Hi! I’m Chetz.
And I’m mad about mutts. I’d like to share with you my story on how mutts have made my life more magical.
As a Malay living in Malaysia, it’s not our culture to have dogs as pets. Most Malays believe dogs are ‘haram’, touching them and having them as pets is a sin. Yes, you read that right. You’ll go to Hell if you have dogs.
This is not just some superstitious belief. It seems like it taught by most Islamic teachers here, so most people are very sensitive about it.
Hi! I’m Chetz.
Eid Fitri 2013
In fact, in 2013, I was locked up and had to go to court because a video of my dogs and I having Eid Fitri cookies went viral. The Muslims here felt that I was insulting Islam.
Honestly I didn’t know that most Malays in my country are so sensitive about this as I didn’t grow up with that kind of belief.
My Islamic teachers have never made it a big deal about how dogs can make us end up in hell. I remember learning from my teacher that if you touch a dog and the dog is wet, then we must do a certain way of cleaning.
I’m also fortunate to be brought up by a wise grandfather.
He was a healer and crocodile hunter.
His advice when I encounter a stray dog is to never run and show that you’re scared. If the dog is coming towards you as if it wants to attack you, bend down and pretend that you’re going to pick up a rock to throw at the dog.
Notice the word PRETEND?
I feel really blessed to grow up with people who love animals.
How I fell in love with dogs
But living in majority Malay area, I didn’t see much dogs when I grew up so I didn’t really know much about dogs except from tv show Lassie.
In 2004, I met a new friend, Aneesa who’s now my best friend, and she had a dog named Flip Jack.
Flip was a Jack Russel terrier, very cute, playful and clever.
He was the one who made me wanted a dog.
In March 2007, while walking to our car in Penang, Aneesa saw a few people standing around a box and she went to check it out, while I kept walking towards the car (typical introvert).
I didn’t know why Aneesa decided to go investigate as she’s not the type of person who would do that.
I was already in the car with the engine on when I saw her running and crying with a box in her arms.
The moment she was inside the car, she said, “Go to the vet now!”
There were 5 tiny little puppies in the box.
The vet said the puppies were ok and we could drop them of at the SPCA.
It was Sunday, so the SPCA office was closed. Aneesa made a phone call and the lady said we could leave the puppies with the caretaker.
I can still remember watching the caretaker took the puppies out of the box from outside the fence. They could hardly walk.
I also remember the date this happened. It was 11th March 2007. I remember because that night my uncle called from my hometown to inform me that my grandmother, who brought me up since I was 44 days old, had fallen extremely ill.
She passed away in the morning of 12 March 2007.
While I was driving from Kedah to Johor, Aneesa called to update me about the puppies. She said SPCA had to put them to sleep because they were too young and they have no one who could take care of very young puppies.
We decided to bring them home.
The 5 Puppies
This was what I came home to after my grandmother’s funeral.
I don’t think it’s a coincident that these puppies came into my life the same day my grandmother left.
My grandmother was 76 years old and she had cancer for a couple of years.
Every time I came back to Johor to see her, she would tell me she worried about who would take care of me when she’s not around.
I was already in my 30’s at the time and she still worried about me. I think it’s because she knew I’m different from most people thus would often get into troubles.
I believe the universe answered her prayer by bringing these puppies into my life.
They don’t just take care of me, they made my life more magical.
My Life Became Miserable
But to tell you the truth, it was miserable at first.
When we start focusing on something, our brain will start looking for it.
Think of the car you like, you’ll suddenly see more of them.
These puppies really changed my life. I had never felt so much love before and so much amazement on how awesome dogs can be.
After that I kept seeing more dogs on the streets and they were also like my puppies. I wish I could take all of them home.
In 2009, I had 12 dogs. It’s not easy having a lot of dogs when you don’t have stable income and live near humans. I had to move a lot as the neighbours would complain and most of the time I had to hide the dogs.
People wouldn’t know that I have a dozen dogs because they would only see 2 or 3 of them.
My dogs were not noisy and I kept the place clean. But people still complained.
It was really depressing. I was stressed and angry all the times. I suffered compassion fatigue, which defined as …
“Emotional exhaustion, caused by the stress of caring for traumatized or suffering animals or people.”
– Charles Figely, Ph.D., Director of the Tulane Traumatology Institute
There were many times that I thought of ending my life because I was so tired having to deal with people who keep complaining about stray dogs and my dogs who don’t bother their lives!
But I think I stopped thinking of killing myself anymore after helping a friend to transport dogs whose owner (also dog rescuer) just committed suicide.
When I looked at those scared and confused dogs, I thought I couldn’t never do this to my dogs.
In 2013, after I was released, I couldn’t go straight back to work because my case was still hot in the country so there were still angry Malays who wanna beat me up.
The company where I worked at that time was nice to give me 2 weeks off until things cool down.
I used that 2 weeks to reflect on my life and find the answer on how to stop this suffering.
I had enough. Things must change.
My search led to Esther Hicks who’s channeling Abraham, which often called Abraham Hicks.
Abraham Hicks taught me about the laws of the universe and how to use it to thrive in this life.
The more I learned from Abraham, the more I saw how my dogs are living by the principles that are taught by Abraham.
My life just gets better and better after applying what I learned.
Today my mission is to help as many stray mutts (mixed breed/mongrel) as possible.
If we have more people who want to help and adopt stray mutts, more stray mutts can be saved.
I can’t help all the mutts on the streets and at the shelters. But if I also teach what I learn about how to thrive (and avoid compassion fatigue) to people who want to help mutts, then more mutts can be saved.
I specifically choose mutts because pure breed dogs are easily get adopted compared to mutts.
If you’re a rescuer or a dog lover, I want you to know that from my experience and what I learned is that …
You can’t help others if you’re sad, sick and broke.
Not only you can’t help dogs, if you’re sad or depressed, the dogs can feel it and this will affect them too.
So if you want to do more, and join in this mission to help mutts have a better life, I suggest you download The 3 Laws to Keep Calm and Thrive below.
Knowing these 3 universal laws has helped me get what I want and also stay calm and at peace with news or events that usually would make me mad, like seeing dog abuse story on my Facebook newsfeed.
I hope the quick guide will help you and also you’ll join me in my Mutts Marketing Mission.