Friend of Dog

When we were young, some memories seemed to vanish mysterious into a black hole. some of us would hardly remember we even existed before a certain age, like as if the brain performed a system shut down on those particular blocks of memory. Then there would be segments of our lives we remembered every single vivid detail for or against our will. Up till today, scientists are unable to explain the mysteries of the human brain.

There was a particular party I would never forget. It was a gathering at a distant relative's house we called Auntie Chong. It was probably one of the very few landed properties I ever set foot on in Singapore. The gathering was for the grown ups. We had no business to be there but We were because we had to. Soon children roamed around the place, exploring it like a dungeon. Every corner was an inspiration, discovery and the curiosity.

Every adventurer gets thirsty. So when I found myself alone in the kitchen with a large mug of iced Sprite, I helped myself to it. After I downed the entire contents, I grinned idiotically and thought to myself, "Forbidden goods are always the best." Sneaky little bastard. I soon got busted because I began to go on a rampage of irrational rants, bugging my mum to take the taxi (was a luxury to our family back then) for a 200m outside when the group decided to head somewhere else. My face was as red as Brother Love of WWF in the olden days. It was then the adults realised I drank a cocktail with high alcohol content by mistake. Thus incident remained the only time I got drunk in my life. 

I was 4 years old. Never again.

That lesson probably saved me from any remote chance I would turn alcoholic in later life but at the cost of a partially fried brain for me to live the rest of the life. I might be a genius if that didn't happen but look at me now. Let this be a lesson to your kids. Feel free to forward this to educate people what not to do with bad drinks. I went on and on didn't it? I was actually meant to share the other one of the two vivid memories of that event.

Ok the dog.

Auntie Chong had a big dog. I know everything looks big for a 4-year old but that was a big dog by all standards. I didn't remember how my sisters and the other children (if any) were scared. I was terrified with the sight of it approaching me. He could probably bite off my miserable head (both) if he wanted to. Auntie Chong quickly stepped in and taught us the secret. The great beast could be resisted if the magical words were called out. "Friend" and "Out".

The sorceress was right. The spell worked like a charm. Since I didn't regard big beast as a friend, I began to bark around like a dog myself, "Out! Out!" to fend off his licky attacks. I was afraid of dogs and if I could remember correctly, most children were during those days. Dare challenges related to patting a dog was common among the kids in school. How we broke into mad laughter at the sight of a failed challenger turning tails at the last minute to run for his life.

Who can imagine we would have an affinity with dogs later on? When I was 7 years old, our first dog joined the family in our small 3 room flat. Our family would have been owners to 3 dogs in the next 25 years. The last dog who left us, our gutsy JRT, died a few months shortly after I came to Perth. It remained one of my haunting regrets of leaving Singapore at the back of my mind, a memory valve that my brain will never close to remind me I left behind my closest friend in pursuit of my selfish goals. Till today, whenever I thought about the crazy memories with the Chocolate, I would shed a quiet tear.

Is favour or prejudice hereditary? I believe it may be possible. For I noticed little Albany, who has not turned 2 yet, has no fear towards dogs be it big or small dogs, plain or patchy whereas her self declared dog lover father fled for his balls when he saw a dog at twice Albany's age.  She wouldn't have known Jen and I love dogs nor there was any possibility she had been emulating her parents because we had no interactions with dogs since we came here.

I want a dog. I need land.


  1. One major difference between SG dogs and Perth dogs, most of the Perth dogs seem to be trained, at least they are well-behaved around strangers, not barking aggressively or trying to maul them.

    Many, if not most, dogs in Singapore are not trained, and thus, tend to bark and jump at strangers, thus scaring the bejesus out of anyone not used to dogs.

  2. A dog is a man's best fren. It will nvr look down on you especially uf you are down!

  3. You dont need a lot of land. Just a house sometimes apartment can be OK. If renting must ask permission from landlord, if rent a apartment then strata management and landlord.

    But you must walk the dog every day (sometimes twice a day), (not that you never own a dog before but some Singaporeans have strange habits with pets).

    Go for it. Do it when she is young