When Sharon first took me in as a pregnant stray, she was clueless and did not know what to do with me. (Sharon has never kept any dogs before I came into her life). Someone told her about this non-profit organisation called Action For Singapore Dogs (ASD). Sharon contacted the ASD and this wonderful guy called Ricky gave Sharon advice and tips on how to care for me. He even managed to find me a vet for my sterilisation and he also played a significant role in the adoption of my pups ! In my humble opinion, Ricky and his team at the ASD are heroes and saints to strays like us! They worked so hard, go all the way out and try their very best to find homes for the poor strays like me. Some of the lucky ones do find good homes; others who have been abused or are seriously malnourished do not make it and they go pass the lush green meadows, clear blue streams and over the rainbow to Doggie Heaven instead. Sometimes, when I think of what my life would have been like (if not for kind people like Sharon and Ricky), I weep with a heavy heart. I am really so fortunate! As a tribute to Sharon, to all the wonderful people at ASD and to all those compassionate people who adopted a stray, I want to say "Thank you for all your love and hard work" (on behalf of all the adopted strays). Please visit the Action For Singapore Dogs webpage (www.asdsingapore.com) and tell your friends about it. Adopt a stray. It might take a lot of time and energy to keep a dog and to be a responsible pet owner, but believe me, the rewards are great; for the love, companionship and loyalty that we give you unconditionally are unparalleled, unsurpassed and out-of-this-world.
Thursday, June 30, 2005
There is a famous prayer that can be found on the Net and the kind poet (God bless him/ her!) dedicated this poem to all the strays out there. It goes like this:
"PRAYER OF A STRAY"
Dear God please send me somebody who'll care!
I'm tired of running, I'm sick with despair
My body is aching, it's so racked with pain
And Dear God I pray as I run in the rain
"That someone will love me and give me a home.
A warm cozy bed I can call my own.
My last owner neglected me and chased me away
To rummage in garbage and live as a stray.
But now God I'm tired and hungry and cold.
And I'm afraid that I'll never grow old,
They've chased we with sticks and hit me with stones
While I run in the streets just looking for bones!
I'm not really bad God, please help if you can.
For I have become just a "VICTIM OF MAN!"
I'm wormy Dear God and I'm ridden with fleas and
All that I want is an owner to please!
If you find one for me God, I'll try to be good
I won't run away and I'll do as I should.
I don't think I'll make it to long on my own.
Cause I'm getting so weak and I'm so all alone.
Each night as I sleep in the bushes I cry,
Cause I'm so afraid God, that I'm gonna die!
And I've got so much love and devotion to give,
That I should be given a chance to live.
So Dear God PLEASE, PLEASE answer my prayer
and send me somebody who WILL really care...
Potassium. Everyone needs it (even dogs). So that's one good reason to eat bananas. But why? Just what does potassium do for us? We need potassium for healthy muscular function, it keeps our bodily fluids in balance and it regulates blood pressure (thus making me a very happy and healthy dog). Potassium also reduces the risk of hypertension and stroke. Humans need about 2,000 to 3,500 mg a day. I think doggies need a smaller amount than that. Anyway, I try to eat 5 servings of fruit a day (I am not fond of veggies unless they come with my Cesar dog food) and the added benefit that I get from eating bananas is that I get hand-fed! Yes! I tried to peel the skin off the banana but my paws ended up mashing the banana instead, so that's royal treatment for me! Other sources of potassium-rich foods include potatoes, cantaloupes, beans, greens, plums and oranges. Lastly, potassium is water-soluble, so instead of boiling, try steaming instead. (Steamed bananas? I can't imagine!!) Anyway, a healthy doggie like me eats my fruit raw without cooking and since I get hand-fed, I am not complaining!
I managed to dig out some of my old photos yesterday and here's my precious black leather beanbag that I stole from Mummy. It's high quality calfskin leather, not the cheapo PVC sort. Unfortunately, as I've been using it as a trampoline to jump on as part of my fitness routine, part of the seams have come apart and some of the mini styrofoam balls (the fillings) have leaked out. I ate some of the styrofoam and Daddy got worried, so he got me a pillow and a bolster and tried to coax me to sleep human-style. It was a refreshing change but I went back to the beanbag again as I like jumping on it after running around the house like a racehorse. It's like doing the long jump after the 100m in the Olympics.
