Poochâ€™s day out
NST, 23 June 2006
Dogs of all sizes and their owners met up at the â€˜Dog Olympicsâ€™ 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 Utamaâ€™s Central Park on June 18.
First, it was Naughty-boy, my 10-month-old Siberian Huskyâ€™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.
Iâ€™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 couldnâ€™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.
â€œHey boy! This is it,â€ 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-boyâ€™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 werenâ€™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-boyâ€™s pedigree.
â€œIs that a real Siberian?â€ he queried. â€œMmmm.. I donâ€™t know lah, heâ€™s got no birth cert. I think heâ€™s most likely a â€œMalaysian Huskooâ€,â€ 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 didnâ€™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 Russellâ€™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: â€œDoes he bite? Can I touch him?â€. 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 â€œMr Pâ€, her 11-month-old Pug, along with Chong, her friend who brought â€œBarakkahâ€, a seven-month-old Siberian Husky.
It was fun chatting with familiar faces but Naughty-boy didnâ€™t seem to bond with the other Husky. Instead, it took a liking to the smaller pug that was wearing a doggie life jacket.
â€œAiyah! How to form a sled team if the dogs cannot get along ah?,â€ 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 â€œK-9â€ event which I missed earlier this year.