Wednesday Woofs {No. 05}

August 24, 2011 § 13 Comments

Have you ever thought what it would be like to one day pack up all your belongings, leave the familiar home that you’ve come to know so well, bid farewell to family and friends, and sojourn for a year or more in a completely new and foreign land? For one Californian husband and wife duo, this is the adventure they have embarked on.

Jeffrey and Flora are currently residing in Singapore and, from the articles in their travelogue, it looks like they are making remarkable memories out of this lifetime experience. It is no wonder that Jeffrey and Flora’s blog was recently nominated as a finalist in the Best Travel Blog category of the 2011 Singapore Blog Awards—quite an amazing feat for two newbies in Singapore! [Editorial Note: I have been living in Singapore for six years and have yet to acquire the same level of expertise. I have a lot of catching up to do!]

What intrigued me about this adventurous pair (besides our shared interest in travel) is their love for their family companions, Lord Stanley and Little Joe—two Bedlington Terriers who travelled across the ocean to join Jeffrey and Flora in tropical Singapore. How has life been like for these two canine expats? Flora gives us the inside scoop—read on to find out!

* * * * *

Tell us a little bit about how your two adorable Bedlington Terriers, Lord Stanley and Little Joe, entered your lives. Is there a story behind their unique names, as well?

A few years ago after we finished school and got married, Jeff and I were finally ready to add a dog to our family. Jeff really liked the look of Bedlingtons, so we did our research and discovered that this breed would actually suit our urban lifestyle quite well. They are smart, active, and have such great personalities. They’re also great apartment dogs. We spent a lot of time learning about the breed and looking for breeders, only to confirm that this breed was the one for us. Months later, Stan came into our lives.

Part of my research about the breed included signing up for a Bedlington mailing list, and it was through this list that I found Little Joe. He was given back to my breeder from a family that no longer wanted him, and my breeder was looking to find him a forever home. I called her up and said I wanted him, and now he’s a part of our family. He had some odd habits and trust issues from his last family, but he’s opened up so much in the past two years. He’s a testament to the fact that love really does heal wounds.

Their names have to do with our love of hockey. We named Stan (a.k.a. Lord Stanley) after the Stanley Cup, the trophy given to the best team in the National Hockey League at the end of the season. When Joe came around, we added the “Little” to his name after one of our favorite hockey players, Joe “Little Joe” Pavelski. In keeping with this hockey theme, we plan on naming all future dogs after NHL trophies.

What brings you to sunny Singapore? And how did the decision arrive to have Stan and Joe join the both of you in Singapore?

The opportunity to move to Singapore came about because of Jeff’s work–he transferred to his company’s Singapore office a year ago. There was no question that we would bring Stan and Joe to Singapore with us. They’re a part of our family and it would have been really depressing for us without them in our daily lives.

[Editorial Note: Jeffrey and Flora’s blog provides an informative and detailed account of their experience exporting/importing Stan and Joe out of the US and into Singapore. For anyone who may be curious about the process, Flora’s post of FAQs is a great starting point.]

What were some of the biggest adjustments Stan and Joe had to face living in a new environment and how did you help them to overcome those issues?

I get asked this question a lot, but to be honest the dogs adjusted really quickly to Singapore. I don’t think they liked the plane ride or the 10 days in quarantine, but they got over it as soon as they came home. They are used to living in apartments, so getting in the elevator to go on walks is completely normal to them. I kept their feeding and walking schedule pretty much exactly as it was in the US. The heat can get to them sometimes, so I make sure their hair is never too long and I avoid walking them during the middle of the day.

One thing I miss is socializing them with other dogs at dog parks. Although there are a few dog parks in Singapore, they are far from me and I don’t have a car.

How would you describe a typical day in the life of Stan and Joe in Singapore? Is it any different from when you were all based in California?

A typical day starts around 8 am, when the dogs let me know they’re ready to go outside. Usually it’s Stan who tells me he has to go potty by rustling the curtains of the bedroom door. Then we come back and eat breakfast. Most days I stay home with them, but if I have appointments or errands to run they are well-behaved and stay home alone. I take them out to pee in the early afternoon, and again right before dinner time. Then everyone has dinner together. After dinner, we hang out together and Jeff usually throws toys and tennis balls around the house for Stan. Right before we all go to bed, the dogs go on one final potty break for the day. Then it’s lights out. The dogs sleep in dog beds next to my side of the bed.

