After years of looking for the perfect puppy, one woman finally found the dog of her dreams. However, as the weeks and months flew by, she began noticing that her dog’s behavior was taking a turn for the strange. Her new puppy was anything but doglike.
A Loving Companion
Ms. Wang from Jinzhong, a city located in the Chinese province of Shanxi, was in search of a puppy. The idea of having a companion she could care for day in and day out got her so excited, so she knew she had to do something about it. She especially liked the Japanese Spitz, so she started doing some more research about the breed.
On several occasions Ms. Wang ventured out to the local animal shelters or called up breeders. While many of the dogs she’d meet with were cute, she never felt the connection that she was looking for in a pet. But just when she thought that she might be dogless forever, one of her friends passed on a recommendation that would seem too good to be true.
The Perfect Match
The recommendation was a unique pet store specializing specifically in helping Japanese Spitzes find homes. The Japanese Spitz is among the most popular breeds in all of Asia. These compact dogs are very intelligent and make for very loyal pets, which sounded pretty ideal to Wang. However, these dogs are usually quite rare and expensive, so if she wanted one she’d have to purchase the puppy from this particular store.
Seeing as the breed was one of her favorites, Ms. Wang was elated by the news. She looked at the pet shop’s website and knew immediately that she’d need to see one of the puppies in person. And she was right. When she went to visit, one of the puppies struck her with a feeling that she had never felt in her life.
Her Canine Soulmate
When Ms. Wang walked into the pet store that day, she hadn’t necessarily intended on making a purchase. But one puppy stole her heart at first glance. There was something special about him. Not only was he cuter than any puppy she had ever seen, but the little dog also held eye contact with her.
She couldn’t help herself from snapping some pictures with the little puppy and posting them to social media for her friends to see. Even amid the excitement, Ms. Wang knew that she had to take this dog home with her. She was expecting to pay quite a hefty sum for this little dog. However, when she asked the shopkeeper how much the dog would cost, he gave her a price that she couldn’t wrap her head around.
A Real Steal
Most purebred dogs are going to come with a high price tag attached to them. The more popular the breed, the more expensive you can expect it to be. According to All Things Dogs, a website specializing in dog care, breeding and health, a newborn Japanese Spitz can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $2,500.
Ms. Wang couldn’t believe it when the shopkeeper told her that the puppy would only cost the equivalent of $190. Usually, such a low price for something worth so much would raise a few red flags. However, since the shop was recommended to her by a friend, she decided not to worry about it. Coincidentally, that same friend would soon begin showing concern for Ms. Wang’s new puppy.
Concern From a Few Good Friends
It’s been said time and time again that love is blind, and in this instance Ms. Wang was a perfect example of exactly that. While she was living in bliss with her new Japanese Spitz, her friends began noticing a lot of strange things about her new puppy that went right over her head.
One of her friends commented that her dog looked wild. Ms. Wang was able to brush this off as Japanese Spitzes are known for looking a little unconventional. While she saw nothing weird about her dog in those early days, she’d quickly realize that her pooch did have some strange quirks.
Not Your Everyday Dog
As he grew up out of his puppy phase, Ms. Wang’s dog began displaying some odd behavior. The first thing she couldn’t help but notice was that he never barked. Her Japanese Spitz hardly ever released even a single yap, which is very odd for the breed. In fact, Japanese Spitzes are known for being extremely vocal little dogs.
According to All Things Dogs, they are very similar in nature to Pomeranians and Samoyeds, which both happen to be considered very yappy. Additionally, other dogs seemed to shy away from her little Japanese Spitz. Some of them would even appear to be afraid of him. Those two oddities aside, Ms. Wang would go on to notice even more strange things about her precious puppy.
Puppy’s Unique Coat
One of the most adorable traits of Japanese Spitzes are their beautiful white coats. Despite how fluffy their coats are, they are usually pretty light. Ms. Wang’s Japanese Spitz was a very unique case. Like other dogs of his breed, he had a fluffy coat, but his fur was very thick and heavy.
He was only a puppy when she first noticed this, and so she brushed it off. However, as he got older, the fur only got thicker. His tail was also getting unconventionally long for a dog and his nose was getting pointier. It seemed that as he got older, the oddities surrounding the puppy only got more drastic. And the next discovery would really cause Ms. Wang to worry.
Refusing All Dog Treats
Ms. Wang recalled that during their early days together, her puppy would eat dog food like any other canine, regardless of breed. One day, the little dog was no longer interested in it. He’d leave his bowl full. Her pretty puppy would rather starve then eat any of the dog food that she’d leave out for him.
While Ms. Wang found his sudden change in taste strange, she figured that he had just outgrown the puppy food she was feeding him. She went out and bought him food fit for a fully grown canine, but he rejected that as well. With that, Ms. Wang decided that it was time to get some serious help for her darling dog.
The Vets Knew Right Away
Finding herself puzzled over her dog’s change in appetite, Ms. Wang took him to the local veterinarian. She could no longer tell herself that she had a normal dog on her hands. And at the end of the day, he wasn’t very doglike at all.
As soon as the veterinarian took a look at her dog, he knew what was going on. Still, he wasn’t going to make any calls before getting a closer look at the dog. They took Ms. Wang’s beloved puppy and ran a number of tests on him. And just to be extra sure, the vet made a call to an expert who would have no problem getting to the bottom of her dog’s strange behavior.
Calling In The Zookeeper
The veterinarian called in a staff member from the city’s local zoo. Surely a zookeeper who looks after a wide range of animals every day would have no issue determining the problem, if any, with Ms. Wang’s dog. He walked into the clinic and immediately was able to make a quick assessment of the puppy.
