Written By : Jivan Daniel Louis

Sumo, a five-year-old labrador, never fails to make Devon Lee laugh.

“He’s such a silly dog. Once, when he was a puppy, he ran straight into the fish pond,” she laughs. “He’s avoided bodies of water at all costs since then.”

A perpetually happy hound, Sumo is an aggressive tail-wagger and all-round good boy who loves going on walks as much as he enjoys durian.

Yes, you read that right – like a true Malaysian, Sumo goes crazy for the king of fruits, which Devon discovered after sneaking him a piece after dinner one day.

Now, even the sight of the spiky fruit sends Sumo into a frenzy.

Sumo’s fondness for durian has its downside. As the saying goes: “A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips” – Sumo has packed on the kilos, much like the Japanese wrestlers of his namesake.

His love for fruits, however, does not extend beyond durian. He cannot stand bananas, which Devon found out when her home-baked treats for his second birthday – peanut butter and banana pupcakes – went untouched.

Ironically, for such a hefty pup, Sumo is afraid of dogs much smaller than he is, and prefers the company of humans over other four-legged friends.

“He’s also scared of fireworks and thunderstorms,” Devon adds. “His ears get all tense, and we have to give him extra cuddles or treats to calm him down.”

When munchies are on offer, Sumo is especially obedient. “He’s really good at sitting and waiting, but only if he can see me holding a treat.”

If you are worried over Sumo’s weight, don’t be – he actually leads a very active lifestyle, and spends most of his time exploring the garden and chasing the neighbourhood cats.

Devon and her four siblings also walk Sumo every day, and often squabble over whose turn it is to take him out.

My younger sister Sydney and I are especially competitive over which one of us is Sumo’s favourite. It’s established quite the sibling rivalry,” Devon jokes.

“It’s a good thing he loves exercising. He always has his tongue hanging out of his mouth because he gets so excited when we take him on walks or runs.

It makes him look like he’s smiling all the time.”

With an appetite like his, too much exercise could never be a bad thing!


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