toilet training, house training puppies

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A veterinary surgeon at and founder of a licensed housing agency for expatriate rentals and sales at

Thursday, August 24, 2006

384. A lots of laughter birthday lunch

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

Aug 23, 2006. Lunch appointments tend to be boring. I was not looking forward to this birthday lunch at Suntec City's Swizzler. The office workers queuing for food, the noise, the poor quality of food court stalls and the crowd at Suntec City was not my idea of a peaceful lunch. But Ms Kwek's 7 colleagues in her team had booked Swizzler. I need not go, she said. A thorn among roses.

I was to give Ms Kwek the birthday card in a red pink envelope, the organising girl said after presenting two teddy bears in a basket of ribbons. Ms Kwek showed me the card.

"Open it up," the organising girl said. A Hallmark card of a blond girl with a green blouse. I read the colourful wordings of the organising girl and the 6 others. The card had some wording like "What I don't like about my age is.... Gravity."

When I opened the card, I was engrossed reading the wishes. Something green moved down suddenly. I did not take much notice as there were too many best wishes to read.
The girls said "Open it up." I did so. Ms Kwek explained to me what I missed.

OK. The green chest of the blond girl swung down by more than 3 cm. Yet I missed the humour of the effects of gravity or aging on the bust.

"So you think Ms Kwek is busty?" I asked the girls.

"Voluptuous" is the correct word," the human resource girl laughed.

"Have you heard about the Dolly Parton joke?" I asked them. "Ms Kwek did not appreciate me repeating this joke." The girls were all ears.

"I read this in a magazine. Dolly Parton said that when she fell down, she had to be milked before she could get up."

Nobody laughed. Most of them probably were too young to know who Dolly Parton was and I forgot to explain. Ms Quek kindly explained that Ms Parton had such large boobs that she was top heavy.

The lunch was a buffet. Talk about the office matters was animated. A day off for people with birthdays? 3 days' paternity leave and 3 calender's month of maternity leave were now available. "So get married fast," Ms Quek told the young human resource girl who was still courting.

I asked whether the human resource has a counselling room for workers who have complaints or needed a talk.
One girl suggested the use the Chief Executive's outdoor garden for counselling workers who have work problems? "I pity the CE," I said. "You girls don't give him his private space? Maybe he need it to meditate as he has so many board meetings and other appointments such that he had no work-family life balance."

"I am not a quarter of a century old yet," the younger assistant said who had just been recruited. Ms Quek furrowed her elbows, "I can't believe that I have lunch with such a young girl! A quarter of a century younger than me!"

She gave a speech about life and the important thing for her was good relationships. "When you are young, you hope for birthdays to come. Now, at my age, I don't look forward to birthdays." We kept silent. She could not know how life passed by so fast but was grateful for having a smooth path.

There was no birthday cake. The lunch terminated. Fortunately, I reminded the girls to take pictures using their camera phones. Her Indian colleague took picturs of me with Ms Quek.

I took pictures for her. "Molestation, molestation," Ms Kuek budged away from the seat as her colleque of some ten years tried to unbutton her top button, for the pictures. She protected her modesty and pushed her away. She persevered. She pushed her away. I was trying to take pictures. Fortunately, the Swizzler manager did not intervene. Who said ladies don't know how to have fun? I was prim and proper.

It was much laughter at this birthday lunch with 7 office girls. I was surprised that Ms Kwek had such good rapport with her team.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

383. Pee-pan-grille to keep Westie white and clean

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

Male, 14-week-old Westie puppy was very white and clean. How did the owner do it?

The first pet shop that sold the puppy did not recommend any puppy housing. Another pet shop recommended the pee-pan-grille as the puppy shredded newspapers and diapers if put on them to house-train. He even peed on his own pillow and chewed an old T-shirt meant to be his bed. He had rope and bone chew toys too.

"Your vinegar:water 1:4 solution, according to your blog recommendations, to neutralise the puppy's urine smell is not effective," the young man told me.

"Maybe your mop contains traces of urine which spread over the area you tried to neutralise?" I said. It was possible. The owner did not rinse off the vinegar after application on the floor.

"Is the pee-pan-grille layout ok?" I asked.

"The puppy stepped on his stools. He poops 3-4 x per day. The puppy is confined to the playpen with the pee-pan-grille inside, when we work," the young couple said. "We work 12 hours, leaving at 7 am and going home at 7 pm."

The water bottle was hung on one side near the entrance. The feed bowl was taken away after eating. A fan was blowing air at the play pen. The pee-pan-grille was placed in the middle. There was not much space for the puppy to move or rest. The urine would fall into the pee pan below the grille.