As a stray, I used to look for shelter from the elements and from people. I'd sleep under trees, beside bushes, at quiet corridors, void decks, etc....but all that has changed since Sharon took me home. First, she gave me a nice plastic tub (see my "Before & After" pictures). Then, I stole Mummy's leather beanbag! I'd race her to the room and before she can sit on it, I'd pounce on it and make it mine! Haha! I would refuse to move! In the end, Mummy gave it to me and it was my bed for a while. That was until recently when I moved to Sharon's and Jules' new house and I learnt that they had a huge bed. One day, when no one was at home, I climbed up and slept on it! Wow! It was so comfortable, I slept like a newborn pup!
One day, Jules came home from a hard day's work and he was dog tired. The first thing he did was to flop onto bed to get some sleep. He saw me on the bed but lacked the energy to brush me off the bed. I also gave him a sad and pitiful look, so I guess he did not have the heart to push me off the bed. It's a little squeezy sometimes but I like stretching out and it's so comfy! I saw a sports programme on TV that day about yoga and the ladies were stretching themselves like rubber! So, while I am sleeping, I am also exercising myself by doing yoga (a new form of yoga perfected by me called Snooze & Slumber Yoga For Canines) while I stretch out on all fours. Who says that you cannot lose weight and keep fit by sleeping? No wonder they call it "beauty sleep"! This time next year, I will have such toned muscles and beautiful long limbs!
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
I heard that Sharon and Jules are planning to hold their wedding next year in a lovely church! (They went through a civil marriage, but they would still like to have the religious ceremony and God's Blessings). I hope that if I put on my best behaviour, the priest would allow me to witness the ceremony. And if it is not too much to ask for, perhaps I could be their ringbearer! Yes!! I would carry their wedding rings round my collar!! In the meantime, I would have to lose a little bit of weight so that I would look great when I pose for the family potrait...if that does not happen, I hope that Jules will carry me instead...hee hee...
Karen was fiddling around with my whiskers that day. She does that when she cleans my teeth (with cinnamon-flavoured canine toothpaste...yukks!). She got so excited, started gesturing wildly to Sharon and I was wondering what the fuss was all about....turns out that I am a year older and I have a white whisker! Boo hoo!! I wanted to ask Karen to dye my single white whisker to its original beautiful ebony shade but it turns out that they do not sell doggie dye out there at the pharmacists or pet shops. Perhaps someone smart should invent a doggie or kittie dye for image-conscious pets like me. It will be a lucrative business, trust me! We may grow older (like everyone else), but we also want to look out best (like everyone else). I was so upset about my white whisker, I sulked the whole day and refused to eat. Jules thought that I was sick when he failed to cheer me up (usually, all he has to do is shake the snack bottle and all my worries will go away)! Sharon was thinking of taking me to the vet (I have not been there in ages). Then, Karen hinted that I was a year older and that a nice birthday party in my new house would certainly cheer me up! Well, she read my thoughts and as soon as I saw the lovely cake with the number "3" on it, all woes about the white whisker vanished into thin air!! I guess age is just a number....with a loving family around me and with the kind of love that I get; what is one white whisker?? ;-) Oh, I tried to blow the candles this year and failed again (Karen did it for me). In the process, I ended up singeing more whiskers! Gotta get whisker implants!!!
(PS: My birthday wish this year was for all the poor abandoned doggies at the SPCA to be adopted into good homes. I made a wish for the strays last time; this time it would be for the sad, abandoned canines. Please don't abandon your pets: they may just be another dog/ cat/ hamster/ kangaroo/ horse/ king cobra/ zebra to you, but to them, you are their world and their everything).
