3 Great Tips for Staying Stress-Free During Challenging Times

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the state of the world today? There’s never been a better time to take stock of your stress levels, as they have a great effect on your quality of life. Here are three tips to stay stress-free during these challenging times.

1. Buy a Pet

It’s no secret that spending time with pets gives owners feelings of happiness and an overall sense of calm. When searching for a new pet, it’s important to take into account how your home can handle the animal of your choosing. It’s also important to purchase animals that are certified, as they’ve been bred in an ethical manner. If you want a companion that will give you comfort during these times, go with certified German Shepherd puppies and find your new loyal friend.

2. Spend Time Outdoors

Nature has a way of calming the mind, body and spirit. Luckily, it’s so easy to spend a little extra time in nature. Even enjoying your morning coffee on your front porch or in your backyard can help you start the day off right. Get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine and you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel.

3. Follow a Routine

You may be surprised to know that following a routine actually reduces feelings of stress, which has a huge effect on your mental health. Follow a regular schedule for eating and make time in your day to exercise. In addition, try to get to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning – prioritize sleep as part of your routine and you’ll feel more rested and refreshed.

It’s always important to take the steps necessary to improve your overall feelings of well-being. Follow these tips and you’ll get through these tough times and come out more resilient than ever.

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Cute Dog Clothing

Dog parents have a variety of reasons why they dress up their fur kid in clothes.  The reasons vary by dog, weather and situation.  Some put a coat on their dog in winter to keep it warm.  Have you ever seen some dogs shiver violently  during winter? This is where a dog coat will do your dog a big favor by providing it additional warmth in winter, especially for short and light-haired breeds, puppies and senior dogs.  Other dog parents just think their pooch looks super adorable in cute dog clothing.  Some dogs seem to love all the attention they attract when wearing clothes.  Some dress their dogs up on National Dress Up Your Pet Day.

Whether your dog’s wardrobe is Insta-worthy or simply cold weather wear, dress up time can be wonderful bonding moments between dog parents and their pooch.

If your dog has a nasty skin problem, grass allergy, or a wound on its body,  sometimes putting them in a little doggy overall or t-shirt can help prevent further irritation and stop them from irritating their sores.  But remember that this is not a solution to a skin condition or allergy problem and it is important to seek advice from a vet if an issue persists.

If your dog seems to enjoy wearing cute dog clothing or a hat for a quick photo to amuse you and your friends on social media, that’s great.  Got for it if your little fur kid has a legitimate need to get dressed. But if your pooch is visibly upset, restless or uncomfortable in clothing, it’s better to pass.

Whether you are buying cute dog clothing only to momentarily dress up your fur kid for a photo shoot, for keeping your furry little friend warm or simply because your dog loves all the attention it gets when it’s in dog clothing, one of the best places to shop for cute dog clothing is at YesBabyOnline.

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Raincoat For Dogs

When Sporty, my pet dog was still alive many moons back, we had walks around our neighborhood every day.  It was a time that we both looked forward to and enjoyed immensely in the evening. It was such a great time for us to bond.  On rainy days, I still took him out for his daily walk and toilet time. I would hold an umbrella but he would get wet. In those days, a dog raincoat was something that nobody heard of in the part of the world that I lived in, which was a small city.

Fast forward to a decade or so later, cute dog clothes and dog raincoats are available aplenty at pet shops and online stores like YesBabyOnline.com.  Dogs are now treated as part of the family member and showered with equal amount of love as one would shower on a human kid.  And just like humans, dogs need physical exercise too.  Walking your pet dog is an excellent way to help your fur kid stay fit and active, besides preserving its muscles and joints.  Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of your fur kid developing a number of health related conditions such as hypertension, liver disease and diabetes.  The easiest way to keep your dog fit is by walking it every day.

