The Puppy Ace rides home for the last time

Ace, a stray puppy picked up by Ray on a beach in Penang on 22 Nov 2011, finished his last ride on the Malaysian road on 14 September 2012. He is possibly the most traveled puppy on the road in Malaysia, having visited the cities of Kuala Lumpur, Kuantan, Johore Bahru and even Singapore city as recorded in the family post here. At the start of the post, I mentioned that when I first saw the puppy, a thousand thoughts flashed across my mind. Ten months later, after the fatal accident that took his life by the highway, a thousand more thoughts flashed across my mind over a longer period of time.

Immediately was about how I was to tell Ray about the fatal accident that killed his dog? The photos taken in the border town of Johore Bahru when they first had to part below flashed in my mind. This was when the decision was made that the dog couldn't stay in Singapore and had to follow me back to KL

For Ray it was a moment of tears and the little puppy then, not really knowing what was happening, must have felt he was missing his 'Father' as this was how Ray and I decided on the relationship with the puppy. He was to be the 'Father' and I the 'Grand Pa'!

As I had written at the end of the same blog post mentioned above, I knew that this puppy was going to be a challenge not only to find a home for him but also to be able to train him sufficiently that he could be an obedient household dog.

Click the pic below to start the video:

As the above video shows, the training was going fine even from the very start. The puppy could understand to stay within boundaries that he was told within the apartment premises in KL. He could be trained to do his 'business' on sheets of old newspapers spread out for him. Ace was kept pretty much indoors during the 3 months vaccination period as advised by the veterinary doctor so that he would not be vulnerable to the various diseases that could be picked up on the ground outside spread by other animals.

Click the pic below to start the video:

His Weight was taken each time he was brought to the veterinary clinic and records show he grew very fast.

Click the pic below to start the video:

After his 3 months vaccination, Ace could be brought outdoors. He could be taken out for walks with a leash or without one to stay in an area of safety for himself and others. Ace was trained in the night time with fewer cars to walk at the side of the road without a leash, always with the command 'INSIDE' to remind him if he strays.

Even in playing fetch with a ball, he would run by the side of the road.

Click the pic below to start the video:

While being trained outdoors, as he grew bigger, discipline indoors was a growing problem and this video is one of the attempts to have him be a domesticated dog. One can see that he has a stubborn streak to not always obey or to be slow in following commands.

Click the pic below to start the video:

If Commands don't always work, try connecting to the dog through music with soft instructions seemed to work

Despite the ability of Ace to learn obedience at an early age, he was still a puppy and had natural destructive instincts with his teeth.

 He gnawed at the wooden bench he slept on
 He chewed up the cable TV wire so that transmission was lost
 He bit off a third of the potted plants that he could reach 
I was surprised he could scrape the wall of the balcony till even the steel reinforcement inside could be exposed!

Click the pic below to start the video:

Ace found ways to get into trouble and this was one that I still have not figured out how he did it!

Neither obedience training for Ace nor his occasional destructive behavior was a real problem for me. It was really the problem of finding him a good home that was the challenge. This was necessary as I had to travel out of town often and I could not leave him at the apartment alone.

While I could leave him in the our old home in the indoor courtyard, Ace found a way to get out of it into the outside garden and even to the street outside. As he must have been lonely in the big house, the neighbor above us also complained he was making too much noise!

He escaped from the house by squeezing under a zinc gate that resulted in him getting cut in his neck one day. He got a serious deep cut at the back of his neck and the above photo shows how bad it was and the stitches required after. Luckily I was still around to bring him to the animal hospital! On another day he had run out again and when I found him missing in the house days later, I checked with the RSPCA nearby and luckily a resident reported that he was seen running in the street nearby and I found him there!

We could have lost Ace earlier if he was not found in time!

Ace on his last journey to JB

On 30th Aug, a day before Malaysia's independence day, I was on my way to Singapore. I had an old classmate that lived in JB who agreed to try out minding Ace in his home. Being close to Singapore, this would be ideal for Ray to visit from Singapore instead of making his usual trip all the way to KL to be able to reunite with his dog.

Ace had become quite a much bigger dog compared to the first time he was brought to JB and Singapore that he now occupied more than just one seat to sleep comfortably in my car!

My friend was home in JB and he had a Golden Retriever that mixed very well with Ace. He was quite happy that his dog would now have a playmate saying dogs are pack animals and would be lonely by itself! I was happy to hear that and was hopeful things could work out that he might want to keep Ace permanently. I knew what my friend said was true as all the while Ace was kept by himself in the apartment and he seemed bored and lonely. In some of our walks out, he would always look for another dog to befriend as recorded on this video.

