Squeak Squeak Goes the Shrew

Shrews live in my park.

These are little rodents that squeak whenever there is danger. I hear the squeaks a lot on my night walks.

But sometimes the squeaks head my way. These are not perhaps the smartest or nature’s selected fittest. They actually run towards me and my two large dogs, which makes at least two sources of predator.

Sure they live within the relative safety of the park’s confines. But there are lots of stray and non-stray cats that hang out in that park. It is actually a feeding spot, where aunties come around before the sun dawns to place lumps of dry (and sometimes, wet) food. (It’s somewhat of a nightmare to walk my glutton dogs with so much leftover foods, including the mushy after-rain piles)

Last night, I was out a little later than usual.

My two dogs decided to go to separate sides of the walkway. Not an uncommon thing.

I watch Creamy to make sure she doesn’t decide to roll in the puddles. At almost midnight. It’s happened before. Many times.

This is when I realize it’s rather quiet on the other leash. As I look over, my curious Blackspot, ears perked up, is sniffing a little shrew right under her.

Then squeak, squeak, and off the shrew ran. At least it was away from me!

My dog could easily have put an end to that tiny animal. I’m frankly surprised it didn’t spark any prey drive. They chase after cats, or try to. Except the ginger one down the street. They have an understanding – they stare each other down.

My theory is that the reason they chop down the beautiful flowering shrubbery that lines the edge of the park because of the shrews. It seems like the trimmers come when the shrew population gets big. There are several bins along the walk but people still just toss out their garbage, including chicken bones and other unsafe items for dogs.

Public Service Announcement – please throw your leftovers and other garbage in the bins.


Why I Love Thee, my Good Friends…

Why we love our dogsIf you love dogs and specifically your dog(s), I’m sure you can go on and on about them, like me.

So here’s your chance… why do you love your dogs?

I’ll start – I have two dogs and it’s amazing how different they are. It’s a good thing in many ways. They act as foils to each other’s character, bringing out behaviours I may not get to witness otherwise.

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Rhipicephalus sanguineus

Image via Wikipedia

Ticks is a problem in Singapore, year round. Luckily we don’t have too many types here, the one we have to worry about being the brown dog tick. In the three years we lived here the first time round, we never once had any problems with ticks with Blackspot. Now that we have a Goldie (longer hair), especially one who likes to walk in tall grass and dig her nose in just about anything, we have had a two encounters with them already. Both times we found the tick fairly quickly, still small and not yet swollen. Continue reading

Squirrel and the New Kid on the Block

Brown SquirrelJust the other day Creamy discovered the Squirrel. She froze, ears perked, tail up – her alert hunting pose? The squirrel was sitting still on the white fence across the street, perhaps aware of a new predator. It drove Creamy nuts when he hopped along the fence, jumped onto the tree, and disappeared into the canopy.  

Both my dogs have hunting dog genes but I suppose all dogs have some prey drive. It’s actually Creamy that stalks cats and birds.  Blackspot, not so much, at least not anymore. For her, it’s the nuts that have fallen off the trees or the food offerings people leave around for their ancestors.

Creamy has a mindmap of where all the cats live on our regular walks. Thennuts there’s a flock of roosters that she likes to run through and flush out. It’s not always easy, with one dog going after cats and the other sniffing for food. Avoiding drains (where cats hide out) and offerings, as not to fall into the drains ourselves or to offend the neighbour’s ancestors sometimes makes for a comedic spectacle for those around.

Hmmm wondering if Creamy is chasing the squirrels so they will drop their stash of nuts..for Blackspot. They have been known to work together, for food.

How Blackspot Found Us

We both believe that our animals find us. It’s never a coincidence how we find each other in life, whether it be another person or an animal.

We both grew up with dogs and really missed having one. We had great beaches and lots of nature to explore.  And maybe go boating with our friends. We thought a dog would be a perfect companion.

Once our landlord agreed to allowing a dog, we began visiting the SPCA. Every dog we saw was either too big, too small, or was a pitbull/bulldog mix. Not knowing where we would be next, we couldn’t risk adopting a breed, labeled as dangerous and banned by so many countries, and then not being able to relocate with our dog. At the SPCA, the staff was just telling us about the difficulty an Australian is having, returning home with her adopted pitbullX.

Month after month we looked. My husband put my name down for a lab puppy, twice. We even started looking on the American site petfinder.com, thinking of flying the dog over to us but fate had other plans.

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