Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Hills Are Alive...

Hurray! Mum took me to the hill yesterday for my birthday treat. My persuasive powers worked. Of course, it helped that the electricty went off at that time so mum couldn't use the computer. Thanks TNB! We went in the early evening to avoid the crowd. The beauty of going at 3.45 pm is we literally have the place to ourselves. It was so peaceful. Without the crowds, we could hear the hills come alive with the chirping of the birds, the sounds of the crickets and the rustling of the trees as the gentle breeze brushed against its leaves. My favourite part - I could roam off-leash at certain parts of the walk when we were alone. So I sniffed and smelled to my heart's content.

Sometimes I would run ahead of mum coz I was so excited. But, I always slowed down when she called (thanks to obedience training!).

We stopped by a bubbling stream for water break and took some time to appreciate the peaceful surroundings.

Towards the end of the walk, my hunting instincts kicked in full force as I picked up the scents of a group of monkeys. I was like a mad dog, barking and pulling as I tried to get at the monkeys, who were taunting me from the top of the trees. Score- Monkeys-1; Kess-0. I was exhausted after my chasing spree and had to take a long break to recover.

Did I have fun? You bet! If only everyday was my birthday... My next task is to persuade dad to take me into the jungle trails tomorrow since it'a public holiday. Will keep you posted :-)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Great Friends + Great Food = Great Time

Someone once made this observation "Friends in your life are like pillars on your porch. Sometimes they hold you up. And sometimes they lean on you. Sometimes it's just enough to know they're standing by"

Last Saturday, my humans invited their friends over for a pot bless dinner at our home. I think that it's really great that my humans make the effort to catch up. Despite the physical distance (my humans were away in Bangkok for 1.5 years and just returned this year and Tracy & David are currently located in China), they manage to keep in touch with Doris & Alex, as well as the Kims. Technology is an excellent bridge and my humans kept in touch with their friends for free on Skype.

Back to the dinner, I was glad that my humans decided to host the dinner at home. Reason - I get to participate in all the fun! When they go out, I have to stay home (whine, whine)... Sure, it means a lil' more work for my humans (mum was super busy last week, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning the house and me - so that I would smell nice for our friends), but I think that the advantages far outweighs the extra effort. Apart from the fact that I get included in the party (which is a big plus from a doggie point of view), a party at home has a more comfortable setting. From the human male perspective, having the TV on Sat nite is the way to go so they can watch the match between Chelsea and ManU. From the little human angle, little C can happily roam around (yeah - no need to be trapped (err... strapped) in the stroller, whilst for mum, Doris and dad, Alex, no need to worry about little C getting lost. As for the human females, any place where they can chat will do.

Last but not least, it gives everyone a chance to practice their culinary skills. Since my humans recently bought a Teka oven, they decided to grill baby-back pork ribs and pizza. They also prepared a mango salsa dip and roasted pumpkin soup. On top of that, our friends also brought rojak, potato salad, caesar salad and lovely durian pastry. All the food were delicious! There was definitely no risk of not having enough food! Everyone had a great time and more than enough to fill their stomachs! My humans didn't forget me, and I got some rib bones too. Yay!

The formula works every time: Great Friends + Great Food = Great Time!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Birthday wish - Dog parks

There are not many parks in Malaysia that welcomes dogs. This may be attributed to the multi-racial society we live in. A quick search on the internet reveal two dog-friendly parks - Sentul Park and Bandar Utama Central Park. Unfortunately, the park in my suburb is off-limits to dogs. If anyone out there knows of any others, please drop a note on my comment box. As a result, for most dogs, myself included, daily walks are normally just around the housing estate. My humans also have to be creative to find places for doggie outings. More often than not, this would be at places where there are not many other humans.

Since my birthday is coming up soon(I turn 6 this Tuesday), my wish is for Malaysia to have dog parks. My humans have come across dog parks in their travels. Dog parks are more popular in the western nations, e.g, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. Dog parks are more than just a place where dogs are allowed. It is purpose built for dogs and their humans - it is a place where we can run off-leash and play fetch with our humans; a place where our humans don't have to put up with dirty looks or get told off for bringing us; a place where we can socialise with our friends in a secure environment. Ok, realistically my wish probably won't be fulfilled by next Tuesday, but maybe some day. I know that some dog lovers in Subang are trying to work out a proposal for a dog park in their suburb. Good on them! I wish them success.

