Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy Belated Christmas and a Happy 2013!

Happy Belated Christmas and a Happy 2013!

December has been a crazy busy month for me and my humans. We've had friends and visitors staying with us throughout the month, which explains my absence from blogging. It's been great fun catching up with family and friends. Inevitably, they come bearing gifts for this canine and her humans. My gifts include doggie treats from Australia - kangaroo jerky and pigs ears, whilst my humans enjoy chocolates and other yummy goodies. Unfortunately my humans have decided to ration how often I get to eat my treats, so they're in the pantry, away from reach of this beagle :-(

Treats aside, I've also enjoyed lots of attention from our friends and family - both old and young. After all, you're never too old to enjoy a game of tug of war...

And which dog doesn't enjoy some TLC?
To top it off, I had an unexpected gift from Santa. Santa knows that Kess has been a good doggie and this beagle made it on his "nice" list. Dear ol' Santa must have been so busy delivering gifts that he got lost and delivered my treat to my neighbour downstairs instead. Our kind neighbour delivered it to me. Thanks MM! These heart-shaped treats are not only yummy but healthy too.
Goodbye 2012! To my human friends, may 2013 bring you love, peace and joy. To my canine friends, may 2013 bring you lots of treats!
With love from Kess & Her Mama

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

This Beagle Explores Stage 3 of HK Trail

This beagle loves exploring sections of the Hong Kong trail, a nice change from my regular walks on Bowen Road. The 50km long trail spans five country parks across Hong Kong island. The trail is divided into 7 stages, starting at the Peak, on the western side of the island and ending at Big Wave Bay, on the eastern side of Hong Kong.
The HK trail has distance post along the trail to help hikers figure out where they are and in case of emergencies. The way you can work out how far you've walked is to take note of the number on the post. The distance between each post is 1/2 km. So the starting point at the peak is H001 and the ending point at Big Wave Bay is H100 (50 km).

Whilst it is highly unlikely that I will be able to cover the entire Hong Kong trail (this beagle is 10 years old after all), over the last 1.5 years, my humans have taken me for walks on different sections of the west end trails. So far, I've covered Stage 1 (7km) of the Hong Kong trail, which starts at the Peak's Lugard Road, and then crosses over to Lung Fu Shan Country Park, before looping over to Pok Fu Lam Country Park. My humans and I also regularly hike on the Lady Clementi's Ride, which is the initial 2.5km of Stage 4. A few weeks back, we covered Stage 3 (6.5km), starting from Wan Chai Gap and ending at Peel Rise, near the Peak.

My humans usually let me go off-leash on the trails, with one human leading the way upfront and another human behind this beagle to make sure that I don't roam off. Sometimes, I will stop to check that the human on back patrol is still following me. "Hurry up, we've got lots to explore."
The trail is really lovely. It's shaded, fairly flat and passes a couple of streams. We stopped for a water break and my human decided to dip her toes in the cool water of the stream. Me, I'll keep my paws on firm ground. In case you don't know, beagles do not like to play in water, unlike my fellow canines, the Labradors and Retrievers.

The most difficult part of the trail is the last kilometre or so leading up to Peel Rise. It is a very steep climb! So, on our last visit, we skipped the last section and turned around back to Wan Chai Gap. At one point of the trail, there were a series of steep large steps. Since my humans did not want this beagle to climb the stairs (old age = joints issue), my human carries me up.
After that lovely long outing, this beagle catches a snooze out in our balcony. A pretty good weekend indeed!

Monday, November 12, 2012

A new bed for Kess

One of the reasons we went to Whiskers n Paws last weekend was to get this beagle a new bed. Now, indulgent human dad has been wanting to get me a new bed to replace the one in our living room for the longest time. But practical human mum resisted as the bed was still in good condition. Even after human dad accidentally "lost" the soft flat cushion base on my bed whilst giving the bed a fluff over the balcony to get rid of the fur, human mum said bed was still OK for use since I have an Ikea pillow. So, why the new bed? It was finally time to retire the old bed after human mum discovered that the base of the bed had started to peel.

We got the Dog Gone Smart Bed. It has a removeable cover which can be washed, which is pretty smart. Their tag line is "Our beds love dirty dogs". 

