Friday, December 24, 2010

It felt like only yesterday....

...Little Mariko came home. I'm glad the kids get along swell. Riko idolizes her big brother. Ruki tolerates her being at his face and following his every move.

then... dogs in formation

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Something smells

For the past week, it seems there is some kind of windfall of soup bones at day care. It might well be due to Grandma striking a little win from a lottery. So, the kids have been having giant bones to gnaw on during the day. Mariko seem to have an obsession to them. She decided to take one back from daycare on Monday. As it turns out, most nights this week, she has been gnawing a bone on the ride home. The car ride had been blissful until the car started to reek like the meat section of the supermarket.

So yesterday, I threw the bones out of the dogmobile into the garden for her prolonged enjoyment. All was well again when I went to bed.

You see, my bedroom is temperature-controlled for my boy. He prefers to sleep in near artic conditions. Apparently, the kids smuggled a bone in the bedroom. By the time I went to bed, I thought I had walked into a meat-packaging factory!

..except...the only bodies lying around were my kids!

After a trilogy of fart, poo and reeky odours.... I am desparate to see green pastures, fluffy clouds and blue skies by year end.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The ugly truth about being off-leash

Some weeks after my sprained ankle incident, I found out that grand dad has been taking my boy off-leash to a patch of grass next to the main road. I'm resolved to trying to stay positive about the whole idea. I'm also intrigued about knowing how it's done .... how you wake the boy from scent trance when it's time to go.

With my ankle still on recovery mode, I've mustered the courage to do some off-leash with the boy this week after dinner. On the first try-out, we went to the park down the road. Ruki went on his sniffing frenzy the moment he jumped out of the car. I was yelling at him every few minutes to stay close while walking my girl on leash. Now, every walk is not complete without a poo. So as Ruki started to squat down, I noticed his leash dangling at his behind. We rushed over to pull the leash from under but.. Too late...I got piping hot poo on my hand!! Yucks! We left the park hurriedly and I drove home with one hand on the steering wheel!

I had a feeling Ruki didn't get enough as it felt kind of rushed the first time. Like a pit (poo) stop. So, the next night...we were back again. This time, I'm trying to be calm about the whole dangling leash. Ruki was freely sniffing away. I was still calling him to stay close like every other second. When he reached the end of the path, he decided to climb up a hillside and disappeared into the darkness. Since I was in no condition to climb, Riko and I ran back to the car. As I was bundling the girl into the car, I heard running sounds coming from the darkness. It was Ruki racing down the road. Thank goodness! Immediately, I summoned him into the car. He did his last sniff and jumped up the car.

TOO far it's been sniff zombie, runaway boy, frantic "come here" shouts, zero recall and poo-in-the-hand.

One good thing is the prompt departure from daycare. They get harnessed-up before leaving daycare. So the dilly-dally Boy gets promptly into the car before he knows he's going off-leash in a while.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The not-so graceful side of Miss Riko

Last every other night, I have my usual pep talk with my girl to let her know how good and how naughty she has been during the day. She takes in my lectures with such grace, patience and understanding...she could sit with me the whole night listening. Well...I think she enjoys head-and-neck scratch and belly rub more than anything else. So as she was enjoying herself yesterday...there was a sudden **poot** sound midway through our session. It startled the poor girl to her feet staring at her bum with a "what-was-that?" look in her face.

Hmmm...looks like someone had a bit too much of ginger and vinegar-cured meat from the table last night.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The curious case of Mariko Leong

For the past few weeks, Riko has been eating erratically again. On slow days, she spends breakfast hovering over her bowl trying swat flies, rather than eating. When she does eat, she's always chewing and looking at what's going on outside at the same time. On really slow days, we always end up having to hand-feed her. Sometimes she eats..sometimes, she doesn't even open her mouth for a kibble like a kid being forced to take some bitter medicine. As soon as you start to serve a lesser portion (to reduce wastage), she suddenly does a rare chomping down of her meal unassisted and going for second helpings. Hallelujah!

She likes her kibbles more than real meats. For that, I've attribute it to her not-so strong set of teeth. Then, I am proven wrong when I watch her take down a giant bone. She is weird.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Treasures found in our Dogmobile

Today, grand dad took our dogmobile for a much-needed car wash. Besides his usual embarrassed looks while handing the car over to the car wash attendant, he reported that they found 2 half-bitten bones, a bottle and a ball at the back seat.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Haruki & Mariko - The Book

I'm taking part in a Sketchbook Project. Last week, I completed my sketchbook!

