Don’t Worry, Be Happy

June 3, 2012 § 22 Comments

Butterflies were fluttering in my tummy as we headed for our last Good Canine Citizen class. This particular class was to be different from the ones before it. After 8 weeks of training, it was time to put all our hardwork to the test. Both MM and I were hopeful that Lil’ Miss Maple would do her best after seeing how well she had adapted to learning the commands and befriending some of her canine classmates. So, when it was our turn to take the stage, we mustered up our nerves and went for it. There were times when I thought, “Oh, boy. I hope the examiner didn’t take notice of that slight deviance…” But, all in all, Miss Maple did pretty well. For the first part, that is!

The second part was a group test. And this was when it got to be a little much for the furball. The canine students were lined up in a row for a 30-second “Down-Stay”. Miss Maple was sandwiched between two of her bigger canine peers, and I think that made her feel slightly uncomfortable. About 15-seconds into the test, Miss Maple broke from her position and gingerly walked towards me. Oops. Well, that seemingly innocent move led to an automatic F-A-I-L. We didn’t bring home a ribbon that day, but we stayed on to soak in the joy and excitement of Miss Maple’s classmates who passed the exam with flying colours. Congratulations to the graduates! Here are a few of their beaming smiles :D

Although we completed the Good Canine Citizen Course sans ribbon, we tried not to let that get us down with worrying thoughts. After all, our little munchkin tried her very best to make us proud. We’re more than happy with Miss Maple’s progress and, even though the course has ended, we’ll definitely continue brushing up on her Good Canine Citizen skills. So, to reward ourselves (and to celebrate Miss Maple’s belated 2nd birthday) we headed out for some fun in the park!

If there’s one thing that can lift Miss Maple’s spirits, it would be a ball—baseball, basketball, soccer ball, tennis ball… you name it, she’ll play with it! First up, the soccer ball.

What do you think? Does Miss Maple stand a chance to play in the 2014 FIFA World Cup? Watch out David Beckham… here comes Lil’ Miss Beckham!

Next up, the tennis ball. Miss Maple is frighteningly obsessed with this itty bitty bouncy thing. In fact, I dare say that her affection for the tennis ball far outweighs her addiction to liver treats!

As we were playing, a couple arrived at the park with their two furkids in tow. It took no time at all for Miss Maple to initiate greetings with a bark. We were introduced to ‘Girl’ (a very sociable Shih Tzu mix) and ‘Honey’ (a spunky little Chihuahua). It took a little longer for Miss Maple to warm up (she often requires a slow start) but, soon enough, the trio became friendly acquaintances. Here’s a cheerful video that we’ve pieced together as a thank you to Girl and Honey for reminding us to not worry (about the past) and be happy (about the present)!

I think this is one belated birthday adventure that Miss Maple will remember for a long time to come. Just look at the furball’s sand-caked paw. I think the picture says it all. Happy Birthday, Lil’ Miss Maple!

First Day Of School

April 15, 2012 § 10 Comments

Lil’ Miss Maple was dressed to impress for her first day of school. And what does she hope to accomplish by the end of the 8-week Good Canine Citizen Course (GCCC)? Why, to be the teacher’s pet, of course! ;)

Miss Maple was, therefore, utterly embarrassed when we arrived at the wrong location and had to make a detour which cost us all to be late for class. When we eventually managed to scramble our way to the destination, we saw everyone seated and patiently waiting for the latecomer… Miss Maple. Poor furball—this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind when she envisioned herself strutting into class on time.

Maple and I sheepishly made our way to the backbench. As I settled into my seat and listened intently to the instructor, Miss Maple’s attention veered off. Ok, it looks like I’ll be the one taking notes for the both of us!

Well, at least Maple wasn’t the only one daydreaming in class…

Other canines were clearly focusing elsewhere, like Simba who had a ready smile for our camera (lol).

Half way through the lesson, some of the students got a little restless. Their commotion caused a  four-legged bystander to stop and investigate the scene. After concluding that he/she already possessed the traits of a good canine citizen, the onlooker bid farewell to the group with a chuckle.

By this time, I could sense the onset of boredom creeping up to Miss Maple. She was no longer interested in what was happening up front. Sitting at the back of the class meant that she could hide from the gaze of the instructor, and so Maple decided to relentlessly beckon MM (who was holding onto the camera) with super cute poses. At home, Maple would never invite us to take photos of her so openly! 

When we were dismissed from class, some of the dogsters immediately went for a water break. Good thing, too, because it was a rather warm day. 

Others took the opportunity to gossip…

All in all, it was an intimate gathering and a diverse group of participants. Each one of us joined the GCCC for a variety of reasons, but I think it is the commitment to our dogs we share as owners that will bind us and encourage understanding and empathy. In a way, I suppose this course will serve to be more a support group for the humans than the canines (lol).

