This was originally scheduled as a tribute for when JD eventually says goodbye... Thanks to Mun, a reader I got to know through my blog, it then occurred to me I was likely not to be able to look at the pictures again for a long time after JD's passing - so instead I decided to look back now; after all, between additional grieving and warm and fuzzy feelings, which do you think I'm gonna pick.....?
Once upon a time, there was a shy little dog...
JD would eventually flunk out of obedience class because she had to sit/ stay for 3 minutes or stand/ stay for 5 minutes in order to pass with a certificate. Instead, she would look around, scratch, and scoot her bum closer and closer to me with a grin. GIANT FAIL.
To this day, she cannot "pass" traditional Obedience - it hasn't stopped her from having won the 3-dog Team Event in one of the HK International Agility competitions where there were teams from China and Japan among others who came over... (Solo, she often placed top 3 but only won maybe twice in local comps.) You would not know this when she is not on competition grounds because she doesn't follow instructions to the T the way the professional trainers' and breeders' dogs do.
We're fine with it, I like the idiosyncrasies like the bum scooting and pretending to yawn etc too much to correct it away <sheepish>. And anyway we trained her so she would get over shyness (when we bought her she had a tummy bug, mange and was excessively shy, hiding under the furniture and crying. Yeah, hard to imagine today), not for competition purposes..
This is JD, dressed as a Chow-chow in graduation robes. Haha not - she doesn't like dress up, remember?
This pic was given to us by JD's Obedience Classmate's owners. Taken on Graduation Day from Puppy Kindergarten. I swear, I'm serious this time. That's what they really used to call it. "Graduates" then go on to Obedience Class, and after that Agility and etc. This was in Singapore about 8 1/2 years ago, and "Puppy Kindergarten" = toilet training/ end of obsessive barking. I think. Like Kings, JD did not go to Kindergarten. She was allowed to enroll in OC straight, but then when she couldn't pass the sit/stay and down/stay 3-5 mins thing, she wasn't allowed to progress to Agility. When we got to HK we happily carried on because no one said anything about us having to pass OC first.
This... isn't even a border collie. Cajun artist George Rodrigue did a series of Blue Dog paintings - long ago I read that the dog is his terrier/spaniel cross named Tif (short for Tiffany) and after she died he started featuring her in his paintings - yes, predominantly in blue.
It's a spooky image after the Cajun "werewolf" legend of Loup-garou. But the point was this dog appears literally "everywhere" in his paintings like the dog-spirit he has given the face of his dead dog - and we found it hilarious and not at all creepy that JD often has the same facial expression as Blue Dog. So occasionally you might see pics where we attempt to capture this effect - of JD in places you wouldn't expect to see dogs. The facial expression however, is harder to swing.
The above is kind of a "cheat" because it's not hard to take this pic, it's in a dog-friendly area - but JD hates posing for pictures so it's not easy to get the Blue Dog Look on camera, she's always looking everywhere, scratching, scooting. And it's true that rowdy Mainland tourists in particular like to take this picture from across the road like we've done. This is the (f-airly famous) Peak Lookout restaurant, whose owner/ manager is a huge dog lover with a giant bulldog who sits in aircon comfort in the office in summer - it's a swanky restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating so dog lovers have wine in their workout clothes after finishing one of the hiking trails, or else have their dogs in attendance at their weddings here.
Almost made it to Blue Dog Look, except she looks supremely bored and fed up.
Yes, this was right in front of Disneyland Hotel - it was actually easier to do this in HK because though more brusque and outspoken in general than in Singapore, attendants in HK will usually suffer you driving up, putting the dog there to take a pic, then leaving quickly. The biggest problem is more how to swing it in town with the traffic because taxi and other drivers will not suffer you stopping everywhere.
Some of the pictures taken in Central (more of which I'll eventually put up) were with patrolling policemen watching from afar, having realized a) the dog isn't vicious and b) we're rushing a pic, and not say anything.
Like for e.g. this one, which is quite near the High Court, MTR, and was hard to take without bustling commuters/ yuppies moving around JD and in front of the camera. But we were mindful the cops were watching us finish up (though they didn't say anything to us) so we didn't linger...
But anyway lemme finish off some of the old Singapore pics before we moved here...
Don't think any of these fields exist anymore, you can even see the construction behind JD in one pic, Singapore changed so much in the last 7 years since we lived there... And JD looks gawky from many angles because she was a teenaged dog when those were taken...I don't think the above place in Singapore exists anymore either...
This was also where we were asking other patrons what happened to all the big dogs because we did not see a single medium/ big dog the entire time we sat here with Rockstar 7 years later (and missing JD - I noticed about the dogs because it made me feel just a teeny bit better for not having JD also with us... But it's true she hates flying - cost HKD 16,000 to bring her over in a travel box meant for a Great Dane, with the handler coming to our apartment beforehand, me putting the recommended aromatherapy oil in her water as well as one of my t-shirts in the crate - and she still took the trip really badly. One reason even pre-Rockstar we never took up her school's suggestion to bring her for overseas competitions in Japan like some of her Agility classmates go for, with some kind of "limited" doggie passport that allows competing dogs to travel...)And that's how we will eventually end up here. That pic might look nice, but what she's doing is refusing to look at the camera because she wants to keep going...... To Be Continued.....