I have recently encountered 3
cases which seemed to be on
separate topics when I recorded
them in a draft form. Now, after
reading them, I note that they are
linked by the theme of "Sexual
Performance". Do you agree with
STORY NO. 1. The non-performer
male Cocker Spaniel.
Two Cocker Spaniels with no dog
licences. "The AVA officials went
to the house to check,
saying somebody had complaints
about his dogs." No dog
licences. $200 per dog compounded
fine. 2 Cocker Spaniels will be
$400. Owner can appeal. If not, go
to court. Maximum fine is $5,000
per dog without licence.
"Appeals are always offered in
such cases. But you must have good
reason," I said. "Otherwise, you
will get a reply saying sorry. Can
your daughter write a good
letter?" I asked. The young girl
who was quiet was studying
Literature in the National
University of Singapore.
"It is quite rare to meet a
Literature undergraduate," I said
to her. "Most Singapore secondary
schools have dropped the
"Literature" subject for "O"
levels. The School Principals have
to perform to get promoted.
Literature is a hard subject for
most students to pass. So
Principals discard literature to
achieve more top A grades. We will
produce a generation with not much
love for the craft of writing." I
asked whether her course includes
journalism. "I don't study
journalism in the course," this
young girl informed me.
"Journalism is mass
To apply for a dog licence, goto
www.ava.gov.sg. Scan microchip
form from vet. Pay $14.00 for a
sterilised dog. $70 for
non=sterilised. This Cocker
9 years old. A male 18 kg. He
never produced puppies from the
other female who was also
overweight. "The female just sat
down when he tried. Then he gave
up too." I advised, "You ought to
slim down the male in the early
years to give him a better chance
Now the female of another client
was on heat. She was 3 years old,
weighing 8 kg. My client had
yesterday asked me if I had access
to male Cocker Spaniels. Some
professional dog breeder would
have it. But as the HDB in which
80% of Singaporeans have this
strange rule of prohibition of
Cocker Spaniel in HDB apartments,
there is not much production of
Cocker Spaniels from the
So, I introduced both of them to
each other as I don't have other
male cockers for the client with
female on heat. One professional
dog breeder proposed Cavalier King
Charles male stud. But my client
was not too keen to produce
crosses. He wanted purebred Cocker
Spaniels but this 9 year-old
introduction. Could he perform?
In home breeding, bring female to
male. Slimming down the male would
have given better chances. Help
the male in mating. Artificial
STORY NO. 2 - The Cougar.
Flower supplier in the wet
market. "I have no money," she
said as she brought in her Jack
Russell for her annual
65 years old. Trim and slim as in
those slimming advertisement of
famous celebrities and stars, but
no photo-shopped changes unlike
the advertisements. A sprightly
woman who looked after her body
well. Jack Russell is the constant
companion. "How you get the flower
supplier to sell you flowers?" I
asked. Supplier started dumping
poor quality flowers. She switched
to other supplier but the others
don't have the varieties. No
supplier provide such varieties of
flowers. Nice to the seller's
delivery person so that the girl
gave her good quality flowers.
"I was spayed," she said. "If I
had died during anaesthesia, my
husband would have benefited." In
Singapore, buying a HDB apartment
requires a family unit. In this
case, she had the money but needed
a husband to be eligible. So, she
found one but he was older. He
would do. But she definitely does
not tolerate his infidelity.
I was surprised to hear the word
"spay" applied for women.
Faithfulness of husband who is
into gambling, wine, woman and
song was now in doubt. "He likes
to peep and see women the "node"
from behind the door. "What do you
mean?" I could not understand.
"Likes to see women in the node,"
she reiterated. Ah, I get it
finally. She meant "nude." If you
pronounce "rude" as "rude"
correctly, then "nude" ought to be
pronounced as "node". English is a
difficult language to master. I
asked, "Why would a man do that
with a mistress?" She said, "He
can't do it." No need for
explanation. Maybe Viagra was not
A husband with no income and who
is a philander. Depends on wife
for his daily bread. So, she took
action, "I wanted him to take his
name out of HDB list or get out."
I asked, "Why would your husband
oblige you?" I asked. "I gave him
money after he took his name out."
She kept her promise and he moved
out. He died soon.
Is she a cougar? So what? "I have
a younger man as my boyfriend.
More energetic and cares for me"
A young man indeed. I was happy
for this dynamic woman. Many women
of her age have put on weight. She
made me feel overweight too. Her
personality shone through. This
man was in his late forties came
to pick her and her dog up in a
truck. I went out of the surgery
and I waved to him.
How much does this flower seller
make after expenses? "$500 is my
best net income," she said. "$500
per day?" I asked. "No, $500 per
month". High rentals of a market
stall eat up a lot of income.
"Know the trend," she said to me
when I asked how she was still
around despite the fact that she
had difficulty getting good
suppliers. "Learn how to be
creative," she said. "I know how
to string the flowers in a design
that pleases the customers. I have
a big clientele base. Some refer
friends and some order on behalf
of friends. So, how can I retire?"
I know of Singaporeans who retire
to smell the roses. Or are forced
to retire at the age of 62 as what
has happened to my banker.
I learnt something from a humble
flower seller that day. What I
learnt is that I must be aware of
the trend in Singapore's small
animal practice. More practices
are set up by younger vets who are
more in tune with the younger
generation. They have more energy.
More hungry and cheaper. I can't
compete on price war and volume.
Long hours burn out the vet as
they are very stressful. The vet
must have a clear mind to perform
too as diagnosis is not so simple.
Long hours just cloud the mind.
This would be suicidal in the long
term, for the vet and for the
pets. So, what to do? Be creative
like the flower seller. How to do
it? That's the $64-million-dollar
question. Basically, read widely,
associate with other industry to
learn their best practices,
network and know what you are
doing and do it well like the
flower seller who created flower
arrangement so well that customers
flock to her.
P.S. "Cougar" is a term used to
refer to an older woman
befriending a younger man.
STORY NO. 3
The commando dwarf hamster.
An undergraduate male brought 2
hamsters to me on 15.11.09.
1. 4 overgrown incisor teeth
diverging 45 degrees on both. This
dwarf hamster, Female was just 2
months old. I clipped the teeth
short. "The teeth grows normally
now," the young adult said to me
when he came to pick up the 2nd
2. 2nd case. F, 1 year.
Roboroskvi. 3rd litter 3 weeks
ago. "The male escaped like a
commando by climbing up the roof
and getting down into the lower
floor of the cage," the young man
explained how he got the 3rd
litter out of this Roboroskvi with
thick matted hairs all over her
body. One breast was swollen with
yellow pus. I attributed the
matted hairs to the male biting
her during sexual performance or
rejection. On . Dec 2, 09 this
female could go home with only a
scab on her forehead. This scab
would drop off. She had been
warded for 17 days and it would
cost the owner some $105 which is
a large sum if you are
calculating. Dwarf hamsters can be
had for free. The young man took
the trouble to e-mail camera
pictures of the babies. Poor
resolution but he took the
trouble. He really loves his
hamsters. He was pleased that the
female had recovered.
Daily cleaning with warm water to
soften the matted hair and scabs.
Antibiotics oral. "Be careful," I
said to my assistant Mr Saw as he
placed the hamster for me to take
photograph on the 17th day before
she goes home. "This Roboroskvi
hamster can shoot off the table in
the wink of an eye." This species
runs faster than a Ferrari sports
car from start to 100 km. Hard to
Back to the owner.
To prevent mating, he housed the
male on the lower floor of the
2-level cage. "So that he can't
climb up the plastic walls to
breed her." the young man said.