Thursday, November 27, 2008
This would probably not be a very good Christmas. If you had one wish, what would it be? I wish that better times come soon. And not Pa's prediction of another "few more years".
This is one of those times he wish he is wrong.
Friday, November 21, 2008
We love you lots.
Rottweiler: A misunderstood speciesEileen Kang, November 21, 2008
A huge rottweiler charges towards your dog. A million questions race through your mind. Is it going to rip my pet apart? Tear its throat out? Maul it like a rag doll? With bated breath, you await the helpless cries of the victim. Your baby yelps. But wait, the yelp rings of joy, not fear. The big, black hound’s not swiping, but pawing playfully. It’s not biting, just nipping gently. The rottie’s not on a death chase, it’s in a frolicsome jog.
The rottweiler a natural born killer? No, it’s not.
Not all of us share the same sentiments. A recent report in The Straits Times announced proposed rules for owners of rottweilers issued by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA). One has to fulfill several conditions: leashing and muzzling the dog in public; implanting a microchip in the animal; taking up an insurance policy of at least $100,000; putting up a banker’s guarantee of $2,000, which is forfeited if the dog strays, bites a person or is reported lost; and sending the dog for obedience training.
This Breed-Specific-Legislation (BSL) that the AVA seems so intent to pass, means one will incur insanely high costs to have one.
But really, are the dogs to blame? Are they as ferocious, menacing, and aggressive as they are made out to be? The statistics speak for themselves. According to The New Paper (TNP), there are 323 rottweilers in Singapore. 60 dog-biting cases take place every year. Out of the 60 cases, 3 of them involve this breed. That’s 5 per cent. And due to the negative reporting of this 5 per cent of rotten apples, the entire community is under public scrutiny, fighting off biased, vicious comments thrown their way.
The Strait Times article was headlined with “AVA to take the bite out of rottweilers”, portraying them as “potentially dangerous dogs” even before the reader gets past the byline.
However, according to TNP’s report, the rottweiler is made out by the American Kennel Club to be a “calm, confident and courageous dog that chooses friendships carefully”. It also harbors a strong “desire to protect home and family, and is an intelligent dog with a strong willingness to work”. We don’t see any of these qualities emphasized in certain reports.
Instead, rottweilers are often portrayed as being bred to kill. Strong words such as “mauled”, “tore” and “ripped” are used, and the viciousness of the bite is often played up. According to the 2002 Canadian Hospital Injury Reporting and Prevention Program, the top 4 dog biters are, in order of prevalence of occurrence: the German shepherd, cocker spaniel, rottweiler and golden retriever. Shocking? You probably didn’t see “cocker spaniel” and “golden retriever” coming, because they are often depicted as gentle, family dogs.
Why is there a disparity in the treatment of rottweilers? As TK Haw, 31, owner of two rottweilers puts it, “For every vicious attack you hear in the media… there are hundreds if not thousands more [of the dogs] that work every day beside responsible owners that engage their dogs mentally and physically.”
Bear is the older of the duo but is distinctively smaller in size. He is the disciplinarian whereas Bruno is the fun-lover
TK’s Rottweilers, Bear and Bruno train with the Singapore Civil Defence Force’s (SCDF) Search and Rescue Unit. Their scope of work includes locating victims trapped under rubble, in burning buildings as well as forested areas. They are also qualified Therapy dogs.
Being qualified Therapy dogs, Bear and Bruno often visit old folks’ homes and mental institutes to aid the patients there in their recovery. Therapy dogs have to possess characteristics such as being highly confident and calm. This is due to patients screaming and shouting, even rough-handling the dogs unexpectedly.
During the interview, this UrbanWire reporter was introduced to Bear and Bruno. Both rottweilers mingle easily with adults and children alike. They interact freely with other dogs too, at times taking on the protective brotherly role. So why the bad reputation of rottweilers when there are 2 exemplary specimens right here?
TK explains, “Rottweilers are big, strong intelligent dogs… As they are pretty big, many owners fail to even bring their dogs out for walks, much less allow them to interact with the outside world. Imagine putting your own child at home and protecting him until he is 18, then asking him to get out and fend for himself. He will be scared, skittish, and probably be in a very bad mood. This is exactly how the rottweiler, or any other dog that is penned up all day in the same area with little or no stimulus, would be…”
The fault it seems, lie with the owners. However, by punishing the owners through fines and compulsory policies, rottweilers, indirectly, will be affected too.