My book will feature ..who else..but my kids. I hope to mail it out by end of this month. Yay!

My humble little book will take part in book tour in several cities in the U.S. next year. Hopefully, I'll get to view it myself in 2012 at the The Brooklyn Art Library, New York where it (along with thousands others..hahaha...) will become a part of their permanent collection after the tour.

Perhaps, I will give some sneak previews every now and then in my blog. But, if you are anywhere at these U.S. cities on the tour dates in 2011 or in New York in 2012 visit my book (ID# 35070 and 31100)!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fairy Godmas come visiting

My kids' godmothers came over for pie party yesterday. It's been a while since the kids have seen them. The last time Riko was still a cuddly tiny tot. Since her period and spaying operation, she must be thinking she's all grown up. Typically, she likes to come up to a family member and "demand" for free petting sessions. But yesterday, it was a different side of her that we saw. She'd rather hide in the backyard or sit outside on the wet grass. If you know her well, you will know that she'd rather not pee than get her dainty paws wet in the garden. She was even caught sitting in the bathtub in the dark, a few times last night!

I think it must be a bad case of the "grandma wanting to pinch your cheeks and you are not likin' it one bit".

* "Geli" means ticklish in Malay

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ruki goes to face the corner

Mariko seems by default the first to be blamed for any naughtiness at home. Somehow, there is always an outpouring of guilt from her each time I say "WHOOO did this?". She usually side-steps out of the crime scene and hides behind some pots or goes to the backyard. Whilst, Ruki is always lurking around the aftermath investigating the scene with me. For some time now, I have been suspecting that Ruki is not all that innocent.

For the past 2 consecutive morning, I have woken up with the kids entertaining themselves at the foot of the bed. Yesterday, it was the coconut husk and today, it was a plastic flower pot. The moment I sat up on my bed, Ruki quickly grabs the "object of the day" into his "throne". It looks like the only time he gets on his dog bed is when he is holding something important and wants to get my attention.

SOMEBODY knocked down the coffee table this morning.

SOMEBODY moved the couch a few feet away from its normal position.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My boy and his bed

Ever since he was a puppy, my boy been totally contented on the cool hard floors. So, it was a blessing that he's one that doesn't sleep on the couch, bed or carpet. But, over the years, the hard floors have been giving him ugly callus on his elbows and paws. These days, his legs look pretty bruised up and he's been starting to look like an abused boy!

So, my boy has a new bed this weekend.

After much coaxing with butter cookies, he got on the bed. As you can see from his expression, he's not exactly liking the whole experience. Hmm..... he got the largest size from the shop but it's looking rather cramped once he's on it.

For now a least, I think the bed is going to be his throne for having cookies. It seems that the only reason he'll get on it is for cookies! I will have to keep working on him....otherwise, the bed will become the next white elephant in the house.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The referee, the ring leader and the bait

Of lately, I seem to be playing referee at home. My brown girl, the resident night owl, is always poking her brother while he's sleeping. So, he gets annoyed and starts growling. Soon, the situation erupts into a full-blown sumo wrestling match. At times, Ruki-san is not totally innocent too. Like tonight, he was up to his antics. He thought it would be fun to snitch my slipper from under my study table. He swings it around to get our attention. Luckily, I shoved Riko in the bedroom otherwise, there will be a crazy cat-and-mouse chase in the house.

Just 10 minutes earlier, I diffused another chasing situation outside. My brown girl went to grab the kong and started swinging it in front of the boy. Since she did not attract sufficient interest, she ran over to the dog pool and stuck her feet in. Usually, under no circumstance you will find Riko deliberately getting wet. For whatever strange reason, Ruki normally loves to chase a wet Riko. She was setting herself up as bait!.

I was lucky tonight because Ruki was tad lazy to give immediate chase. So I managed to shove Riko inside the house in the nick of time.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mariko hosts her doghouse tour

This weekend, my favourite furniture shop delivered my latest piece of indulgence. So I thought it was time to open my indoor lawns (carpets) again. Everyone at home is now, it is fairly safe. Mariko roused from her nap with the commotion from movers and the, she decided to play hostess to her home.