Meanwhile, I think I'll persuade my humans to take me hiking in the hills for my birthday treat...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Beware of Dog

You know the typical story about how dogs chase postmen? Well, it's typical for a reason. Dogs are instinctively protective. So, when postmen and other delivery persons come-a-calling, we have to defend our homes and our humans (it is in our wolf genes).

Most times, the gate to our house is closed. So, I warn off these "delivery intruders" by barking real loud at them. Mum usually tells me off, but hey, I'm only doing my job. However, yesterday, mum was pruning the plants in the flower box in front of our house and left the gate open. We had just returned from our evening walk so she figured that I would be too tired to do any mischief. Little did she know...

Mum was so engrossed in gardening that she didn't realise that a dodgy-looking chap (he was unshaven and had longish hair) had come to our door to deliver junk mail. Naturally, I had to protect mum since dad was still at work (which makes me man ( of the house in his absence). So before you could say "geronimo", I had sprinted out of the gate and was running circles (literally) around the intruder. I barked and growled (grr...) and snarled at the man to warn him to leave my territory. I don't know who was more surprised, mum or the man. The man tried to flap me off with a towel...(yeah, right, like that's going to stop me.) Then mum had to spoil the fun and called me off. She made me go back into the house and closed the gate. Hmm...I wonder if it was to protect me or the guy???

Anyway, I bet the inruder will think twice before coming back again. To all you intruders out there - Beware of dog

...grrrr..., Kess, The Guard

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dogs & Kids - Picture Perfect

A friend emailed this series of pics to me yesterday. The photographer matched the dogs and kids perfectly. Enjoy!

A friend is someone we turn to when our spirits need a lift

A friend is someone we treasure for our friendship is a gift

A friend is someone who fills our lives with beauty, joy, and grace.

And makes the world we live in a better and happier place.

There is a miracle called friendship, that dwells in the heart.
You do not know how it happens or when it gets it's start.

But you know the special lift it always brings.
You realize that friendship is the world's most precious gift!

Here's to friendship - both dogs & humans!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Heroic Dog Rescues Owner

Dogs form a very strong bond with their humans and will go to great lengths to protect them. The Star published an article yesterday about how a dog saved its elderly owner from drowning during the flash floods that struck Kampung Ulu Temiang the day before. This loyal dog refused to leave the elderly lady who was stuck in her wooden home. Finally, the dog's frantic barking drew the attention of a team of fire and rescue personnel, who managed to rescue the woman in the nick of time - she could barely keep her head above water. Only then did the dog swim to safety.

What an inspiring story!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dogs on Travels

My humans are travel crazy and dog mad. So, during their travels they would take photographs of dogs - street dogs, other people's dogs, performing dogs, friend's dogs, etc, etc. I would like to think that they miss me, hence, their dog photography. Anyway, I would like to share some of these photographs with you. Enjoy!

What a view! Santorini, Greece

Dalmatian shopkeeper- Santorini, Greece

Doggie golfer - Glenorchy, New Zealand

Please feed me... Akaroa, New Zealand

Hey buddy, want to go for a car ride? Akaroa, New Zealand

Check out the biscuit on the dog's nose - Incredible self control (I would have eaten it!) - Christchurch, New Zealand

Chow time - Portabello Market, London

2 gorgeous Alsatians on a lunch-time walk - St James Park, London

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My first tag

I got my first tag from Bok Jae. Since I'm a newbie, I'm not really sure what it achieves but hey, it's all in good fun. Bok Jae reckons this sort of tag is suppose to help in the rankings be it Technorati or Google Page Rank! It really very simple, just join in the "train" by adding your blog there and tag another few blogger friends! So please put your name at the last! Thanks!

The Strategist Notebook, Link Addiction, Ardour of the Heart, When Life Becomes a Book, The Malaysian Life,, What goes under the sun,Roshidan’s Cyber Station, Sasha says, Arts of Physics, And the legend lives, My View, My Life, A Simple Life, Juliana RW, The Callalily Space, Petra Summer in Blue, Confessions of an Army Wife Bless’ Sanctuary Happy Life,, La Place de Cherie, Chez Francine, Le bric a brac de Cherie, Little Peanut, Pea in a Pod, The Creative In Me, Me and Mine, Pinay Mommy, Expressions from the Heart, TeacherJulie, Sweetbites by Bang, Paul, Toni and Lance - Bridging the Distance, Our Growing Family, The Uncensored life of me, My Untamed World, Something Purple, A Detour, Something Purple, Wifespeaks, Changing Lanes, Bits and Pieces, My Chocolate Coated Glasses, God's Gift, Through the Rain, My Small World,My Life, My Hope, My Future, Life Is Mysterious, Bokjae, It's a dog's life

I now pass the tag on to Tracy, Doris and Sweet Jasmine

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dogs and Condos - Never the twain shall meet?

