toilet training, house training puppies

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Location: Singapore

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

Friday, November 10, 2006

433. A vet has shaking hands?

"His hand is shaking a better come in," Nurse Ann text message me as the young vet was neutering a cat. He had done many such operations, so I knew he could do it.

I went into the operation room. The young vet was incising the skin. He was not used to being looked at by me, so I had left the op room.

"Just press the bladder as it is very full," I showed the young vet a big bulging lump which was a very full bladder of urine. He squeezed out the urine and did an excellent spay.

I am over 56 years old, but I did learn a new technique from him. I thought I had seen all. Still it was a surprise that I had not thought of this technique which made operating a cat with a much smaller skin incision.

Why was the young vet with me? Well, it was his mother's great love to see that he be mentored to do surgery under me. I knew this young man when he was in Primary School. His mother made much effort to contact me and made an appointment to introduce her son to me.

And I learnt a new technique from him in cat spay. I would be most happy to go through with him various surgical cases as he was a vet very interested in surgery.

As to his shaking hands, I experienced the same symptoms when a human plastic surgeon was watching me doing spay many years ago. When I was a young vet. So, I could empathise with him and left the op room. I explained this to Nurse Ann.

432. Does father know best?

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

"No," I said. "You don't get involved in this Multiple-Level-Marketing (MLM) business."

"You are so friend's father was very supportive...I could sell this product to the rich aunties...I did not expect the 20-year-old son's angry outburst to my abrupt answer to his dreams of being an entrepreneur. He is usually a mild cool sort of young man. Right ear studded ear a few months ago had already given his mum fits. Fortunately he did not get a nose or tongue stud.

He was asked by his friend to attend a presentation for a part-time job from Nov to Feb 2006. His friend was mysterious about the presentation. "Come first," his long-last friend said. After that, my son did not want to talk much about the meeting. He had been forewarned that his father (parent) would object to his being the first to join this new start up. Big office with products endorsed by celebrities. Superbrand. Well known in Hongkong. He would have first-mover advantage as he was the first in the recruitment team.

He was angry when I asked him to explain about this MLM business. "There will be buyers who ask repeat questions," I told him. "If you have no patience to reply to such stupid questions, how could you do sales?

"It is your money ($1,800 to buy some products first) and your time," I don't lose temper with this young idealistic man who had just completed 22 months of national service. He was given 2 months earlier discharge as he had performed well in his physical exercise test or something. Now he was ready to join the real world.

"But you will not make a good salesperson," I said. "I know your personality as a father."

"How do you know all about me?" he raised his voice as he was behind me in the car.

"You expect buyers to come to you because you sell $10 cheaper than the retail Pharmacy with lots of shops?" I asked. "Are you prepared to travel to the home to deliver goods to make $10.00?"

"$10.00 savings may not mean much to you," he replied. "I could take the subway train and bus."

He would have 3 helpers in his downline.

"Do you think the 3 helpers would work hard for you and for themselves if they are undergraduates or studying?" I asked. "Are they that hungry? They are from the middle-class and they have girlfriends and other distractions."

I explained to him about the MLM system. I had been involved in the system and had not been able to sell due to the fact that it needs time and a great network. I was just too busy with the practice and other things. So, I got stuck with the goods which I had to buy, to qualify for being a MLM distributor.

"But there are great successes in the MLM system. Only that you need to spend time to train your downline and sell yourself. Lots of time and energy. Do you have time? Even if you have, you will be going overseas in 3 months' time. So, you can't buildl up the business. Many success depends on the person...

"What you say is that I need a large network," the young man had cooled down. He decided that he would rather not put down his money no matter how good the product was. I am impressed that the sales presentation was very good. I should have encouraged him to get on. Let him fail. Let him spend his money and learn the hard way.

But should a father do that? Maybe, I ought not to advise him. To discourage an entrepreneur.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

*425 picture - Triangular floor plan for toilet training

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

A fine Sunday morning.

A young couple with a Shih Tzu came in for vaccination.
Shih Tzu, female, 14 weeks.
With owner for past 3 weeks.

Fed 2x/day. Wolf down food.
Poop 2x/day but after around 2 hours. (Distraction by owner after feeding. On day 1, she pooped within 30 minutes. Should have waited for her to poop before playing with her. Working couple. Puppy home alone.).

Water bottle.
Triangular floor plan.
Backyard of executive condo.
2 walls and 2 sliding panels of fences to make a door (Good idea as this is floor plan is space saving. The sliding panels can open to permit the puppy to go in and out. Saves money on buying 4 panels as the 2 walls are 2 panels in place).

Pee pan cum wired flooring + pee pan (pee pan complex, PPC).
90% of the time, the puppy will eliminate on the PPC. Sometimes just outside the PPC.