TK offers an alternative solution. “The problem is really about educating existing and new dog owners what exactly constitutes to having a dog. The responsibilities and the basic knowledge of dog keeping should be taught to them. The knowledge is readily available, but the main issue is really to just have dog lovers actually agree on a course syllabus.”
Will educating owners help eliminate, if not, reduce the discrimination towards rottweilers? UrbanWire certainly hopes so. The road might be a long and arduous one, but perhaps one day, they will shake off the stigma associated with them, and we will realize the immense potential this breed has to offer.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
- Biters are 6.2 times as likely to be male than female
- Biters are 2.6 times as likely to be intact than neutered
- Biters are 2.8 times as likely to be chained as unchained
- Biters were significantly more likely to be German Shepherd or Chow Chow, male and unneutered, 50lbs and above and under 5 years of age
- Biters were significantly more likely to reside in a house with one or more children and more likely to be chained while in the yard
- Children aged 12 and younger were the victims in 51% of all cases; the median age of all bite victims was 12 years (range 1-83 years)
- 64% of bite victims were male
- 76% of the bites were recorded as minor and 24% as severe
- 50% of bites occurred on the sidewalk, street, alley or playground; 30% in the owner's yard; 14% in the owner's house and 4% in the victim's yard
The Rottweiler is not even MENTIONED!
However, the site does put us as pretty dangerous. Go take a read especially where innocent children lose their lives to irresponsible owners.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Frequently avoided and shunned, we chronicle our little adventures in here so as to let people understand a little more about us and our lives. Where we go, how we meet other people. And hopefully, be able to reach out one by one, people that are fearful of us... to come and understand us a little better.
We are not vicious killing machines, nor attack without provocation. We are smart and intelligent dogs that had no choice being born, however, since we exist, we need a strong leader to make us to be as great as we can be. Like children, we need to be taught all the time. If we are not told what is right or wrong, who can blame us when we cannot tell the difference?
A special note to the media that so loves a sensational story... you are doing a great injustice to me and my kind. Maybe its time to have a little balance in your stories and do about good ones. God knows that there are probably more good deeds done out there each day, as boring as it is, than the occasional "accident" that occurs.
One of our best periods of the year is coming... that's right... its Christmas! and that would also mark Bruno's birthday as well as his 1st year with us. Its a really significant time for our little family.
Lets just hope that this year would turn out great... and that we can put behind all this ugly business of BSL.
On a seperate note, its been a really tough period for Pa as well. The economy is bad, the problems both social and economical has been quite daunting. And what a emotional rollar coaster it has been.
Pa always complains about not being rich... but hey Pa, you have US... that's like as rich as you can get. RIGHT? I sometimes do not understand the look he gives me when I say things like that. It looks a little like...
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Malaysian worker dies after being attacked by white tigers at zoo---------------------------
SINGAPORE: A Malaysian contract worker died after being attacked by three white tigers at the Singapore Zoo on Thursday.
The worker has been identified as Nordin Bin Montong. The 32-year-old had jumped into a moat at the White Tiger exhibit and was subsequently attacked by the white tigers.
The commotion attracted the attention of nearby zoo keepers who went into the exhibit to distract the tigers in order to rescue Nordin.
Police said they received a report at 12.30pm about a man sustaining neck injuries at the zoo. Paramedics were called to the scene and Nordin was pronounced dead at 12.45pm.
The police are investigating the cause of the incident. The White Tiger exhibit has been temporarily closed as a precautionary measure.
Maybe its time AVA imposes a leash and muzzle law as well, + a $100k insurance value and a $2000 bond.
Please... watch this video about Rottweilers
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Why just rottweilers?
Rottweiler owner Satpal Kaur says insurance measures should be for all large dogs
THIS woman is her dogs' best friend, judging from the money she is shelling out for them.
By Andre Yeo
12 November 2008
She paid a $6,000 fine, plus compensation to her neighbour because her five rottweilers went after another dog.
She spent $10,000 on renovations to help contain the dogs.
And she is paying to house two of them in pet hotels, as she was allowed to keep only three of the dogs in her home.
Now, she might face new bills for $100,000 insurance coverage and a banker's guarantee of $2,000 if she insists on keeping 'dangerous dogs'.
So are the authorities being unfair to dog lovers or do owners deserve to be leashed?
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) told The New Paper that new rules were being considered following reports of vicious attacks by rottweilers on people and other dogs locally and in other countries.
