For years, many Malaysian Muslims have had a social stigma against dogs due to its “perceived aggression”, among other reasons.
While keeping cats is a norm among Malays, caring for, touching and petting dogs is a controversial topic, and this is why many are actually afraid of dogs.
Photo via Facebook (Wan Shahriza)
In a viral Facebook post titled “A dog in our neighbourhood” Wan Shahriza shares how this Malay woman overcame her fear of dogs.
The post reads: “This dog does not have an owner and it is homeless. Whenever I drive by, I always see it in the same spot near my house. At first, I was scared of it. Whenever I park my car outside, I will sprint into my house because I don’t want it to chase me.”
“As Malays, we’ve always been frightened with stories of how aggressive a dog can be that it has become a stigma,” she added.
SEEKOR ANJING DI KEJIRANAN KAMI Dia anjing tidak bertuan. Homeless. Selalu bila saya lalu dengan kereta, dia ada...
Posted by Wan Shahriza on Wednesday, November 11, 2020
After a while, she realized that the dog never disturbed anyone, and in fact, it is always friendly and wanting to play with the neighbourhood cats, which they would always run away whenever they are approached by the dog, “Then I understand, the dog only wanted to befriend someone.”
She then started slowly feeding the dog with her children.
Wan would keep some leftover food and throw them out of her car, “The dog looks like its hungry, and it was always polite, it will always wait for us to leave to eat the food.”
Those little interactions like feeding the dog, and observing its behaviour from afar really helped Wan to build up her courage to start placing food in front of the dog instead of throwing it out from inside of her car.
Wah, ada road block malam2! Dari duduk rilek tepi jalan, terus bangun bila nampak kereta masuk simpang ke rumah. Goyang2 ekor buat road block. 😄
Posted by Wan Shahriza on Sunday, November 15, 2020
The dog, that she now calls Girl, would always follow Wan’s car up to her gate but it would never try to enter the house, “Whenever I turn into my corner, she would run to my car and follow me to my gate. She never tries to come into our house, she just waits for us to give her food. And I always have something to give her.”
Dia tak nak kibbles. Meat Jerky ni ok.
Posted by Wan Shahriza on Saturday, November 14, 2020
Netizens in the comment section praised Wan for being kind to the stray dog.
What a heartwarming story!
All animals should be treated with kindness and respect. Great job on overcoming your fears, Wan!
By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat