being a stray for so many years, Marco does not like walking off the leash – maybe the leash gives him a sense of security, something he didn’t have when living on the streets and the target of bullies.
Besides hating to have his ears fussed with when it has to be cleaned, Marco detests car rides too.
Nerissa says that although Marco doesn’t know common dog tricks, he does know how to “sit” on command. He also came to her naturally toilet-trained, which is always a blessing.
But he remains terrified of strangers. “He was abused badly before. He only ate from rubbish bins and whatever people gave him.”
But at least Marco’s story has a happy ending. Besides the delicious food he now enjoys every day, he has a soft and warm bed, pillow and blanket to sleep in every night. As well as a safe indoor space with his own fan to keep his nights comfortable.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PET: FMT Lifestyle readers are invited to send in pictures (landscape format) and a short video (if any) of their furry, scaly or feathery friends to [email protected]. Don’t forget to include details like your pet’s name, age, breed and a short story about them.