Singapore is a great launching pad for short getaways to neighbouring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. When you’re both away from home and exploring other parts of this region, is there a boarding place in Singapore where Stan and Joe go for their own mini-vacation?

All our travel would not be possible without The Paws Resort. They are reasonably priced and even come pick our dogs up before we take off on a trip. Whenever The Paws Resort calls to let me know they’re here to pick up the dogs, Stan and Joe get so excited. Our dogs are so smart; they can tell when I’m talking to the kennel staff on the phone and they start barking and scratching at the door. I’m always sad to send them off to the kennel, but it’s comforting knowing that my dogs love staying there and that the staff keeps me updated on them while I’m away.

If Lord Stanley and Little Joe could lead a walking tour, which three places in Singapore would be at the top of their itinerary?

Since we don’t have a car and don’t really go anywhere far from home, Joe and Stan would probably just take you to East Coast Park. We moved to the East Coast of Singapore so they could have space to roam around and go on long walks.

* * * * *
Thank you, Flora, for taking the time to correspond with us in this interview. You may wish to know that our Lil’ Miss Maple couldn’t agree more with Stan and Joe’s choice of East Coast Park. This lovely green oasis by the beach is right up there on Maple’s list of favourite places in Singapore. She’s wondering if Stan and Joe have ever tried grabbing a coconut from one of the food vendors at East Coast Park—nothing beats a refreshing sip of coconut juice after a long walk! Until then, happy tails and travels.

All images have been re-published with permission from Flora Morena de Thompson.

§ 13 Responses to Wednesday Woofs {No. 05}

  • Flora says:

    Wow, thanks for the great introduction! Thanks for featuring us on your blog. It was fun to do.

    • No worries at all! Thank you for participating in the interview. I think your stories of Stan and Joe will be very insightful for people who plan on relocating with their beloved family companions. At least Stan and Joe get to brag that they’ve flown on a plane 😉

  • raisingdaisy says:

    Stan and Joe were lucky that they had each other during that long journey and quarantine time. It must have made the transition and confusion a little easier than for a dog who’s making the trip alone. Glad it’s working out well!

    • That’s a really good observation! I hadn’t thought of it from that perspective. I know when I have to fly solo it can get quite lonesome, especially during long-haul flights. Yeah, I think Stan and Joe were probably glad to have had each other as company.

  • Oh my goodness those doggies are sooo cute! They look like little lamb! I have done lots of research on taking the pups with us, if we are lucky to live in another country again. so I think I’ll be prepared with the whole process (hopefully). I just don’t want to think of them having to be on that long plane ride.

    • Yes, I’m thinking that at some point in the future Maple would definitely follow us to Canada. Just thinking of her enduring such a long flight in the cargo section is hard to bear. If only there could be a more comfortable way for these precious passengers!

  • totomameee says:

    When we first come to USA, both me and hub lived within our, each 2 luggages cos Hubs didn’t rent an apartment, and we have to move from Budget hotels to budget hotels. And we can only own what our celica can transport!!

    Expatriates are so much different from ‘Contractor’ hahaha …
    I have read about the 10days quarantine but it is good to know someone actually did the 10days quarantine and pass. At least TOto wont be overly traumatise by the flight + 30days quarantine! And Sembawang is near where I stay keke~

    • Well, I arrived in Singapore with 1 suitcase. When I moved in with my husband, I had 2 suitcases. Later, when we shifted into our current apartment, we required a 10-foot truck! I’m trying very hard not to accumulate too many things… it’s not always easy, especially now that we have Lil’ Miss Maple who has enough stuff to fill her own luggage 😉

      Sembawang—that’s convenient! At least you’ll be able to visit TOto several times a day and spy check up on him 😀

  • furfilled says:

    What an adventure to share with your pups! By the way, I love the shot of the coconut. The first post I ever read on your blog was a review of a cafe, and I still remember how delectable the food looked . . .

  • Novroz says:

    Interesting interview…wow their blog seemed to have achieve greatness.

    The two doggies are super cute. Glad they don’t get stressed up on the journey to Singapore.

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