However the question is does this dog love the bed? To put it to a test, my human put out both the new and old bed.

I checked it out...

Nope. I still like my old bed better.
"Too bad" my humans said, "You've got a new bed and you have to use it. It's time to retire your old bed". So, the next day, old bed was gone and in its place is the new bed. My humans laid my fleece blanket over the bed. I guess the new bed is pretty comfy after all. Time for a snooze, I think.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Visit to Whiskers N Paws

The beauty of living in Hong Kong is the availability of on-line shopping - anything from groceries to pet supplies. When my humans first arrived in Hong Kong last year, they were not very savvy and went hunting high and low for a pet shop to purchase some doggie supplies. Finally, after some intenet research, they discovered the convenience of on-line shopping sites for pet supplies. After experimenting with a few, they finally settled on Whiskers N Paws. It has a great English site (which is a big plus as a lot of the local websites are in Chinese) and service is quick and reliable.

Once in a while my humans like to pay a visit to the bricks and mortar shop. Located in Horizon Plaza, a massive industrial building that houses furniture, factory outlets and of course, Whiskers n Paw, it has easy parking and best of all, allows doggies. This is my second visit to Whiskers N Paws. The first time was in February this year. My humans made me pose in front of the store sign.

Thankfully, they didn't make me pose in front of the store again this visit. However, this does not mean that my trigger happy human did not take snapshots of me on her trusty Iphone, as you'll soon see.
In addition to a huge space for the shop, Whiskers N Paws also has an outdoor space for dogs to socialize and play. Today, they hosted a doggie adoption day by Hong Kong Dog Rescue. So, the backyard had lots of people and doggies. At the front of the shop, we met a couple, who has a beagle and decided to adopt the sweetest chocolate-coloured puppy today. Lucky pup!
Although I did not get to meet that beagle, I did get to meet a little human, who was happily playing on the dog slide...
...and a little black pup.

Most of the time, I was happy to sit with my human and watch the other dogs play.
At the shop, I had a great time checking out the food section. Hmm...I wonder what my humans got for me? I hope there are some treats.
After loading up our car with my goodies, it was time to say goodbye to Whiskers N Paws. I hope I don't have to wait 10 months before my next visit!


Monday, October 15, 2012


How many beagles can you spot?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Before, During and After

It was a lovely weekend again and this beagle and my humans headed to our favourite country park.

This was me on the way to the park - enjoying the wind with our open sun roof.


This was me, sniffing the air, trying to figure out where the Alsatian that was ahead of me went. I went berserk on this walk - pulling my humans and barking at a very high pitch as I caught the scent of the Alsatian but not being able to catch up . Now usually, my humans are comfortable to let me go off leash as I will generally stroll and stop every few feet to check out the smells. Not this visit! Given my highly charged state of mind, going off-leash was not an option! Needless to say, we finished our walk faster than usual, and panting more than usual (beagle and humans..).

This was me, on the way home in the car - exhausted!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Autumn is here!

Despite having lived in Hong Kong for more than a year now, I am still amazed at how dog-friendly the city of Hong Kong is. Unlike Malaysia, in Hong Kong, you can find apartments that will allow dogs, taxis will take dogs as passengers, for a small fee of HKD5/USD0.65 and my all-time favourite, dogs are allowed in the country parks, and off-leash too! Of course, there are challenges to living in a busy city. Not all places have walking paths for dogs to walk. We are fortunate to live near a popular walking/jogging path.

One of the lovely aspects of living in Hong Kong is the four seasons. Living in tropical Malaysia, where we only get rain or shine, it is a nice change to experience four distinct seasons. Summer in Hong Kong is hot, humid and uncomfortable, my least favourite time of the year. I love the cooler seasons, which is relatively mild compared to countries in higher latitudes. After my last post, autumn played peek-a-boo, disappearing for a few days as sultry summer weather once again reigned in Hong Kong. But, since the mid-autumn festival last weekend, autumn is well and truly here. Apart from the lovely cool temperatures, the days are getting shorter as it becomes dark by around 6.30-6.45 pm in the evening. I think autumn is one of the best times of the year. It's not that cold that this beagle need to wear doggie clothes but cool enough for nice long walks in the park, even in late morning, which is exactly what we did this morning. Can't ask for a more perfect outing for a beagle and her humans!


