Giving away your best friend…

It’s been just over a month since we gave away our best friend.

I’ve been trying to write this for ages and somehow I never seemed to be able to find the right words. I might write a poem about her sometime, somewhere, but for now, please forgive my rambling.

We’d been having issues with Skittles escaping for years now. It probably started in her first year of life and we never succeeded at stopping her. She’d always find some new thing to climb or just chew up the barriers we put in place. She got herself into all sorts of trouble – got picked up by the council and even killed chickens in a neighbour’s garden.

We put her on a chain. It would be a temporary measure, we said, because we couldn’t let her keep getting out and being a public nuisance (aside from endangering herself too). The fence was raised. We even tried an electric shock collar barrier. Nothing worked. She stayed on the chain.

Something happened a couple of months ago which escalated things. Our neighbour next door got some rabbits, and naturally, our dog wanted them. We couldn’t even let her off the chain for a supervised play – it was straight over the gap in the fence and over to the hutch.

You know, I’ve cried a lot over this dog. I cried when we first got her and then we had to go to work full time and she was alone and sad all day – so we found her a puppy daycare place, which kinda solved that. I cried when she got out – I was so scared that she could have gotten herself dog-napped or run over. I cried when she killed those chooks because I knew that it was our fault – we hadn’t been taking the escaping issue seriously enough.

I cried the day she jumped the fence and nearly got those rabbits – she had done it before but this particular time, I cried because I had made up my mind about something I’d been thinking about for a very long time – that we probably should rehome her.

I advertised her, met with a few people, but then we met with this family who were looking for a companion dog for their own dog who used to escape and whined all day when they were at work. Their dog seemed like a perfect match for her, so we decided to have a trial period.

In the days to come, I think my mind went on overdrive and I gave it my all. I took her for longer walks than ever before with the boys in tow. I let her come in more often, cooked her fancy meals and gave her lots of treats. I tried harder than I had ever done before, and I was exhausted by the end of it.

Guilt really set in – I’m sure it had been there before but it completely consumed me. I was sorry I didn’t spend enough time with her, that I didn’t walk her enough or spend enough time training her back in the day. I was sorry we didn’t have another dog for her to play with, as she’s such a loving and sociable dog. And I was also sorry about the repercussions on our family – sorry that Jacob and Jared wouldn’t grow up with a dog. Jacob still asks about her and asks when she will come home – it still silently breaks my heart.

The day we gave her away, we skipped church and took her for a walk in the reserve. It wasn’t a long walk as it was drizzling, but it was just memorable all the same. We dropped her off and I reckon she didn’t know any better, like she thought I might have been dropping her off on a playdate or to have someone petsit while we go away.

And then I cried, because I knew I had done the hard thing but the right thing for her. So many times in the days to come did I want to march over there and get her back, but from what they were saying and the photos, they seemed to be having an amazing time. Two dogs joyful in the company of each other, a happy family with a new loving dog. It was only us who would have to bear the sadness.

It’s been just over a month since we gave away our best friend.

Many tears spilled, many moments reminisced, but I need to let her go. I decided to make a video about her, as lame as that sounds, but it has helped me heal. I’ve looked at these pictures so many times, listened to the song (which is Avril Lavigne’s “Hush Hush”) again and again but it still brings twinges of sadness. I hope that it will change one day soon.

But for now, here is my mediocre piece of work (sorry I’m no videographer, I did this in MovieMaker!) but this means the world to me.

Here’s to the good times, Skittles. You will always hold a special place in our hearts.

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15 Facts about Me…

Ever since I was young, I used to love personality quizzes. Remember those quizzes that people would send in chain letters via email or the ones you could post on Friendster? Those were the days!

Anyway, today’s topic in the blog challenge I’m doing is right up my alley – I have to tell you 15 facts about yours truly! I hope you find this list remotely interesting!