This post is inspired by my new-found friend, Dora. Dora loves dogs but can't keep any as she lives in a condo. In Malaysia apparently, most, if not all condos do not allow dogs. While it hasn't stopped some dog lovers from keeping them illegally, clandestine living is tricky. How do you sneak a 30kg labrador pass the guards? Ok, while you could sneak a 3kg toy poodle in a bag, can you really stop a dog from barking?

In the US and Canada, you would probably find more dog-friendly condos. Closer to home, in Singapore, some condos allow dogs. Even so, dog owners there sometimes face uphill battles with neighbours who don't share the same love for dogs. The fact is not everyone loves dogs, not all dog owners are responsible owners and not all dogs are well behaved (most times, it's probably due to the owners behaviour). When you have to live in close proximity in a condo and share common areas, the combination of these factors can be explosive.

Assuming we live in a perfect world, what type of dogs are appropriate for condo living? Most people assume that small dogs would be appropriate for condo living since they are...small and would probably require less space to run about. That's not entirely true because some small dogs (e.g. Jack Russells) are actually quite loud, active and require lots of exercise and attention. The key is to examine your lifestyle and to research the characteristics of the breed you are interested in to evaluate suitability for condo-living with you. Dog ownership requires time and commitment, even more so, if you live in a condo because you don't have a garden for the dog to romp around.

Of course, once you already have found the perfect dog for you, be a responsible dog owner. Go for obedience training, take time to reinforce the training, pick up the dog's poop, keep the dog on a leash when walking the dog in the condo compound and exercise the dog adequately. Come to think of it, all these tips apply to dog owners who live on landed properties as well!

P.S. My humans came to a difficult decision not to bring me to Bangkok when they relocated there 2 years back. Condo living was one of the factors. Fortunately, my dad's parents were willing to look after me whilst they were away. (And when they had to go away, mum's parents dog-sat me.) I made lots of new friends, canine and humans whilst living with them. Now that my humans are back, I am home with them again! Grandpa misses me though. Now that I'm not around the cats have been sleeping on the roof of his car and leaving scratch marks...

Saturday, April 12, 2008


"There's no need to fear, Underdog is here"

Watched Disney's "Underdog" movie with my humans last week. It's about a beagle called Shoe Shine who failed miserably in his job as a bomb-detector dog. Instead of detecting bombs, he detects a huge piece of ham instead (he's my kind of dog - between bomb and ham, I pick food anytime)! After his major boo-boo, he gets laughed off the bomb detection squad by the Alsatians. Ejected, rejected and dejected, he stumbles off and gets caught by the bumbling side-kick of a mad scientist. After an accident at the lab, Shoe Shine discovers he can talk (surprise, surprise) and has extraordinary powers (you know, the kind that superheroes have - fly like a bird, run like the wind, etc, etc). However, despite his new-found super abilities, all this lonely beagle wants is to have a human to love and a home.

The rest of the plot is pretty typical - superhero finds a human boy who loves him and gives him a name and a home, falls in love (with Polly Purebred, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel)and rescues the city from the clutches of the mad scientist. Anyway, while the movie was so, so, it did trigger some thoughts on the term "underdog".

Wikipedia defines underdog as a participant in a fight, conflict, or game who is not expected to win.

I don't know about you but personally, I like to root for the underdog. My human mum feels the same. Back in the days when my human dad was a basketball fan (he has since turned his attention to mountain biking), my mum would always cheer for whichever team that was playing against the Bulls. This was during the era of Michael "Air" Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were on a winning streak. Of course, the underdogs don't always win (duh!)- The Bulls won six of the eight championships from 1991-98.