Like a child, when your fur kid is confined to the house for too long, it will get bored, restless and this can lead to a destructive behavior.  Dogs love to explore new sights, smells, and sounds of the world.  I’m sure you’ve noticed how excited and happy your fur kid gets when it’s walking time. But there are days when the weather gets wet and your fur kid keeps signalling to you to bring it for a walk but  it gets really messy if it’s out in the wet and cold weather.  With a cheap dog raincoat, you can now bring your fur kid out for walks even on a wet day.

Most dog raincoats come in small, medium, large and extra-large sizes. If you are unsure which size your dog should wear, here’s a general guide: Toy breeds usually wear extra small, Beagle-size breeds wear small, Retriever-size dogs wear large, and larger dogs wear extra-large. With a dog raincoat and proper cold-weather gear, wet days can still be enjoyable for you and your dog. Check out this video to see how well protected a dog is in a dog raincoat and dog boots on a wet day.



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The Girls’ First Pet(s)

Sherilyn told me that she needed to buy a few fishes for her school’s aquaponics project in RBT (Reka Bentuk Dan Teknologi). My budget was no more than RM20 but I ended up spending about RM50. It was more than just fishes that I bought but also fish food and hydroponics. And that’s only for the first two rounds.  There’s round 3 to it and most likely many more rounds to come in future!

When 4 out of the 5 fishes died, I was tricked into buying another batch of fishes.  This time, I bought a tiny rectangular aquarium, anti-chlorine drops and more hydroponics.

A week later, one of the female guppy fishes was spotted having a very swollen belly.  Sherilyn was super certain that her fish was pregnant.  The next morning, Cass noticed some tiny greyish objects floating in the aquarium. We thought that they were fish poop but upon scrutinizing the poop, Cass realized that they were baby fishes!!  She excitedly inform Sherilyn who was still in bed, that there were 14 baby fishes! Several hours later, mummy fish popped out another 2 babies.

The baby fishes had to be separated from the mother fish and other bigger fishes.  And so Sherilyn and Cass spent the entire Sunday tending to the fishes.  And I was again tricked into going to the fish supplies shop to buy a bigger aquarium, baby fish food and what do I know, MORE FISHES for the big aquarium!

None of us has any experience caring for fish and Sherilyn had to rely on her RBT text book and Dr Google for all the instructions on how to handle fishes, especially baby fishes.

For once Sherilyn and Cass didn’t bicker and fight the entire day and it was their babies that brought them closer together.

The girls choosing their pet fish. Even Alycia who is not an animal lover started to develop an interest in fish at the fish supplies shop and chose her own fish 😆

Mother fish with her babies before the babies were separated and placed in another aquarium.

The new fish nursery

We now have 9 adult fishes and I lost count of the number of baby fishes as some did not survive their first day of life.

And we finally solved the mystery of the fish that went missing from the aquarium for several days. Apparently, the fish had committed suicide by jumping out of the aquarium twice. Hubs came home late one night and saw the fish jumped out, he put it back into the aquarium and the next morning when he left for work, he saw the same fish on the table and he threw it away WITHOUT informing anyone of us. And there we were searching at every  nook and corner of the house for Nemo!!

From what was just meant to be a simple RBT project in school that probably won’t cost more than RM20, the girls turned it into a long-term commitment and got themselves a bunch of fishes as pet. And I’m RM150 poorer!

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Saturday, 31 March 2018

My Saturday breakfast was with the hubs only. The mil had gone back to Ipoh and the girls had different agenda. Alycia was supposed to have tennis lesson but it rained, so from the tennis court she detoured to the gym. This gym buff can spend up to two hours in the gym almost every day cycling or running on the treadmill but not without a mobile phone in front of her 🙄.  Drama Queen followed a friend to their old school for sport days training and the littlest brat was grounded. She didn’t finish the test paper that I had asked her to do and exam’s coming and I really meant what I said. I didn’t even pack any food back for her as punishment.

Hubs and I shared this plateful of sinful char koay teow with lap cheong (Chinese sausage).

Today, Cass and I got a full dose of pet therapy. There are two new Samoyed pups at the pet shop who are OMG so so so fluffy and adorable!!  Just cannot ‘tahan’ looking at the Samoyed pups. I think it won’t be long before I succumb to the poison and bring one home! It’s true to the saying that as your kids turn into teenagers, it might be a good idea to get yourself a pet who will be happy to see you vs. your teenage kids.  Agree?