One such attack happened on 26 Nov last year, when Madam Satpal Kaur's five rottweilers attacked a smaller terrier in Lengkong Tiga, Kembangan.
She was fined $6,000 for letting her dogs out unleashed and unmuzzled, and had compensated the other dog's owner.
Five potentially aggressive dogs, and inadequate control over them. So, who deserves the leash?
But Madam Satpal, 51, told The New Paper yesterday that she was upset to hear the proposed new rules.
She said it was unfair that rottweilers were being singled out by the AVA and said all large dogs should be placed in the same category.
The AVA had said it was thinking of creating a new category of dangerous dogs, with the rottweiler and its cross-breeds being included in this group.
Owners of such dogs would have to take up a $100,000 insurance policy and a banker's guarantee of $2,000.
The guarantee would be forfeited if the dog strays, bites someone or is reported lost.
Newly licensed dogs must also undergo obedience training.
But Madam Satpal does not think all these rules are 'right'.
'I am already paying a hefty price for their lodging, per month. This will be added cost for me. And already the economy is so bad. Everybody is feeling the pinch, including me.'
So, why keep rottweilers?
She said they were like any other dogs which could also be ferocious and harm humans.
'Why only categorise rottweilers? You should go for large breeds, then it's fair.
'It's the way you bring up your dog that actually matters.'
So it seems even dog owners agree that people and not the dogs are the real issue.
But Madam Satpal thinks the proposed new rulings should be for new dog owners as current rottweiler owners would have already sent their dogs for obedience training and would have been tamed by then.
But what about her rottweilers that attacked another dog? That's hardly the act of tame dogs.
She said the incident arose because her front gate had malfunctioned, allowing the dogs to escape.
Her case might well have prompted the proposed new rulings. How did she feel about that?
She said it was unfair for her to get the blame as her case was the one that had attracted the most media attention.
Mr Jack Wang, 58, the executive director of a security company specialising in training guard dogs, owns a rottweiler and said the proposed rules were unfair to rottweiler owners as the coverage was too high.
He has been training guard dogs for 25 years and owned 20 rottweilers during this period.
He said: 'The insurance policy is quite unreasonable because if the owner looks after the dog properly, it would be quite unnecessary.
'Owners might put the dog down or let them out onto the streets. Not all rottweilers are killer dogs.
'Some are very friendly.'
According to the American Kennel Club, the rottweiler is a calm, confident and courageous dog that chooses friendships carefully.
It also has a desire to protect home and family, and is an intelligent dog with a strong willingness to work.
A veterinary nurse with four years' experience, who declined to be named, said she has seen around six or seven rottweilers and said they should not be 'punished' for being built the way they are.
She said rottweilers are meant to be guard dogs,
So, it's the owners who should be educated on what is required of a rottweiler owner instead of lumping the breed into a dangerous dog category, she said.
She added: 'The AVA needs to have a process to screen owners to see who is suitable to own such dogs.
'Whoever owns a rottweiler should be able to handle them. The aim should be to educate the public about this breed.
'If you slap on these rules, and the owner can afford it, and is still irresponsible, then it would be counter-effective.'
So should we make potential owners of potentially dangerous dogs go for a psychological screening and civic responsibility counselling?
Forget the obedience classes for dogs and apply them for owners instead, perhaps.
-----------------------------------Too much trouble? Get a hamster instead
ONE of my friends, who lives in Scotland, is a registered breeder of rottweilers.
By Reggie J
12 November 2008
ONE of my friends, who lives in Scotland, is a registered breeder of rottweilers.
From her, I've learnt that the rottweiler was bred in Germany for the specific purposes of guarding and personal protection.
These dogs, she tells me, are dangerous in the hands of a novice owner. They are animals that respond in a very instinct-driven way.
So, it is difficult to understand why some people would want so casually to keep them as pets.
The problem with rottweilers is that, as a breed, they have been engineered to become killing machines. The bite from a rottweiler is much harder than the bite from, say, an alsatian.
So how do we control their presence in your peaceful neighbourhood? A good way is to license them - not the dogs, the owners.
To be able to get a licence to own and control this type of dog, the potential owner should be required to first undergo some training.
Let's get an assessment of the owner's home.
While we're at it, let's also get the dog's opinion. Is it fearful or comfortable in the hands of this owner?
Is all this too much trouble for the owner? Then keep a hamster, I say.
After all, if you want to handle another killing machine - the family car - you need to pass a driving test.
