Animal Trainer & TVB’s Hong Kong Super Pet Model Contest Judge
“I’d say 99% of my tattoos are animals that I have either trained, interacted with or raised such as seals, sea lions, otters, lizards, chameleons, frogs and the rest is my belief around respect.”
Garay also has tattoos of his current dog, whom he adopted from the SPCA and taught how to skateboard (as seen above) and Bajo, his beloved Corgi that passed away two years ago.
“I just got a new one of a blind dog called Flash whom I trained whilst still at the SPCA. He is like my godson. I still see him and his owner and help him to adapt to any changes in life.”
Gladys has three tattoos dedicated to animals – one representing all the species of animals she has treated in her career as a vet, another of her cats (Barney, Darcy and Vincent) and finally a quote “I speak for those who don’t have a voice” referencing her work in animal welfare with the SPCA. “I always think tattoos are for things that you know you will align with for the rest of your life. These three cats are the first pets I ever owned since becoming a vet, and they also marked my irreversible transition to a crazy cat lady. At the same time, they remind me how important and meaningful my job is.”
Vivian got tattoos of both her pets after they had passed earlier this year, only months apart from one another. Gut Gut, a Husky, Schnauzer and Samoyed mix was “so traumatised when she first arrived at the SPCA, she hid at the back of her kennel and refused to eat”. Vivian eventually won her over with some treats before adopting her in 2006. Four years later, Megi, a pregnant Pekingese came to the SPCA through a prosecution case and was also eventually adopted by Vivian. The two dogs always tolerated each other and gave each other space, which is reflected in Vivian’s tattoos which are on opposite sides of her right forearm. “The whole process of planning the design was very special and now I feel like they are always with me.”
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“My colleague said her biggest regret was not getting the tattoo whilst her dog was still around”. This moved Ivy to have her three adoptive cats, CY, Tansi and Dingding, tattooed on her inner right arm. Tansi was actually Ivy’s first fostered kitten before she went on to foster four more kittens around the same age. After two months, Ivy became a “half-failed” foster and decided to adopt two kittens from the same litter, in addition to Tansi.
Elizabeth has tattoos of her two dogs on her left inner arm – Cola, her first family dog, who had brought so much love and joy to the family for 15 years before she passed. However, her recent rescue dog Suet Tiu was not so lucky as she was born the weakest of the litter and Elizabeth had to take her everywhere she went. Unfortunately, earlier this year, Suet Tiu had to be put to sleep as her condition worsened. Now, when Elizabeth looks at this tattoo, she is reminded of the amazing journey that she and Suet Tiu had with no regret. “Even though her time was short, she lived it to the fullest. She brought joy to all my friends, colleagues, and family,” Elizabeth says.
Tattooist’s IG: @karmentattoohk