Monday, September 17, 2012

A Hint of Autumn

We've had the most beautiful autumn mornings in Hong Kong the last couple of days. With temperatures around 24C/75F, my humans and I have been enjoying long morning walks, something we couldn't do in summer. The days are still warm but humidity levels have dropped so it's quite bearable.
This weekend, we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and went for a walk at  the Aberdeen Country Park. This beagle loves walking the trails. I get to meet other dogs and the smells are just fascinating! We also stopped by a mini stream and waterfall for a water and photo break. Can't wait for autumn to be here in all its golden glory!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Doggie Toilet

The HK government means well. They've set up bricked patches designated as doggie toilet (sign and all) around the parks and residential areas. To be honest, this beagle is not sure how effective the doggie toilets are. Personally, I've never used the doggie toilets, or "dog latrine", preferring the surrounding area next to these doggie toilets. . In fact, my humans had to bribe me to get on to the toilet to get this picture. The things I do for a treat...


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sun and Storm

While my human is busy working in her home office, this beagle enjoys a spot of sunbathing. What can I's a dog's life!

It hasn't been all sunshine here in Hong Kong. Two weeks back, Hong Kong was hit by Tropical Storm Vicente, the strongest typhoon to hit the country in 13 years. HK issued a Typhoon 10 signal, the first Typhoon 10 signal since 1999. With winds reaching up to 220 km/h (140 mph), the storm wreaked havoc bringing down trees, sending debris flying and bringing the country to a halt. Schools and businesses closed, whilst public transportation and flights were suspended. The winds and rain was so strong that rain seeped through our windows!

One week after the storm, the streets still hasn't been cleared of the fallen trees. There was just so much clean-up that had to be done!

Thankfully, all is back to normal now.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer in Hong Kong

It's been a while since I last blogged. This beagle is alive and well.

Summer in Hong Kong is wet, humid and rainy. Sometimes we get sunshine and rain at the same time, quite bizzare really. This means my walks are short due to the hot weather. In the evenings, we tend to walk later in the evening where it's marginally cooler. I don't get to go to my favourite Aberdeen country park as often as during autumn/winter/spring. However, we did manage a short outing one weekend evening. As you can tell from my expressions, I had a great time :-)

Kess resting on a bench

Kess providing directions to the Hong Kong trail

Kess showing off the map of the Aberdeen Country Park

Whilst summer may not be the best time for doggie walks, humans, especially female humans love to come to Hong Kong during summer because of Hong Kong's famous summer sale. Needless to say, my humans has been taking advantage of adding on to their summer wardrobe. Thankfully, this beagle does not need a summer wardrobe!

Happy summer everyone!

Friday, June 29, 2012

A New Grass Patch for Summer

 The effects of dog pee on grass is pretty potent! My little 3 by 4 ft balcony grass patch was starting to look and smell bad after about 9 months, which is not surprising considering the potency of dog pee. So a couple of months back, my humans decided it was time to replant a new batch. They first had to dig up the old patch, which was not a very pleasant job.
It took them a while to get a new batch of grass replanted. The nursery said to wait until the start of summer so that they would have new batches of grass in. So, during that time, this beagle had to make multiple pee trips downstairs a day.

"Hmm..Where is my grass?"

Finally, my grass arrived. The first batch that came in accidentally got planted in the apartment's common area. It was a series of unfortunate events. So, I had to wait another few weeks. This time, it got planted correctly on my little planter box. I tested it and it works fine.

My humans dilligently water it after my pees but it is already starting to brown...Oh well...:-)

Monday, June 11, 2012

A clean bill of health

My dental surgery went well. The vet cleaned my teeth and got most of the tartar out. My two back teeth showed signs of receeding gum due to tartar built-up over 10 years but both teeth were still stable so no extractions were necessary. The vet also took the opportunity to do an ultrasound of my abdomen to make sure that there were no crystal build-up which could lead to stones in the kidney. For the first time in my 10 years, I had a comprehensive blood test as well. All tests were negative so this beagle was given a clean bill of health.

