Friday, August 29, 2008

It All Started With One Brave Dog Named Rex

We were inspired by Oorvi's post on Pawlee - A Pup Prodigy to share this Malaysian news article with you. But first, let us provide some cultural background. In Malaysia, there is a general belief that Muslims are not allowed to touch dogs (or is it just wet dogs? We don't have exact details.) As a result, a large population of Muslims do not like dogs, with some even fearing dogs, which explains why dogs here don't enjoy the same access to public places as our counterparts in US and other parts of the world.

That's why this article entitled "A rare breed in society" which was published in the New Straits Times yesterday is so heartening. The article features Datin Nariza, a Muslim who loves dogs. In the Q&A for the article she recounts how she was saved from a python by her mum's alsatian. "When I was a baby, my parents were living in a rubber plantation. My mum had an alsatian named Rex. One day, my mum and dad were outside the house and when mom stepped back inside, her dog's face was stained with blood.My mum ran frantically to my room and found me still asleep, but there was a dead python near my bed. The dog saved my life! But unfortunately, the following year, a cobra bit him and he died. My mother vowed never to take another dog again because she felt no dog or cat could replace him."

Now, Datin Nariza is a lobbyist for the SPCA. And it all started with one brave dog, named Rex.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ginger and Beef

Mum's Chinese Stir Fried Beef with Ginger and Spring Onion

No, I'm not doing a post on the Chinese stir-fried beef with ginger (although we have the recipe on Mum's blog if you are interested).

This is Part 2 of my post on my humans' trip to New York. When they were in the Adirondacks, they hired mountain bikes and hit the trails there. After 18 miles of cycling, they took a break at a park before returning the bikes. That's where they met Ginger (the first part of the heading), a Chinese Shar Pei dog. My humans have never seen a Shar Pei before and were intrigued by Ginger's deep wrinkly feature. They struck a conversation with Gingers' humans, the Furinas, who were most gracious and allowed Ginger to be photographed.
With its origins as a guard dog, the Shar Pei a loving, devoted family dog. Ginger had no problem when her human carried her like a baby. In fact, she looked like she enjoyed it! Besides pictures and stories of new friends, mum & dad also brought me back some treats - Beef Jerky (which is the second part of my heading) and Doggie Bacon. Woo Hoo! I mean, it's nice to meet new friends but hey, I'm a beagle. Nothing beats food!

I check out the Beef Jerky first. It's made with American beef and smells soooo yummy.

Then, I sniff the Doggie Bacon. Oh man, I'm salivating....

Can't resist...Gotta get this package open...

Mum, can I have some help please???Typical mum. She tortures me with the "Sit down" command with the oh so tempting beef jerky treat in my "Feed Me" bowl! How much more can a beagle take???Finally, she relents when she sees my mournful look and gives me the long awaited "OK"It tasted just as good as it looked!

Thanks mum & dad for the new friends and doggielicious treats from New York!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Napoleon, King of the Hills of Skaneateles

My humans suffer from "doggie deprivation" (aka they miss me heaps!) whenever they travel. So, after close to 2 weeks of admiring other people's dogs from afar in New York, they were delighted to discover that the bed and breakfast they were staying in at Elbridge, a quaint village in the hills of Skaneteales (Pronounced "Skinny Atlas") has a dog. Joy! Happiness!

Napoleon, named after Napoleon Bonaparte, the famous French leader, is a Great Dane (think Scooby Doo). The breed is commonly referred to as the "Gentle giant" and the "Apollo of all breeds", which is so true. I think that if I met him face to face (OK, I may not be able to see his face if we're both standing coz I'm SHORT and he's well...BIG...), I may not be afraid of him coz mum assures me he is very, very calm and friendly).

Check out the smile on his face and his beautiful blue eyes!

Scooby Dooby Do...Where are you?

Marge and Bob, the owners of Fox Ridge Bed and Breakfast adopted him from a friend who could no longer take care of him.
We think he couldn't have a better home than Fox Ridge Farm. The tree farm is set on 120 acres of woodland. He has the pick of gardens, open meadows, forested hills, and brooks to roam on the property.

Strength and grace in motion

Then when he's done enough exploring for the day, he goes home to his comfy bed. And of course, when there are dog-loving visitors at the bed and breakfast, he gets an extra dose of hugs and pats. Mum & dad really enjoyed their stay at Fox Ridge. Marge and Bob are gracious hosts. Breakfast - Baked french toast with apples was yummy! Mum said it felt like home away from home, right down to the dog!

P.S. Marge, thanks for the carrot and apple. Mum said you asked her to give it to me on your behalf. You know I just love carrots and apples!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Why Dogs Don't Live As Long As Humans

Mum's friend e-mailed this story. We both thought it was really sweet and wanted to share this with you.

A Dog's Purpose

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, andthey were hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker 's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why." Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good Life like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The six-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
Take naps.
Stretch before rising.
Run, romp and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and 'wag' your entire body.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

3 Weeks at Gramps

We have so much to share after being away for 3 weeks, we don't know where to start. Since this is my blog, I get to share about my holiday at gramps first. After this, mum gets to share about Napoleon and Ginger, 2 awesome dogs she met during her recent trip to New York.

I know when my humans plan to be away. I always have a bath and get my ears cleaned. The grooming routine by itself is not unusual. But, when mum starts packing my bedding and towels into the car, I get suspicious. Then, when their suitcases come out and they start packing their clothes, I know for sure they're going on a trip!

