25 December 2012

15 December 2012

{taken advantage of}

Mom took advantage of me as I tried to get some beauty sleep today.
I am not amused.

11 December 2012

{ive been found out}

a big thunderstorm started as mom was coming home so she thought she'd trick me.
when she got home she stood downstairs to listen for my barking.
nothing but thunder.
she came up the elevator and stood outside the door.
again, nothing but thunder.
she comes in the house... i come out of the kitchen and then start barking. :)
and now i won't stop.
i think im driving her bonkers.

07 December 2012

{dog day friday}

One of moms bosses is visiting from the new york office.
She wanted to meet me so mom brought me in for the afternoon. I haven't had a dog day Friday since Seattle! It's exhausting!

29 November 2012

{a rare walk}

passed more people who wanted to say hi to me than people who were scared of me!
one couple even petted me!
that doesn't happen very often here.

28 November 2012

{snug as a bug...}

... in a fleece blanket.
good night!
sleep tight
don't let the bed bugs bite!

{holy thunder}

thunder in singapore is the scariest thing ever.
even more scary than little yappy dogs and street cats.
the biggest thunders (like the ones happening right now) sound like bombs going off... or at least that's what mom says.
i hate it.
the thundershirt works a little.
mom thinks covering my ears and making earmuffs helps.
she even tried to make "thundermuffs" with her seattle sounders scarf so she wouldnt have to sit there and cover my ears the whole time.
i look pretty silly huh?
well tonight dad gave me a bone during the thunderstorm as a good distraction.
it worked for a bit... til i finished the bone and then i just went right back to barking.
fooled them.
next time they should get me a bigger bone! :)

26 September 2012

{26sept2012: relentlessly huge hole}

Our hearts are so heavy after learning that our friend Mango has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. The Mango Momma had to make a very tough decision for her guy, but he is no longer in pain and is able to run free to all those that are greeting him on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.
Rest in peace dear Mango. Blogland won't be the same without you.
We send big hugs and giant Dane kisses to Mango Momma, Master and Dexter!

22 September 2012

{22sept2012: prong collar}

People have expressed concerns about our use of a prong collar on Darwin, but we have good reason for using it. Before we moved to Singapore we were worried of Darwin being in a place that was not as dog friendly as Seattle. We had been experiencing problems of Darwin barking at people who approached her to say hello. We'd be out, on a hike, on a walk, at the park, etc, and someone would come up to us and ask if they could say 'hi' to Darwin. We'd say yes she's friendly, and as they'd approach she'd start barking. It was not in a vicious or aggressive way, but it made even dog people nervous (a 130lb dog barking would make anyone nervous) and we were sure it'd scare the daylights out of non-dog people. Also while she's a decent walker on leash (we were using a Wonder Walker Body Halter) she also would sometimes still pull with the harness on. We also heard from Darwin's holistic vet that using the harness a lot was not good because of the way it would rub against her shoulder muscles.
We wanted to correct the barking and work on her leash walking before we moved so we went to a trainer in Seattle. Kristie, Boo's mom, had nothing but good things to say about the trainer she's used, Steve at Nitro K-9, and we've seen how well behaved Boo is so we contacted him. His training method uses prong collars and part of the training was showing/teaching us the correct way to use it. 
At our first evaluation meeting with him we told him our concerns and he did a quick bit of leash work with Dar.
{hanging out waiting for our evaluation}

He noticed she was little gimpy (her back had been acting up again in the last couple months before our move and we had been back to seeing the holistic vet for acupuncture and chiropractic work) and mentioned that part of her barking at people could be related to her being in pain.
Because of her gimpiness he broke up her training sessions into six 30minute sessions rather than three hour long sessions. 

Due to the craziness that comes with moving we ended up missing our last session but still feel we were able to learn a lot from Steve and were able to address the main concerns we had about Darwin being in Singapore. She no longer barks at strangers who approach her (the few that do here) and she's also stopped barking at dogs who bark at her while we're out walking. She's also a much better walker with the prong collar. Every so often we'll switch back to her "pretty" collars but if she starts acting up we'll go back to the prong collar for a refresher.
I used to look at prong collars and think they looked really mean and cruel (ok really I'm still not a fan of the way they look) but after learning the correct way to use it I have to say I am amazed at how well it works. I don't think it's something you should go out and buy and use on your dog without the correct training first, but I think once you are taught the right way to use it it is quite an effective tool. 

20 September 2012

{20sept2012: not scared}

I can't say that EVERYONE is scared of Darwin. Every so often we go out with her and people actually aren't afraid of her and want to come up and say hi.

These kids were super sweet and the little boy was very smart, we talked about what we feed our dogs. hehe. After the kids came up, a couple adults came along to pet Darwin as well. 

***post about our use of a pinch collar on Darwin to come.

17 September 2012

{17sept2012: circus freak walk}

Walks with Darwin are always so entertaining here. The staring and pointing and loud gasps of fear, it's like we are walking the bearded woman or wolf boy or some other circus freak down the street. Here's a glimpse at one walk a month ago to pick up some lunch at Holland Village.

The staring and pointing is nothing compared to the screaming we got this weekend though.
We decided to take Darwin to the beach this weekend and getting to the beach means taking a cab (at least til we figure out getting a license here and renting a car). Our first cab experience was a learning one and since then we've figured out texting to book a cab is the easiest way to do it. (You can send a text message to the cab company with your zip code and they'll send a confirmation and cab number pretty quickly. We just add a note that we have a big dog with us and it's worked out fairly well.) Well we got to the beach with no problems and spent a couple hours there (I had a cold so we didn't stay out too long) and we texted to book a cab to go back home.
The first cab showed up (well he had just dropped off passengers at the same location) and refused to take us because he didn't see we had a dog and he's Muslim, ok fine.
So we texted again and was confirmed a cab. He showed up and I walk over and he's like no I can't take you. And I asked why, we had said we had a dog and he confirmed our booking. He said he's scared of dogs. At that point Jason had walked over with Darwin and as soon as Darwin got near his cab he started screaming (like a little girl). Oi.
We were really annoyed by that point and booked another cab. Finally a cab showed up who, though he was scared of dogs (he asked if Darwin would bite him, and I reassured him that she would not), accepted us and got us home.
It's always an adventure with a big dog in Singapore.