We have some homework to complete, which we’ll get started on pronto. We hope to make it up for our tardiness by acing our assignment and having a good performance next week! ;)

Playing With The Big Boys

November 19, 2011 § 22 Comments

For as long as Miss Maple has been with us (almost coming to one year), we have known her to be rather timid and skittish around large dogs. But, today’s outing to the West Coast Park dog run had us in for a real surprise—our little tyke befriended two very BIG handsome fellas named Oscar, the Husky, and Xavier, the Goldie. Of course, it also helped that Oscar and Xavier were really easy-going guys with a penchant for mighty small dogs like our Miss Maple. Here are some fun photos of our day out!

The Tails are Wagging at District 10

May 7, 2011 § 33 Comments

Last weekend, our little pack of three attended an event organized by PETS Magazine in which Dr Teo, guest speaker and veterinarian, spoke on the topic of “Human Food For Dogs: What’s Good and What’s Not”. The talk was held at District 10 Bistro Wine Bar, located in the depths of Windstedt Road off of Bukit Timah Road. It was our first time checking out District 10 and we were pleasantly surprised to learn of this dog-friendly eatery. 

While we had the best of intentions to listen closely to what Dr Teo had to share about human food for dogs, we were too easily distracted by the many wagging tails on site. I had in mind to take notes so that I could highlight and blog about the key points, but my plan failed. In the end, all I could recall from the talk was that the pits (or stones) of peaches, plums, apricots, and the like are harmful to dogs. My apologies for the disappointment to those of you who already know this. Hopefully I can make it up to you with some pictures of the cute canines we bumped into at District 10.  ;)

A real charmer…

Strike a pose…

Puppy love…

Goldies, Goldies everywhere…

A perfect fit for one…

Or two…

The biggest teddy bear there…

It was unfortunate we couldn’t stay for the whole event and had to make an early exit but, before leaving the venue, we took Maple on a short stroll of the grounds. Here she is—all tongue and smiles.

As if two guard elephants aren’t enough…

Finally, we leave you with this picture of the ‘Flying Maple’. We hope it brings a smile to your weekend. Have a great Saturday—see you at the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop (it’ll be our first time participating)! 

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New Kid on the Block

March 28, 2011 § 16 Comments

We were in an adventurous mood this weekend and decided to explore a different part of the island called Bishan. Centrally located in Singapore, Bishan is famously known for: having an award-winning designed community library; attracting foodies to the Upper Thomson Road shophouse eateries; and boasting one of the island’s largest neighbourhood parks with a coverage of 52 hectares (128 acres).

What drew us to Bishan was, of course, the dog run in the park. It was nice, for a change, to try out a different dog run even though we felt like new kids on the block (coming from the West of Singapore). Maple had a slow start at making new friends here, as did some other newbies. It was a sniff fest with each dog apprehensively investigating one another.

After some time, tensions eased and the furry ones began to let loose their inhabitual need to chase (or, in Maple’s case, to be chased). Fortunately for Maple, we were situated in the small dogs enclosure so she didn’t have to worry too much about getting into any potential mishaps with enthusiastically playful big dogs.

The big dogs get to enjoy their own designated free run area, which offers a much more generous green open space and is beautifully landscaped with a mangrove tree as a focal point (or, more accurately, a territorial marker). 

What I like about the Bishan Park Dog Run is the park-like ambience. Despite being surrounded by high-rise housing, you get the feeling of being submerged in a green oasis—it was, indeed, that peaceful. The family-friendly atmosphere provided a wonderful opportunity for children to bond with their family companions in a safe environment and, likewise, for the dogsters to interact with the little ones.

The dog run at Bishan Park is a relatively new installment, so the fencing, lighting, benches, and equipment are all in fairly good condition. My only gripe would be the gravel paths, which make it a little discomforting to walk on with sandals. You may want to wear covered shoes if you decide to visit!  

Given the limited amount of room in the small dogs enclosure, we probably won’t be returning to the Bishan Park Dog Run on a regular basis for Maple’s free run exercise. We will, however, drop by occasionally for Maple to meet and interact with new doggie pals—I think that’s what most of the folks we met that day had in mind, too.

Until then, we have this public service announcement to make:

To the four-legged owner who lost his/her pink tennis ball at the West Coast Park Dog Run on March 13th, please know that Maple is keeping your toy safe under her guard. We would love to return it to you, so please drop us a line. In the meantime, would it be alright if Maple continues to take the pink tennis ball out for a play at the dog runs? Who knows, maybe we might just bump into you!

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