  1. I got married at 21, and had my first child Jacob at 23. Yes, it was all planned that way and I don’t regret it for the world! I certainly felt unprepared in a number of situations, but don’t we all?
  2. I am 1/8 Scottish, 1/8 Welsh, 1/8 Thai, 1/8 Malay and 1/2 Chinese. And I grew up in Malaysia. Long story, but that will be for another day!
  3. I used to idolize Avril Lavigne (and she was probably my style guru for a few years – argh!). I still love many elements of her music and we share a birthday – 27th Sept!
  4. I started learning how to play the piano at age 3. But unfortunately I’m no prodigy and can’t say I have Mozart-like talents. However, I am pretty good at playing things by ear so if someone gives me a song and wants it played, I can usually do it (unless it’s like Rachmaninoff).
  5. I used to do cheerleading. Okay, it was only a year of my life and I wasn’t one of the awesome pretty girls being airlifted. Rather, I was a “base” who had to be the tough one to toss the girls in the air. I also sustained a back injury from trying to catch a falling girl, which sometimes rears its head when I try to push my back too far.1kh8[1]
  6.  I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian – I didn’t grow up in the faith but started going to church after I finished high school, and got baptised in 2008. Now I go to a beautiful little “country” church in Birdwood and am particularly passionate about children’s ministry.
  7. I have a Bachelor of Business in Hotel Management and started out working in hotels. Since, I’ve moved from that to Real Estate to Education Sales and am in Education Marketing now. I would love to study more though, maybe when I have more time on my hands.
  8. I worked for 6 months in Port Douglas, a little town up in Far North Queensland. It was an amazing time of my life and I went on an eye-opening road trip with friends. I definitely want to go back there sometime.
  9. I grew up with a body image complex and have had anorexia and bulimia at certain points of my life. But now I am pretty much freed from the clutches of self-doubt and am now able to appreciate and love my body.
  10. I used to do Ninjutsu – I learned it intensely for 5 years, and I was getting pretty good! I don’t have the best coordination and motor skills, so mastering some of those skills was very rewarding to me. Also, I have a “nin” tattoo on my back.
    tattoo
  11. I love action movies and series but ones with more of a storyline and have an element of comedy/romance in them. Superheroes and medieval elements are plus points. Some of the ones I’ve really enjoyed are Supergirl, Arrow, Flash, DC Legends, Daredevil, Sense 8, Heroes, Vikings, Once Upon a Time, and of course, Game of Thrones! I watch a lot of TV haha!
  12. I can speak English and Malay fluently, and a bit of Mandarin and Japanese as well. However, I’d love for my kids to learn European languages, German being a preference.
  13. I really want to write a novel, and also get my poetry published. I would also really love to write children’s books, though I need to find someone to illustrate them for me.
  14. Mulan is my favourite Disney movie – I have watched it over 50 times! I feel that I relate to Mulan in many ways. Also, while I don’t consider myself a feminist, it has irked me that Asian women are often sexualised in pop culture and are usually have something to do with sex and drugs.
  15. My husband is my rock. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me! And he spoils me to bits, picks up after me and indulges me in my silly Asian cravings such as roast duck, nasi lemak and bubble tea. And we make beautiful kids together hehe!

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I have a bit of a busy weekend to look forward to (and a bit of prep too) so I’ll just post what I was meant to post on the 7th as well – a photograph of the town I live in.

We live in suburban Adelaide – the city used to be thought of as a big country town but a lot of development has happened of late that has become a lot more modern and metropolitan. But anyway, I’m not posting a picture of that – here’s a picture of me and my dog in the reserve near our house! This was before we had kids and we could just go off on a whim and do whatever we liked with ourselves!

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Tragedies

I was going to put up a Christmas post but in the light of some recent events across the world, I felt that it was almost inappropriate to be celebrating amidst all the grieving.

I was reading an article about The Biggest Tragedies in 2014 and it made me remember how fragile life is; how mortal we are and how suddenly things can take a turn for the worse. Some of these tragedies particularly resonate with me being a Malaysian – I’ve flown with Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia all my life (and my parents still use those airlines on a regular basis) so it does feel a bit surreal at times. In fact, my parents were on an Air Asia flight less than 24 hours before this most recent crash. And I even knew a person on the MH17 flight; an acquaintance from high school and a loving person who is dearly missed by her family.

But really, it’s not all about me. It’s about all those lives lost. It’s about all those people who won’t be able to welcome in the new year with their beloved family members. It’s about ideals torn apart, hearts brokens and promises that weren’t able to be kept. And I think, what if it was me – how would I feel? What would I do?

I’m not sure if you know, but I LOVE Avril Lavigne’s music – I grew up with her music blaring in my rooms and I know the words to most if not all of her songs. I was SO happy to get her Goodbye Lullaby album after my car ate up her CD (radio died on me and ruined my old one) and I feel it’s her best album, or at least one where her emotions really do resonate with mine. One of my favourite songs on this album is “Everybody Hurts” and I’ve been playing it over and over again (much to my hubby’s dismay). Then I remembered that long ago, back in the day when I still had my green guitar, I actually sang a cover version of this song – and here it is:

Okay, it’s not the best video but really, it’s the lyrics that really touch deeply and that’s something I want to share and dedicate to the people in these tragedies.