Monday, June 27, 2005
Sharon and Jules tied the knot in Dec 2004. What a pity the Registry of Marriages does not allow doggies to be present to witness their master's wedding! But I did say a special prayer for the both of them and I wished them lots of love and happiness together! We did not have a X'mas party for me this year as Sharon and Jules were so busy trying to renovate their new house, buying furniture, etc...it was OK for me as I'm an extremely understanding doggie and so long as I get my TLC, it's fine with me. I moved to my new home in Feb 2005 and even though I was not used to it at first (I missed Daddy and Mummy a lot! I also missed scaring the garbage collectors and barking at the cats and birds!), I managed to adapt and settle in quicker than everyone had expected. It's on the 5th floor and it took me a while to get used to heights, but I get a great view of the outside world from the living room window and now, I bark at cabbies when they drop their passengers off. There is also a small little hill nearby and when Jules takes me out for my walks, we will race each other up the hill! (I usually win as I have 4 legs!) Karen comes to visit me very often and I always give her my famous 'million-dollar welcome' when she does so!
If you go back to my X'mas photos, there's a very cool-looking one of me trying hard to look like one of Santa's reindeers (the one with the furry brown antlers). Karen sent that picture to the Cesar webpage and I was chosen to be their covergirl online as their "December Dog of the Month"! I am really so lucky!! 2 attempts at contests and both times, I won something! This time, I received a HUGE hamper from Cesar consisting of a dog bowl, a placemat, a huge plastic spoon and 18 packs of Cesar! Yummy! I love Cesar! It's my favourite cos' there are so many delicious flavours to choose from and they even have veggies in it! When Karen went to collect my prize for me, the nice lady at Cesar's told Karen that I looked fabulous! She's so nice; if I ever get to meet her, I will be on my best behaviour and I will shake paws with her and tell her "Thank You". Who knows? She may be so impressed with my good manners, she may even consider hiring me as their in-house model and as the new face of Cesar!
Karen, Sharon and Jules (Sharon's fiancee then, now husband) brought me to church for my 2nd Animal Blessing for the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi. Wow! There were so many animals this year, there was hardly any space to move around! I ended up standing next to a horrible shar-pei who looked like a giant squid. He was such a slob and had such yukky manners. He was breathing so hard, he sounded like a noisy car engine and it really annoyed me. I growled at him and showed him my teeth, just to scare him. The coward got so scared, he puked (Haha!) and before I could even laugh, he ate up all of his puke (Yukk!!)...how disgusting! Anyway, my favourite priest, Fr. John, is now in England and he could not do the blessing this year. So, Fr. Clifford did it instead. But he did such a bad job as he was so disorganised and he did not go to all the pets in an organised manner. He almost missed me but luckily, Jules carried me and ran after Fr. Clifford to get my blessing! After the blessing, Karen took a photo of Sharon, Jules and me! We look great together, don't we? Jules is now my special friend cos' he's so nice to me! He takes me out for walks, plays wrestling with me and he even lets me sleep next to him in bed!
Time flies!! So much has been going on in my doggie life these days! I had been busy barking at cats and birds, chasing the workers outside the yard, scaring the naughty kids outside, biting the leaves of Sharon's plants, etc... :-) I had been so busy with my canine activities, I had lost track of time! When I saw Karen making me a cake out of dog food, I was so excited and I figured out that it must be my birthday! Well, when I saw the figure "2", I knew that I was right! (I had taught myself to read numbers, so that I would know my actual age). As always, it was a yummy cake! (I wished that I had a 3-tier cake though but I am on the South Beach Diet for now, so I had to keep my portions small...). Happy Birthday to Me.....
It seems that humans live in a very complicated world! They have to learn to write and read stuff like letters, books, documents, newpapers, etc... I saw Sharon signing on some papers that night and she looked like a wise professor with her pen! I want to learn how to write too! I tried to use a pen one day when no one was around and I found out that doggies like me cannot use pens with our paws. Anyway, I found an ink pad and I walked on it. Then, I discovered that I could sign my name too!! Yippee! I got so excited I was leaving my paw prints on all the papers I could find around the house (including Daddy's TV page)! But I left the walls alone as Mummy would murder me if I messed up her nice and clean walls! Here's my paw print. If I ever become a celebrity dog, this would be my canine autograph!
