Little Reason to Envy

Of all the Seven Deadly Sins, Envy is the silliest one of all. Especially if, like I said in the cartoon, you have all these other wonderful blessings going for you. Of course, that doesn’t mean that another person can’t be an enviable position- health, good fortune, wealth, power, youth or what have you. But as we all know, all positions are temporary positions.

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Happy Birthday to Jenn!

Ah, its another year! Am already 33! Am I considered middle-aged?

As usual, nothing much happened and unlike the past years where I’d take leave, I didn’t do it this time cos it is one of the busiest time of the year in the office.

And because I am new in the office, no one actually knows it’s my birthday. Didn’t want to announce it nor didn’t feel like having a sing-song celebration. That was also why I took the date out of my facebook info page.

Those who sent me greetings were close relatives and some ex-colleagues who remembered. I was surprised and touched that they did.

And like former years, my parents did not do much as well for my birthday – no cake, no celebration. However, we did go out for dinner though, but it was just a simple one.

I found that it didn’t really take much to make me happy. I did not want a fancy dinner or expensive presents. A simple dinner with my loved ones are all I need. A small group, perhaps, not more than 6 or 7 people, else I would feel tired entertaining.

Some of my favourite food at home – cooked or tapau-ed. I have always fantasised having a small party with these food:

– pizza (Domino’s thin crust – I dislike the normal ones)
– barbequed chicken wings (those you get from hawker stalls)
– fruit rojak!
– Walkers crisps
– fizzy drinks
– ice cream (Haagen Dazs would be nice)
– desserts like pudding or agar-agar

Yes, these are all I need. Laid out in front of the TV, with a good comedy, me and my loved ones in my worn, oversized T-shirt and shorts, laughing out loud while eating.

Ahh… that’s a perfect birthday!

RIP: Oscar

While many rejoice the end of one year and anticipate better tidings for a new one, this may be one that I found hard to forget.

On this day, 30 December 2009, I returned home from work to find Oscar motionless and no longer could respond to my call. He hadn’t been well for more than a week, and we kind of expected that he would be leaving us soon.

But, it was still heart-wrenching for me to see him lying there. I hadn’t expected myself to be the one who would be the first to discover him.

First thought that came into my mind was, gosh, how would he have felt, dying all alone? Did he wish we were there by his side, stroking him gently? Or just be there to say bye-bye to him?

I called mom and then the vet clinic to arrange for someone to pick him up. We sent him for cremation and after he was picked up, I didn’t really feel like having dinner at all. The feeling was just plain numb.

This is what I have written of him in his own ‘Dogbook profile’ in Facebook:

Name: Oscar
Breed: Mix-breed of Bull mastiff + Rottweiler
Gender: Male
Birthday: 1995 – 2009
Hometown: Wan’s Residence, Ampang.

Likes:
Eating, sleeping, playing, bathing (cools me down on a hot day), catching lizards, torturing cockroaches (and practically anything that comes into the porch), being petted by my master(s)

Favourite Treats:
Fried chicken, ice-cream, cold fruits, large pork bones, french fries, freshly baked kuih bahulu, KFC and anything that goes into the mouths of my master(s) must be shared with me

About Me:
A well-loved dog in the Wan’s Residence. It could be because that I am their first and only dog. I am very much pampered, especially by ‘mom’. I love being loved, thus I would always demand attention from everyone in the family. It is simply impossible for one of them to come home, ignore me and just walk into the house. I will not let that happen. Everyone must greet me first when they come home. It is absolutely essential as well that they share some of the food they are eating with me else I would pester them till they do so. I am brilliant in the art of begging, giving sympathetic looks and pretending that I am lonely even when I am not. It is also impossible for my master(s) to talk to, feed or pat other dogs. I am capable also in sniffing out whether they have been in contact with other dogs while they were out of the house.

I spend the day by sleeping most of the time, but I am clever enough to be on attention every time my master(s) is around. I ignore passer-bys most of the time but I will ‘show-off’ my ‘hardworking’ traits by barkign my heads off when my master(s) is at home. Although they always reprimanded me for being too noisy, I don’t really care as I am a dog and I am just doing what I am supposed to do.

Many dog-lovers would probably say the same thing about their pets – Oscar was one of the best anyone could have. When my parents first visited the pound where he was waiting to be adopted alongside others, they didn’t have any intention at all in getting one.

Other dogs (his siblings, mainly) were just ignoring my parents, except for him. Whatever the reason was, when he saw my parents, he just approached them and started being playful. And, the funny thing was, my parents were there with a family friend who wanted to buy a dog. But instead of being playful with the real buyer, he (Oscar) tried his luck with this couple who was just there to look-see.

Oscar kept pestering and rubbing himself on their feet until my parents gave in and bought adopted him. We had also wanted to send him back to my grandmother’s house – which is much larger and better for him – for my aunts to take care. However, when we brought him back, my aunts didn’t want a dog. So, without much choice, we took him home with us.

That was how he ended up with us.

You could say he is special because he is one dog which liked to bathe, didn’t chew on shoes and would willingly walk into his ‘house’ when we instructed him to.

We didn’t keep him locked up at all, only when there are visitors or when we needed to drive the car into or out of the porch. We thought it was probably because we never kept him locked that he was so willing when we told him to get in the house ‘just for a while’

He was extremely picky when it comes to food, eating only the best, preferring whatever that we eat. Of course, like most dogs, he knew how to play the pitiful-look game to get what he wants.

When he was younger, he loved the attention we gave him. I would see him wagging his tail at this alarming speed every time I came home from college. He would then try to get me play with him by actually initiating it first. I would then pretend to chase him around the house and he would run in circles.

My dad, on the other hand, was the one who would ‘wrestle’ with him, so, every time he comes home from work, Oscar would block his way and demand a small wrestle. As for mom, she was the pampering one, always stroking and talking to him and perhaps the easiest one he can demand treats from.

He knew what game to play with each one of us – our weak points.

One thing we loved about him was his sense of ‘responsibility’. Every night, he would sit by our gate, facing the road, guarding. When he gets tired, he would just lie down. That’s a fantastic guard dog for us.

Well, we had come to accept that he did have a good life with us spoiling him rotten, and hopefully he is enjoying himself now in doggie heaven.

My message to our dear Oscar:

Be a good boy there and don’t be naughty. Listen to your new master or mistress whoever they are. We know that you are choosy when it comes to food, but we are not there to spoil you any longer, so, just eat whatever is given to you. We appreciate you being with us for so long – you were a family rather than just a pet. We will always remember you and love you, okay?