0908Singapore dog apartment renting pet health and welfare educational for animal lovers, excerpts from The Glamorous Vets, Singapore, sponsored by  AsiaHomes Internet.

This Englishman loves his dog

Mrs Philip, an English homemaker from the pebble beaches in the seaside town of Brighton in England was apprehensive when her husband was posted to Singapore as she had never been to the Far East.  She imagined that she would have great difficulty in locating supermarkets which might be far away since she could not drive.  She decided that it would be difficult to communicate with the natives who spoke in foreign dialects. 

Singapore has more supermarkets and shopping malls than New York, said one American to me. I was shocked but it seemed to be true. A large majority of the natives speak English.

But it would be hard to convince Mrs Philip one year ago when she just set foot on Singapore.  

"She loves her dog more than me," Mr Philip had told me and therefore I thought that she would like to live in a house and did not show any condominium.

Many English ladies are dog lovers. I can feel that Mrs Philip loves her husband as much although there was no public display of affection such as hand-holding during house hunting.   Well, hand-holding is for newly married or matched couples and Mrs Philip was more conservative. She had a 15-year-old daughter.  It was a solid marriage in the new economy world where divorces in Britain was said to be 1 out of 3 marriages.

In England, they had a beautiful house with a rose garden.  I was given half a day to show them a good home and I presumed they wanted to live in a house too.  I showed the new arrivals houses at $3,000 rental budget.   "Houses are better if you have a medium-sized dog," I said. "There's the space in the semi-detached garden for the dog to exercise and no neighbours to get angry about your dog barking. This would be the case if you live in an apartment."

The expatriate couple with one child had to decide between a condominium with a mini-mart and full condo facilities like pool, tennis courts, gym and a community of expatriates, shown by another realtor.  The condominium won.

It was a big surprise to hear from Mr Philip one year later.  He wanted to rent a house this time and had recalled my advices of the disadvantages of living in a condominium with a dog. 

"You were right about not living in apartments if I have a medium-sized dog.  Our dog was attacked by two other dogs in the condo 2 weeks after we moved in and he had become afraid to go out" said Mr Philip.  Singapore dog owners seldom leash their dogs when they go out for walks.

"The locals are frightened of my dog who is a friendly pet," he continued.   Too many Singaporeans have no contact with nature and some pre-teen girls scream in fright when a dog goes near them.  As if they are encountering ferocious tigers and bears.  Dogs such as the black Chow do look like little bears and do make some girls scream when the dogs approach them.

These were good enough reasons to rent a house as the population density in the neighbourhood will be much lower.

"Why don't you report to the police that your dog was attacked and the Owner may be fined for walking a dog without a lease?" I asked.  Mr Philip said there was no point in doing so.

"There is this Singaporean dog owner who will provoke my dog into barking by standing outside my apartment," said Mr Philip whose dog is the "guardy" type.  

"Why would he do that? Was he a retire or a kid?" I asked. "Why didn't you confront him?"   I was surprised that this provocateur was a working adult.   It was not Mr Philip's character to be confrontational.

"If I talk to him, I would end up punching him. This would not happen in England." Mr Philip answered.  He is a big tall Englishman and I am sure his punch would knock out the Singaporean. But he is a gentle giant. 

"I felt like opening the door and letting the dog go out and bite him," continued Mr Philip who must really love his dog and was really patient for one year while his nemesis tested his patience by disturbing his dog.  It sounded more like his dog had a 2-legged antagonist as well as 4-legged ones too in this 1000 unit condominium.

Nobody knows why the neighbour delighted in doing such an act.  He was not a retiree and he was a dog owner too.

Mr Philip's mobile phone in his left breast pocket rang as we toured the neighbourhood to find a good house.   He answered the phone with his left hand without using  his ear piece while driving the car with the other hand.

"The Singapore law is stricter on using mobile phone while driving than on dogs biting dogs or people," I said.  "An owner of a dog which causes injury to any person can be fined up to $5,000. For using a mobile phone while driving, you will be banned from driving for six months and your phone would be forfeited," I said, looking around for the Traffic Police women or men along the coffee bars and cafes of East Coast Road. 

"Put a spare piece of ear piece in your car" I advised. "My wife would not allow me to buy another ear piece!" Mr Philip laughed. "That's not true," the soft spoken Mrs Philip said.

We saw 10 bungalows, semi-detached, terrace houses and cluster townhouses in the neighbourhood from 12.30 p.m. to 2.30 p.m.  Mr and Mrs Philip decided on one modern semi-detached near the supermarkets and the bus stops.  The daughter knew what buses and subway to take to the international school in downtown . However, the convenience to the public transport was as important as a small garden for the dog as Mrs Philip could not drive.