To be honest, I did not enjoy my visit to the vet and could not wait to go home. I left the vet with a pink bandage on my paw (for the drips) and some medication. The first thing my humans did when we got home was to take me for a short walk. The next day, I pretty much moped around the house, tail down and stuck close to my humans. All our friends noticed my sad mood and naturally showered my with lots of pats and attention. But I was back to my normal cheery self on Sunday as memories of the dreaded vet visit was forgotten. All is well again.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A visit to the vet leads to the dentist chair...

My human took me to the vet for my annual check-up and vaccination. Dr. N, has been looking after me this year and fully understands this beagle's fear of the slippery examination table. After all, I've already visited her three times this year (once for the follow-up examination for my urinary problem, once for a ear infection and now for my annual check-up). She doesn't mind getting onto the floor to examine me. although it's not the most comfortable position for her. She is also the first vet to discover the best way to give me my jabs. I hate needles and needless to say, there is a lot of struggling involved whenever the vet tries to give me my injections. My human sometimes fears that someone else may get jabbed by mistake. Anyway, Dr. N discovered the trick is to get my human to carry me, instead of trying to hold me down as I tend to struggle more. Then the good doctor, with her awful needle ready, does her job quickly, followed by treats for the good beagle :-0

Anyway, Dr. N suggested that a proper dental check-up, which for canines involve going under anesthesia, may be appropriate since there is evidence of plague on my teeth. She can then do a thorough cleaning, check and extract any rotting tooth. My humans only brush my teeth once a week and I suppose over 10 years, issues could arise. My humans were understandably concerned about me having to go under anesthesia but they also are aware that oral issues can lead to serious health problems. After getting feedback from fellow bloggers, some of whom have recently gone for the dental check-up, my humans decided to go ahead with the surgery, which will also include a comprehesive blood test, also a first for this beagle. The dreaded surgery is next Friday. My humans still worry but know that it's better to do it now whilst my health is still good. The last time I went under anesthesia was when I was spayed many many years ago. Fingers crossed...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Beagle turned 10...(2 weeks ago)

I'm alive and well folks in case you're wondering about the very long silence...As usual, it's my human's fault. She has been on the road or in the air and have not had time to blog. So, this beagle's birthday blog is 2 weeks late. Yeap, I am now now 10 years old. Old age is catching up. I am very much whiter now. This was me when I was 6 years old.
This is me at 10 years old. See how much fairer I am?
I'm also on daily glucosamine and propalin for joint and urinary control. I may need to get a thorough dental check-up(which unfortunately requires going under general anesthetic...My humans are still considering this and would love to hear your experiences and thoughts.) I need to stretch more before I get up and I can't go for super long walks anymore. But, my appetite is great and life is generally good. Anyway, for my birthday treat this year, my human found a healthy cookie recipe that combined all my favourite food - banana, carrot and apple. The result - a very happy beagle and friends(my canine neighbours each got a cookie too).
My humans also gave me a yummy dinner of chicken and carrot on a bed of rice and kibbles. Needless to say, this beagle did not leave anything on the bowl. Not a bad birthday treat at all :-)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Explore Hong Kong with Kess - Shek O Beach

Spring is well and truly here. This beagle doesn't need any winter outfits or blankets anymore. Hurray! The weather was gorgeous yesterday - blue skies, cool weather. My humans decided to go to Shek O beach in the evening, a lovely beach located on the south of Hong Kong island. Obviously, we weren't the only one with the same idea so it took us a while to find parking but we did!

In Hong Kong, dogs are generally not allowed on beaches during summer. But since people don't usually go to the beaches during winter, there is kind of an unwritten rule that dogs are allowed during winter. Well, since it's not technically winter and the beach was quite full with people, my humans decided to let me watch from a distance instead. In any case. this beagle is not really a big fan of water, so I was happy to admire the sea from the walkway.

We then walked through the small town of Shek O towards a nearby walking trail by the sea. At the start of the trail, there is a lovely chinese style home.

Since spring is a popular time for weddings, we saw at least a dozen couples having their wedding pictures taken in beautiful Shek O. In fact, I managed to get my picture taken with one of the the background.

All in all, it was a really fun first outing to the beach for this beagle. To top it off, I got to spend some quality time with my humans...

Thanks for signing my guest book.