Don’t know, don’t know if I can do this on my own
Why do you have to leave me?
It seems I’m losing something deep inside of me
Hold on, on to me

Now I see, now I see

Everybody hurts some days
It’s okay to be afraid
Everybody hurts, everybody screams
Everybody feels this way
And it’s okay, it’s okay

It feels like nothing really matters anymore
When you’re gone, I can’t breathe
And I know you never meant to make me feel this way
This can’t be happening

Now I see, now I see

Everybody hurts some days
It’s okay to be afraid
Everybody hurts, everybody screams
Everybody feels this way
And it’s okay, it’s okay

So many questions, so much on my mind
So many answers I can’t find
Wish I could turn back the time
I wonder why

Everybody hurts some days
Everybody hurts some days

Everybody hurts some days
It’s okay to be afraid
Everybody hurts, everybody screams
Everybody feels this way
And it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay

Everybody hurts some days
It’s okay to be afraid
Everybody hurts some days
Yeah, we all feel pain

Everybody feels this way
And it’ll be okay
Can’t somebody take me away to a better place
Everybody feels this way, it’s okay

It’s okay, it’s okay
It’s okay, it’s okay

I know I can’t tell people that it’s okay because it doesn’t feel okay at the moment, and perhaps there’ll be a void that can never be filled. But to all of you out there who are hurting and grieving, be it from a natural disaster, accident or even just personal tragedy in your own life, I pray that you will be able to see the silver lining behind the cloud.

I pray that you will be able to one day lift your head up and smile despite the tragedy that has touched your life – and that you will be okay.

Good Night Moon…

Goodness, time has just escaped me this weekend. I was in fact trying to limit my time on the computer – made me quite productive with housework, but made me a bit tardy on this end. Sorry!

On Friday, I received the second half of my birthday present from my hubby:

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So, what did I think? Initially I was quite disappointed (at her fashion sense and at the music). I was looking for music that was more ‘raw and lyrical’ but instead it seemed to shout ’90’s pop’. But after a few listens, I have come to enjoy some of the songs and appreciate that she was trying to explore and do something more fun/different. Although I think that collaborating with Marilyn Manson on one track was quite uncalled for (but then, who am I to say?).

Yesterday I was at my sister-in-law’s Baby Shower and it was lovely! Just a few games, some great food and laid back chit chat. It was also great to get the three cousins together (and very soon there’ll be four!):

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At her baby shower, one of the games was a cool “baby book” game where you had to guess the name of the book based on a paraphrased version of the name. e.g. Unsightly aquatic bird = The ugly duckling
One of the paraphrases was “Small Rouge Behind” and I guessed “The Tiny Redback”. No, I wasn’t right – it was “Little Red Caboose”. Do I get points for originality at least?

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I’m honestly looking forward to receiving Jacob’s baby books for Christmas (I already know a few which are coming up)! Children’s books are such fun to read, and so colourful too! I’ve been reading Jacob some of Margaret Wise Brown’s books – “Good Night Moon” is probably her most famous one. I love how they’re simple, they rhyme and they have a happy ending.

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I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could write a children’s book for Jacob. Poetry is not too difficult for me, but I think I’ll struggle with the illustrations. Maybe I’ll sign up for art classes. Maybe I could write Haiku. Like this one is for Jacob now:
Little ball of small
Still slumbering gently
Cutest one of all

Jacob bids you all a good night. He’s been busy figuring out how to use my nunchucks (but he’s now safely tucked away in bed).

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Avril Lavigne’s new single!

I’ve been an Avril Lavigne fan since day one. I remember the day that her first single ‘Complicated’ was released and I still like her music now. Not sure of the exact reason why I enjoy it so much – perhaps I’m biased because we share a birthday, or because I believe I chatted to her on ICQ before. I had posters of her on my wall, I dressed like her ( well, that’s how I normally dressed before I’d heard of her) and bought heaps of magazines including a special magazine all about her background that cost me RM60.

I find it fantastic that she paired up with Chad Kroeger (since I love Nickelback so much too) and I think this song is a great combination of their musical strengths. I do like her other two singles that are out too, but I think I’m in more of a ballad mood tonight.

Thanks in advance, Dan, for my belated birthday present – Avril’s new album is pre-ordered. ❤