I was invited to the 2nd day of Chinese New Year dinner organised yearly by a remiser. Beautiful bungalow in a serene tranquil area of Margoulith Road. My wife and I had our food outside at the corner. I was with the owners of the skin and bone poodle with megaoesophagus (no more vomiting, a big relief to the lady owner as vomiting was presented daily for the past 3 years) and a widow in her late 60s who related an incredible tale.
"The Golden Retriever was so good looking that we adopted him even if he had no pedigree papers. My son was excited and we quickly signed the SPCA papers. This dog was recommended by my relative, a vet who helped out at the SPCA."
This vet was my intern over 20 years ago and when her name was mentioned, this woman related the incredible tale.
First the Golden Retriever chewed on plants, legs of tables and graduated to chewing metal. "The puppy chewed steel? Really?" I asked.
"Yes, it is true," the grandmother said. "The neighbour's cars parked outside the house would have no steel rims!"
"What happened to the dog after you returned him to the SPCA?" I asked.
"I don't want to know," the grandmother said. "Was there any solution to this problem? The dog trainer said no solution."
"How old is the puppy?" I presumed incorrectly.
"8 months old when I adopted him."
"Destructive chewing can be prevented when the Golden Retriever is a puppy. Put him inside the kennel when he starts to chew destructively and reward him with treats and exercise when he behaves. However this needs a lot of patience and time." The grandmother had given the dog much freedom and so he kept on destroying the garden and cars. A child not properly disciplined or trained with love will also end up being lacking in ethics and morals too. Parents need time to do the training but there will be handsome men and pretty women out to scam and con. It is best not to judge a book by its cover.
From this incident, she prohibited her grandchildren living in her house from keeping dogs! Despite the fact she enjoyed the company of dogs at a young age.
I was surprised to see a Norwich Terrier puppy coming in for vaccination. This breed is expensive and rare in Singapore. It costs around $2,000 and the owners had adopted him from the SPCA Singapore. Fortunately he has no destructive chewing but he was adopted as a 4-month-old. The daughter in her pre-teens and the parents were very fond of this well behaved puppy.