Friday, January 30, 2009

Farewell and welcome home

Benji, the big white furball that created a bedroom of snowing fur for godpa. A greedy chin that popped out of his cosy ceramic house whenever fresh hay was brought. He used to jump to the top platform eager and vying with Rocky when godpa ruffled the bag of treats containing apple twig or rosehips.

Today godpa prepared him for his journey, a journey that releases him from the confines of a mortal body. I sniffed around Benji's limp body but was quickly shoo-ed away and locked out by godpa. I guess he needed to spend a few moments alone feeling the soft fluffy fur which will soon turn to dust. Touch is such a beautiful thing, I often crave for godpa to cradle me or stay close to me.

The cremation folks came by in the morning to pick up Benji while godpa was at work. By evening after dinner, they brought him back to us. Somehow seeing the transformation helps one to realize that the mortal form has irrevocably changed and what's left are memories and the bond that continues without end. Godpa hasn't decided whether to keep the ashes or scatter them into the sea. I favour rejoining life giving great mother nature.

Godpa tells me Benji was an imported chinchilla, which meant he travelled by air from a distant country, likely USA, while still a baby. Even though he wasn't adopted like me, one wonders about the circumstances that bring two beings together. Some call it fate? Or is it a kind of love that brought godpa and uncle Leon to choose him from among other chins at the shop?

Chinchilla lovers will say Benji has crossed the rainbow bridge into raisin heaven. Is there a bone heaven for doggies too?

Is it a kind of dream,
Floating out on the tide,
Following the river of death downstream?
Oh, is it a dream?

There's a fog along the horizon,
A strange glow in the sky.
And nobody seems to know where you go.
And what does it mean?
Oh, is it a dream?

Bright eyes,
Burning like fire.
Bright eyes,
How can you close and fail?
How can the light that burned so brightly
Suddenly burn so pale?
Bright eyes.

Is it a kind of shadow,
Reaching into the night,
Wandering over the hills unseen?
Or is it a dream?

There's a high wind in the trees,
A cold sound in the air.
And nobody ever knows when you go.
And where do you start,
Oh, into the dark?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Birth, Death, Living

It's my birthday today and it also marks 10 months under godpa's care. It's supposed to be a happy occasion but I feel sad coz godpa's sad today. Benji died this afternoon after struggling with sudden heavy breathing. He's a pink white chinchilla who has been with godpa for about 8 years. He started losing weight recently but godpa thought it might have been due to warmer temperature or his old age. I wonder whether I took up more attention from godpa so he did not monitor the chins as closely as he used to.

He took some videos of Benji as he lay in the cage. It's painful to see Benji that way as he used to bully the younger and smaller Rocky. He looked fine a few days ago. Now his thick fur concealed the boney and weak body underneath. Godpa felt it might be Benji's last breaths, yet he held some hope as he saw his eyes were still opened.

Godpa left Benji, Rocky, and me at home and put on a brave front to fulfil an earlier commitment to bring his parents out. He wanted to let them enjoy the nice Javanese food that he discovered recently. After dinner he even bought some Benebac and Nutripet bearing the little hope that Benji could recover with a boost to his digestive system and energy level.

Could godpa have rushed Benji to the vet? I bet he could, but from past experiences of two deaths (both were named Rocky), he knew it would mean more suffering, especially at his age. He wanted to let him be in familiar and comfortable surroundings. I know godpa would do what's best for me too. Recently a visiting relative found a tiny black tick around my neck, might be a single occurence but godpa quickly armed me with some non-pesticide preventive spray and Frontline spot-on which he'll be applying on me tomorrow night since I just bathed today. We're keeping our fingers and paws crossed that there are no more ticks attacking me.

Life is weird, shall we dance while we can?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Holiday fatigue

Godpa has been keeping late nights, watching a Korean tv serial. I hear all the sounds of battle and magic in 太王四神記. According to godpa it's been an old set bought by uncle Leon and was collecting dust in the house. I don't get to see the video but the soundtrack is not bad. I much prefer to sleep even if it means slumping on godpa's foot.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Roast Ox?