The vet and zookeeper together approached Ms. Wang to reveal the truth about her beloved Japanese Spitz. Shockingly, her little dog wasn’t a Japanese Spitz at all. In fact her little puppy wasn’t even a dog, although he was tied to the dog family. Ms. Wang couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
A Bizarre Turn
Who has ever heard of a canine who outright refused to eat its dog food? Furthermore, what dog could resist barking at a passing car or at a random thud in a room? The beautiful Japanese Spitz that stole Ms. Wang’s heart at first sight wasn’t a puppy at all.
It took a while to absorb the information, but Wang was told that her beloved dog was actually a fox. Learning that she had spent the greater part of a year raising a baby fox definitely put her in a state of momentary shock. Suddenly, everything about her beloved pet made so much more sense. When the shock blew over, Ms. Wang actually felt relieved that her pet wasn’t an oddity of its species, but just a very normal fox. Still, she couldn’t help but wonder how this little fox ended up in a pet shop’s puppy pen.
Passing Off Wild Animal Cubs As Puppies
Despite Ms. Wang’s pet fox not being who she thought he was, she still loved the little guy. However, she really wanted to know how her fox cub ended up with a batch of Japanese Spitz puppies. The zookeeper was quick to inform her that actually her situation wasn’t as unique as she thought it was.
In fact, there are a number of people who end up raising pet foxes instead of dogs. This is reportedly the result of shady breeders across Asia who are quick to add a couple of cubs to a litter of puppies, especially if they are purebred. Oftentimes they will specifically target a litter of Japanese Spitz puppies — and here’s why.
The Popularity Behind Impostor Puppies
According to All Things Dogs, the Japanese Spitz is a hugely popular dog breed in Asia and across the world. They are compact, cute and their puppies just happen to look a lot like fox cubs. A purebred Spitz puppy can bring in big bucks, so when dishonest breeders get a litter, they see no problem throwing in a few fox cubs to add an extra couple dollars to their profit.
In their early days of life, a fox cub can look almost identical to a Japanese Spitz puppy. However, within a month they can start developing features that differ pretty dramatically from your average domesticated dog. They’ll develop slanted eyes, thick fur and a pointy nose. Oftentimes fox cubs even develop a unique smell. Here’s exactly what the zookeeper told her.
A Fox’s Instant Giveaway
Ms. Wang was told by the zookeeper that a fox carries within its body a certain smell that can grow stronger with age. The zookeeper also assured her that she was lucky that she never had to experience the smell for herself.
It was clear to Ms. Wang that the zookeeper was trying his best to talk her into surrendering her furry friend. By bringing up the fact that a fox needs room to run and that he could become destructive to his surroundings if kept in a small space, Ms. Wang was in a tailspin over everything the day’s events. Ultimately, she would have to come to a decision over what she would do with her pet fox.
Fox’s Future In Question
While she did have some concerns over how happy her fox would be living in a house, Ms. Wang decided that she’d stand by her beloved pet. But, as the fox continued to grow, she started to realize that she was in over her head and that taking care of a fox was harder than she thought it would be.
He had a ton of energy to burn and was slowly becoming more and more destructive around the house. While the average canine is prone to this kind of behavior too, a fox is wild at heart and can’t be fully domesticated. Eventually, Ms. Wang found herself making a heartbreaking decision regarding her foxy friend.
In Need of a New Beginning
Her beloved pet’s behavior eventually led her to realize that she could not provide her fox with the life that he deserved. Her fox needed more space to run freely. And unfortunately, that was something that he would never fully experience living with her in a house.
The fox also deserved to be out playing with other foxes. He didn’t relate to the dogs he’d meet in the city and most were even afraid of him. The more Ms. Wang questioned his situation, the more she realized that he would never live his life to its fullest potential with her. However, she knew exactly where her fox would thrive.
Life In The Zoo
No doubt emotions were running high on the day Ms. Wang put her fox on his leash for the final time and walked him into the local zoo. While some people would probably think releasing him into the forest would be the best bet, he had lived his whole life in a home and was unfit for the wild.
Despite concerns over the zoo’s capabilities, it was actually the perfect place for the little guy. He’d have a sufficient amount of running space and would get to know other foxes. However, going from living in a comfy home to a zoo is no small change. Nobody knew how this fox would cope in his new environment.
Having To Say Goodbye
For the first year of its life, the fox would always turn to Ms. Wang for all of its needs and love. Saying goodbye wouldn’t come without a stream of tears. That said, Ms. Wang quickly found out that this wouldn’t be the last time that she would see her foxy friend.
Before she left, the zookeeper informed her that she could come and visit her fox anytime she wanted. As for the fox, he wasn’t led immediately into the enclosure to live happily ever after with his new fox family. The zoo needed to rigorously assess him and here’s why.
Quarantined For Diseases
Before Ms. Wang’s fox could go into the zoo enclosure with all of his fellow foxes, he needed to be quarantined for a couple weeks and checked out for diseases. A lot of the zookeepers’ concerns stemmed from the unorthodox way he had been raised.
While Ms. Wang did a marvelous job of providing for the little guy, he really had been raised like a dog. Growing up on dog food was especially concerning for the zoo officials. Foxes require a diet rich in protein and vegetables and not kibble. As the fox sat in his isolated cage, nobody knew what the future held for him. Would he ever get to live happily among the other foxes?
The Fox Is Fitting In Fine
Ultimately and luckily, a year on dog food did little to hinder the little cub’s health. Today, the fox is living the good life within Jinzhong’s local zoo. He’s safe, fed a proper diet of protein and veggies and roams freely with a number of his fox friends.
He couldn’t possibly ask for a better life, as he even occasionally gets visited by his favorite human, Ms. Wang. As for her, we’re certain that if Ms. Wang ever decides to buy another puppy, she’ll bring a dog expert with her so that she actually ends up leaving with a puppy and not a fox cub.
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