Who afraid of Dog & Cat?

This irrational fear of dog and cat. Seriously it leaves me baffled. Sure nobody has to like them if they don’t want to but to fear them?

Look at this cat.How can someone fear a creature that looks so beautiful? And yet many many times I see people especially ladies screaming in shock and fear when a cat walk between their chairs at the food centre.

Look at this dog. Does it look like it will bite anyone? And yet I see people giving dogs like this a wide berth when they pass them by.

So I am highly perturbed when people talk about their fear of dogs and cats. Take this post from the Archbishop  on his Instagram on this stray cat found in their premises. And I quote “Now we are looking for someone to adopt her as some of the staff here are afraid of cats”  What are the staff afraid of? “If anything, it should be the cat that should be afraid of the human considering what it had been through to be in the stage that it had been found..

And these paranoid people about dogs in lifts: “Several families, particularly those with young children, had raised concerns about safety when there were big dogs using the lifts.TNP 3 December 2016. Safety around dogs? So far I have never heard of any body being attacked by a dog in a lift but I have heard of many cases where people have been rob, molested, and attacked by other people in lifts. So maybe we should ban people from taking lift too? 

Fact is most animals don’t attack human being unless provoked. So a cat will only scratch someone if say that person pulls his tail or hit it although I dare say, most time the cat will try to escape first. Dog especially the smaller breed will similarly not bit without provocation. Usually when they go near someone, it is because they are curious and want to be pat. The thing with dog is – don’t touch it unless the owner says it is ok.

But this letter writer takes the cake. Sure there are dog poo around my places and my neighbor’s  dogs bark whenever somebody walk by their door. But dog poo and barking is the least of my problem in my estate. Almost every day, I have to contend with this group of kids dashing up and down the staircase and corridors and in the playground screaming and shouting. Then there are the smoke and noise from a group of people who hang around the void deck every night chatting into the early hours. And the parents and guardians of the children at the playground inevitably leaves behind a lot of litters. Do I then ask for these people to be banned?

When I walk my little dog, I do not board the lift if there is someone already inside. I simply wait for the next lift. And the noise from the kids? Actually I like it very much. The sound of children at play is probably one of the most beautiful sound in the world and we should never ever complain that they are a nuisance. The others I can’t do much but just tolerate it as we do not live in isolation and we got to take the good and the bad that comes from living in a vibrant and alive community.

The thing is, we need to learn to live and let live. Sure we may be inconvenienced at time but that’s life. And if one cannot live with poo, barking, litter and what not, maybe that person should move to a deserted island away from the rest of the world. Oh but wait, there may be wild animals and other creepy crawlies on deserted island and which are definitely worse than dog and cats.

Poor Toby

Our poor little dog is going blind! At just 7 years old, he has suddenly developed a condition that the Vet thinks is Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration.

It all started just a few weeks ago when he suddenly refuses to climb stairs. Then he stopped jumping up and down the sofa. We didn’t think much of it then though until out for a walk, he knocked into the wall, a lamp-post and a pillar. The condition deteriorated very fast.  Now he even trips over low curb.

A visit to the Vet and after running through a battery of test, there is nothing wrong with his blood pressure, nor diabetic, the Vet reluctantly diagnosed SARD which sadly at the moment is  not treatable.

Poor boy. Look at him now. So listless and down. And he used to be such a small little ball of energy.DSC_0270

Anybody know of any remedies that can improve or at the minimal delay the full onset of blindness?

Wild Dogs Wild Animals

There this post by this lady on the Nature Society of Singapore’s FB page about her encounter with some wild dogs at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. That posting somehow attracted more attention then the lady intended to and degenerated into a slanging match between those who want the dogs culled and those against.

Her experience reminded me of the time when I was running alone at Pasir Ris Farmway and encountered a small pack of dogs. Unfortunately her and mine encounter will be repeated many times all over various part of Singapore as the population of wild dogs continue to grow.

The obvious solution as some people suggested is to cull the dogs. But is that really the case? These so called “wild dogs” are abandoned dogs left behind by farmers and kampung folks when they were resettled. Over time, they have breed and settled in the area claiming the place as their territory and when we humans go into the area, their natural instinct is to defend their turf. Nothing wrong with that. All animals are territorial and will defend their area when they feel threatened. Even some species of  birds and fish exhibit the same behaviour.