Anyway, I don't really mind coz there's so much to do at Gramps. In fact, I like going to their home so much that I actually walked there by myself once. Gramps live opposite a playground which is a hub of activity in the mornings and evenings. I get to meet all my canine pals again coz the playground is a favourite spot for dog walks. Spotty, a spaniel mix, who lives behind gramps' home is a particular favourite pal. I've known him since he was a wee pup. We always have a good sniff session. Lots of other doggies will always stop by the house for a smell session. It's like Grand Central Station!

In addition to my four-legged friends, a little 2-year old boy who lives down the street also loves to come by and say Hello. Initially, he called me "Dog". "Hello? Dog?" That could be any dog on the street. But, I forgive him coz he didn't know better. Anyway, Gramps told him my name is Kess.

Gramps loves to exercise. After our morning walk, she continues with her exercise. Naturally, my doggie instincts kicks in and I watch her like a hawk to make sure nothing happens to her. Occasionally, I bark my displeasure for being left at home. Then of course, there are the squirrels in the garden. I tell you, I am constantly on the look out for these nasty lil' squirrels who loves to hide in the garden.

Then there is the FOOD. Gramps is truly Chinese. So I get to eat rice with my kibbles every day. Hurray! I love rice. Aunty Evie also bought me some treats. But she makes me perform tricks first (Mum must have told her...). Anyway, I usually pre-empt the commands coz I am so programmed to do tricks for treats.

Anyway, the 3 weeks just zoomed by. Before I know it, mum & dad are back and I have to say goodbye to my canine pals and the little boy who lives down the street. What a great lil' holiday.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More surprises when I was away...

I can't believe how much I missed out whilst I was away for 3 weeks!

First, it was the awesome beagle clock by Oorvi...

Now, its the Arte-y-Pico Award from River and Thor. Thank you both for bestowing this awesome award to me.

There are a couple of house rules set by Arte-y-Pico:

1) You have to pick FIVE blogs that you consider deserve this award for creativity, design, interesting material and also contribute to the blogger community regardless of language.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and a link to his/her blog to be visited.

3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given him/her the award itself.

4) Award winners and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of the "Arte-y-Pico" blog so everyone will know the origin of the award

5) In compliance with said RULES, the award winner must show the RULES.

Of course, I can't keep this awesome award to myself. So, I'm going to pass it on to:

Sweet Jasmine, Uncle Bok Jae, Ben Ben, Ari and Diesel aka Snout Beagle

Monday, August 11, 2008

My very own clock by Oorvi

Oorvi and Mercury are absolutely incredible. Mercury has created all sorts of cool playstuff for doggies at Oorvi's playground. I love the Beagle clock she created for me! Doesn't it look just like me? Thanks dears!

PS. I forgot to mention that Oorvi & Mercury's clocks are available for download. So, if you want a beagle clock modelled after me or one modelled after River, pop over to Oorvi's playground.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Welcome home mum & dad!

Mum & dad were so pleased to see the Welcome sign on our door. They've been away to New York for 3 whole weeks! As usual, I couldn't go with them. They said New York is really far far away from Malaysia. It's about a 20-hour flight and a 12 hour time difference (which explains why mum is up at 4am Malaysian time blogging away... In NY, it's 4pm EST). I went on a lil' hol myself - to gramps' home. They treated me so well that I probably came home a few pounds heavier!

As a result of being away, we've missed visiting our friends' blogs. Thanks so much for your comments, awards and tags. We'll try to catch up with all of you soon.

In case you're wondering how we managed to post on our blog whilst being away. Here's another blogging tip. Blogger has a post option (at the bottom left of the page) which allows you to choose the date and time for publishing your post. So, before we went away, we worked on 3 extra blogs which we scheduled to post each week. Isn't that cool?

Mum's feeling sleepy again so we're going to sign off for now. We have lots to share with you. They met some really cool dogs in NY. We should be back blogging again soon, in a more earthly hour (Mum hopes... It's no fun suffering from jet lag!)

Friday, August 1, 2008

If dogs are carnivorous, why do I like carrots?

It's strange but true. I love carrots...and apples...and guava...and the list goes on and on for almost all types of fruits and vegetables...

In fact, one of my favourite sounds at home is the sound of the cutting board. Wherever I am at home, I will quickly patter over to the kitchen when I hear mum cutting up stuff on the board. Because I know that I have to sit before being fed, I will sit and look at mum eagerly, hoping that I'll get a reward for my patience. Sometimes, she'll say "No, Not for you." But if I am lucky...she'll walk out of the kitchen with a goody for me. She makes me sit again. I'm not sure what her obsession with "Sit" is, but hey, I'll even do pawstands if I get to eat! I try not to look at the juicy carrot whilst mum tests out my willpower with the "Wait" command.

Happiness is when she says "OK". I'll trot into the dining room with my prized carrot and settle down to enjoy the fruits of my labour. Hey, all that sitting and waiting is hard work.
It doesn't take long before I chomp it all away. It's the same with apples. Run into the kitchen when I hear mum at work. Sit patiently.

Sit again in the dining room, with a tortured look, staring mournfully at the apple which is just a few steps away...
Finally, after what seems like eternity, I get to chomp on the sweet, sweet apple. Bliss!

P.S. Does anyone have an answer why dogs like to eat fruits and vegetables and carrots?

Thanks for signing my guest book.