When I moved to Tawau during my second year in kindergarten, both my next door neighbour were very welcoming and nice to us. It's a big change for me since I was only turning 6 and not having any neighbours before, suddenly I have two new playmates.
You see, before that, I stayed in Labuan since I was 3, and our house its just a building alone in a land in the middle of no where and there's no neighbours but cars that passed by day and night. Not that there were many of them, it's such a quiet and peaceful little city.
I remember not long after we move in, next door got themselves a new puppy. It was an adorable one, with pretty brownish fur and a pointy mouth. And distinctively, a mole just right on the top corner of its mouth.
Or what we Chinese call, the flirty mole.
She loves to bark at me, because I was afraid of her. And I as grew up, I got used to it. The countless of time I went next door and she would just lie there lazily on the floor blocking my path into the house. The truth is, she's trying to get inside herself but my friend just wouldn't because her dad would go ballistic if the dog walk around the house.
There was the funny moment when its time for bath. She would just stood there in such a still and stiff position you would have thought its a statue if it wasn't for the dripping furs and she suddenly became so skinny because all the furs lay flat sticking to the body now, not bouncing or flying with the wind as she runs.
I had my unfortunate one little encounter where my friend just finish showering her and she shot off, while shaking her fur dry in a very vigorous action, which left my friend and I wet.Very wet indeed.
Not to mention the series of paw tracks she left on the floor.
But what I remembered most dearly is that there was once or twice that my neighbour's whole family went for holiday and left her in the house with uncle alone. And one during the weekend, he went for a fishing trip. And dear Bambi was wailing of hunger, alone.
And we fed her. We have always feed her for fun, little snacks and stuff but not on consistent meals. I don't know what mom made for her but she ate and stare at us from the fence day and night after that. Begging for company and of course some yummy snack.
After I left Tawau, I still ask my childhood friend how is she doing. She was getting older walking very slowly and it seems like she's made of fragile bones that's about to fall into pieces with the slightest push.
It was until this year, that she left. Old as she was for a dog, 15 years as my friend's loyal companion and we still keep pictures of her. She was after all, a half pet for us.
And lately, my family been feeding a dog again. Again, our neighbour's dog who seems to wait for us every night to finish dinner and when I clean up in the kitchen, he began his usual pleas. He would stood there, behind the fence, and start crying for food. More like barking actually and he wouldn't stop until we gave him something to bite.
Apparently, my parents had been feeding him with whatever we can't finish during dinner. And it turns out Cosmos love the food so much that sometimes the way he howl for it makes us think the owner isn't feeding him at all.
He even listens to us now to keep quiet when he's making too much noise.
He stares at me washing the dishes every night and sometime I even forgot he's a freaking Doberman.
He jerks his head in a funny way that makes us laugh when we call him.
He simply reminds me of Bambi.