Pooch’s day out

The 2nd write up by NST on the Malaysia Dog Olympic Day recently organized by Puppy.com.my at Central Park, Bandar Utama on June 18, 2006

Pooch’s day out
NST, 23 June 2006

Dogs of all sizes and their owners met up at the ‘Dog Olympics’ recently. SAM CHEONG and Naughty-boy, his 10-month-old Siberian Husky, were there too.

TWO things came into mind when I decided to check out the first-ever Dog Olympics at Bandar Utama’s Central Park on June 18.

First, it was Naughty-boy, my 10-month-old Siberian Husky’s ability, or rather, inability to socialise with other dogs. Huskies tend to be aggressive with other dogs and it showed when I first got him micro-chipped at a community park in Taman Desa about two months earlier.

Next, handling him alone while being surrounded by hundreds of dogs of different breed and sizes. Since I am very new at this, what will happen rests entirely on how the both of us behave.

Generally, Huskies love to run and being such good escape artists, it will be impossible to retrieve these strong-willed dogs. A scary thought.

When the day finally came, I was a nervous wreck as my pup braved car-sickness and the crowd.

It was an early morning event with plenty of activities for dog lovers from all over the Klang Valley.

I’ve packed enough gear for the dog including treats, drinking water and a ground sheet. Earlier, the organizer, puppy.com, had sent out an e-mail informing members about the event, which I believe is the second biggest thing this year since the K-9 Day in January.

When we arrived, I had Naughty-boy on a leash and body harness. He just couldn’t wait to get off the car after a 20-minute ride from Subang Jaya where we live.

The park was already bustling with activities when we drove past it.

“Hey boy! This is it,” I said, holding the leash while I saddled up my pack. We made our way to the edge

of the park and my pup, who has never seen so many dogs in a day, barked like a hound out of hell.

I found a spot with a young tree trunk and secured Naughty-boy’s leash, laid my ground sheet and set up base.

We watched as the crowd went past with their pets. Large, medium, small, tiny, fat and thin, the dogs were paraded with pride. Just as I was about to sink my teeth on my sausage breakfast, Naughty-boy went berserk. A woman had tried to leash her Boxer next to him.

She apologized profusely. After I was done with my breakfast, it was time to move on. We then walked to the end of the lake.

There I met a fellow Siberian Husky owner who was resting his dog.

We exchanged notes and concurred that Huskies weren’t sociable dogs.

The signs were clear when his dog lunged at Naughty-boy, who growled back with a nasty snarl. That was not the only Husky we met.

There were a couple others at the park. Most of them had a slightly narrower and longer muzzle, which gave them a wolf-like appearance.

Then, a guy with a red-furred Husky asked me about Naughty-boy’s pedigree.

“Is that a real Siberian?” he queried. “Mmmm.. I don’t know lah, he’s got no birth cert. I think he’s most likely a “Malaysian Huskoo”,” I joked. That cracked him up.

Later, I found a spot to rest. The day had got hotter and my dog was worn out.

We were at a curb next to a couple with two Jack Russell terriers. Naughty-boy didn’t seemed to mind the little dogs who gave him a face-lick.

I took out my mug and poured some water which the dogs shared. The Jack Russell’s owner was amazed that his dogs were socializing with a Husky.

Down at the tent area, some owners were busy tending to their pooches who were taking part in the agility trials and obedience contest.

After my dog and I were properly re-hydrated, we walked back to the main tent.

Along the way, some dog lovers came up and asked: “Does he bite? Can I touch him?”. We mostly obliged to the requests.

When we were making our way to the lake, a bunch of gundogs (Labrador and Golden Retrievers) were having a splash.

I met the owner of COREZONE outfitter Leong Dee Lu and “Mr P”, her 11-month-old Pug, along with Chong, her friend who brought “Barakkah”, a seven-month-old Siberian Husky.

It was fun chatting with familiar faces but Naughty-boy didn’t seem to bond with the other Husky. Instead, it took a liking to the smaller pug that was wearing a doggie life jacket.

“Aiyah! How to form a sled team if the dogs cannot get along ah?,” I joked as the other Husky owner tried to calm his dog.After half a day of socialising with other dog owners and their pets, it was time for Naughty-boy and I to hit the road.

While initially spooked by the presence of so many dogs, he had calmed down as he got used to the environment.

That said, I am looking forward to more Dog Olympics as well as the next “K-9” event which I missed earlier this year.

Champion canine dies at lavish animal hotel

Champion canine dies at lavish animal hotel
by Llew-Ann Phang
The Sun, July 2006

PETALING JAYA: The six-star Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Animal Hotel near the KL International Airport (KLIA) has been accused of mistreating a dog under its care, but it says it did its best for the canine which died due to stress and an E.Coli infection.

