A Place To Call Home

July 23, 2012 § 7 Comments

July-23-2012. What is so special about this date? Today, dog bloggers around the world will be uniting to promote dog adoption. There will be stories about adoptions, rescues, fostering, animal welfare, responsible pet ownership, and the list goes on. We first learnt about this meaningful event from our blogging buddy, Dakota @ Dakota’s Den. It didn’t take long for us to decide that we would jump on the bandwagon.

Source: Blue Cross of India (Madras)

And so, to do our part, we will be sharing our favourite clips from around the world: USA, Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, and Singapore. These moving and captivating videos all share a common theme—HOME. Whether they be shelter dogs, abandoned dogs, breeding dogs, stray dogs, or neglected dogs, all of these canines deserve a safe haven and nurturing environment in which they can call a forever ‘home’. We hope you find these videos insightful, intriguing, and inspiring. While some of the videos may be hard to watch, they speak volumes of the reality that exists. Through public awareness and advocacy, we can help to save lives—one dog at a time.

“Foster Dogs in NYC” (USA)

The topic of fostering is an often forgotten one. Sometimes we assume that all rescued dogs will find a temporary place in a shelter. But what happens when shelters are running at full capacities? What happens when a frail and ill shelter dog requires 24/7 care and supervision? What happens when an abused dog needs to learn how to trust humans again? This is where foster pawrents step in to lend a helping hand. Thanks to all the dedicated foster pawrents who have helped to rehome countless numbers of dogs.

“Awaiting Home” (Spain)

Animal welfare service providers that offer shelters for abandoned and abused dogs are, sadly, a growing phenomenon. It seems like there can never be enough shelters to accommodate the increasing number of homeless dogs. As these shelters continue to fill at their brims, the workload and operating costs simultaneously expand as well. It is no wonder that volunteer recruitment and donation drives are constant issues faced by shelters. Why not consider volunteering at a shelter or making a financial contribution. In return for your generosity, you’ll be sure to receive lots of licks and wags (from the dogs, of course!).

“Pothound” (Trinidad & Tobago)

Mongrels are individually unique, with no two looking exactly alike. So, it’s not surprising that each society has developed an affectionate nickname for the mongrels living in-amidst their communities: in North America they are referred to as ‘Mutts’, in Singapore they are the ‘Singapore Specials’, and in Trinidad & Tobago they are ‘Pothounds’. Set in Trinidad & Tobago, this short film packs a punch—not only does it address the issue of adoption but also tackles a number of social stigmas and stereotypes in a narrative that will open your eyes and tug at your heartstrings.

“Born to Breed” (Singapore)

Irresponsible dog breeding is a vicious cycle that is exacerbated when potential dog owners, either knowingly or unknowingly, purchase puppies from puppy mills, pet shops, and backyard breeders. The inhumane conditions and ill-treatment endured by the canine victims of irresponsible breeders cannot be described in nice terms (no matter how hard one tries) because there is nothing ‘nice’ about it at all. Let’s work together to put an end to this injustice. Adopt, don’t shop.

Thank you for watching. If you are an animal lover or dog blogger, please feel free to share the links to these videos or contribute to the discussion with your own post on this topic. July-23-2012 will come and go, but that does not mean our cause ends here!

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! 😉

TRAINING LOG

April 10, 2012 Comments Off on TRAINING LOG

Not Your Ordinary Walk In The Park

August 23, 2011 § 18 Comments

Sunday was not an ordinary walk in the park for Maple. Unbeknownst to her, we registered ourselves and the Lil’ Miss in the 2011 National Dog Walk—an event organized by the Singapore Kennel Club to raise awareness about responsible dog ownership, as well as to promote an active lifestyle for both dogs and their owners. 

Hundreds of tail-wagging pooches showed up that day at East Coast Park to participate in the doggie sports activities and mass group walk. With dogs of all breeds mingling in amidst the crowds, it was a fun spectacle for any animal-lover at heart. Maple had never before been in the company of so many canines, some of whom charmingly stole the show with their one-of-a-kind personalities.