Notwithstanding the odds, there is something about the David and Goliath factor that makes me want to cheer the Davids of this world (which is probably why American Idol finalist, 17-year old David Archuleta is so popular). Back to the David of old, the little shepherd boy went against a 9-feet giant Philistine warrior. Whilst Goliath, a seasoned warrior was armed to the hilt with state-of-the-art (for those days anyway) bronze coat, helmet, armour, javelin and spear, David, a young boy was armed only with 5 stones and a sling (this was also because he had never used an armour before and couldn't walk in the heavy outfit).

Now, if I were a betting dog, I would say that the odds were definitely against David. During the confrontation, Goliath calls David a stick and threatens to feed him to the birds and beasts. David's response to the insults and threats was "... all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord's and He will give you into our hands" And so, using a sling and a stone, David kills Goliath with a direct hit on his forehead. What a twist to the story, the underdog had a top dog (definition: person in charge, dominant position, highest authority) backing him. Now, that changes the odds entirely. How about that?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bath Time

Bath time is not one of my favourite events. After all, doggies love rolling in the grass and in the mud. The smellier the better. So, I’m not sure why my humans seem to think bath is good for me. Despite my protests, I get a bath almost every weekend. I try to hide under the car, or under the table…But my humans know how to lure me out. They use Bacon Bits (the doggie version, not the human type,). It works everytime without fail. I can never resist it.

I can always tell when it’s “bath time”. Out comes the blue bucket, the towel, the shampoo, toothpaste and the toothbrushes. My bath routine starts with brushing my teeth. My humans use a toothpaste specially for canines and felines. Actually, it’s not too bad. It tastes a lil’ bit like liver paste…Brown and gooey. (No minty flavour for me!)

Then comes the proper bath time. First, I get doused with water. My humans are very careful to keep the insides of my ear dry.

Then, because my floppy ears tend to sweep my food bowl when I'm greedily gobbling my food, my lobes get a brush with a toothbrush (no, it's not the same one used to brush my teeth...) Again, my humans are careful not to get water into my ears.

Next, I am lathered with dog shampoo (yes, you saw correctly, it is in a handwash bottle, but I can assure you it's dog shampoo). Front paw, body, back paw, face (fortunately, the shampoo is a tear-free formula), tail - no body part is left unlathered.

Once my humans are satisfied that I am thoroughly clean, I get rinsed. Since I am getting wet anyway, I decided to have a drink of water.

Then comes my favourite parts, I shake off the water. If my humans are not quick enough, they get wet too. Hah! Hah!

I wriggle on the ground (sometimes I wriggle on the grass, depending on my mood). Hey, I have to get rid of the the yucky smell of the shampoo!). This is my superdog pose.

Finally, I get to play with my human when she tries to dry me with a towel. Hee...ha... After standing quietly as I get drenched and lathered, I get to have some fun at the end.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Faith In Adversity

Came across an article on StarTwo (original story from the Washington Post) on Faith, a chow mix, who was born without front legs and has learned to walk upright. Faith now travels around the US to spread the message of hope. Her owner, Jude Stringfellow said "I want people to understand that you can be imperfect physically and still be perfect through your soul, through your spirit". Do take some time to read the article and view the pictures and video.

This is such an incredible story of triumphing over adversity. I was so blessed by her story. Faith has also reminded me to count my blessings and be thankful for all God has given me.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Rainy Day Adventures

"Rain, rain go away. Come again another day" Remember this chant? Well, we've had more than enough occassions to recite this in recent days. In a tropical country like Malaysia, the rainy season is part and parcel of our weather. But, is it just me or does it seem that the rainy season seems to get longer and longer?

A couple of days back, I was in a 1.5 hr car ride. No, I didn't cross inter-state borders... My humans and I were stuck in KL's infamous traffic jam that occurs each time it rains. My human dad was wondering why he should pay toll when the traffic jam started way before the toll and continued way after the toll. A 0.5 hr journey became 1.5 hrs. I'm glad I wasn't driving so I settled down for a nap instead. Good thing my humans took me to pee before the journey (Doggie tip). Otherwise, I might have an embarassing accident in the car.

Like most dogs, I don't like thunderstorms. I'm fine with the rain if I'm with my humans. I may bark when the wind blows the door shut, but otherwise I'm OK. But when I'm home alone, I get scared and want to look for my humans. I've actually escaped from my home a couple of times during thunderstorms.