The hotel is alleged to have mistreated and neglected the English bulldog, which was in transit last month while on its way home to India from a dog-show in Manila, where it had emerged champion.

It was said to have been traveling in a case which bore clear instructions on its requirements.

A source which did not want to be named said the instructions stipulated that the dog had to be kept in temperatures of between 10 and 24 degrees Celsius and checked on every half hour.

The source also claimed that unlike the cats holding-area, the dogs holding area was not air-conditioned, and the

dog was barking incessantly while left there.

“It was then left at the paddocks but because of the heat, it died by the time it was checked on again,” the source said.

MAS Corporate Communications Department (Cargo) public affairs head Farah Sabrina Samsudin said both the canine and feline holding areas are air-conditioned, adding that “the paddocks are strictly for horses”.

“Dogs are taken for a walk at the paddock by staff, but that service is only reserved for dogs originating or terminating at KLIA, and for the stay-in programme for them to exercise before or after flights,” she said. “Because of strict quarantine requirements, transit dogs are not allowed out of their cages to roam inside our area.”

Farah said the Animal Hotel was fully aware of the English bulldog’s handling requirements.

“We did our utmost best to transfer the dog as soon as the aircraft arrived from Manila on June 17 into the air-conditioned canine holding area, and staff inspected the dog at regular intervals,” she said.

She said when the dog was found motionless the next day, neither the KLIA Veterinary Services Department or a private veterinarian was able to immediately ascertain the cause of death.

“The matter was later referred to the department for a post-mortem.”

On June 27, the Veterinary Services Laboratory’s post-mortem confirmed the canine died due to stress and Colisepticaemia due to E.Coli.

“The report confirmed the cause of death was not exposure to heat or mistreatment,” she said, adding that the Animal Hotel staff is equally saddened by the dog’s demise.

Over the years, you will see several reports on pets such as dog perished while on transit after long travel. Very often, such event happen after the dog suffer extreme stresses during these long travel. In my opinion, it is equally important that the dog holding area is air-conditioned as many of these pet travel long distance all the way from cold countries such as Europe. Dog such as English Bull Dog that has flat nose may succumb to heat easily when compared to dog with longer nose. Hence offering air-conditioning will help to reduce stress to some extend. Since it is called the Animal Hotel, why not they install the air conditioning to offer additional comfort. That will make quite a big difference when the dog arrive at the hotel in a hot afternoon.

Pet Memorial Services

Giving your pet a proper send-off
Eileen Ng
NST, 9 July 2006

KUALA LUMPUR: As 17-year-old Beano was loaded into the incinerator in Cheras, sisters Cheah Hsiao Theng and Hsiao Ling felt a sense of relief.

Relief that their companion was no longer suffering and that she was in a better place..

Beano, a Spitz and bull-terrier cross, was stricken with mammary gland cancer for a year and during the last few days of her life, had refused to eat, couldn’t stand and had sores on her abdomen.

“We were sad that she was gone but at least now she is not suffering anymore,” said Hsiao Teng.

Beano was cremated last Wednesday and her ashes, which were placed in an urn, now have pride of place at the Cheah residence, together with some fresh flowers and pictures of the gregarious dog.

The Cheah sisters are among a growing number of pet owners who choose cremation for their pets rather than burying them.

There are at least two companies in Malaysia offering pet cremation services for dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, hamsters, fish, tortoises and other animals.

The cost ranges from RM348 to RM1,233. The service comes with a cardboard box or wooden casket, flowers, a death certificate, a picture frame and an urn containing the ashes.

Veterinarian Dr Lai Chong Yoon Ching said as recently as three years ago, owners who wanted to cremate their pets had to send the bodies to Singapore.

Pets Memorial Services owner James Kho said with higher spending power and a more modern outlook, Malaysians were willing to spend on their pets. This also meant giving them a decent send-off.

“Today, pets are regarded as part of the family. I’ve seen owners crying as if one of their family members had died,” he said.

When he gets a call about the death of a pet, he or a worker go and pick up the body. Pets are dressed in their favorite costume or covered with a blanket before being placed in the casket strewn with flowers.

A spokesperson for Pets Heaven Memorial Services said owners could place their pets’ favorite belongings in the casket.

“Owners are allowed to follow the hearse to the crematorium. However, they can only collect the ashes, which will be stored in an urn, the next day,” she said

Pet Memorial Services has gained some momentum recently as more and more pet owners are sending their pets for cremation after their beloved pet parted them for the rainbows bridge. Nevertheless, the adoption rate are still low generally because the charges is quite high and many still choose to bury their pet themselves. As for pet lovers, it is quite a relieve that such services is now available in Malaysia for those who really need it, despite the high cost.

Some link on Pet Memorial Services inMalaysia

Pet Lovers can also post the Pet Memorial Online to remember their beloved pets at