In this method, the Westie is kept clean as no newspapers dirty his feet. White breeds are harder to maintain. A diaper or this method will be best.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

382. The young mind is a blank slate. Kindergarteners and 3-month-old puppies

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

When the mind is a blank state, it is the best time to teach a child or a puppy.
To impart good social and other values like the love of reading.

For a child, it would be many years, at the kindergartener and primary 1 - 3 stage, I guess. For a puppy, it would be 2-4 months of age.

Once that period is missed, it is much harder to train the young ones. Once the raging adolescent hormones come in, training and imparting good values like thrift, respect for elders, not disrepectful talking back to the parents, spending time with family and reading widely are very difficult to impart to post baby-booming generation of Singaporeans used to the good life.

381. Follow up - Miniature Pinscher & Chihuahua

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

Follow up on August 19, 2006 (Saturday)

It is almost one year. The female black Miniature Pinscher and the Chihuahua came in for the booster vaccination. There was a brown Miniature Pinscher belonging to a friend much interested in following the black Miniature Pinscher smelling her all the time.

"The female has been bleeding for one week," the owner said.

"She is into her fertile receptive period and may become pregnant," I could see that the black Miniature Pinscher had a very shiny black coat.

"I would like to neuter the male after he becomes a father," the friend said. "He keeps grabbing my 7-year-old daughter's legs.

"The humping behaviour is natural for male dogs," I said. The owner knew that neutering will stop this anti-social behaviour.

A good salesman would have booked an appointment or followed up on the neutering. Maybe I should do it. During my undergraduate studies, there was no "sales" lectures. That was in 1969 - 1974 in Glagow University. I don't know whether present undergarduates will be get more business lectures.

It did not seem right to do sales talk at this time.

"Did your daughter win prizes in the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) drawing competition for primary school children? I had seen some beautiful drawings of the Singapore subway some months ago, displayed by the MRT corporation.

"Only a consolation prize," the mother lamented. "I don't know whether her drawing would be in the stamps."

Mothers all over the world want their children to be the best in whatever they do. Fathers too. But the Asian and probably Chinese culture seldom praises for achievements less than extra ordinary.

"A consolation prize is not that easy to get," I said. "It is a nation-wide competition." The daughter has grown up and would become very artistic if properly sent to arts school and given lots of encouragement and practice. Daily practice, entering competitions are what make champions. Would the mother spend so much time on this aspect? Would she earn a decent living as an artist in Singapore? Unlikely if she was not the best.

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

This article was written: Sep 9, 2005

"Barricade the new puppy in the backyard," the owner of a pretty daughter drew a floor plan when I asked how she paper-trained a new puppy when she has an older one for over a year. "Shut the sliding door to the kitchen."

The backyard was rectangular. At one end, there is the washing machine cum dryer. 2 dog's beds were placed side by side across the width of the backyard in front of the washing machine.

The other end of the backyard - put newspapers to cover 80% of the floor. Around 20% is taken up by the 2 dog beds and washing machine cum dryer.

Take the urine-stained newspapers of the new puppy and put them on the floor. It took 3 weeks before the Miniature Pinscher became paper-trained.

Now, the puppy is 4 months old. He learnt paper-training from the older dog. However, the owner mentioned, "Still pees on the floor tiles 1-2 x per day."

So, was paper-training 100% successful? The owner was satisfied. In this case, the floor tiles must have the strong urine smell or the puppy was distracted. A commercial urine odour removal or vinegar:water 1:3 sprayed onto the floor tiles and wiped off may neutralise the strong attractive smell and resolve her problem.

The secret of success is a restricted zone. In this case, the lady owner was experienced with keeping dogs. I was thinking that pet shop operators would go out of business if she did not buy any playpens for the new puppies. She did have dog beds with cushions. Some business for the pet shop operators I hope.

This owner's toilet-training procedures somehow reminded of Singapore's Restricted Zones for motorists. Under the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) Scheme, certain areas are defined as Restricted Zones (RZ). Motorists pay a toll electronically everytime they drive into the RZ. The purpose was to prevent traffic jams. Now, there are more ERP toll gates to tax the motorists going home from the central business districts as well. In the central business districts near the Cathay cinemas, a new ERP toll gate has been built just within a 30 seconds' drive from another one at the Istana (Presidential Palace).

Fortunately, no bureaucrats have thought of a restricted zone and ERP toll gates for new puppies to prevent them from peeing elsewhere in the residence.

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