Eight years ago, I wrote about adopting a puppy whom I named Chai Chai (“My diva dog, Chai Chai,” Star2, Oct 6, 2007).

As he is turning nine on Oct 31, I thought it’s timely to look at how far the bond with my fur kid has grown. I’ve used my previous article (in italics) as a point for comparison.

Back then, I wrote: At my age – 33, for those keeping track – I am no longer a believer in love at first sight. But that notion flew out the window the moment I met a small, trembling Pomeranian puppy with the most beguiling eyes.

The “love at first sight” has since become unconditional love. Chai Chai still trembles when he gets overly-excited, and his eyes remain beguiling.

Yes, he is a Halloween baby, which perhaps explains why he is such a devil. He is a rascal, but thanks to his awfully cute disposition, he gets away with murder most of the time.

Today, Chai Chai is as devillish as ever. And yes, he continues to get away with murder.

Just yesterday, he did his “business” outside his designated area, near my Louis Vuitton messenger bag. I almost had a heart attack.

It is my fault, I know, for spoiling him, so now he has become a diva who follows no rules.

His pictures on Instagram are hashtagged #divadog. Since he’s so photogenic, it’s not surprising that his photos get more “likes” than my selfies.

In the car, he commands the back seat; no one else can share the seat.

Still true. He loves road trips. Especially those long drives to Penang.

Every morning when I wake up, there will be something in the house that has inevitably been chewed to bits – the newspaper, a piece of furniture, etc.

Fortunately, Chai Chai has grown out of his teething phase. The only thing he chews on nowadays are dental sticks, a form of dog treat.

After Chai Chai, I have had no need for an alarm clock. He wakes me up at 7.30am sharp every morning – even on weekends.

Yep, my eyebags are testament to this.

He is the world’s friendliest pooch, bouncing up to dogs on the street itching to play with them.

Still true. He loves company.

People who meet him for the first time often exclaim: “Aww, so cute.” But after 15 minutes, they inevitably back away as Chai Chai shows his true nature.

Yep. That explains my lack of a social life.

But at the end of the day, nothing beats the sight of him barking, running around in circles and almost tripping over himself in excitement when I reach the front door after work.

Still relevant. No matter how bad my day is, this little monster makes coming home worthwhile. He’s spoilt and mischevious, but he’s also clever and cuddly and brings me so much joy.

He is curled up with his toy, a teddy bear which I gave him on his first night. Although the toy is now stinky, Chai Chai loyally and stubbornly remains attached to it.

Eight years later, that teddy bear is still around, sans its eyes. Chai Chai travels everywhere with his stinky mate.

As he lies sleeping, he looks angelic, as when we first met, and I cannot help but sigh in the presence of his loveliness.

Chai Chai now shares my bed; his spot is directly under the air con. Every night before I go to sleep, I whisper in his ear: “Good night, baby, love you.”

And he sighs in contentment and rolls over to snooze, probably dreaming of our next road trip.

Touché is a monthly column in which Team Star2 shares its thoughts.