So, why not pass a test to control a rottweiler?
We have read of too many cases of dog owners who are not capable or strong enough to control their dogs.
One hears of how loving and wonderful someone's 'rottie' is and then we learn how it tore another animal or child to ribbons.
A friend of mine has two daughters, aged 7 and 5, and both have been cornered by large and seemingly aggressive dogs - let loose and unleashed - in the park near their house.
When confronted about their rampaging animals, the dog owners would, at best, give a blank stare, like the victim was the one with a problem.
I would like to see rottweilers banned as a pet.
If not, a muzzle and leash must be important pieces of the rottweilers' wardrobe, and they should never be allowed to leave home without them.
In fact, it is mandatory for every dog owner to adhere to this when taking their animal out in public places or risk being fined.
But in land-scarce Singapore, there is no place for these animals, leashed or otherwise.
Dog owners should also consider the feelings of fellow citizens. A Muslim cab-driver friend told me he once declined a fare because the commuter had a dog and was understanding about it.
Only guide dogs should be permitted to travel in taxis and on public transport, and allowed in public places such as restaurants and hotels.
How many times have we seen pet owners take their dogs to eating places?
Sure, dogs can have good manners if they are raised properly, but who'll teach dog owners some good manners?
So if we can't change their behaviour in a nice way, let's bring about change with strict rules.
Put the owners on a leash and the dogs will behave like, well, pussy cats.
The writer is a former Singaporean marketing professional.--------------------------------
OTHER DOG ATTACKS
- July 2008
Housewife jailed 20months after getting her shih-tzu to bite her maid on thigh and finger.
30 Sep, 2007
Siberian husky attacked a 3-year-old toddler while she was with her family at Tanjung Beach in Sentosa.
She needed surgery to stitch back her partially-torn left ear.
A woman was fined $2,500 for negligence in allowing a 'ferocious dog' to be unmuzzled. She also paid the girl's medical bill of $3,400.
1 Dec, 1999
Labrador attacked an accountant and her husky off Upper East Coast Road.
Woman suffered seven 1cm-long cuts on her left leg.
Labrador's owner fined $2,500 and ordered to pay woman $65 in compensation.
18 Apr, 1999-----------------------------------
Unmuzzled alsatian attacked a smaller dog at East Coast Terrace out on morning walk with its owner.
Alsatian's owner fined $800 by a magistrate's court.
There are 323 rottweilers in Singapore
Every year, there are about eight cases of dog attacks involving dangerous dogs
And at least three dog attacks involve rottweilers every year
Dear Satpal Kaur,Please SHUT UP. I have NO IDEA why the newspaper decides to interview you again, or that WHY you actually decide to comment... But you are probably THE worst person to comment about Rottweilers.
And to have the papers labeling her as HER dogs' best friend in the most sarcastic manner would probably thrill her instead of insult her.
and said all large dogs should be placed in the same category.
You are a complete and utter moron. Instead of fighting this, you decide that everyone should suffer. You only serve to alienate yourself further.
Why only categorise rottweilers? You should go for large breeds, then it's fair.
'It's the way you bring up your dog that actually matters.'It is NOT fair that you decide NOT to train your fucking dogs and have them attack another dog... and how you bring up your dog DOES MATTER.... but apparently not to you!
She said they were like any other dogs which could also be ferocious and harm humans.
has her stupidity know NO BOUNDS?
The next article has Reggie J (who?) a FORMER Singaporean Marketing Professional... comment like an EXPERT... in which his ONLY experience with Rotties is that he has a FRIEND in Scotland, a registered Rottie breeder as his link.
What sort of a expert commentary is that? His little article, on page 2 of the newpaper, already started off with quite a few wrong "facts" and "details" which I am sure his friend in Scotland would be rolling in her grave if she ever finds out.
I am angry, but being angry in the face of such negative publicity just means I have to work harder quietly to change people's perceptions.One fucking step at a time.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Found on the Straits Times here...
AVA to take the bite out of rottweilers
Proposed rules include compulsory obedience training and insurance. -ST
Sat, Nov 08, 2008
The Straits Times
By Kimberly Spykerman & Amresh Gunasingham
OWNERS of rottweilers may soon have to buy insurance, place a surety and send their dogs for obedience training.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) is looking at making such changes to its licensing requirements for those owning what the authority terms 'potentially dangerous dogs'.
If the new rules are approved, owning a rottweiler could become more costly.