Sweet sweet poison!   Just you wait little fluff ball. One day I will bring you home…

… but only when I have a windfall larger than RM8k.  These pups imported from China have a RM8k price tag and the friendly pet shop owner was tempting me with a small discount!!

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Dog Fever

Cass and I have been bitten by the dog fever! So bitten and so smitten by the pups at this pet shop next to Cass’ music school that I am now seriously contemplating owning a dog in the near future. Never mind that we live in a condo. I can deal with that.  Cass, Drama Queen and I are quite ready to have a dog. We are planning to have a small dog suitable for condo living. We have in mind either a Corgi, Shiba Inu or Beagle, though what we really, really love to have is a Samoyed. But Samoyed can grow really big (like a bear) and they are really fluffy and fury. They need lots of space to run about and are extremely people friendly dogs. Sadly, living in a condo, we just cannot accommodate a Samoyed.

Cass and I were overcome with excitement when we walked into the pet shop on Saturday and saw a new Samoyed pup! The owner has imported another beautiful Samoyed, with a choking price tag of RM8,500!!

So so so ‘geram’ looking at this ultra cute Samoyed pup who was just as excited when it saw how excited and happy we were. Looking at it helps to melt away all the stress that’s bottled up within me.

Cass and Drama Queen are voting for a Corgi (picture below) while I am rooting for a Beagle.

Welsh Corgi Pembroke races de chien

Did you know that the Queen of England may be the world’s most famous Corgi owner? She owns several at a time and has often been photographed with them.

Queen Elizabeth Covers Vanity Fair with Corgis and Dorgis! (A dorgi is a corgi-dachshund mix.) Photo by Annie Leibovitz.

Welsh Corgi #corgi Just another reason to love corgis - the Queen and Queen Mum do

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Pet Dog

It is our weekly routine every Saturday evening. After piano class, I will walk Cass to a pet shop next to the music center to say hello to the puppies there that we meet weekly.  We will coo over those super adorable pups.  Most of them are imported exotic dogs.  Each time we step into the pet shop, I will have a hard time pulling Cass out of the shop.   Last Saturday, it was especially hard for me to persuade Cass to leave the pet shop.  There was a new puppy in the shop and it was a mega cute and fluffy Samoyed. It was like a ball of white cotton with super cute eyes and nose that resembled shiny black longan seeds. The eyes had double eyelids and long eye lashes. The Samoyed pup connected with Cass immediately and was barking at Cass while tapping the glass panel with its paws excitedly, following Cass wherever she went to.  Cass and I were totally besotted with the gorgeous Samoyed!

The Samoyed pup looked exactly like the one in the picture below.  And the price tag for the Samoyed pup?

undeniable proof samoyed are irresistible. They look really fetch. <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">www.buzzfeed.com</a>:

A frigging RM7,000!!

I gulped looking at the price tag. It was one of the most expensive dogs in the pet shop.  Other breeds like Husky and Chow Chow cost RM5k – RM6k each.

Haven the Samoyed Pictures 596754


Cass begged me to buy her the Samoyed with twitchy nose. But hello, it’s a frigging RM7k!!  Even if it was RM700, I would have to say NO to her as we live in a condo where pet dogs are not permissible, though some residents keep small dogs.  Plus I have NO time to care for a dog, NO extra budget for a pet and NO space for it.

Since that Saturday, Cass has been bugging me to buy her that Samoyed pup. Each time she begs me with pleading eyes, I will give her the same reasons why we can’t have a pet dog yet.

When Cass pestered me for a pet dog yesterday, I told her that when my third and last pet dog, Spotty died, I told myself that I will never have a pet dog again.  I told her how heartbreaking it was for me each time my pet dogs left me for doggie’s heaven.

