Saving Private Dottie

You don’t need to do a lot to be someone’s hero. In this case, you just need to show love and compassion to become the hero of a small doggo.

Meet Dottie, a mix between a Shih Tzu, a Terrier and a survivor. She is between 6 to 7 years old at the time of writing, and was rescued from the streets by Georgia and her family.

The decision to rescue Dottie came in the following ways…

Georgia and her family lost their beloved Baby in 2016. This left the family heartbroken, and Snowy without a friend. However, to respect the memories of Baby, they didn’t want to adopt another dog so soon.

After 4 years and with the increasing number of stray dogs looking for homes being reported all over social media and the news, they decided it was the right time to adopt a dog.

The family came across a Facebook post by Strive for Animals Welfare (SAW) about six Shih Tzu Terrier strays needing new homes. They decided to go through the photos in the post and stumbled upon Female 1 (F1). According to Georgia, “F1 stole our hearts with her shaggy look.”

They got in touch with the rescuer who was in Cheras and made an appointment to meet F1. During their visit, the rescuer told the family how she came across these six dogs.

These dogs were owned by a person who might have used them in a puppy farm. In the court case of Avenson v Zegart in 1984, a puppy farm was defined as “a dog breeding operation in which the health of the dogs is disregarded in order to maintain a low overhead and maximize profits”. When the person was no longer able to pay rent for the land, they were forced to move to a low cost flat. Given this situation, the person was no longer able to afford to keep these dogs. So, they did what any puppy farm owner would do – they dumped the dogs.

The rescuer, who is a ‘kopitiam’ owner, said she was told by a customer that there were dogs hiding under some cars. With the assistance of her stall renters, she rounded up the dogs and took them to her house. The actual length of time these dogs were out on the streets battling the scorching Malaysian heat was unknown.

F1 hiding under a car.

After everything Dottie had endured, it was understandable that she was aggressive towards the family. This aggression was not due to her fierce nature, but a defense mechanism from the emotional and physical abuse she experienced. However, the family was determined to rescuer her, so they continued to visit F1 for days to get her to warm up to them. However, as Georgia put it, “only angry stares in her almost useable eyes covered by her overgrown fur”.

As F1 didn’t stop growling at the family even after all the visits, the rescuer deemed F1 not ready for adoption due to her aggressive nature.

But when has a little bit of aggression and growling stopped someone from loving?

So with that said, on the 16th of March 2020, Georgia and her family made the courageous decision to adopt F1. Seeing how F1 was being aggressive and defensive, they wrapped towels around her head as a makeshift Elizabethan collar (pet cone), and took her straight to a veterinarian.

F1’s body was crawling with fleas and ticks, and the family wanted to make sure there weren’t any underlying diseases. The vet discovered that F1’s nipples showed signs of multiple pregnancies, her paws were burnt from walking on hot gravel roads, and her teeth were chiselled off. The vet had no clear idea why the teeth were chiselled off, but the family assumed it was to prevent F1 from biting when her pups were taken away from her to be sold. Once the vet had given her a clean bill of health, F1 was then taken to the family’s regular pet groomer to get her badly matted coat shaved.

Georgia and her family decided to name her Dottie, because she had a circular patch on her back. During her first few days with the family, she would avoid sleeping and would stare at the family while her eyes slowly dozing off. To gain Dottie’s trust, the family gave her her own space at first to allow her to settle in. They then started to move closer to her, like laying a couple of centimetres next to her. Soon, she allowed them to sit next to her and pat her head. The greatest help came from Snowy, who with her gentle character, helped to build trust between Dottie and the family.

Snowy and Dottie after a few weeks of becoming acquainted.

After weeks of working to gain Dottie’s trust, they finally made it and since then, they have never given her a reason not to. Georgia says it wasn’t coincidence that brought them together, but fate. Dottie loves her new family wholly and according to Georgia, Dottie is one of the most loving and gentle souls out there.

A few weeks later, the family noticed Dottie’s belly getting large and they also saw some movements in her belly. It was safe to assume that she was pregnant, and this assumption was later confirmed by the vet through an X-ray scan.

On the 19th of April 2020, Dottie gave birth to a litter. Soon after giving birth, her mammary glands became inflamed with black puss and her uterine walls were already infected, no thanks to the lack of care from her previous owner.

The family adopted one of the puppies and named her Bonnie while the rest were put up for adoption. Looking after a pet is expensive, so sending these puppies to homes that have the financial headroom to give them a happy life was the responsible thing to do. Nevertheless, it is heart-breaking to know that Dottie searched for her pups frantically while crying out to them. That moment still haunts the family to this day, but they find some comfort knowing that Dottie has Bonnie.

However, all that is in the past and Georgia is happy to inform that Dottie is healthy and free from the heartaches that she once endured. I would like to use Georgia’s own words to wrap up Dottie’s story.

With all the heartache and pain inflicted upon her in the past, she has forgiven the sins of those people. She has moved on and is truly loving and protective of our family. Though she has not fully put her trust in any strangers yet, we hope that one day she will be able to see that she no longer has to fear “bad” humans hurting her anymore.


Before we end this article, we would like to encourage everyone to adopt, don’t shop. By doing so, you will be able to put a stop to puppy farms. We are not in anyway saying that all shops get their pups from puppy farms, but should you decide to buy, take the time to research and find a responsible breeder.

For Dottie, Snowy and Bonnie, The OMG would like to wish a life full of happiness, joy and good health from now till forever.

If you would like to follow the adventures of the three of them, head on over to their Instagram account linked below.

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