Proposed rules for dangerous dogs
Dogs banned here:
- Perro De Presa Canario, Cane Corso and Dogue De Bourdeaux to be added to the list that now includes the pit bull, Akita, Neapolitan mastiff, Tosa, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Boerboel and all their crosses.
Dogs that must be leashed and muzzled:
- Bull terrier, rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, German shepherd (with its related breeds such as the Belgian shepherd), mastiffs and all their crosses
New category for rottweilers and all its crosses
In addition to leashing and muzzling the dogs, owners must also:
- Implant a microchip in the animal
- Take up an insurance policy of at least $100,000
- Put up a banker's guarantee of $2,000, which will be forfeited if the dog strays, bites a person or is reported lost
- Send their dogs for obedience training
Should Bruno and I take up the mantel of educationists? We have tried our very best to change people's mindset... we have even braved going to dog shows organized by the AVA as a practical display of just who we really are and can be.
This new BSL, or Breed-specific Legislation would have long and far-off effects on the pet population in Singapore.
Irresponsible people like the Singh Family and their 5 rotties have most likely prompted this new BSL. How can we fight this?
The America Temperament Test Society is constantly updating their stats... and guess what...
From the ATTS, the first column is the total number of dogs tested, the second is the total number of dogs passed, third would be the ones that failed and the last would be the percentages.
Like all statistics, the more samples tested, the more accurate the picture... and Rottweilers have almost 5000 tested, far above German Shepherds as well as Golden Retrievers and Jack Russells and Labradors.
Some may argue that the new BSL is punishing errant owners monetary wise... But BSL has shown not to work at all, but to only eradicate the breed specific to it. Instead, owner education is so much more important.
As search and rescue dogs, we risk ourselves to save humans and ask nothing in return but a pat on our heads. If we are to pay insurance for ourselves to protect others from us, what happens then when we do help others? should we get paid in return? Also, obedience training does not ensure that the dog does not misbehave. In fact, our SCDF instructors preferred that the dog is not strictly obedience trained as we are to roam the rubble to look for people in help.
Interview US. The media has been widely blamed for ALL THESE misrepresentations of our breed. Why do you not take a look on the other side of the fence? Hopefully we win the Clubpets cover dog competition and have a great way to talk to others about us... and also hopefully another friend would be able to secure an article on her school magazine...
Wish us luck.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Life is a funny thing Pa says... sometimes you just want to be alone, sometimes you wish you had someone to share it with.
Seeing all he had on the niffy scooter he rented, he wished he could share it with someone... I think he means me.
Everyone was pretty amused at the little head dress he had on... but remembering the time he had put on someone else's helmet and developed an outbreak of pimples, he decided not to take any more chances.
Life in the smaller villages seems very laid back and simple. Children possess that innocence in the eyes that sometimes city kids no longer have. As a therapy dog before, I had seen my share of lost innocence.
And they make use of everything around them to stimulate their sense... they might not have much, but they certainly make do. Check out the construction of a simple toy boat from this little boy.
Good Food! at $20/kg, these lobsters were fresh and a real steal. Pa definitely had some really good food. Too much it seems!
Sunset over at Bali's Kuta beach. It was rather packed and everyone just wanted to see the really beautiful sunset.
Pa saw this lovely couple there... and wished that she was there looking at him the same way she is looking at him in the picture. The rest of the world blurs out. Well, I wish Pa would look at me the same way too... in a totally owner/pet way of course.
Meet QQ the jumping Rabbit.
I really like Rabbits.
Sometimes she pretends to be a horse, but I know its just pretend.
Really she can be anything she wants to be. Show-dog, Rabbit, Horse...
We'll still play with her!
Even Bruno would be happy to be a Rabbit alongside her.
At the end of the day, it is just as much fun as you decide to put in. Life is simply too short especially for us dogs to have anything else but fun.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
One of Pa's cheap as dirt meals. He reckons that out food cost more than what he had in Bali compared to ours. but it looks and tastes good. Not too healthy though....
Hahaha... being all alone and working, I guess sometimes Pa just can't help himself... and have to go to the ATM machines. I didn't know ATM machines could be so exciting.
First day he was there, he had to travel like 4 hours on the road and another hour on a ferry. Work people... work... Poor Pa.
Just something Pa spotted at the airport. He was pretty cryptic when he said that he would wanna try that some day. Its just ice-cream right? I had ice-cream too!
Its the doggie show this Sunday. Pa says that very likely he would bring us there. WHOOPIE!