Monday, January 31, 2011

Year Of The Tooki

Sabah is known as "the land below the wind" and the only time when the wind blows is during Chinese New Year. The festive expectancy coupled with the wonderful breeze makes me happy everyday. For the first time this year the wind blew all day and it isn't warm wind, it is cool wind. The new year will begin on 3 February and it will be the year of the rabbit. I like rabbits and "tooki" means rabbit in Korean. It's a nickname I call my sister who was born in the year of the rabbit. Wawa was born in the year of the tiger while Coco was born in the year of the ox.

Our World

There is always something outside the window that keeps the dogs entertained. Buffaloes, birds, dogs, people strolling, children playing.........

Yesterday the ladies were raking the leaves and today the men were mowing the grass.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Northern Chinese Dish

My sister says I can never cook the same dish twice. That's a more tactful way of saying that I am not a good cook. This is supposed to be......let me go find the cookbook first....."northern chinese chicken noodles with mushrooms" but since my chicken was freezing into a rock in the fridge I substituted prawns instead. I skipped the beaten eggs because it made everything too mushy but I used real chicken soup, left over from cooking chicken for the dogs. I tell you, it was so delicious my sister would've wished she arrived yesterday instead of tomorrow. But she is right, my cooking varies all the time because I am too lazy to read every detail in the cookbook. However, she still loves what I cook because when all the food is gone she will pour the gravy over her 2nd plate of rice. When your cooking is below par there are 2 things you can do to make them finish the food. One, cook very, very little so that they "eat but not full, hungry but not die" as the Chinese saying goes. Two, tell them if they complain there will be no food tomorrow. My sister threatens her family with step two ALL the time. Her son-in-law told me.

I haven't received flowers in a long, long time. Yesterday Aunty T dropped by with her whole family and she brought these beautiful flowers for me - plus a huge chicken and pineapple tarts she made herself. Delicious, crumbly with just the right soury sweet taste. She is a very, very good cook and if anyone is interested in food and travel just visit her blog at Her children didn't want to come but she said there are dogs and so they came. See what dogs can do that humans can't.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

While She Was Groomed.....

Coco couldn't stay still to get her picture taken so this is the best I could do. She's finally groomed and the very nice young man who usually does it told me (again) that Coco "gemuk sudah". Gemuk = fat. It took about 2 hours to get her groomed but I didn't mind the wait because I enjoyed looking at all the dogs for sale. A lady bought 2 puppies, one of them a dachshund which looked so cute skipping on her short legs and her long ears flapping. So irresistable that I had to cuddle her. A nice elderly couple bought another Dachshund, which I also cuddled. I heard a sad story about Princess the year old Chihuahua put up for sale by her owner. She was constantly bullied by 2 other big dogs in the house. She must miss her owner very much after having been with him/her for that long. She looked very pathetic and if I didn't have any dog I would buy her and fatten her up and put a smile on her face. And blog about her. What is it about puppies that make you want to bring them home with you? No wonder children beg their parents for pets! Aunty L told me that when her daughter was allowed to adopt a kitten she was so grateful she fell to the ground and cried! Talk about over-reacting...... :)

Ubi Kayu

I haven't cooked this snack for years - deep fried ubi kayu (tapioca) sprinkled with salt and dried shrimps (fried and grounded). I bought a whole bunch of them, mud and all, at a weekly "tamu" for just RM5. A tamu is just an open space where people set up stalls or just a mat on the ground selling all sorts of goods, mainly food. I gave some to Coco and Wawa (minus the salt/shrimp) and they really liked it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

New Year Grooming

Wawa has never had his nails clipped and Aunty L is more worried than me about them scratching my new couch. I guess I will have to get them done one of these days.

Coco needs a haircut badly. I can't even see her eyes now. I plan to get it done today but here am I blogging about it and there was further delay when Aunty L suddenly dropped by to get her dish and say goodbye. Uncle G and Aunty L came for dinner last night and my cooking must have been good because Uncle G had 2 plates of rice..... :) They will be going back to their country this Sunday and we won't be seeing each other until next year when they will once again run away from the bitter winter to sunny Sabah. I really enjoyed their company and hope there will be more dinners and outings when they come again next year.....take good care!