Over to Riko....

This is my living room. The coffee table inherited from Grandma while the fern is just a prop for the photoshoot. It goes right back to the patio because Momma says we shouldn't kill anymore plants prematurely. Momma wanted to keep the original louvered folding doors and retro grills from this 1970 house. So, she had them all restored...which is a good thing for her but, it makes it impossible for me to escape outside.

Momma loves that everything is in order in this room... so, it's usually for guests. But, Ruki and I think it's ok to be here when we play toy-tugging. We usually end up jumping on the couch simultaneously ...which makes it skid a few inches just for fun. The Turkish patchwork rug is back as Ruki's primary indoor lawn.

Momma opened these rooms up to let in more light to the middle rooms. But, we know that she knocked the walls for us to run from room-to-room when we play indoor chase. Originally, the room on the left was the kitchen. The right was a bedroom. She didn't want to go totally "open concept", so the huge sliding doors can be drawn for privacy, if needed. This creates a problem for us when we want to chase each other in circles.

This is the couch where I sometimes sleep on while waiting for momma to finish her work. I'm lucky to sit on this cicim, a Turkish hand-embroidered rug because momma will only roll it out for special occasions...otherwise, Ruki will make this his secondary lawn.

Momma's study used to be here. It's now our napping cum reading room you can see by the shelves of books. The little pencil-leg side table is one of Momma's favourite pieces.

Momma always wanted a smaller dining room. So, she decided to set one up after finding a charming high sideboard recently. This room doubles up as her study. Her desk usually covered by piles of books and, she decided to un-clutter and store some items under her canteen bench. She has to be careful what she stores down there because Ruki just snitched her writing pad and ripped it to pieces in the garden yesterday!

This is our favourite morning room. It's where we have breakfast and guests congregate while meals are prepared.

This sideboard stores Momma's rose pyrex, her hand-painted ceramics and Chinese cigarette girl posters from Shanghai. She gets a bit nostalgic over her small collection...but, we think that she's living her second childhood because there are more yet to be unpacked for a storage box. Recently, she unpacked some art pieces collected from her travels, to hang them near the living area. It's still a work-in-progress because momma still travelling and collecting.

She also hopes to perfect her Childcraft set one day...even though she knows we can't read. She looking for her favourite volumes 1, 2 and 11 for a start.

Now, Momma's taken to growing her cactus indoors! I wonder how long they will survive on the shelf. Hopefully, she'll remember to water them since they are right in front of the study table where she sits everyday.

The patio has the best short-cut for me to get to the backyard in a flash. This is the place where Grandma and Grandpa sit over coffee and dessert after dinner. The cushions hide a big hole I made a few months earlier. I do check the hole by pulling out some stuffing from time to time to make sure it's still there.

You asked me where I learn this mischief from? Ask my brother Haruki, who is seen running away from all the questioning. Our once intact chair looked like this when my brother wrecked the patio last year. But, that was before I was born.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy birthday Mariko!

My baby girl is one today.

A year ago ...

This morning...

This evening, she leaped over a standing Ruki when we arrived home. I am now convinced of her destiny in the agility circuit.

First, she needs to attend Basic Obedience school.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Escape from Daycare

Since my foot injury and her spaying operation, Riko has been house bound. She seems pretty much okay with watching her brother go for his walk every evening until today.

Apparently, dog-walker dad forgot to close the gate on their way out today. Riko tailed both of them down the road. Once she was spotted, she was safely escorted back home. Poor girl.

Hopefully, this week she'll get to go to the dog park.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Re-introducing.... Virgin Mari(ko)

Riko's e-cone comes off today ....but, it was already (unofficially) out yesterday when I came to pick them up from daycare. My girl is going great..maybe a tinge too energetic. I'm so glad that it's over. She still needs to take it easy for another week. That would be tough since she's the chief wrestling and chasing instigator with my boy.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mariko does a Houdini

Riko was at the vet this morning to remove her stitches. Yeah! Still the internal sutures will take another 10 days to, mobility remains (supposedly) limited. Cone goes back on her for another 3 days and will come out for good this Monday. Surprisingly, she's gotten used to the cumbersome cone but ... I can't wait till it's out.

