Sunday, April 15, 2007

Man's Best Friend

Today's Sunday Star story about Lucky and Flo (see above photo), a couple of dogs brought into the country to help 'sniff' out pirated CDs and DVDs makes fascinating reading. Apparently the dogs have struck fear in the hearts of local movie pirates over the past month, and pirates will be further aggrieved to learn that as far as the two canine crusaders are concerned, sniffing out hidden contraband stashes of optical discs are all in a day's work. They help bust pirated goods to the tune of millions of ringgit and the desperate pirates have now placed a bounty of RM50,000 on their heads!

I have never had any experience with dogs and have never owned one, but my wife's family (her late father was a senior police officer) kept a guard dog at their Aida Street bungalow in Singapore in the mid 60's. There was once a fearsome neighbourhood mongrel called Blackie which somehow never got used to me and chased me on my bicycle almost every day when I was a schoolboy in Seremban. It became the bane of my existence. Many years later I was to find out that the little boy who owned the pesky mutt grew up to become a colleague of mine in the port and together we laughed over this for some years thereafter.

When I started greenfield port operations as general manager of the new West Port in Pulau Indah, Port Klang with a few officers and a skeleton staff in August 1994, the island was quite deserted then. The connecting bridge to the mainland had just been completed and our cars and motorbikes were the very first to be seen on the island. We had almost daily encounters with alligators, ant eaters and what looked like panther tracks outside our makeshift office cabins. Everyday at dusk on my way home during the first few days was especially a terrifying experience for me, having to walk to my car surrounded by a large howling and growling pack of wild dogs. It struck me then that the island's wild dogs' strange fascination for my old Proton Saga must surely be for the simple fact that they have never seen any cars before! True enough, they all appeared to lose interest, completely ignored me and stopped chasing my car after about a week or so.

I much prefer cats actually, and we have recently lost our beloved Koko in his sleep a few months ago which completely devastated my entire family. But thats another story ...


  1. Captain,

    i love dogs and cats. but with dogs, we Muslims (of the Shafie school), have to exercise caution. and becasue of that, we have to exercise restrain in handling of dogs which is actually discouraging because dogs love to be touched, they relish companionship and a lot of physical handling.
    i find dogs to be very loyal friend and companion.

    cats are something else.

    oh dear. i can talk about cats and dogs and i can't be near them in my old age. i have developed an acute allergy to most hair-y animals. i am asthmatic, but it was only in the last few years that i developed this allergy.

    ok, captain sir. until next time

  2. My friend Raj in Chennai e-mailed me this:

    Dear Yusof
    Read your blog -

    WE share something here- Cats -Pets ( but I also like Dogs and all-)
    My pet Cat "Chu-Chi" a tabby of 14 years age died this week on my bed and we were all devastated. Many think a cat is only cupboard love but in ChuChi I learnt a lot:

    1) She gave Unconditional affection and love for my family - esp my kids .
    2) She could sense when I was " Down" and would sit by my side quietly till I felt better -happned often till I realised.
    3) A tolerance for many things which I found uncanny- WE believe that some times our ancestors (take a rebirth ) to be with loved ones - Many traits in my ChuChi reminded me of some one in my family -very close to us who passed away, just before we completed this house (passed away 25 years ago).
    WE have had many cats in this home and many used to disappear -we think in the next door neighbourhood where mant dogs roam- but ChiChi was a survivor . She had 2 kits but they died young and Sudha adopted a tiny kit from Blue CRoss to replace the loss- Strangely she accepted and nursed him and he is still with us today A ginger Tom ...much petted and spoilt by his late adopted Mother Chuchi - Who ever said Dumb Animals. I think Humans fit this 'dumb' ungrateful bill more.

    Unconditional Love only comes from animals.



  3. Dear Captain,

    What an interesting anecdote you wrote this morning. And yes, dogs can be terrifying. I am always scared of them.

    I am not an animal person anyway, not the furry animal person.

    Good day Captain

  4. Ahoy there Capt,

    AH, must admit, that you did not strike me as one for cats or dogs...more like the parrot kind! LOL..

    Me, I grew up with dogs, because my mum spent some twenty odd years working in Morib, for the TB Sanatorium, she had a few dogs for company. One of them moved back to KL with us, she was a daschund local breed mix, and she was one faithful dog. She could even swim along with us, and I have very fond memories of her.
    These days, with my children, I guess, I can't share my time with these pets, but yet, my sister's pet dog is still quite fond of me.
    I guess, once you are exposed to them, they kinda know who are their friends....
    Cats? My FIL is pretty fond of them, so I kinda gottoen used to them totally know how you feel when your koko moved on...

  5. Dear all, many thanks for sharing yr thoughts on cats and dogs etc.

    Hi Tony, I never had a parrot but knew a Pretty Polly once, long ago ...

  6. Dear Ancient Mariner,
    It was a great day for me ,meeting you yesterday.
    A cat person meself,love them dearly.Good thing everyone is agreeable with cats...

  7. Tumpang lalu sikit. Clark Gable, sir! I take exception to your blanket ass-umption '...everyone is agreeable to cats'. No, not me, no sir. Like Ena, I was asmathic as a child and I believe felines were the culprit! Now dogs, hmmm... what can I say, I just love 'em. My late grandpa (bless him) kept dogs, and I had one called Johnny. My nenek who's an Ustazah, refused to get in Atuk's Morris Minor after knowing we've been ferrying 'em back and forth to the kebun! Truly my best childhood friend. Am thinking of getting a labrador retriever, but my wife is against it. Worse, my mum has threatened not to set foot in my house...Sigh..


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