I heard Sharon and Karen talking about X'mas. I did not know what it was about but I figured out that it was about going to church for a very special Mass to celebrate Jesus' birthday and there would be a very fat old man in a red suit (I think they call him Santa) who would give out presents. I have been a very good doggie all year round and I was wondering if Santa would give me some nice doggie gifts...I learnt that Santa has pets too! But they are called reindeers. I wonder if Santa has any doggies at his home...perhaps I could make friends with his dog, if he has one!
Anyway, I was very busy on X'mas Day! I had to dress up as a reindeer and as Santa. My job was to go around the house to give presents to everyone! Boy, it was tiring as I did not have a sleigh or any reindeers to help me to carry my gifts! Now I know what kind of a job Santa has! No wonder he only works once a year! Anyway, everyone at home was so happy that I did an excellent job and as a reward, I had my special doggie Christmas cake (made by Karen)! I was so exhausted after a hard day's work, I fell asleep and forgot to remove my Santa hat.
No one knows exactly when I was born or how old I am. The vet told Sharon and Karen my approximate age and when they counted the months backwards, they discovered that I was born in the month of June around 2002. And since Karen dotes on me, I will have the honour of celebrating my birthday with her (she is also born in June, but is a great deal older than me!). I was thrilled! I've never had a birthday cake before in my life! Karen skilfully made me a 'cake' out of dog food and dog biscuits. There was also a candle and they sang me a birthday song. I could not wait for the song to end as I was drooling! Anyway, there was no need to cut the cake since it was all for ME!! Yummy! I also got many presents: toys, snacks and a new collar!
I received my first blessings at church on 4th Oct 2003! It was also the Feast Day of St Francis (my patron saint for doggies and all animals). Sharon and Karen took me to church and I was so lucky as I was the first one to get blessed!
I was really scared of Fr. John at first. He was so tall and when when he walked towards me with the wand-like object filled with (holy) water, my instincts got the better of me and I started to run away! But as I was on a leash, I could not go far. Everyone found it funny and they started laughing; even Fr. John! Anyway, Karen carried me in her arms and I received my blessings. It was not that scary after all! Fr. John said a nice prayer for me and he's got such a nice and gentle voice. I am sure God and St Francis would be looking out for me and that they would take good care of me.
After the blessing, Karen and Sharon introduced me to Fr. John. I did not know how to say "Hello" in human language, so I started to lick his fingers as a sign of friendship. He was so kind and sweet! He stroked and patted me and he even said that I was a 'good girl'! Wow, that made me so happy! I was also fascinated with his beautifully tailored habit and stole; I kept looking at it while he was patting me. I hope that someday, Fr. John will come to visit me at home! I will show him all my toys and snacks and of course, I will also show him that I can sit, lie down, shake paws and do lots of tricks. I am sure he will say that I am a very smart doggie! Here are the photos of that special day of my life. I hope everyone likes it.
Karen saw this contest in the Straits Times in late Sept 2004. The theme was about capturing pets in funny poses. She sent this photo in and on World Animal Day (4th Oct 2003), I found out that I had won a prize! Everyone was elated and I was given extra TLC and special VIP treatment! I had won a $100 voucher to use at the pet shop! Yippee!!!
Since World Animal Day coincided with the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi (who is the patron saint of the environment and animals), Sharon and Karen took me to church for a special blessing just for animals. I was so excited to see so many of my furry doggie friends! There were also some cats, but I did not interact with them as I am not too fond of them. A boy brought a parrot and it made me hungry for a while as it looked a little bit like the nice spring chicken that Mummy makes for me. But since I was getting my special blessing, I had to behave. More details on that next time when I post my next blog.
Just to let you have an idea of how different I look now! That's me before (skeletal) and after (well-fed). I think I look better now, but for health reasons, I think Sharon has to put me either on the Atkins Diet or on a low-calorie diet. Either that, or she has to take me for hour-long walks.
The vet put a 'lampshade' (proper term: Elizabethan Collar) around my neck after sterilisation. It was rather painful and I bled a little at the wounds. I wanted to scratch and bite the stitches but the 'lampshade' prevented me from doing so. I hated it. It was so annoying and it got into the way while I was eating. When I bumped into furniture, it made quite a lot of noise and I think it irritated everyone at home a little. :-)
I also rested a lot after the operation. You can see how skinny I was then. All skin and bones and 4 tiny stilt-like legs.
