is how long a dog in a Taiwanese shelter has to find a home before he gets put down.
It’s also the title of a documentary directed by Raye and produced by Giddens Ko (九把刀) and Sophia Sui (隋棠).
Twelve Nights (十二夜) follows the fates of dogs from the day they are captured and placed in a shelter to the 12th day.
While a handful will go on to find a forever home, more often than not, these dogs succumbed to either illnesses that are widespread in the shelter or to the deadline that man has placed upon them.
Mummy knew that the film wasn’t going to be an easy watch (she is a crybaby whenever it comes to animal-related stuff), but wanted to catch it anyway.
So, she bought a copy and had it mailed over to us.
When it finally arrived, Mummy explained the storyline of the movie to us. She was a little undecided if she wanted us to watch it with her as there was a chance that we might be uncomfortable with the (barking/whining) sounds from the film.
After some thought, we felt that we were ready for that and requested to be there for the film.
Of course, we found the best seats in the house and mummy got the film rolling.
It was the longest 1.5 hours of my life.
No, the show wasn’t boring (the pace was a little slow though), it just as expected, really difficult to finish.
Pecan ah ma was so upset that she would end up barking and screaming at the TV whenever she heard the dogs barking or whining defensively. We had to let her out of the room several times to calm herself down.
It wasn’t easy for me either. But seeing Mummy bawling her eyes out made me determined to stick through it and support her through it.
To be honest, our hearts ached when we saw how terrified and helpless these dogs were.
These shelter dogs were robbed of their freedom and treated with so little dignity. Not only were they given a deadline, they were placed in an environment that did not even give them a good fighting chance to begin with.
It was just horrible.
The fate of many of the dogs brought tears to our eyes.
But the dog that broke Mummy’s heart (and ours too) the most was a lovely mongrel named 十五分鐘 (Fifteen minutes).
He was a case of abandonment. When his owner surrendered him over to the dog catchers, the owner was informed about the possible fate of euthanasia. He hesitated for a mere 15 minutes before sticking to his decision of abandoning the dog.
I didn’t realize that the lives of my kind is that worthless and that all it takes is 15 minutes to decide that all the joy and love we give to you isn’t enough for us to keep our lives.
Watching the film made me and Pecan ah ma a tad guilty for taking our lives for granted.
I am extremely lucky to be born in an awesome breeder’s home (in NYC) and then welcomed (with open arms) into the Loo Lim family. On the other hand, Pecan’s other family showered her with love for the first 9 years of her life before she came to us.
We really cannot ask for more as we’re blessed with a roof over our heads and loving parents who think the world of us (okay, I exaggerate, just Mummy).
We just wished that these shelter dogs had an opportunity to have a family to love and call their own.
The message of the film was clear –
Please adopt and don’t abandon.
Just don’t abandon.
As dogs, we really ain’t asking a lot from you. Besides providing us with shelter and food, all we asked is for you to hold our hands and walk us through the rest of our lives. And, we promise you, we will give you all the love we’re capable of.
So please don’t let go of our hands. ever.