Yeah! Godpa shared a tiny bit of roast duck and pork with me. As you can see patience pays off (I've been smelling the stuff since morning!). Godpa knows it's not very healthy stuff but it's just symbolic since I'm now a part of the family. Heck godpa's parents actually refer to themselves as my grandparents.
Will I get curry chicken tomorrow?

Happy Ox, Happy Dog

Shucks, year of the Dog was three years ago. By the time it comes round again I'll be an old bitch. This is probably going to be a major blog update before godpa spends the next few days watching DVDs. I hope he doesn't keep me cooped up at home. He did mention maybe a family outing to Sentosa to see the flower show :)

Good food seems to be a focus for tonight's celebration, the eve of Chinese New Year. Godpa waited an hour to collect roast duck and pork from a neighbourhood shop and the scent of curry spices wafted through the house this morning. It's a family reunion dinner so will I get a portion of the goodies?

In contrast to the Chinese fare, godpa indulged in some modern desserts and coffee with friends last night. One dish is called Devil-misu. It's a variation of traditional tiramisu. I can tell from its looks it probably tastes great too.

He also tried Summer of Pineapple. A bright and cheery looking dish. Yum, when can I try some?

Since it's a new year, godpa asked me to pose for more photos. I'm a little reluctant since I don't get to enjoy any goodies!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Me me me!

It's all about me! Yep, a photospread exclusive for a glam me.

Uncle Leon says I look cute with the new furdo but the photos were a bit rough in the last blog entry. Godpa explains that the roughness comes from noise and handshake which happens for low light photography without the right equipment. Whatever ... I'm sure photography skills add little to how good I look anyway.

Monday, January 19, 2009

After ...

Today is grooming day! This round I spent less time waiting for my turn but I was equally anxious because godpa changed to a new place. I think it's a good change because the place is a lot more spacious and somehow I didn't mind getting my nails cut so much. The yellow scarf with Chinese motifs is a rather nice touch for the coming Chinese New Year. I hope godpa can get me a rainbow coloured scarf the next time he travels.

The groomer said shaving my leg fur was rather difficult. I would like to keep it furry so it's nice for licking :)

It's been a tiring evening for me and I nearly dozed off in the car. Anyway godpa's going to be busy tomorrow so I can laze as much as I want to :)

Beautiful obstruction

We had a big family outing last Saturday to the Marina Barrage. It was everyone's first time there and I'm glad there's another dog friendly spot that I can stride into.

The place is big and beautiful with sweeping curves in its architecture. As it was a sunny afternoon, godpa carried me across the hot concrete areas. Everywhere there was sea water, though godpa says on one side of the barrage it is mostly fresh water.

There were many spots where we could see expansive views of the city skyline and waters, I wonder if the night view would be just as good or better.
There's grassy areas for picnics, and thankfully I had nothing to contribute towards fertilizing the soil.

The only places I couldn't get into were the eateries like the famous 7th Storey restaurant and the Sustainable Singapore Gallery. Uncle Leon says the gallery is nice and there were many interesting exhibits that are worth another visit to thoroughly view them.

As you can tell, I'd be happy to come here again. Now, when's that grooming godpa was telling me ...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Before ...

Godpa wanted to take some shots of me with the wild long fur look, before I go for grooming next Monday! He says we'll be trying a different groomer, also a lady. I guess godpa got a bit frustrated the past two times with the long wait. We could have spent fun times with each other rather than me stuck at the groomer's.

Today we had an unplanned visit to the dogrun. Yep, more socialization for me. I learnt that not all white JRTs are as fierce as the one from our estate. And that there are big fluffy dogs called Chow Chows that have weird purple coloured tongues.

Stay tuned for my new look in preparation for the Chinese New Year :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Just a walk in the park

Well, I'm "repaired" and the wound is healing well. Godpa brought me for a walk cum photo shoot around our house. The flowers make a nice background but I think my furry nose looks rather untidy and ruins it. Godpa thinks it's time to schedule grooming. Oh my. Can't I stick to a wild girl look?