If we were to cull every animal that we thinks threaten us or get in our way, very soon there will be people asking to cull the otters because the otters are everywhere and breeding very well and God forbids that one day some silly kid will get too near the baby otters and when the mummy daddy otter leapt in to protect their young, are we going to call for culling of the otters?  I can hear protest here. Dogs are different from otters. The dogs have become feral; the dogs are not natural inhabitants of the reserve blah blah blah. In another words, dogs are lower in the pecking order of animals and can and should be culled. But let just suppose that it is not wild dogs at SBWR but a family of tigers. Are these people going to ask that the tigers be removed for the safety of the visitors. What about the crocodile? Previously crocodile sightings at SBWR was rare but nowadays they are frequently seen. So if somebody stumbles on a crocodile basking in the sun, are we going to demand that the crocodile be killed. Already we are culling the macaques, the wild boars, the crows and the pigeons, I am sure there will be people who will if possible, kill every single wild animals here to ensure the safety of their children. See, same behaviour as the animals. We humans are not too different from the animals after all. So maybe the answer is not to cull the animals but to cull the human. Problem solve 🙂

I don’t have an answer to the wild dogs problem. I favour managing the population. Sterilzing them so that they do not breed and where possible, re-homing them although with the archaic HDB law on dogs, this latter option will always be difficult. What we need is to co-exist with wild animals and learn enough about their behaviour and take the necessary precaution when crossing path with an wild animal be it a dog, a monitor lizard, a macaques or even a crocodile.

For one, never ever go into any forest or nature reserve alone. Just as the wild dogs are aggressive only when in a pack, the presence of a few persons will be sufficient to deter the dogs from attacking. The number also comes in useful in an emergency. And especially for the ladies, Singapore may be safe but not that safe. Sungei Buloh on weekdays can be pretty quiet and one will never know what or who is hiding behind the bush.

And two, if you really need to walk alone, carry a hiking pole, a stick and a whistle. A tripod or monopod can be used as a weapon in the event of an emergency. And the loud piercing sound of the whistle can alert other park users and at the same time scare off the animals. So be sensible, take responsibility for your own safety, take the necessary precaution and let’s learn to live with our animals, be they wild or semi wild or domesticated.

Of Rats, Cats and Dogs

The rats at Bukit Batok have been hogging the headlines for the past week. The authorities and pest controllers have been blaming the people there for the infestation. It seems the people have been feeding the stray dogs and the leftover food have attracted the rats which it seems is enjoying life there. Of course the people who are feeding the dogs are denying that the problem was caused by them..
The way I see it, the rat problem at Bukit Batok is the same as the monkey problem at Bukit Timah, the stray dogs problem at Punggol and other places and the crow problem at food centres. What they have in common is that all these are caused by us human. 
Like the monkey problem, we human have encroached into their territory. While that would have ordinarily driven them further into the remaining forest, we human decided to feed them. And when the monkey got used to human food and human presence, they start to move into our area and the conflict with human then begin.
Ditto the stray dogs problem. Most of these dogs are the offspring of previous house pet kept by people living in farms and kampungs. When these people were resettled into HDB flat which does not permit keeping of large dogs, the dogs were abandon and left to fend for themselves, Left alone, the dogs starts to hunt and breed and become progressively aggressive as they fight to survive.
The cats have the same problem. But fortunately for the cats, there are many cat lovers who feed the cats daily. So all the cats need to do daily is to sleep and eat.
Which brings me to the rats and crows. What has these got to do with the monkeys, dogs and cats. I believe in the theory of the survival of the fittest. My theory is this:
  • Human feeds the monkey, stray dogs and cats.
  • The monkey, dogs and cats become well fed and indirectly “domesticated”. Because they are well fed, they lost their ability to forage and hunt and with more time on their hand, they end up doing what comes naturally to all living beings – reproduce.
  • So we end up with 2 new problems – growing population of monkeys, stray dogs and cats
  • And the growth of pests like the rats, crows and cockroaches. Why? Because the dogs and cats are well fed, they no longer need to hunt. Here in Singapore, there is not much other creatures down the pecking order below the dogs and cats excepts the birds, rats and  cockroaches. And since the dogs and cats are not eating these pests, they are allowed to breed with no natural prey to curb their population. 
  • Compound that with the indiscriminate feeding of the strays with leftover not removed which means a steady stream of food source for these pests, what we have is a blooming growth in the population of rats, cockroaches and even crows and bingo, problem like those at Bukit Batok!

