A dying man's last wish is to spend his last days with his two beloved dogs. Unfortunately for Mr. Tan Cheng Chuan, the public housing complex where he lives in Singapore only allows for one dog and authorities have told him he must give up one dog.
"I don't have much time left. All I have are these two dogs to keep me company. I hope they can be with me until my last day on this earth," said Mr. Tan.
A year and a half ago, Mr. Tan, 63, was diagnosed with a fatal form of lung cancer, was given about two years left to live. In his remaining months, he simply wants to have the company of his mini Schnauzers - Silver (3 years old) and Rover (7 years old), dogs he's had since they were puppies.
Unfortunately, Mr. Tan lives in a public housing complex and according to the Housing and Development Board (HDB) rules, each HDB flat owner is allowed to keep only one dog. He also does not have understanding neighbors.
Other dog lovers in HDB housing flats do sometimes sneak more than one dog into their apartments, but it is illegal. Sadly, Mr. Tan's neighbors have complained on several occassions in an effort to get rid of Silver and Rover.
"One day, my neighbour from downstairs, I think he's a foreigner, knocked at my door. He said my dog was playing with a ball and the noise disturbed him," Mr Tan said. He apologized to the man and said he would try to prevent it from happening again. But soon after the HDB received complaints he had two dogs and that's when they requested one dog be removed.
When he told the HDB employee that one dog belongs to his daughter, she was sympathetic but said he needed to make arrangements.
His daughter Linda has tried to appeal to HDB to allow him to keep his two dogs, but the family's appeal was rejected.
Despite his failing health, Mr. Tan worries more about his dogs than he does himself. He worries that when he's gone there will be nobody to take care of Rover and Silver and they will be put down. He hopes to find them new owners who will take care of them after he has passed on.
"I am not sure when I will die, it will depend on my luck. My two dogs keep me so happy that I don't think so much about my illness," he added.
Mr. Tan gives a fuller account of his story in the video interview with Save Our Street Dogs.
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