I dedicate this post to all the dogs I have had over the years. Dogs are wonderful to have and they give us much happiness. They provide warmth, companionship, unconditional love and devotion. There are many benefits to achieve from keeping dogs. Dogs help to lower our blood pressure and stress levels. They prevent us from feeling lonely and depressed. It has been said too that dogs help us to live long lives. Taking a dog for a walk enables us to exercise and this contributes to our health and general well-being. Dogs are able to sense when an intruder comes to the house and they help to make your home safe.


Muffie was our first dog. His Highness, the spouse, was away on a business trip and I was left alone in our home. Our home was on a street which had houses on either side of the street. Muffie belonged to a family who lived in a house across from ours. The owners were leaving the country and they wanted Muffie to have a good home. I offered to look after her. I knew little about dogs but decided that I would take on my new role as pet keeper with aplomb! I acquired the appropriate food, bowl and bedding. Muffie seemed happy enough although she did want to go out of the gate, presumably to go back to her previous home. In the evening I could not close our bedroom door as Muffie would make noises. I had to leave the door open and she came in and out of the room whenever she fancied. Needless to say I was unable to sleep and was very tired the next day.

Muffie took a little while to adjust to us. She was a lovely dog, friendly, warm and most devoted. She was a long-haired dog and needed to be brushed often. We, His Highness, our housekeeper, Ah Eng and I adored her. When we moved from one country to another, Muffie had to be quarantined. This was a sad time for all of us. Muffie was miserable in the quarantine establishment and we were unhappy to see her suffering.


I was approached by some friends to take over a young mongrel dog called Mary. Once again, I could not say no and took her into our home. Mary was most energetic and she ran around the garden almost as if she was demented. She barked at anybody and anything that walked past our house and entered the gates.

If the gates were opened, she would run out on to the road. If there was someone or a dog walking past our house, she would chase them down the road! She was incorrigible! We received so many complaints about her. It was our responsibility to discipline her but none of us could control her. Finally, and this was most sad for all of us, we had to take her to the animal centre in the hope that she would find another home.


Jimmy was a large, good looking Dalmatian. His owner was a member of the bowling team of which His Highness too, was a member. The owner was leaving Singapore and asked us if we would look after Jimmy. Jimmy came to us and he loved to run in the garden. He was huge but most gentle. When we returned from work, he would come to the car to greet us. He was most affectionate and, like Muffie, loved to have his tummy rubbed.


It seems to be a familiar line but yes, another friend was leaving the country and asked if we would look after Pepper. Pepper, like Muffie, was a long-haired dog of mixed breed. Pepper was gentle, friendly and most afraid of loud noises. She had a habit of running away to find a place to hide. Once she ran away and it took us days to find her. We placed an advertisement in the local newspaper. When we found her, it was obvious that she had travelled quite a distance. She had crossed two major roads and a large canal and gone into a housing estate.

She was found by a family who were extremely kind and good to her. They fed her and checked the license that she had on her collar. They took the trouble to contact the Licensing authorities and obtained a number to call us. When we drove to their home to get her I was most afraid and anxious. I almost choked when I saw her again. Pepper stayed with us for a long time after that until she became ill and passed away.


Unlike the other dogs, we picked Madonna from a litter of pups. Madonna was a German Shepard and as a puppy was most adorable. Unfortunately she was an alpha dog and she just grew and grew! She was hyper active and ran around the small garden that we had. She loved going for walks, actually these were more like runs than walks. Madonna was a beautiful animal, sleek and glossy and really quite elegant!

We realized that we could not keep her in our small garden and that she needed a large space. Fortunately, we found her another home where the owners adored dogs and had a large garden for them to use. When we checked on her later she had taken over leadership of the others and was most happy in her new environment.


Malvolio was the last dog we kept. He was given to us by the people we had engaged to look after the fish and the ponds in our garden. Malvolio was a puppy of mixed breed. He looked like he was part Doberman. As a puppy he was most adorable. I named him Malvolio because he had white spots on his legs. Like the other dogs, he too, gave us many happy hours of fun.

Dogs Are Magnificent

I agree with John Grogan about what he learned from his dog, Marley:
“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.”

The dogs we kept were fabulous. They brought sparkle to our lives. They were affectionate and loving and they were such fun. I thank Muffie, Mary, Jimmy, Pepper, Madonna and Malvolio for teaching us much about life and for adding significance and pleasure to our lives.


  1. I like proper sized dogs – I don’t fancy small yappy dogs – but ‘proper’ sized dogs need a garden, and I live in an apartment. Maybe I should get a cat. Does Zaibun have anything to say about cats? Any advice/ warnings/ encouragement …?

  2. Malvolio and Madonna! Inspired names for inspired dogs! I’m getting a little teary just reading about these lovely, exuberant, loving canine friends of yours, Zaibun. Bow wow!

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