Nature has its own way of dealing with problem. But when human steps in and upset the eco system, what we get is nature goes haywire. And we see it everywhere all over the world – leopards going into villages, snakes creeping up toilet bowls, locust infestation, 
The way to deal with the rat problem after the pest control has done it job? Stop feeding the stray dogs and cats. Certainly the weaker animals will die. But the stronger animals will be forced to hunt. And when they start hunting, they will have less time to mate. Which means less strays. And they will also eat up the pests which will help to control the population of rats and crows and other pests. And over time, everything will balance out. 
Just take a look at this video. This is what I mean when we allow Mother Nature to do its job.

The Sad Story of Tammy the Puppy

What if Tammy is not a dog but a little child, a toddler? Will we see a statement like that one day?

“Doctors have a responsibility to consider not just the welfare of the patient, but also the concerns and circumstances of the caregivers. Doctors will provide medical advice and administer the necessary treatment to patients, and may at times be called upon to euthanize a patient for various reasons, such as to alleviate their suffering, or if they are aggressive. This is also the practice of the medical profession in the [insert name of countries]

All doctors are trained on the ethics and techniques of euthanasia using the most humane method that is internationally accepted. Before euthanizing a patient, the doctor will conduct the necessary professional assessment and satisfy himself that euthanasia is a reasonable option considering the circumstances. The doctor will ascertain ownership of the patient and discuss with the caregiver the various options available so that the caregiver can make the final informed decision. The decision, however, is ultimately the responsibility and right of caregiver.

In advising the caregiver, the doctor, has to also be mindful of the implications of not acceding to a request for an aggressive child to be euthanized, such as the client’s potential distress and safety threats to the caregiver, his/her family, another unknowing adopter or the general public.

MOH has looked into the facts of the case in the media reports. The caregiver had considered alternatives such as putting the child up for adoption before deciding to have her euthanized. The clinic, The [insert name of Clinic], had followed protocol before putting down the child, including discussing with the caregiver the alternatives.

The clinic experienced first-hand the aggressiveness of the patient. Prior to the euthanasia of the child on 7 Oct 2013, other doctors in The Clinic, who examined her also found her behaviour to be hostile, and in subsequent visits the degree of her aggressiveness escalated. On her last visit to the clinic on 7 Oct 2013, she could not be pacified by clinic staff and needed sedation for procedures that required more handling.

While the arrangement between the Orphanage and the adopter is a private matter, MOH would like to stress that only children of suitable temperament and health should be re-homed.

MOH urges calm by all parties concerned, and advises the Orphange to recognise the adopter’s good intentions when adopting the child in the first instance and to settle the matter amicably.”

Where is our soul, our compassion? Must we cull and kill everything that gets in our way? Monkey, wild boars, dogs, cats… the old and frail? the people of no value to our society? God forbids that we will ever see these days when our society become so callous but sadly I think it will happen. Hopefully, I won’t live to see or be one of those who had to be euthanized because I had become “too aggressive” in my demented old age!

Trains, Monkeys and Dogs and Goodnu

Why do people buy houses near MRT for the convenience but after buying that  cry father cry mother about the noise from the train and the station! MRT station announcement too loud, train pulling in too loud, people talking on the train platform too loud! http://sgforums.com/forums/2080/topics/406637

Why do people buy homes near to facilities and then complain about the crowd and the noise? Just like  a neighbour at my old place. He had bought an unit on the ground floor near to the children playground and swimming pool so that his children can be near them.  And guess what, he then started complaining about the noise from the other children playing there! 
Why do people buy houses near nature reserve and then got all flustered about forest creatures invading their homes. http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/singapore/story/ava-moves-control-monkey-problem-bukit-timah-20130429Now I am very sure that the very thing that prompted them to buy a house there was to be close to nature. And nature will come with,very naturally the snakes, monkeys and insects. So why do these residents now kbkb over the monkeys? 
Ok maybe they bought the house from the showflat and never got to see the surrounding areas.  In that case they must be freaking blind and goondu! 
So what brought on this ranting? There this joker who wrote to the papers to complain about being chased by dogs while he was cycling at Bukit Brown. http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/singapore/story/cyclist-chased-pack-dogs-bukit-brown-20130602 Bukit Brown is not exactly a sanitized park. Hell, it is not even a park. It is just wild overgrown grasses and plants and I am very sure beside the “silent” inhabitants, there are living inhabitants like snakes, wild dogs, maybe even a wild boar or two. So when you go riding in the heart of all these and kena chased by dogs, why blame them? Blame yourself for intruding into their territory.
Next thing we know, somebody going to the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve will be complaining about the crocodiles and other wild animals there and demanding that they be put away for the “safety” of the public! http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Singapore/Story/A1Story20130603-427143.html.