Sight For Sore Eyes

As soon as I get home from work I will be busy picking up after the dogs, cleaning the house and getting their food ready. Yesterday when I lifted my head from my chores the sun had set and left behind beautiful colors in the sky. Quite rare nowadays because it rains all the time.

I get up between 5 to 5.30am each morning and then I work non-stop until 7.30 when I have to get to work. This morning we were greeted by the rain. Not that I mind because living in the hot tropics, rain = cool = happy. I was about to mop my room when the sky suddenly cleared and everything was bathed in gold. A perfect rainbow appeared in the sky. I ran for my camera but the photo doesn't do it justice. It was very, very beautiful but unfortunately lasted only about 5-10 minutes.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Like Your Feet

I used to feed Wawa when he was still a little stray pup. The more he saw of me (my food really) the happier he got. Each time he saw me he would wobble over and sometimes fall asleep at my foot, probably out of tiredness or weakness. He was a very, very sick little puppy who couldn't walk properly and barely had enough strength to wag his tail. But he managed to wag it a bit whenever I visited him and I always told myself if I had to bring any of the puppies home, he would be the one. After my home became his home he still had the habit of sleeping near my feet. No matter how sleepy he would repeatedly wake up and postion himself near me and continue sleeping. He is very, very possessive now and refuses to let me touch Coco. Whenever he is sleeping I would wave silenty to Coco and pat my thigh. She will then come over and stand with her front paws on my thigh. Then I will give her a tummy rub. In seconds Wawa will wake and rush over and take whichever hand is touching Coco in his mouth. Poor Coco will be so frustrated while I end up getting drool and scratches all over my arms.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dancing Lady In White

When Wawa was little he had a white patch on his back. It looked like a dancing lady with a wide, white skirt.

3 months later (why did you have to grow so fast?) the dancing lady in white has disappeared. And the basket has grown smaller too. The only thing that hasn't changed is he's still rummaging for toys in that basket.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Don't Want To Eat (Not Nice)

Is Pedigree Chicken unpalatable or what? I have a few ways to make this dog eat it. One, never serve it to her cold. No amount of coaxing will make her go near the food. Two, drizzle some hot chicken soup on it preferably with a few pieces of the cooked chicken meat/skin/fat. Three, mix it with scrambled eggs (not anymore because the vet says no eggs/pork/beef/lamb). Four, mix it with bread. I have discovered yet another way to make her eat it. I'll just tell her I will give it to Wawa and pretend to do so. She will get up and look at the plate in my hand, an indication that she's ready to eat. And eat it she does.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday Siesta

Found Wawa enjoying a siesta in a sunny spot.

2-Minute Noodle

I think there isn't a single household in this country that doesn't store a few packets of instant noodles in their pantry. I don't eat them often because I think it's unhealthy but once in a blue moon when I am tooooo tired to cook or eat out it is a life-saver.

Friday, January 21, 2011

It Is Heart-Breaking

Thank you Rubie and this post is for you. It is very heart-breaking when I think that stray dogs have never felt a hand lovingly stroking them or hear a voice speaking nicely to them. A friend just told me that dogs are the only animals who can read our facial expressions (my sister insists her cats can too) so it is heart-breaking that strays only get impatient/angry/nervous stares from most humans. They get babies without knowing why (I imagine) and many times they watch their babies die. I recently saw one of them pushing her dead pup with her nose trying to wake it. Sad, isn't it? Last Saturday I went to my office to check on something and didn't bring food with me. Mr. Big Bully whined happily when I got down from my car and he followed me up the steps but I was so, so sorry I had no food with me. He whined unhappily and slept at my door when I left. I felt so bad I bought a loaf of bread at a nearby shop. When I returned he was still lying infront of my door looking (I imagine) extremely disappointed and hungry. He was disappointed that it was just bread but at least he won't go hungry for that day. Well, there are a couple of things that they enjoy. They are free to roam where they want and they don't have to go through the ordeal of taking a bath.

