After a stint in Hong Kong, with a second dog in tow, we headed back to Singapore.
Luckily Singapore had changed its import and quarantine requirements since January 2010, which now allow qualified dogs to avoid or minimize quarantine. Coming from Hong Kong, if our dogs tested positive for the rabies antibody, they could bypass it entirely. The labs required that the tests be done at least one month after but within one year of the rabies vaccination. With the timing, Creamy could take the test right away but Blackspot needed another rabies shot. As it turned out, both tested positive, much to our relief. And I’m sure, the dogs’ as well.
Leaving Hong Kong was much easier, having the dogs travel as excess baggage. It was quite a sight, I’m sure – two carts full of suitcases and bags and a dog crate each. Maneouvering these heavy trolleys was difficult, threatening to overturn at every corner with throngs of people pointing (and yes barking) at us. Comedy in motion, but a full celebration as we looked forward to returning to clean air and fresh grass.
In our experience, finding a dog-friendly apartment in Singapore was usually not an issue. It’s a temporary apartment with dogs that was a little more difficult. Only a few serviced apartments took large dogs but their prices were ridiculous. While we were away, Singapore had become a very expensive to live in.
We took this opportunity to rent in a new area. Before we left Singapore, we stayed at a friend’s in River Valley. We enjoyed the riverside walks with Blackspot and the restaurant and bar lifestyle at night. This time we stayed in the CBD.
It may seem strange to stay with two large dogs in the business district but the walking routes are actually fantastic. Lots of green spaces and pedestrian walks around Marina Bay Sands.
Other walks include the Esplanade Park, Boat Quay, or a complete loop over the bridge, past Marina Bay Sands, and back to our place. Pre-dawn walks was a great way to explore the CBD, without the normal work crowd and traffic. The Christmas decorations were still up, another excuse for pictures of my dogs. We even got lost in the labyrinth of the city centre, my sense of directions obscured by the dark.
We only really felt we were in the city on our afternoon walks, when the streets were full of suits. Most went about their business, while some stopped to smile. Many were simply confounded with fear, doing the back-and-forth dance undecided whether to run from the dogs or freeze in place. I had somewhat forgotten this fear of dogs, living in dog-friendly Discovery Bay, nicknamed Dogs and Babies (most people had either one or both).
We weren’t the only people who thought it was a great area for people and dogs. Creamy met her first friend in Singapore, another Golden Retriever. They would chase each other, roll on the grass, and wrestle, two golden balls in rough but friendly play.
With all the green spaces, Marina Bay was good for the girls. With all the restaurants in the vicinity and my husband’s office close by, coordinating the dog’s evening meals with going out for the night for us was easy. Despite it all, we were starting to miss the feel of a neighbourhood, with a more natural nature. As I sit here writing this post on our back patio, Creamy is lying by my feet. My windows are not closed to shut out the traffic noise. Instead we hear song birds and lingering raindrops on our awning and we feel the lightness in the air and a gentle breeze after a short downpour.