We decided later to wander out a bit and here you can see a wide green space that's great for frolicking around. Unfortunately godpa thinks it's not safe enough to go off leash as some bigger dogs were seen here unleashed. He also wants to keep me clean so I don't dirty my wound. Well, it's back to our estate again.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Godpa bought me a new toy on a whim (hope he doesn't get any reprimand for that). I guess he wants me to play fetch with him at the dogrun so I could exercise more. I still prefer to run after him so that he gets to lose weight too :)

We went to the BPDR yesterday afternoon, it was a fruitful trip as the grounds were dry and I got to meet more unfamiliar dogs. I'm a lot more adventurous now, building up on the confidence since the Play for Paws event.

Godpa tries hard to introduce friends to me, he even made use of recall command (which he reserves for important occasions) to get me to meet this Cavalier King Charles boy. I think he's abusing his authority!

After getting home from the run, godpa noticed I had this small lump around my neck. He could not see it clearly and I didn't feel comfortable to let him examine it. So he took the opportunity during bath time to take a closer look. Some fur had clumped up but after rinsing he says it looked like there had been some dried pus around the lump. We got a bit worried there, was it an injury, a malignant tumour (cancer!), or the infamous Schnauzer bump (Schnauzer Comedone Syndrome)? Godpa did some reading up and thinks it's most likely some injury though he could not recall any incident of extreme dog sparring recently.

He took me to the vet the very next day. My last trip there was for removing stitches after the spay operation. I was obviously a bit nervious.

Dr. Tan was assisted by godpa and his dad who held me down while my fur was trimmed and cleaned to reveal a wound. Godpa says it looked reddish and was probably a recent wound, Dr. Tan agreed and it was also a good sign because it meant no major infection had set in. After dressing the wound, I received a quick injection on my butt, which was rather uneventful though godpa thought I might shriek or something. Things were settled very fast at the vet, and godpa reminded me it also quickly drained $150 off his wallet.

Godpa knows it's not my fault but anyway he's going to stop the dogrun visits for a week or two till my wound heals.

Should I rejoice or frown? Heck, just feed me well and I won't mind lazing around the house all day. Hmm, godpa found out exactly what his parents feed me at night (the fish gets de-boned). They think I'm a cat? Ok, I do sound like one when I whine. Meeow!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

i-Clean intelligent hand cleaner

  • Automatic activation by movement and odour of hand
  • Smart technology to monitor hand cleanliness which dynamically tunes cleaning intensity
  • Safety cut-off once the advanced intelligence detects overt utilisation
Operating instructions:
  • Place your hand under the i-Clean to activate the smart cleaning system
  • Once activated, it will stop cleaning once the hand is clean
  • Ruffle the touch sensitive top of the i-Clean if further cleaning is desired
  • Flip hand over to activate cleaning of other side
  • Do not use i-Clean for extended periods of time as it may lead to obsession with cleanliness

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Play for paws

Oh yes, we did go to the Play for Paws charity event to support Action for Singapore Dogs. It was our first time visiting West Coast Park. Though the park looked nice, we saw doggy poop lying on the walking path and owners unleashing their dogs outside the dogrun. Godpa put me under command mode so that things went smoothly and I remained positive throughout the excursion.

Within the dogrun, we finally got a sense of how big the place is. Much bigger than the Bishan Park dogrun and the Pet Mover's dogrun at Pasir Ris. There were many more dogs than I'd ever encountered before but the big space and noisy crowd of humans somehow put me at ease.

Overcoming shyness was not that difficult with warm welcomes.

I love to mix with the crowd and received much attention from the folks there. We also met Dodo, Momo, and their family. Godpa noticed how my tail wagged happily sometimes, which he's not seen me do while in dogruns.

I sometimes hear applause and that grabs my attention coz I think I'm the star attraction. You see me running to and fro like a busy social butterfly.

It was a fruitful day of socialising for me, and for godpa he bought some nice mementos to support ASD. Soon after the event, I was bathed and received my first nail cut from godpa. He's such a sly guy, choosing to cut my nails when I'm most vulnerable in the bathroom! But I suppose it's better that way than for godpa to end up with scratches all over him.

Till next time, zzzZzzZZZ ...


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