My first unofficial pet dog was a stray that my brothers and I named ‘Brownie’ in English and ‘sau keok‘ in Cantonese.  Sau keok means skinny legs in English. Brownie was a skinny, female dog that lived at our back lane. My brothers and I would feed Brownie with leftover food and bones every evening. We adored Brownie very much.  I was 12 years old that year.  One day Brownie gave birth to a litter of brown pups. My younger brother, Roy and I were besotted with the pups. When my back lane neighbor gave the pups to her friend,  I would cycle with my  brother Roy behind me on the bicycle to visit the pups whenever I could in the evening.  One morning during the school holidays, I was woken up from my sleep by a loud gun shot, followed by the eerie sounds of a dog yelping in pain. Till today, I can still remember Brownie’s last cries when she was shot to death.  I ran out of my room to the back lane and my back lane neighbor told me that the Dewan Bandaraya guys had killed Brownie. I then saw a group of men in uniform killing more stray dogs at the back lane with a long sharp spear. My heart dropped. The sight was too gruesome and cruel. I ran inside the house bawling while screaming “Brownie is dead, they killed Brownie!!” I mourned for Brownie’s passing for weeks.

Less than a year later after we moved into our new house, our neighbor’s Spitz dog gave birth to some pups.  He gave us a white Spitz pup which we named Ricky.  Ricky looked like a Samoyed.  Everyone adored Ricky but he did not live long. One morning, my big brother Ray left the front gate opened when he went up the school bus.  Ricky was ran over by the school bus! I ran out of the house, shell shocked to see Ricky writhing in pain on the road. It felt like seeing my own heart beating its last beat on the road.  Ricky was frothing in the mouth. I ran up to my parents’ bedroom and with tears streaming down my cheeks, I begged my dad to bring Ricky to the vet.  That evening when dad fetched me from the ACS swimming pool after swimming lessons, he broke the bad news to me that the vet had to euthanize Ricky as its pelvis was crushed.  I will never forget that fateful day. I was holding back tears all the way from the ACS swimming pool to the vet’s office, where my dad brought me to say my last goodbye to Ricky. I will never forget the look on Ricky’s eyes in the cage.  The last goodbye was SO SO SO painful. I mourned painfully for Ricky’s death for days by locking myself in my bedroom. I remember my parents coming into my room to console me.  They promised me that they will get me another pet dog.

Months later, big brother Ray’s bestie told him that his dog had just given birth to some puppies and asked us if we wanted one. I couldn’t be happier!  I begged my parents to let me have a replacement pet dog. I still remember my mum bringing me to Alan’s house opposite the turf club in Ipoh to bring the puppy home.  That was in February 1987. For the first time, I saw Alan’s mum, whom I have no inkling that she would be my MIL 13 years later!  I was 14 years old then.  We named the puppy Spotty as it has light brown patches on its body. Spotty lived healthily and was very much loved for 12 years.  It died just a few months before my younger brother Roy left Malaysia for the UK for further studdies.  Spotty died on Roy’s lap on the way to the vet.  I again mourned and cried for days.

Heartbreaking huh? Much as I would like to have another pet dog,  I can’t imagine going through another round of grief when my next pet dog passes on.  I guess I will  not have the courage to keep another pet dog… at least not for another 10 years.


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How to Ensure a Dog Ages Gracefully

Dogs begin to slow down and deteriorate in health as they become older. Old age in dogs begins during the eighth year of life for many breeds. Even if a dog is still acting youthful in its older years, preventative care will help the pet to continue to stay in good health. Many health problems can be prevented or delayed through attentive care that is provided by the owner. A veterinarian should be consulted for any supplements or exercise programs to ensure that they will do each specific animal more good than harm.

Regular Exercise
Exercise is important for every human and animal. It stretches the muscles, keeps bones and joints from becoming fragile, contributes to cardiovascular health, and is critical for weight maintenance. A dog should be walked every day as well as allowed plenty of time in a dog run or with toys that encourage activity. If a dog is not particularly energetic, a mandatory daily walk will help.