My most recent escapade took place just a few weekends ago. My humans had gone out for dinner. As the rain got heavier, I decided to go over to my neighbour's house. After a couple of attempts (did you know that beagles are very persistent?), I managed to push the planter box off the gate post and using the auto gate box for leverage, I managed to get up and jumped down from our 6 foot fence. Then, I sat outside Aunty CK's house and waited patiently for her to open the door. I knew I wouldn't have to wait too long coz Aunty CK checks up on me regularly when I'm home alone. Aunty CK was pretty surprised to see me at her gate (it has been a long while since my last escape)and quickly let me in. She towelled me dry and kept me at her home.

I was a happy doggie once again, now that I had good company. Dry and contented, I settled down for a snooze at Aunty CK's home (hey, escaping is hard work)and waited for my humans to return. Boy, you should have seen the look on their faces when they came home and found me next door! Stay tuned for the next episode of rainy day adventures...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Saturday Outing

I love weekends! That's when my humans have more free time for outings and long walks. Today, we visited an old friend, Uncle Bok Jae and his wife, Auntie Rock. I haven't seen him since I was a wee pup, so it was a wonderful little reunion. We doggies remember dog-lovers! I did miss Shadow though. Read about him at Bok Jae's blog entitled Doggie Day (27 March).

It also meant I got to go on a car ride, one of my favorite past times. Now, I'm an old pro when it comes to riding in a car, but today was a first for me riding in the boot of the SUV as my humans were car pooling with their friends. Since I wanted to get back to my normal spot at the back seat, I practiced my high-jumping technique from the boot. But I was "booted" back again... OK, I must admit that it is pretty cool watching everything from the back. I suppose the humans in the cars behind us were rather suprised to see a beagle staring at them.

After a quick pit stop to pick up delicious char siu and siu cheong(chinese roasted pork)(which unfortunately wasn't for canine consumption...), we headed to Uncle Bok Jae's home. Whilst the humans were busy feasting on char siu, siu cheong, green curry, grilled chicken, nyonya acar (pickled vegetable) and ngah choi...

I could only look in enviously, salivating ... Yes, yes, I know those type of human food isn't good for me, but hey, aren't the most delicious food not so healthy?

The humans finished off their meal with a scrumptious home-made dessert of caramel custard, compliments of Uncle Bok Jae and Auntie Rock.

Once they've had their fill of good food & good conversation, I finally got some attention when the humans adjourned to the garden. Oh what fun it was playing with Uncle Bok Jae!

And like my last trip back to nature, my outing ended with a lovely tummy rub, this time by little C, one of my kiddie human friends. What a life!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Corky & Pluto

My humans went up north to the Pearl of the Orient recently for a makan (eating) trip. But, this post is not to talk about the scrumptious hawker offerings, authentic Nyonya cuisine or fresh seafood. Rather, I want to introduce 2 canine buddies who live there - Corky, a 3 year old black labrador and Pluto, age unknown, a mixed breed with a dash of greyhound. My 2 buddies belong to my human's cousin and her husband.

Corky, like most labradors is good-natured, amiable and gentle. Even from puppy-hood, he was the strong, quiet type. His humans chose him from a pack of puppies as he just sat there and looked at them with his soulful eyes, whilst the other puppies were clambering and yelping for attention. A large breed dog, he is a little bit like a gentle, contented, lumbering giant.

In contrast, Pluto, a former street-roaming canine is quick, agile and super-competitive. Even though he doesn't like water, he will jump in just because Corky is in the water. His motto is "Anything Corky can do, I can do too!" Pluto joined this family in a round-about manner. He just appeared at the door-step (literally) of May's brother's home in KL one day and refused to leave for 3 days. It was almost as if he decided that he had enough of roaming and was ready to adopt a family. May's brother enlisted her help and to cut a long story short, Pluto joined her family and relocated to Penang. It was a challenging time for the former street-roamer to learn to live with humans but thanks to lots of love, discipline, persistence and training, Pluto is happily integrated into the home.

Both dogs enjoy the great outdoors! My humans joined them on their weekly hike up a hill in Penang. Pluto would run up ahead to explore the territory and chase monkeys, whilst Corky was contented to walk behind the last humans... Pluto earned the admiration of a group of humans who were going down hill when he scaled up the steep embankment effortlessly in his pursuit of the monkeys! Unfortunately, all this happened to quickly to be captured on the camera...

Corky and Pluto is a great example of how 2 dogs from different breeds and backgrounds can be great pals. All it took were 2 generous and loving humans to bring them together!

Thanks for signing my guest book.