Mr. Big Bully Overslept

Mr. Big Bully is the only male dog in my office and although all the stray dogs are happy to see me each morning, he is the happiest of the lot. He will run towards my car as soon as I arrive and whine affectionately like a puppy. He then waits for me to punch my card before running slightly ahead of me to his feeding spot. Poor Mrs. Big Bully will wait nearby and watch him eat ALL the chicken, leaving only the rice to her and the others. 2 days ago he overslept and missed my arrival. As a result Mrs. Big Bully ate all the chicken and left him the rice.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


"Give me baaahhh!" That seems to be what Wawa is telling Coco who is merrily chewing a pingpong ball and running off whenever Wawa tries to get near. Sabah is the only state in Malaysia where people use the suffix "bah" to express various feelings. Like "ah" or "oh" the word itself has no meaning. Changing the tone changes the meaning of our sentence to express impatience, placation, affection and much, much more. Some locals say "Bah, bah, bah, bah, bah" when they mean "ok". One word "BAH!" from an angry parent is enough to silence a child. Sabahans (regardless of race and age) cannot speak without using the word "bah" and we often struggle to check ourselves when we speak to non-Sabahans and especially orang putih (whites).......

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

We Are Waiting Hopefully

What are they waiting for? An easy guess -- food, of course!

But not their food! Everytime I am about to feed my hamsters they will sit and wait, wishing and hoping that a kernel or two will drop to the floor. When it does, there will be a mad rush for it.

Let's Chew The Deck Chair

When they're done with chewing their toys they will chew the deck chair.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Another New Toy

We got a new toy today........

A chewy ball (which we ate).

Friday, January 14, 2011

Long Time No Kai-Kai

How come that dog can go kai-kai but not me?

We have a new neighbor who owns a white dog. I always see a granny walking that dog and it is very well-behaved (unlike my dogs). It doesn't bark indiscriminately (like Coco) and it walks slowly beside Granny. So unlike Wawa who goes beserk at the sight of bushes and birds. Kai-kai is baby talk for going out. Kai means "street". It is a Hakka word. Chinese has many dialects, Hakka being one of them. Hakka is widely spoken in Sabah (my state) so even though I am not a Hakka I can speak like one.

Feed Me Please!

I'm starving....whine, whine....:((

I deliberately fed them late today because friends are visiting at 4pm and I didn't want them whining hungrily before my guests leave. By 11.30am the 2 dogs were barking hungrily at me and here is Wawa jumping like a kangaroo at the sight of food.
Coco : Oh my goodness, you can jump like a kangaroo! Uncle G said you look like one and Aunty L said you should be called RooRoo...
Wawa : That's the only way I can see what's on the plate.
Coco : What else - it's ALWAYS Pedigree chicken. The vet's wife told us it makes our body and poopoo stink.
Wawa : Really? I think poopoo will stink no matter what we eat. You ever seen stink-less poopoo?

Pingpong Power Struggle

Wawa : What's that in your mouth?
Coco : Mom gave me a pingpong ball. Go away.
Wawa : Give it to me....!!

And so he chased her round the dining table....

.....underneath the deck chair......

.......and behind the curtains.

I know you're behind that curtain, Coco. You forgot to hide your paws. Gimme.....!

Annoying Biting Dog

Unlike Coco and unless he is very, very sleepy, Wawa will not sit still and let you touch any part of his body. He loves attention but he responds by biting and licking. His teeth are still very sharp so I just give up trying to touch him. Coco is entirely different. She will stand very still when her belly is being scratched and when I stroke her face she will look at my face intently. However, I can do almost anything to Wawa when he is sleepy. Best time to check him for fleas or ticks.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Just when I thought the cleaning was almost done, the mop bucket gave way and the pedal stopped working. If anyone wants to lose weight, keep pets (the more the quicker) and clean house.

It's Been A Long Time!

Wawa : Oh my Coco, you sure can jump. Your neck is as long as a dinosaur's.
Coco : Don't you know balloons are my favorite? And thanks to you, we haven't been allowed to play with one because you swallowed all of them.

Coco : Hey, the pink one is mine! Yours is the yellow one!
Wawa : Doesn't matter, both looks equally delicious. I've swallowed the yellow one.
Coco : Mom didn't call you lap sap gou (thrash dog) and da bian gou (shitting dog) for nothing.
Wawa : Well, she called you kutu gou (cootie dog). She called me bao bei gou (beloved dog) when I was sick.
Coco : She calls me that even when I am not sick.
Wawa : For that I will swallow your pink balloon.