"Sort of miss the target," the young man told me.

"Most likely, the puppy is trying to avoid the soiled wire flooring if the owner is not around to remove the poop," I guessed. The puppy would poop around 2.5 hours after breakfast. So, the owner would be at work and could not clear the poop. The puppy eats poop.

Owner picks up the poop.
Other times, anywhere in the apartment (let out to roam at day 7, too early).

Word commands:
If the owner sees the puppy looking at them, they say "Shish, shish". She goes to the PPC. They say "Good girl."

That is good. But insufficient motivation. A food treat will be better.

"But the food treat is hard," the owner said.
"Food treats can be anything," I said. "A small piece of dog food or bread."

At the early training stage, use food treat. Some puppies are not highly motivated by praise alone.

Many ideas from various books and the internet. I have this idea for the owner.

1. Give the puppy a fixed schedule so that the puppy poops within 30 minutes of feeding.
(No distraction by playing).

2. Confine the puppy again in the backyard.
3. Feed and don't play with him till she poops.
4. Once she poops, reward with treat and praise. This treat distracts her and she may forget the poop.
5. Let her out. If she has not pooped, do not let her out.

"Will she get out of the poop-eating habit?" the lady asked.
"Not likely from my other cases." I said. "They eat poop when adult."

6. Confine to bigger area but no more free roaming of the apartment, without supervision. Watch for signs of elimination. Put her back on the PPC.That means, increase her free space, room by room till she is fully PPC-trained.

7. Neutralise floor urine with vinegar:water 1:2.
"She likes to eliminate on the floor mat," the young man said.
"Soft areas are preferred toilet areas," I said. "Neutralise it with vinegar:water,"

8. "I use air freshener to spray on the accident areas," the young lady said.
"This is one method to mask the urine smell," I said. "But does it work?"
She shook her head. So, it is vinegar:water method to neutralise.

9. "How about the newspapers?" the young man asked.
"She is not paper-trained," I said. "She is PPC-trained. Later you may have to replace the PPC when it is rusted."

"The PPC is made of plastic," the young man replied. "It will not rust."
"If the puppy chews on the plastic, it will expose the metal and rust," I mentioned this in passing.

"The disadvantage of the PPC is the need to pick up the poop. If the puppy is paper-trained, the papers can be removed, I said.

"But the floor tile is still stained by urine and poop," the lady said.

"Yes, that is where the pee pan can be used," I replied. "Put the newspapers on the pee pan."

Does this article sound too technical for the readers? I don't know. The owners promised to e-mail me a few pictures of the housing of the puppy. It was a very happy chat with the young couple." The waiting room was getting crowded. I took some pictures of this puppy for my case study.

SOMETHING WRONG WITH BLOGGER.COM. Unable to upload pictures for all newer blogs. Will have to switch to another blog.

431. Application of toilet training knowledge. How to do it?

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

"The puppy is my present for her," the father spoke quietly as I vaccinated the puppy for a fair be-spectacle slim 14-year-old. "She had good examination results."

"With top marks, you could study in any subject you like," I said. "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

"A veterinarian," she did not hesitate. Seldom do 14-year-olds in Singapore know what they profession they want to be. Their minds are still wandering in music and computer online games and chat. Even if they want to be veterinarians, they do not have the top grades to get into the undergraduate studies.

"You have a very good chance if you continue to excel in your studies," I advised. "Only that your father may need to save to more than $300,000 for the 5-year-old studies in Australia, as at 2006. Fees seem to be increasing every year. By the time you are ready in 5 years, the fees may be $400,000. You may apply for the one or two veterinary scholarships given per year."

Sometimes, it may be better to have not so clever a child if the parent cannot pay for the overseas education. There is no veterinary course in Singapore. Most recent graduates are from Australia. A quarter of a million dollars --- not peanuts --- from the parents must have been spent in the recent graduate. A parent's retirement money,love and hope have not been in vain for those young veterinarians.

I was glad to meet a top student in the top class in Secondary Two. It was a rare meeting because the top 5% are so few in number. She would be around the age of my friend's daughter called Melissa Chua whom I had not seen for a long time. She told me she was Melissa's classmate in the primary school but they separated to various classes in Secondary School.

"Do you know how to toilet train your puppy since you must have researched and surfed the internet for knowledge?" I asked her as her best friend, a slim girl who did not wear spectacles held her puppy.

"It is not as easy in practice," the girl said.

Knowledge is power. But the devil is in the details of the execution of the teaching! "How to apply the knowledge?" Each puppy and situation is unique. Is there a formula or instruction manual?

I hope to write one. Will it be a best seller? I doubt it. But there seems to be a need to get this book out. For first-time puppy owners and for puppies to be in good hands.