Meanwhile, Ruki had his bath when we got home. Poor boy had been much neglected since my ankle injury, then Riko's spaying. He hadn't a his proper bath in 2 weeks! Somehow, they love to chase one another when wet. So, Riko safely stayed indoors....or so I thought! Moments after I was done with Ruki's bath, out runs Super Conegirl from the back of the house. Apparently, she escaped through the back door grille (4.5 inch spacing) with her e-collar intact. This is the back door grill. Now, imagine that she escaped here with her cone on!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lack of Bed(side) Manners

Although I claim to own a king size bed, the truth is I'm usually allocated 2 feet from the edge of the bed to sleep on every night. Since her surgery, my girl has been conquering a lot more of bed space and moving up to the pillow section. Maybe, she thinks she deserves more now that she gave up her ovaries for me. Yikes!

One night, I found her sprawled diagonally on my side of the bed and I had to sleep on the opposite side. The following night, she decided to sleep where my feet, I had to sleep with my legs curled up. Some nights, I have to sleep diagonally as she refused to re-position herself mid-sleep. Somehow, I always end up with her butt right up my face. But then... just the other night, I woke up nose-to-nose with her e-cone head!

Ok, which side should I sleep tonight?

Note: The blue sheet is her original zone.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Breaking News: Riko was kidnapped!

I visited Riko again this afternoon. As you can see, Riko was still looking sad with her cone of shame. The vet said she was whining in the afternoon when the other dogs started barking. She was drinking but still not eating. So, I tried feeding some canned dog food. She chomped it down in seconds. Good sign.
After some long conversations with the vet, he asked whether I wanted to take her home overnight. Can I really? Since the first night, she was on she may not remember a lot. But, today she's fully conscious....I think she will be more scared today...or rather I will be more frightened for her.

So, I took her home sooner than expected. I just needed to take precautions to reduce her mobility. The vet bandaged her sutures before we left.

Meanwhile, Ruki boy will full board at Daycare...while I care for Riko at home. When she came back, she did a long wee (like the kind you hold when you are out all day and didn't dare use the public toilet).

Then, she went in and drank a whole bowl of water. Then, she laid down and went to sleep.

When she woke up, she let out a bark..replying to some distant barking somewhere. She was then escorted outside to pee. She finished her plate of kibbles.

Now, the challenge is how to juggle both kids between homes. They cannot be together for another week. Yikes!

The Morning After

Riko girl was fully coherent this morning. She was terribly timid in strange kennel environment. She didn't let out a sound (not even a whine) when she saw me...but her eyes showed that she was scared silent. The water bowl was empty this morning. She had peed during the night. Still not eating anything this morning. Took her for a walk in the back alley. She now dawns an e-collar...and will do so till next Friday or more.

More than an hour later, she wasn't happy to see me go. Neither was I. :(

BUT, I'm so glad she's alive and kicking... and that the surgery went well!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Big Day

Today, my baby went in for her surgery. I guess she didn't see it coming...though, she must have thought her momma was going nuts with all the petting and pep talks lately.

Somebody else didn't see it coming too...or did he...

Maybe, he knew something fishy was up again (last time was when momma and Riko secretly went for pet therapy without him). This time..he wants nothing to do with this fishy business.

I brought her in at 10.30am. She was really scared because the place and people were strange to her. She refused to enter the kennel area...partly because another patient dog was barking really loud. I brought in my overnight bag of goodies - yogurt, kibbles, chicken/liver/ gizzard chops, a few butter cookies and peanut butter (in case she wasn't into regular food and preferred some junk food). The vet laughed at the things I brought. Well, Riko is one fussy eater. I settled her in and had to go for a meeting.

Apparently, the vet put her in the kennel after pre-medication before the surgery. She refused to come out of the kennel for her operation. So, they had to carry her to the table. Poor girl :(

The surgery went well. I came to see her at 6 o'clock. She was still groggy and couldn't move a lot. She didn't want to eat and only drank a bit. After a while, she wanted to stand up (as if wanting to leave with me). But, her legs were too weak to hold up for long. :((

She is spending the night at the vet. It's not the best of place to be. I hope she'll feel better tomorrow.

Photos on 21 Sept 2010