04 September 2012

{4sept2012: wet market}

In Singapore you can buy your groceries (meat, vegetables, fruits, etc) at a regular grocery store, or you can go to a 'wet market'. To me a wet market is like a cheap dirty farmers market, tons of produce stalls, but also meat and fish stalls.
We found that the regular grocery store doesn't sell raw bones for Darwin (they have ox tails, but they are SO expensive) so we hit up a wet market near our house one weekend.

After wandering around the narrow walkways for a bit I finally found a beef stall and got a small bag of bones for Darwin.
On our walk back home there was some kind of community event happening in the housing area we passed through and Darwin became a star attraction.
Of course she didn't care about all the attention, she was just concerned that I walked off to check out one of the booths.

31 August 2012

{31aug2012: mosquito walk}

Excuse the absence. Work's been crazy busy!
As I mentioned in the tick post, there's an abandoned railway that we've been taking Darwin on for walks. Great for off leash walks, bad for me as the mosquitoes here seem to love me and whenever we walk down there I can guarantee to get at least 3 new bites. Ugh.
To get there we have to walk a couple blocks from our temporary house (we will FINALLY move into our place next week - still in walking distance to the railway!) and there is so much for Darwin to smell!
There are also quite a number of dogs that live around us and whenever we walk by they go nuts barking at Dar. She's been really good at ignoring them and just hurrying  past.
Once we get to the trail we'll check to see that there aren't any walkers/joggers/dogs and if it's clear (which it usually is) we'll let her go!
Darwin loves when its been raining because then she gets to run through the puddles of mud.

Off leash time makes Darwin very happy!

18 August 2012

{19aug2012: tick!}

Nasty nasty nasty.
Darwin's first tick.
We went for a walk one night. Our landlord at the temporary place we're staying at told us about an abandoned railroad track a few blocks behind our house that's a good place to walk dogs. So we set out to find it (took us a couple times to actually find a connection down to it).
{this wayyyy!!!}

I don't know if it's because it's not super easy to get to or because of the possibility of snakes, but we hardly ever see people down there so it's a great place to let Darwin off leash for a little bit.

We got home from a short walk (30 minutes is about all Darwin could handle) and we were relaxing watching tv, giving belly rubs, when I noticed something on her belly.

Ewwww a little tick!
I quickly pulled it off her (it wasn't stuck to her, and wasn't fat and full of blood) and put it in a glass of soapy water.

I don't know if she got it on her walk on the railway trail or if she got it at quarantine and it died sucking her flea and ticked medicined blood. Either way it's disgusting and I hope we don't see any more of them.

11 August 2012

{11aug2012: summer picnic}

Darwin got released from quarantine at the perfect time. The next day, Saturday, was our office summer picnic! They chose a place on the east coast that's dog friendly so Darwin could make her big debut.
Before we could do that though, we had to give Darwin a bath. She was a little stinky from travel and quarantine, and we thought she should make her first impression be a non-stinky one. So she got her first outside with a hose bath.... she was not a fan.

Then the FUN began. Not really. In Singapore it is VERY expensive to own a car so most people get around by taxi, bus or MRT. Dogs aren't allowed on the bus or MRT, which means regular taxis, or special pet taxis. The thing is pet taxi's are expensive. We had called a company and they told us it would be s$65 to take Darwin to the east coast. ONE WAY. HECK NO! The thing about regular taxi's are that many taxi drivers won't take dogs (some for religious reasons, some because they are afraid of dogs, etc). So we called a cab company (Comfort Cabs) we were told were a little more easy to get a dog friendly driver and told them we had a large dog. It took us about an hour standing outside in the heat and 4 cabs to find one that would actually take us.

(We learned that if we book a cab notifying them we have a dog, they can't say no and we shouldn't ask and just get right in. That seemed to work.)

Over an hour late, but we finally made it to the picnic!

We were a little nervous about how Darwin would do with that many people all at once, and also how some people would take to her. She did great and for the most part everyone loved her.

I even got her accessories to wear to hopefully win over some nervous people.

It was a really hot day (who am I kidding, they are all hot days here) and since we were at the beach I thought we should give Darwin some time to cool off in the water.

In all the madness of getting ready to leave in the morning we had forgot to feed Darwin (bad doggy parents), but luckily there was leftover rice after everyone ate so Darwin didn't go completely hungry.

{i love rice!}

We were there for a few hours so Darwin got a fair share of beach time.


One of our bosses son's was visiting and he LOVED Darwin. She had a blast chasing him on the beach too.

I was surprised that Darwin wasn't scared of the waves on the beach. What she was scared of though was the thunderstorm that we got caught in before we left. Luckily Darwin had a new friend to comfort her.

While Darwin was being comforted, Jason and I were both on our phones trying to call a taxi to pick us up. MAN. That was tough. Being that it was dumping down rain I think everyone in Singapore was trying to call a taxi at the same time. It took us an hour just to find one that would come, and while standing waiting for it we all got soaked. We had a blanket for Darwin though and covered the back seat and thankfully the cab driver didn't make a fuss that we were bringing a HUGE wet dog into his cab.
We survived our first adventure in a cab with Darwin. Whew.