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My Dog Sunday

Updated on June 19, 2013
BlossomSB profile image

As formerly a mother of five children, Bronwen has experienced and enjoyed a number of pets.

Shi-Lin, Taipei, Taiwan

A markerTaipei, Taiwan -
Taipei City, Taiwan
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Meeting the Local Dogs

When we lived in Taiwan (which used to be known as 'Formosa' - beautiful island), our home was in Shi-Lin, a suburb of Taipei City. My husband was there to minister to the 'Ex-pats' and was the only foreign Anglican priest in the Diocese. Some of the people who attended the church were more or less permanent, but many came for business and did not stay long.

Among those who came to the English services quite regularly was a group of children and their carers from an orphans' 'village.' After we had settled in, we visited the village complex and found, behind a protective wall, a neat road dotted with cottages set in their own gardens of flowers and vegetables. Each cottage had a 'parent' who cared for about eight children - and a dog. They were similar to those we had seen in the streets, a pale golden colour with a tail that curled around over the back, and I admired them. At that time I thought that they were the Formosan Native Dog, but since then I have come to realise that they must have been the result of cross-breeding with imported dogs, as their colour was different. We called them Taiwanese dogs.

It was lovely to see these dogs well cared for and they made good, reliable pets as well as good watchdogs. However, at that time back in the city there were many street dogs that roamed in small packs, half-starved, mangy, and a number had been injured by the heavy traffic. I found it hard to cope with seeing these poor animals, sometimes dragging broken limbs, or even with part of their entrails showing as they struggled to find food. It is not like that now, for which I am very thankful.

We Meet Sunday

One steamy Sunday, as we came out of the church, the children were keen to show me a cardboard box that had apparently been sitting in the hot sunshine all through the service. Inside was a gift for me; a tiny, panting puppy. When they asked me what I would call him, I decided on the name of 'Sunday.'

So Sunday came to live with us. I found that, apart from food and water, the first thing I was expected to buy for him was a cage. That was what people here did, they had a cage for their dog, so eventually one was set up in the glassed-in balcony. As he grew, apart from taking him for walks in the evenings when we had time, we took him up and let him roam on the spacious flat rooftop, as no-one else in the building used it since the garden there had been blown to pieces in the last typhoon. There he had freedom, water and shade during the day.

One Sunday the children came to visit him and couldn't believe how much he had grown; he was now much bigger than his mother and I was told firmly that I was feeding him too much meat, he needed more rice.

When he jumped up on me with all the excitement, I said,

"Sunday! Down! Sit!" He sat. The children were astonished.

"He understands English!"

Outside the Main Gate at the Complex Where We Lived
Outside the Main Gate at the Complex Where We Lived | Source

Dog Care

I found that some people had expensive breeds of dogs and cared for them like a baby.

  • I noticed that one local man took his poodle, that was quite young and fit, for a 'walk' in a shopping trolley. When there was a long stop at some traffic lights, he took out the dog's hairbrush and whisked some fur back into place when it had been pushed the wrong way.
  • There were vets and, from my experience, found that they were very good.
  • The dogs at the children's village were well cared for voluntarily by a kind local vet, but unfortunately he did not ever neuter their dogs, so there were always puppies that needed to be given away. I guess it was educational for the children, but a nuisance for the village managers.

Once I went with one of the village leaders in his van. He had invited me for a ride to see the local area as he tried to offload the puppies.

At one place we stopped at a factory. My friend made a little speech and offered them to the workers, adding the proviso,

"Mind! These are for pets and are not be be eaten for dinner!"

Local Native Formosan Dog on Orchid Island, Taiwan
Local Native Formosan Dog on Orchid Island, Taiwan | Source

Sunday is Lost

A new family came to live on the fifth floor. We explained about Sunday and asked them to be sure to always close the child safety gate as they came down the stairs, so he wouldn't escape. I found they did not always close it properly and reminded them again. I felt they thought I was being overly fussy.

Shortly after this, one Sunday evening when I went to get Sunday, the gate was open and he was missing. I had grown to love my pet and was devastated. I think the locals thought it was a lot of fuss about nothing, but I got my husband to go with me, walking around the streets in the dark for hours, calling,

"Sunday! Sunday!" with tears running down my face.

I think they thought the missionaries had gone mad. But it was all to no avail. Although I watched for him whenever I went out, I never saw him again, but at least I did not see him wounded, so perhaps someone else had found him and adopted him, as often happened.

That is what I like to think.

Friend and Curly Tailed Taiwanese Dog That Looked Very Like Sunday
Friend and Curly Tailed Taiwanese Dog That Looked Very Like Sunday | Source


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    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      raymondphilippe: Thank you. I loved living there. The scenery in the mountains was magnificent and the people lovely.

    • raymondphilippe profile image

      Raymond Philippe 4 years ago from The Netherlands

      I read your hub. The photos sure added to the Couleur Locale

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      LadyFiddler: Yes, I was so upset, but that was some time ago. I live back in Melbourne, Australia, now, and have a cute little Maltese terrier. I jokingly call her my Maltese terror! She's really quite well behaved and rarely barks because I took her to doggie school (mostly for the owners, rather than our dogs). I guess the business with Lock the Gate is a whole lot more important for farmers whose whole livelihood can stray through carelessness. Nice to hear from you.

