Dog Talk, Pandemic, Lockdown, Pets

Dog Talk, Pandemic

Dog Talk: Pets in the pandemic

For dogs, the lockdown and working from home means lots of together time with their guardians.

25/7/2021 8:10:00 AM

With the last 18 months being riddled with lockdowns and working from home, dogs and their owners have been living together a lot closer than ever before. We talk to three Malaysian dog lovers to discover how it’s going.

For dogs, the lockdown and working from home means lots of together time with their guardians.

For Joseph Chan, having Beary around has made the lockdown bearable. Photo: Joseph ChanTwo years ago, we might have jumped at the thought of spending a few weeks at home with our pets. But with the last 18 months being riddled with lockdowns and working from home, dogs and their owners have been living together a lot closer than ever before. We talk to three Malaysian dog lovers to discover how it’s going.

Gyms now allowed to open subject to SOPs, Youth and Sports Minister announces Nelayan ambil masa sejam tangkap buaya | Harian Metro 28 keluarga terjejas akibat tanah runtuh di Kemensah Height | Harian Metro

Treats and the futureYin Tan, professional dog groomer in Kuala Lumpur, has run a mobile dog grooming business for years. The last 18 months have been very hard on her business, but Tan is keeping busy with selling home-made treats.She also adopted Blue, a 12-week-old puppy, to round out her fur family of Bi-Bi, her eight-year-old Poodle, and Bei-Bei, a rescue who joined the family some five years ago.

“I’ve been with the dogs constantly for two months 24/7 and before that off and on for months too,” Tan shares. “Bi-Bi and Bei-Bei are senior dogs, and they may feel it’s a bit strange for me to be home all day. Sometimes they give me that look that says, why are you still here? I suspect they want a bit of alone time, maybe. headtopics.com

Yin Tan is worried that Blue will have separation anxiety when she goes back to work. Photo: Yin Tan“When this is over, the senior dogs will be OK. They can cope because for them it will just be going back to their own routine. But I worry that when I go back to work, the puppy will miss me and have separation anxiety because all he knows is me being here.”

Tan is practical and forward-thinking, so she has a plan in place to prevent this issue.“Bi-Bi is not too fond of Blue, as the puppy disturbs her, but they don’t fight, it’s just a little growl and some looks. Bei-Bei is also old, probably about 10, so I’m teaching Blue to play with toys,” Tan shares.

“Also, I let the puppy out for 30 minutes in the morning and again for a long time after supper so he can learn to be alone. He has his toys, his space, and he’s learning that not having me hovering over him is OK. This will help him accustom himself to being alone. This way he’ll not panic when I get back to work.”

Home haircutsFor Peter Lum, the iconic fashion designer and public relations consultant, and Dindi, his six-year-old toy Poodle, the lockdown has been a mixed experience.“Except for a mad dash to the pharmacy and little grocery store once every fortnight, we’re in the house 24/7,” Lum explains. “Dindi loves that we’re together all the time but she has developed this push where, when she wants attention, she wants it NOW. headtopics.com

Cambodia begins Covid jabs for kids as young as six | New Straits Times Video 4 tahun lalu, ditularkan semula - Perhilitan | Harian Metro Annuar yakin negara bakal ada menteri usia 18 tahun - Utusan Digital

“When she brings me her toy, I have to play immediately – even if I’m not in a mood to play. It can be irritating and sometimes I snap at her. It’s sheer frustration of course, and I feel awful pretty much immediately and then I have to apologise. She forgives me of course. And as my mum reminds me, Dindi doesn’t understand. It’s up to me to be better.”

During lockdown, Peter Lum learned how to groom Dindi. Photo: Peter LumAs Lum’s mum will be 80 this year, and Lum is a Type 1 diabetic, they are super careful about lockdown. For Dindi, this means a new routine.“All her life whenever daddy comes home, Dindi jumps into my arms, ready to show her love and waiting for me to give my love. But now, when I come back, I have to shower first. It’s heart-breaking to have to tell her to wait because she doesn’t get it. From the look in her eyes, she’s wondering if she’s done something wrong. I’ve explained but it’s hard for her to learn to get used to the new norm. So Mum talks to her while I shower, and I think she understands. And after my shower, we have big hugs.”

Dindi eats imported dog food, which has also been an issue.“They ran out of her food in our area, and when I went online, the price was double. I almost keeled over. But thankfully, when I went to get my vaccination, I spotted a pet shop and they had the pet food – two bags!”