About a week after, I received a phone call from my friend saying Ace was becoming a problem in his home. He would run out of the house when the gate was opened for the car to go out and I knew this was something I could not train him to not do as living in the apartment in KL where I had kept him, there was no such gate to train him to stay behind the boundary! Further Ace was reported to have attacked their laundry of clothes too!

Ace rides home for the last time

So on 14th Sep, I had to pick Ace up from my friend's home to bring him back to KL. A lady friend of our family was getting a ride from me. Ace is seen having to stretch himself in the front car seat in front while our friend sat behind.

For some reason I had not filled up the fuel tank of the car and decided to do it along the journey. Almost reaching KL, as we were chatting in the car, I missed two petrol stops and as I checked for my GPS to find how near was the next, it showed 800m but the car began to stall and came to a stop beside the highway. I had my AAM membership card to call for help who in turn got me the PLUS highway company to get a rescue vehicle to find us. When they arrived, I gave them some money to buy me some fuel from the nearest station.

Meanwhile we waited by the side of the highway in a shady spot and Ace was let out of the car. He was not leashed as I thought he has already been trained to run at the side of the road always which he did as in our daily walk around the apartment area. He ran up the grassy slope beside the car and was fine for at least the half hour wait. I had even filmed him in the video clip below!

Later as I went to the car to chat with our lady friend in the back seat Ace suddenly began to get closer to the road. I shouted at him several times to get back 'INSIDE' but he resisted. Instead he ran onto the tarred road of the highway, to face an oncoming small truck as if trying to challenge it with his 'ready to pounce' stance starring at the truck! In split seconds the small truck instantly hit the side of his head as he dashed off too late and he was knocked out on the road with blood flowing from his head.

Luckily he was not rolled over by the tires of the truck as he was knocked to the side of it. I quickly ran to him, checked that it was clear from oncoming cars, to pull his legs to drag him to the side of the road so that other cars would not roll over him! The impact had instantly killed him and there was no movement from him at all. If it was any consolation at all, Ace probably didn't suffer much at all from the impact on his head and died quickly. He was already stiff when I dragged his body to the grassy patch of the road side!

This is the last photo of Ace knocked out by the truck with head injuries but body intact!

This is the last video clip of him running freely as he had always done on grassy land before the accident!

'I am truly sorry Ray as 'Grand Pa' of Ace that I could not have protected him better in the 10 months under my care. I truly have connected to him and loved him as a good friend to me, walking with me daily and sometimes to hike hills that you have also climbed with me. I tried to do the best for him or find him a better home for him due to the circumstances of not being able to stay put in KL. I know he is in a better place now and find solace in this.

I found in the March 2012 an article of the Liahona magazine of our Church with the title, "Do animals have Spirits? What happens to them after they die?" and share it here with you :

"Yes, animals have spirits (see D&C 77:2–3). Of course, there is a major difference between animals’ spirits and our spirits— We are begotten sons and daughters of Heavenly Father, and they are not.

And according to the Prophet Joseph Smith, there are at least some animals in heaven. He said: “John saw curious looking beasts in heaven; . . . actually there, giving glory to God. . . . 
(See Rev. 5:13.) . . .

“I suppose John saw beings there of a thousand forms, that had been saved from ten thousand times ten thousand earths like this,—strange beasts of which we have no conception: all might be seen in heaven. 
John learned that God glorified Himself by saving all that His hands had made, whether beasts, fowls, fishes or men; and He will glorify Himself with them” (in History of the Church, 5:343).

So, although we don’t have a complete understanding of what happens to animals after they die, we believe that they will enjoy some kind of salvation and immortality."

Below is a video clip created specially for Ace in our memory of him. Since we believe that he has gone to a better home in heaven, it is a joyful video reminding us of the fun it was to have him with us. It is a music video playing a song that came from the same artist that sang the number used for the 'Amazing Ray' music video found here. It was in the same spirit of fun and joy that this video was made even though the female part of the lyrics may not seem to match but I think the feelings do portray the love felt....

In Memory of Ace from Dad the KL City Kid on Vimeo

.... as he was an independent and even crazy dog at times but I love him and even miss him today!'

The Poem Ray wrote and posted on Facebook :

We went everywhere
from island to island
up in the mountains
and down by the beach

but you couldn't stay
not you with me
or me with you
so you went away

Whenever I could
I saw you again
Whenever I could
I called out your name

And there you were
so happy
so bouncy
you were always like that

You became so close,
yet you were so far
and troubles you caused
yet joys even more

A swift end indeed
on your way home
the joys and troubles
all came to one end

And so here I am,
tears falling on paper
as I write this poem
to say goodbye

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