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 4 years ago from On planet Earth

      Oh Oh sorry to hear about your dog lost. Hope someone found him and he is or has gotten well taken care of. Some people can be just too careless and inconsiderate "Lock the gate" MEANS LOCK THE GATE, There is a reason it was placed there. Steups!

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      phdast7: Thank you for your commiserations. It was sad, but that was a while ago now and I have happy memories of the fun we had together, too. Bless you for your kind comments.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Dear Blossom - A sad, but lovely story about Sunday and your time in Taiwan. I know how heartbreaking it is to lose a beloved pet. Blessings. Theresa

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      sweethearts2: Thank you so much for your lovely comments.

    • sweethearts2 profile image

      sweethearts2 4 years ago from Northwest Indiana

      A beautiful story about caring - children for you with their gift, your love for your pet, and the adults who fostered the puppies, and the volunteer vets. Sunday was surrounded by love and I like to believe he found a place to spread his love as well.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      MsDora: Thank you for your visit and your lovely comments. Memories are great.

      Michael-Milec: I'm so glad you enjoyed reading about Sunday. Writing is a craft that seems to need lots of practice to hone it anywhere near satisfaction.

      I smile, too, when I think of those dear children. Thank you for your vote.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 4 years ago

      Hello BlossomSB

      Enjoyable. Very pleasant writing style ; an interesting story. ( Longing one day to be within my reach).

      " He understand English," gave me pleasure of healthy laugh. The children express sincerity inherently.

      Voted useful and interesting.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      You're right Blossom. Positive thoughts do you better. You have some great memories and that's a blessing!

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Mekenzie: Yes, it was sad, but as our pets do not usually outlive us, we need to get used to the parting, I guess. I don't think I'm very good at that. Thank you for your lovely comments and may God bless you.

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 4 years ago from Michigan

      Very sweet and heartwarming story. Little did the children know how your heart had already been drawn to the Taiwanese dogs - and what a gift you received in Sunday.

      Sad that Sunday moved on yet as you say .. it is part of life and it is good to think he moved on to another home that loved and cared for him.

      You've had an interesting life my friend - it is always good to read your hubs and learn. Blessings to you!


    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      wetnosedogs: We never know what inspires others, do we? That's one of the great things about HubPages.

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama


      I hope you feel better about writing about Sunday.

      I didn't know that one of my hubs inspired you!

      And Thank you.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      aviannovice: Yes, it was sad, but I guess that's part of life. I know that when my current little four-legged friend grows old and dies, I will be sad again, but I enjoy her lots while I have her.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I am so sorry that you lost Sunday. I know that you took care of him well, but it is hard when you share space with other people.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Jackie Lynnley: I hope so. I love your last comment!

      Eiddwen: I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Hope you're having a good weekend, too.

      wetnosedogs: It was one of your hubs that encouraged me to write this, so thank you.

      Frank Atanacio: Thank you for reading about him - and for your comments.

      Faith Reaper: They really do become part of the family. God bless you, too.

      ignugent17: Thank you. He was a cute dog, full of energy and the joy of life.

      teachers12345: That's true. Our pets are a comfort, and I hope that we're a comfort to them, too.

      always exploring: Thank you. It was a privilege to serve there and we made lots of friends I still keep up with - the internet is a great invention.

      Genna East: Thank you for liking the title, I couldn't think what to call it for a while. Yes, I like to think that Sunday was adopted by someone else and continued to have a happy life. Apart from incidents like that, we really enjoyed our time there, I was even reluctant to leave, but it's good to be home and able to see more of our children and grandchildren.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I loved the title of your hub, right off, and the adorable name, Sunday. He was so fortunate to have found a wamr and loving home with you, and I’m sure he was eventually adopted by other good people. Your story of your missionary work in Taiwan is inspiring, Blossom. Thank you for sharing this story with us.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I loved reading about Sunday and your life in Taiwan. The more i read about you, the more i admire your work in the missionary field. Thank you for sharing...I hope Sunday found a good home...

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      What an interesting story about a sweet pet. I love the name Sunday. So glad the pets dropped off at the workplace were delivered as pets for comfort. Thanks for sharing this story.

    • profile image

      ignugent17 4 years ago

      Interesting story. Sunday is a cute name. Even though your ending is sad but you shared how much your cared for your dog. :-)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      What a lovely story dearest Blossom. I know the love of a pet, as they truly do become part of one's family and leave a mark on our hearts that is for sure. Yes, I do believe Sunday found a good home.

      As always, your photos are amazing and thank you for sharing this part of your life with us.

      Voted up +++ and sharing

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      thank you blossoms for sharing a bit of your history with us.. a beautiful share

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      What a wonderful story about Sunday. I am sure also that Sunday got a good home. I surely understand your sadness, though.

      Thanks for sharing this.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      This is so interesting l Blossom. I loved it and vote up, across and share. Here's to wishing you a wonderful weekend.


    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Beautiful story and I am sure Sunday found a good home. He probably was prized for knowing English!


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