Supplements for Joint Health and Arthritis
The aging process includes developing fragile joints that may cause more and more pain as the dog gets older. This pain is commonly known as arthritis, resulting in sore, swollen, and painful joints. Stretching and mild activity can help to loosen the joints and lower pain levels. In addition, dogs will need special supplements and potentially pain medicines to keep these health issues under control. Cetyl myristoleate for dogs is commonly used to support joint health and reduce the effects of aging joints.

Strict Proper Diet
Without a proper diet, a dog’s health can quickly turn for the worst. Dog food should contain proper amounts of all necessary nutrients and vitamins. In addition, meat products should come first in the ingredients list. Any reputable dog food will not have corn or other grains listed as the first ingredient. Specialty weight control formulas are important for overweight dogs; an overweight dog could become diabetic, riddled with heart and joint problems, and could face an early death.

Regular Veterinary Exams
Regular veterinary check ups help to catch health problems early. As a dog ages, check ups should be performed once every six months rather than annually. A veterinarian can give helpful advice regarding diet, activity, and any special accommodations or prescriptions that the animal might need.

Dogs are wonderful pets, but they will need closer attention from their owners as they age. Man’s best friend can live a full, healthy life with the proper care of an owner. A little help from the veterinarian goes a long way.


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Aquarium Supplies

DH is into rearing fish and feng shui. Remember I wrote about the nemos in our little fish pond? Well, a handful of the nemos that DH bought 2 weeks back had died. The poor nemos must have died due to exposure to excessive scorching heat during the day. I have asked DH to buy an indoor aquarium instead for the fish.

The other day, whilst I was surfing the internet looking for aquariums, I saw a really cool and classy BiOrb fish tank at FishTanksDirect.com. It looks like a traditional goldfish bowl but has an unusual, low maintenance filtration system to keep it clean. What I like most about the BiOrb fish tank is that we don’t have to empty the water in the tank and the specialized filtration system is simple to use and requires only changing the catridge. The water remains crystal clear in the fish tank for months between cartridge changes. Fish in the BiOrb tank will enjoy a healthy environment, thus live longer.

DH is really impressed with the BiOrb fish tank system as he doesn’t have to spend hours cleaning the fish pond and fishing out dead fish anymore. He will be ordering the BiOrb fish tank and some aquarium supplies from FishTanksDirect.com tonight when he returns from work.

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Our Pet Fish

This is our little fish pond. We used to have 20+ little nemos but they didn’t make it in the little pond, maybe they were fighting for oxygen and food, I don’t know. When DH just bought them, they just died, one by one…. everyday the gals would rush out to the garden to see if they could see any little nemos float in the water and if there was, Alycia would fish it out for kakak to bury it. Finally after weeks, only 4 nemos survived. But the number 4 is not auspicious mah, sei sei sang. So a couple of days ago, DH bought a few more nemos.

Alycia helping daddy release the little nemos into the pond.

Two sweet umbrella girls in the scorching heat watching daddy release nemos and seaweed into the pond.

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Happy Our Beagle

We used to have a pedigree Beagle dog. But we were only capable of keeping it for 1 year. Happy was a result of DH’s impulse purchase and he (Happy) cost a whopping RM2k. Though my gals and I are avid dog lovers, we just couldn’t keep Happy….. happy, how ironic. Because I had had my hands full with my 2 gals and hardly ever have any time for myself, we had neglected poor Happy. He was always kept in his enclosure in our wet kitchen. As a result, I think Happy suffered dog depression and kept falling sick. Consequently, DH spent an average of RM300 – RM500 pm on his food, medical bills and vet / hotel bills (Happy would be placed at the vet whenever we went back to Ipoh). I then pursuaded DH to find someone who loves dogs to adopt Happy. Very reluctantly, DH spread word around and in the end, our vet found a lady who adopted Happy. Every time when my gals and I see a Beagle on the street or on TV, they would excitedly scream “look mummy, Happy boy”. Every now and then I will think of Happy and do miss Happy, but what to do, for Happy’s happiness, we had to release him to someone who can shower him with more time and love, sob sob : (

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