Friday, August 18, 2006

Kendra The Guide Dog

Singapore welcomed her first guide dog in its history! Please say "Hi" and give my new friend, Kendra the labrador retriever, a very warm welcome! I'm extremely impressed by Kendra. She had her overseas training in the USA and I am sure her new owner, Mr. Kua, loves her very much! By the way, Kendra is a special guide dog for the visually impaired folks like Mr. Kua. I am sure he must be very proud of her too! Kendra is considered as a 'working dog' as she has to follow him everywhere he goes. Kendra becomes Mr. Kua's pair of eyes and she actually acts as his guide. She can't hold his hand because she's not as tall as him and she can't grasp his hands with her paws, so Mr. Kua holds Kendra via a harness and Kendra guides him safely through the crowds, through traffic and through all sorts of obstacles. Wow! She is one smart doggie indeed! And a very brave one too!

I want to be a guide dog too, but I would have to leave home and be away from Sharon and Jules and I can't bear with that! I am sure they won't want me to leave home too! Also, this article here states that guide dogs are trained to resist FOOD!!! Jules think I won't make it pass that test as I'd go ballistic the minute I smell food! You should see me when he comes home with bags of grocery shopping. I'd run round the bags, sniff and poke my head into the bags to see what he has inside! Sometimes, I'd succeed in running off with a piece of roasted chicken that he buys from the supermarket counter! Poor Jules has a hard time chasing me round the house and wrestling me to get back his precious piece of chicken dinner! I can't help it; it's an instinct and I guess being a stray doggie in the past, I still have this 'food for survival' instinct in me.

Sharon also mentioned that guide doggies are trained to be calm, to maintain their composure at all times and that they are trained to ignore the distractions of other people. Now, I am sure I would fail that test as I love people too much and I love making new friends! I love giving guests to our home 'million-dollar welcomes'! I'd jump on my two hind legs as high as I can so that I can reach their lips and kiss them! It scares some people off, but most people find it amusing and they love it! If I was a guide dog and out on the street, I'd run amok and try to kiss the lips of everyone I meet! Now, that would definitely spell disaster, chaos and mayhem for the visually impaired person that I am supposed to be guiding! Can't help it; Brown Monster here represents LOVE with a capital "L".

So, I guess a full-time career as a guide dog for the visually impaired is totally out of question. Sharon and Jules think that I am more suitable being a guard dog for the home than a guide dog! So, I'll stick to my day job as full-time K9 security manager. The benefits are excellent. I get food, boarding and most crucially of all, I get lots of LOVE!!


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Focus On Kara

I always get upset when I read or witness acts of cruelty towards animals. It makes me cry sometimes. But recently, an article warmed my heart and made me smile again. Please read the article on Kara, my very special doggie friend. She was left with fatal injuries by a road accident years ago, leaving her paralysed. Poor Kara suffers from urine/ bowel incontinence and she has to wear a diaper as her hind legs don't function anymore. Thank God for the wonderful souls at ASD (Action For Singapore Dogs) as they not only managed to rescue her and take her to a vet, but they also got her adopted!

Kara's owner, Ms. Felicia Choo, is really a maganimous human being with a heart of gold and she loves Kara unconditionally despite Kara's disabilities. It is people like Ms. Choo that keeps doggies like us going and it is people like her who gives us hope that there are still good people around and that has kept our faith in humankind intact. There was a point of time (as a battered stray) when I had lost all hope in humans. Sharon restored my faith back in humankind. I think Kara must be feeling the same way about her owner too! God bless Kara and Ms. Choo! God bless Sharon too!!


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene. It is very important, I think. Well, actually I think it is very important because I see Sharon and Jules brushing and flossing their teeth every morning when they wake up and each night before they go to bed.

I used to think that they were eating and licking some creamy foam off the toothbrush and I used to wait at the toilet door; thinking that it was a treat for me. It was only when they had spat out the foam and rinsed their mouths (after seeing it for a few times) did it sink into my doggie mind that they were not consuming that tube of 'thick, white cream'.

I tried to play with their toothbrushes while they went to work but I was not able to grasp hold of them with my paws. Sharon has a battery-operated version and the first time I switched it on, I had a rude shock as it made my entire head vibrate and I had a nasty headache for the entire day. Boy, I wonder how Sharon bears with it; it must be really painful for her! Then, I tried flossing my teeth but that did not work either as I had floss all over the counter, over my paws and all around the floor! I made an entire mess and I had to clean up before they came home!

Then, Karen saw a doggie 'toothbrush' that day at the pet shop. She decided to get it for me. Besides that, she also got me a tube of doggie toothpaste (the brand is St Francis; named after my favourite saint!). The toothpaste happens to be cinnamon-flavoured...yukk! I wished that they had beef, chicken or lamb flavoured toothpaste! That would be yummy!

Anyway, I had my first experience of tooth-brushing the other day. Jules said that I had 'garbage breath' and he said that it was time for me to get my teeth cleaned. So, Karen did the honours and it wasn't a very pleasant experience, but hey, I had beautiful pearlies that shone like ivory after that! So, it was worth the hassle after all! And Jules said that I smelled of cinnamon after that! Sharon said that she loved my new fresh and minty breath! Well, I rewarded Karen with lots of doggie kisses!


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