Grooming is also a non-essential service, which is a challenge for Dindi as she’s a Poodle, a breed with a coat that needs regular professional attention.“Poor Dindi is now two appointments behind so she’s a walking fluffbag,” Lum says. “I have no idea how to groom; it’s a professional skill I simply don’t possess. Brushing her is an unbelievable chore as there are tangles, and she yelps, poor girl.” headtopics.com

After a failed attempt with a beard trimmer, Lum ordered a grooming kit online, called his groomer for advice and hit YouTube for tutorials.“Scissors have sharp ends and so I don’t want those near her as I’m terrified of cutting her by accident,” Lum shares. “So I used an electric razor. I did her legs first, cutting off the bulk of the hair and avoiding the skin. She knew I was nervous and was not cooperating. By the end of it, we were exhausted.

“On the second day, we were still both nervous. So on the third day, I talked to her, and then she was helpful. I ran the razor through her fur, poor darling, just shaved her down. No style or look. Just home cut from a papa who doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

1-year-old Aaryan needs help to fund heart surgery | New Straits Times TMJ: Johor Covid-19 task force to improve system used to screen, isolate, monitor and treat patients Covid-19 fears blamed for surge in falls on London's Tube | New Straits Times

Closer than everFor Joseph Chan, an IT professional in Kuala Lumpur, his companion Beary, a two-year-old Pomeranian, has made lockdown bearable.“Talking or video on the phone just doesn’t do it for me,” Chan says. “I miss the human interaction of normal life. So while I’m working from home, Beary is the little furry package that keeps me company. I talk to him all day long.

“Beary is so clever – he can pick up when I’m down and he makes me laugh by throwing his toy and dancing for me. Also, in between lockdowns, when we can go out a little bit, being with him is an exception to social distancing.“We go out in the car, him in the passenger seat, hanging out of the window, tongue lolling, and it feels like it’s a bit of normal life. It makes me happy just to look at him.”

The pair were already super close but the close contact of the pandemic has built on the connection.“As there’s no more office time, I see him all day long, and that’s helped me understand his moods better. I have become much better at subtle signs that show when he’s tired, when he’s happy, when he’s a bit overwhelmed or bored. He loves me so much, and I’m glad I can be a better fur parent.”

The only thing is that Chan has discovered he’s a push-over.“I used to feed him breakfast and go to the office, but now we’re together all day, Beary sometimes eats his food and then he gives me that look that I can’t resist. He’s often just trying it on because when I do hand over a bit more, he actually doesn’t want it. But out of consideration for my feelings, he nibbles at it.”

Considering that sweet little face, it’s not surprising. Read more: The Star »

First batch of tourists arrives in Langkawi under travel bubble

LANGKAWI: Malaysia Airlines flight MH1432, carrying the first batch of fully-vaccinated tourists from Kuala Lumpur, landed safely at Langkawi International Airport here at about 10.40am on Thursday (Sept 16).

Pets too hit hard by prolonged pandemicAnimal shelters are witnessing an increase in the number of cats and dogs abandoned by their owners. 😿

Don’t blame lack of investments in healthcare for Covid-19 failure, says Najib | The Malaysian InsightMuhyiddin-led administration responsible for numerous blunders in handling pandemic, ex-PM says. I can only imagine what the billions of RM from the 1MDB scam and thievery could have done to help us....the thief continues to be talking a lot and walking free...NajibRazak Senyaplah pencuri!

Splash of colour: UK beach huts brighten pandemic gloom | Malay MailWALTON-ON-THE-NAZE, July 23 — In her yellow-and-white striped beach hut, Melanie Whitehead boils the kettle for a cup of tea and sits gazing out over the North Sea. Brightly painted wooden huts like hers line England’s coastline and have enjoyed a boom during the pandemic, as people rediscover...

Pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics begin | The Malaysian InsightTHE opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics began yesterday in a nearly empty stadium after a year-long pandemi...

The toll on employmentIT is not easy finding the exact number of people employed in the hotel industry but industry experts put the figure at around 200,000 prior to the pandemic.

Moderate pick-up down southThe pandemic has not entirely dampened consumer-buying interest in the Johor property market. 'Monyet duduk' there are still buyers scouting for houses or apartments for ownership purposes in Johor.