SCDF assisting in Japan quake

HC has been glued to the news since last Friday... sadly watching grim pictures of a tsunami-swept Japan.

There were also news of Singapore Search & Rescue dog team....

From CNA:
SINGAPORE: The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has sent five search specialists and five search dogs to Japan to assist in the rescue operations following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake which hit northeast Japan on Friday.The SCDF officers are from the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) contingent, codenamed Operation Lionheart.The team is led by Search Platoon Commander, Major Tan Loo Ping. Read more

The officers that are in Japan now are regularly train us in our voluntary SAR - S.S. Lean, S.S. Jega, S.Kelvin,.. and another one whom I couldn't catch the name fast enough. I think some of them just came back from New Zealand quake mission - and barely 2 weeks later, they are in Japan.

It's a rough few weeks for people of NZ, China and Japan.. and I am sure the dogs are suffering too as they may have lost their owners. Most of these dogs are so domesticated that they would have a rough time in the ruins, esp in Japan when the temperature is freezing.

For the dogs that have perished in the quake and tsunami... rest in peace.

I hope the humanitarian societies there assisting in relief work will not forget to look after the homeless dogs and cats.

I feel so blessed to have a nice warm blanket to sleep in.

UK Soldier, Loyal Dog die on same day

In recent canine related news - a UK Soldier was killed in a firefight with insurgents in Helmand Province and his bomb-sniffing dog suffered a fatal seizure hours later at a British army base, likely brought about by stress.... read link here

The dog, who is very young (22 months) probably died from a broken heart after knowing his handler was dead. Dogs who worked with their handlers usually formed a very close bond.

Even though HC has two dogs - Jack and I, she has to admit that I bonded with her alot more.

She has attended Search & Rescue training with me for the last 8 years (I started SAR training when I was18 months old), and through these many many sessions - both of us have learned alot. She has learnt to read my body language and I have learnt to work with her seamlessly.
For example, when my SAR vest come loose while working, I would pause midway through my sniffing work and let her tighten my vest.
Once, she saw from far (usually she is about a few metres away from me) that there is a big gaping hole below where I was standing, and said "careful". I look down to see what she is talking about and moved away from the site. One of the officers was there to witness it, and was impressed with how I could understand what she meant.

I have always love going to the dog park and play fetch. But once, a friend brought us there instead.. and no matter how he enticed me with the ball, I wasn't in a mood to play fetch, and would stand by the entrance waiting for HC to appear.

Dogs are loyal beings... but sad to say, not all humans are.

Water Purifier

HC recently bought a water purifier with a 3 stage filtration process - for all of us to share at home.

The water is great tasting, and HC noticed that we seem to enjoy the water and drink abit more compared to before.

Putting a dog to sleep? Kindness?

We (human and canine) were trying to take a Sunday afternoon nap when HC received a call from a friend.

Apparently, this friend's brother is going through a divorce with his wife, and the wife demanded him to remove their blind dog as she does not want him anymore. The friend's brother is also at a loss, as he does not have his own apartment for now, and is lodging in somewhere elses' home. So the question made to HC's friend was... " is it kinder to put the dog to sleep?".

HC was really pissed off with the attitude of such owners. They are fighting over a list of assets and child custody.. but the dog is not in the 'wanted' list.

She has came across so many of such owners over the years. Lovey dovey new couples get together and decides to get a dog with reasons like "it completes the family" or "seal their committment to future lives together." blah blah blah. A few years down the road, when their relationship breaks down, or they have a new baby - the once coveted dog is now cast aside. If the dog is lucky, he probably still get fed and short 5 min walk, if not the dog may be abandoned or rehomed.

For this case, HC truthfully told her friend (not the dog's owner) that it is not easy to rehome a blind dog. After much persuasion, she sorta managed to advise this friend to offer to temporarily take care of this dog, and when his brother finds his own apartment - he could returned the dog to him.

I am not sure what future the dog will have, but I sincerely wished him the best. (HC has offered to help in anyway she could, except to take this dog in!)

There are lots of dogs who are in such situation, and I hope that potential dog owners think twice before getting a dog cos having a dog is a lifetime committment!

There goes our afternoon nap - HC simply couldn't sleep after hearing this case.