Momokuai's Bedtime Routine

Sun is shining and it's time for bed.....

I think I have enough shavings to make a comfy bed.

Oh no.....papparazzi again! They don't know the meaning of privacy.

Shoot all you want. I am going to meditate now.

Good day to all....zzzzz

I'm Back!

Not to worry, he was back to his normal self by Monday and here he is shouting at me to give him his food. I am letting their food cool so I thought I would do some blogging. He thinks I have forgotton to feed him so he's reminding me very loudly.

No End To Your Troubles

There seems to be no end to Wawa's woes. After a bad day at the vet on Saturday, he overate on Sunday and threw up until he was so weak he couldn't even get into his bed. There he laid, shivering on the the floor even though the weather was warm. Poor puppy. It was my fault for giving him such a big portion and he made it worse by gobbling down Coco's leftovers.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dog Whisperer

Coco has been annoying me endlessly since I sat down in front of my computer so I decided to shoot her. With my camera, of course. She has been squeaking her toy at my back and yelping at me to play with her or get her more toys. I do understand some doggie talk. Toy squeaking means "Please chase me". Yelp and run towards store means "Please give me the toys you've hidden in the store". Yelp and run to the fridge means "Please give me titbits". Rolling about on her back means "I need a tummy rub". Front paws on lap means "Please scratch my armpits or anywhere thereabout". Shrieking and jumping in highly excited manner means "There's a dog! There's a dog! There's a dog in the park!!". That also applies to cats and buffaloes.

Tong-Tong Ah!

My dogs understand only one word of English and that is "sit". However, they do understand some Chinese and some baby talk. When we talk to babies we normally repeat the word twice. Don't ask me why that is but that's the way Chinese talk to little tots. "Tong" means pain and Wawa understands "tong-tong". When I ask him, "Where are you tong-tong?" he will relax his legs and let you see where his stitches are. Told you he's a baby.

Another Awful Day.... :(

Yes, it was another awful day at the vet for Wawa but it had to be done because his stitches had to be taken out. Just sitting and waiting for his turn had him shaking uncontrollably. The meowing cats weren't so bad but a growling puppy and a huge german shepherd almost undid him so I had to move him to my lap. He was shaking so much that the aunty sitting next to us couldn't help laughing. All the more so when he hid his face in my charmpit like an ostrich. The stitches took less than a minute but the vet said he has a fungal infection so that meant 2 jabs and a lot of money from my pocket. They sneakily sold me an expensive shampoo that will expire in February. Wawa was so traumatised he refused to lie in his tray on the way home. Soon as I got into the driver's seat, he climbed onto my lap, curled up and thrust his nose into my charmpits again. It was a 40 minute drive home with a 10kg dog stuck in my armpit. What a big baby!

Coco's Hachiko

The sight of leash normally has Wawa jumping 3 feet in the air but not yesterday. He is so devoted to Coco that he will not go for a walk without her. Coco had to stay home because I was bringing Wawa to the vet. Instead of dashing out the door and down the stairs he whined for Coco and refused to descend. He is Coco's Hachiko.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Are Dogs Color Blind?

I just learnt that dogs are red-green blind but I notice that Coco prefers pink and orange colored toys. The pink octopus used to be her favourite but not the pink pig. That's because the octopus squeaks and the pig doesn't. She ignores her grey dog (even though it squeaks) and her white teddy bear. This squeaky orange orang utan now ranks number 1 with her. However she ignores the pink legless sheep even though it squeaks. I think what attracts Coco will be something pink or orange, can squeak and has dangling limbs. I believe Wawa likes the pink sheep because everytime he's excited he stuffs it in his mouth. He also likes whatever Coco likes.

Thank You My Friends

Uncle F flew in for a visit and when he heard that I needed help hanging up a few things on the wall he and Aunty J drove all 20km to my house complete with a drill and even a vacuum cleaner (!) to solve my problem. So now I have a clock and a couple of fancy shelves.....friends make the world go round indeed. God bless them. Uncle F even brought a few of his ClO2 tablets to get rid of any doggy smell in the house. I really need that because Wawa had been giving off some awful odor of late.....:(
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