Choose To Be Happy

Having a pet is a lifetime commitment. And that means, no matter what happens, no one gets left behind.

Happy came into Winnie’s life 9 years ago. Having grieved the passing of 3 dogs, Winnie was not prepared for a fourth. But her soft heart changed Happy’s future. She became family.

However, the past two years have been quite a challenge.


“My daughter Jia Min’s classmate found Happy & her brother discarded in a box. They were still tiny puppies. The classmate’s father drove Happy to us in a box. I am still keeping the box. I cannot bear to throw it away.” ~ Winnie

About 2 years ago, Happy developed aural hematoma.

Most dogs developed hematoma from excessively scratching their ears or shaking their head. When blood vessels in the ear rupture, blood pools between skin & cartilage, causing the ear flaps to swell like water balloons. Surgery was performed to open & drain the blood & clots. Sutures were placed to eliminate any space for blood or fluid to accumulate. Happy recovered well. The only difference was her upright ears are now droopy.

Happy then went through a surgery to remove her infected uterus.


Pyometra is more common in older, unsterilised females. With repeated heat cycles & elevated levels of the hormone progesterone, the lining of the uterus thickens & provides an environment for bacteria to grow. Ovariohysterectomy (spay) is the treatment of choice. The uterus, ovaries & oviducts are surgically removed.

Early this year, Happy’s eyes became cloudy from cataracts. 

“Initially, Happy will knock into walls and even fall into the small drain downstairs. We didn’t realise she couldn’t see. After that, we seldom take her out for walks.”


After her cataract surgery by Dr Robin Stanley in March this year, Happy can see again. She must be so happy to go for walks with Jia Min!


Dr Sandhya Nair, Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North), measures the Intraocular Pressure (IOP) in Happy’s eyes with a tonometer. The IOP is within normal range. “Happy is always very calm with Dr Nair.” ~ Winnie

Recently, Winnie noticed a lump on Happy’s neck.

A fine needle aspirate was done & the sample sent to the laboratory for analysis. The lab report indicated a possible thyroid mass. “A high percentage of palpable canine thyroid tumours turn out to be thyroid carcinomas. Tissue biopsy for histologic evaluation is the next step in evaluating thyroid masses. Thyroid carcinoma is a locally invasive neoplasm with successful excision more likely early in the disease.”


If the thyroid mass is fairly moveable, it can be surgically removed for biopsy. However, thyroid carcinoma is often adhered to deeper structures of the throat which makes surgery more difficult. Ultrasound & CT scan can help evaluate how invasive the mass is & if it can be removed surgically.


Happy’s family will discuss about the next course of action.

"Happy was lost in 2009. With the help of Mark, my groomer friend, we found Happy 10 days later. That was one of the happiest moments in my life." ~ Winnie

“Happy was lost in 2009. With the help of Mark, my groomer friend, we found Happy 10 days later. That was one of the happiest moments in my life.” ~ Winnie


“Happy came into our life on 14 November 2006 & we take that as her birth date. She will be 9 this year. I am very sad that Happy’s thyroid mass may be cancerous. But we will do whatever we can to give her the very best medical treatment.” ~ Winnie

november 2016, happy developed acute glaucoma in her left eye which was not responsive to medications.

The intraocular pressure in Happy’s left eye was higher than normal. Sometimes, Happy would not open that eye fully. Despite all efforts to save the eye, it was not responsive to medications.


The left eye become cloudy and blind. Dr Sandhya Nair performed enucleation to surgically remove the diseased eyeball.


“During the eye checks, Happy was not cooperative. Dr Nair had a tough time examining her in awkward positions.”


“Some days, I feel sorry that Happy had to go through all these surgeries. Money is not the issue (though I am not rich), it can be earned back. I just want Happy to be well and not in pain.”


Feeling better and happier a few days after surgery! “I would like to thank Dr Sandhya Nair and everyone at Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North) – Joyce, Janice, Abby, Karen, Pong, Grandex – for their patience and help given to Happy. We are very grateful.”

Anyone can be happy in a happy place. But to be happy even in challenges, now that is courage. We wish this beautiful and brave family all the very best in life.