We arrived shortly after 3:00pm and had some time to spare before the actual walk itself so, while Momsy spent a few minutes checking out the various vendors and stalls, Popsy disappeared with Maple in search of an afternoon snack. With so many adorable four-leggers curious for attention, however, I was eager to quickly end my browse through the booths and start snapping away.

Meanwhile, MM and Maple managed to find a shady place on the grass where the little tyke could play a few rounds of fetch while waiting for the group walk to commence. Maple currently has an overt obsession with her tennis ball—a new toy that I discovered during my recent trip home. The tennis ball, manufactured by Chuckit!, is available in ‘mini’ size which makes it a perfect fit for a petite gal like Maple. 

After waiting patiently for a good hour, our ears perked when an announcement was made for the commencement of the mass group walk. We could sense the anticipation building as dogs and their handlers queued up on one side of the ‘Start’ line while curious bystanders watched from the other.

I think the excitement got to Miss Maple—she requested for a last minute potty break just as we took our positions. Oh well, at least we got that business out of the way early. Once we hit the pavement, though, this little munchkin was raring to go!

The mass group walk was a leisurely stroll that took no more than 20 minutes to complete, and I think it was just about the right distance given the afternoon heat. As a reward to the dogs for being such good sports, slices of dog-friendly cake were distributed and shared amongst the furry ones. Maple invited her Beagle friend and blogging buddy, Lele, to a plate of cake. Lele, being the polite little lady that she is, was happy with just a few nibbles of the crumbs. Our greedy Miss Maple, on the other hand, wolfed down chunks of the cake—as much of it as she could stuff in her cheeks.

  

We don’t typically end our walks with cake, so Sunday was definitely not an ordinary walk in the park! I certainly hope Lil’ Miss Maple won’t be expecting a double-layered frosted treat at the end of every walk from now on 😉

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Disclaimer: HAPPY.BARK.DAYS is an independent entity and was not paid to write this review by any of the commercial and/or non-commercial enterprises mentioned in the article.

The Birthday Girl

May 28, 2011 § 59 Comments

Miss. Little Red Maple Leaf is officially 1 today! To mark this very special occasion, we made a customized birthday hat for the pipsqueak and surprised her with a decent-looking (i.e. newly purchased, not homemade from hand-me-downs and objects from the recycling bin…for a rewarding change!) stuffed toy that we hope Miss Maple will treasure.

The birthday hat awaits to be throned on the head of our tiny furball.

Teddy also sits, albeit nervously, exposing his vunerable limbs to an inevitable attack by little jaws of terror.

Here they are all together. Someone looks a little embarassed to be seen in her birthday hat which, admittedly, resembles a Dunce Cap… although, there were many times when a Dunce Cap would have been totally appropriate and justified!

But, today, Miss Maple can get away with any misdemeanor she fancies!

Including the less than lady-like attitude she’s showing the camera…

As well as the violent thrashing of poor Teddy, who is bound to lose several parts of his anatomy by the end of the day.

Much to the relief of Teddy, Momsy intervenes and swoops him into the safety of her hand!

At long last, after having gone through the obligatory initiation rites conducted by Miss Maple and her jaws of terror, Teddy is now a newly-minted member in Maple’s stockpile of toys. Welcome to the pack, Teddy!

It’s a nice feeling knowing that MM and I have survived the puppy days without losing all our hair, and that Maple has now blossomed into a fine little lady (well, for the most part, LOL). As much of a handful as she can be on some days, Miss Maple never fails to amuse us with her quirky sense of humour 😉 

Happy Birthday, Maple—may there be many more years of joy and laughter with you, little one!

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Hey, guess what?! Maple isn’t the only one with a celebration this week. Maple would like to wish her pawpals a very special birthday as they, too, celebrate turning 1!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to…

  • Wyatt the Lab, who turned 1 on May 26th.
  • Le Le the Beagle, who shares Maple’s same birthdate!
  • Muffin the Toy Poodle, who is eagerly anticipating his 1st birthday on June 1st.
  • Hugo the Toy Poodle, the youngest amongst these pups, who turns 1 on June 2nd.

Wishing you all a ‘happy barkday’ — have a pawtastic good time!

Yours sincerely,

Miss. Little Red Maple Leaf | SJ & MM

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