Here's one of the few photos that Sharon took me when I was pregnant and when I was resting at her doorstep. I was not her pet dog yet at that time, but I used to walk her to the bus-stop every morning when she went to work. I did it for a week or so and I guess by then, my gesture touched her so much that she decided to adopt me. It pays to be a good doggie!
These are the only pictures I have of my puppies. I gave birth in Feb 2003 to seven beautiful pups (2 brown and 5 black). Unfortunately, due to my malnourished condition during pregnancy, 2 of my babies died soon after birth (1 black and 1 brown). I was extremely devastated but life had to go on and I was glad that the rest were healthy. All of my babies were soon adopted to good homes. Sharon got me sterilised and I was on the road to recovery.
That's a photo of me after my sterilisation (in 2003). I was all skin and bones then...really skinny! Oh, I forgot to tell you this: I was actually a pregnant stray. One day, it was rainy and cold, I was starving and shivering. I had not eaten for days and I was so scared as people would always chase me away when I went to beg for food. Some would throw stones at me and another mean guy even tried to beat me with a stick when I was rummaging for some scraps at a trash can.
I got so scared, I ran and ran and ran as fast as my tired and sore legs would carry me. Then, I saw this staircase landing between 2 flats. I decided to take shelter there for a while and to rest my tired legs. It is no laughing matter running for your life when you are heavily pregnant and malnourished. I really felt like a refugee with nowhere to go. I was crying and resting when one of the doors opened. The lady had a small white chihuahua and I think she took pity on me when she saw my huge belly. She was so kind. She gave me some food and water to drink. I was overjoyed!!!
After eating, I slept there for the whole day till it was night time. I was awoken by some footsteps. I woke up, was scared and was about to run away when I saw my future master, Sharon! She was so kind and compassionate. She patted me and said kind words to me. This was my first contact of human love! I had never felt loved by any humans before till Sharon patted me. I was so happy, I made up my mind that if I were to see her again, I would follow her whenever she would go and whenever my tired legs would take me. I slept at her doorstep and I had the best dream in ages! I dreamt that Sharon took me into her home and gave me lots of love. When I woke up, it was dawn and I prayed that my wish would come true. I told God that if He made Sharon my master, I would be the best doggie in the world and I would bring a lot of happiness to her! I had no coin to toss into the puddle of water, so I crossed my paws instead.
Woof! Hello to everyone out there! My name is Brownie. Everyone calls me Brown Monster (for being a greedy girl), Brownie Roo (I look like a kangaroo when I stand on my hind legs) or Brown Brown (no need for explanation). I am writing this blog to share the story of my life to everyone out there. And I have a small little message too: Please be kind to animals, especially to strays as I was once homeless with no love and no family. But, because of my master (Sharon) who gave me a good home, everything changed! Now, I not only have a lovely home, I also have a loving extended family (my human cousin's, uncles, aunts, etc...) a special friend (Sharon's hubby, Jules) and a best friend (Sharon's cousin, Karen)! Aren't I lucky? Karen thinks that I am the BEST DOGGIE IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD and she gives me lots of TLC and pampering! A recent example of which was my birthday a few weeks ago. (Actually, no one knows when I was born or how old I am, but we decided to celebrate with Karen since she loves me so much). Here's a picture of me and my loving family...Daddy gave me a card (my 1st card!!) and some doggie snacks wrapped in a beautiful wrapper. Karen baked the muffins and I managed to eat one...hee hee! Hope everyone likes the painted family potrait! It was painted by a very talented artist who is extremely shy and wishes to remain anonymous! If her works get exhibited at the local museum, I will reveal the secret identity of this budding talent!
As the weeks go by, I will share more of my life story and post more photos. Everyone can read about my rags-to-riches story (or stray dog to star doggie tale). In the meantime, I hope that everyone likes my birthday picture. (PS: As I blew my candles and made my birthday wish, I wished for all the stray doggies out there to be able to find a good home).