The house Mr and Mrs Philips liked had 3 storeys, four good sized bedrooms to accommodate visitors and her family, a small garden, a good-sized backyard and a tiled walk way by the side of the house with sufficient space for the dog to exercise. It was newer and had brighter rooms as there was an air well at one side. 

The marble clad walls of the bathrooms and the kitchen cabinets with an oven were of an above average finishes.  Ovens are not commonly seen nowadays and Mrs Philip was happy to see one in this house.  There was a balcony in the front bedroom and most Caucasians love balconies.  There was no swimming pool, no gym, no tennis court for the two-legged occupants when you rent a house. 

But the dog for the Caucasian English is family and the house is a better choice for this "guardy" dog which can't help itself by barking loudly if some crazy men hang outside the apartment door.

I hope the Landlord would reduce his asking rent of $4,000 to $3,000. 

The Landlord wanted $3,800.  Singapore had announced a technical recession in 2001 and the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York had just collapsed 3 days ago.

Would the Landlord be flexible and nimble as Mr Philip had other choices?  There was a less than 5 years old bungalow in the East Coast renting for $3,000!  It was located deep in the estate.

A lower rent was offered and Mr Philip agreed to top up from his pocket for the house he liked.  Happy days are back again for the realtor?

The Letter of Offer from the Landlord had a clause: "No dog or other animal or pet shall be kept or brought into the demised premises."

"If no dogs are allowed, that's is the end of this deal. I do not compromise on this!" bellowed Mr Philip when he spoke to me. All dog lovers see red when they read this clause.

The Landlord was adamant in retaining this anti-pet clause in his Letter of Offer. Without exception.  But many Caucasian expatriate tenants in Singapore do keep pets and is he going to keep his house vacant for a long time? It does not make business sense for him in a declining rental market and in a segment where houses are not in great demand by expatriates.

The Landlord had a solution when the objection was raised. A letter of undertaking from the prospective Tenant that the dog would be removed if the neighbours complained of noise nuisance.  This was acceptable to Mr Philip. 

Happy days were back again for the realtor and the prospective Tenant.  I hope the dog would be happy in this house and not be set upon by other dogs again.  He became frightened after the dog attack in the condominium but we don't have pet psychiatrists in Singapore to counsel him.  
Article contributed by www.asiahomes.com rental realtor to educate first time relocating expatriates with dogs.  Almost 90% of the condo Landlords and management in Singapore don't mind dogs. Email  judy@asiahomes.com if you need more information. 

2 long hairless streaks on both sides of the dog
BE KIND TO PETS educational article is supported by Asiahomes Internet.

Flank biting in a Dog.  This 8-year old German Shepherd Cross lives in a house and is very much loved. It had two long narrow bands of hair loss (see arrows showing the width of the left band which had recovered its hair loss).  It was a mystery to the owner who had consulted a few vets.

It must have had bitten the affected area to produce two symmetrical bands of bare skin although the owner did not see the dog in action. The picture showed new hair growth after the dog was given an anti-inflammatory injection and antibiotics.  Its anal sacs contain brown oil and were released.

Three months later, the same complaint came again.  After receiving the same treatment, it was all right for another three months.  Could it be a "compulsive disorder" behavioral problem as the dog might have felt bored being left at home all day?

The owner was taught how to squeeze its anal sacs on a weekly basis. The dog was not seen till 7 years later.  It had cataracts but was still healthy. The same complaint of some hair loss at the flanks was presented but it was not so obvious.  The anal sacs had not been emptied for two months as the owner had got married.  Was it the anal sac or the lack of personalised attention for this dog that caused this mystery? Flank biting has been reported in horses.  Do dogs do it too? If only dogs can talk.


Dog owners:

You got tenant?

If not, place an affordable targeted asiahomes.com
internet ad for $13.50 for 90 days, not just one day as in the newspaper. 

You may get the agents to call you and close early so that you can rent out faster and let the tenant pay for your mortgages.

Why not place an affordable internet ad
to contact prospects direct and save you
a few thousand dollars in agency commission?
Telephone +65 9668 6468, E-mail judy@asiahomes.com

Sep 9 2001 update.
The email reply below is outdated but retained for record purposes. In September 2001, expatriates with S$8,000 rental budget may be able to rent a newer bigger bungalow with a swimming pool in the East Coast of Singapore. Rentals are much higher in the expatriate favoured areas of Districts 9, 10 and 11 (South and South West Singapore).  You will need at least $14,000 to get a decent newer bungalow with a land area of 15,000 sq. ft and a swimming pool.  


From: "<….@c031.aone.net.au> To: judy@asiahomes.com
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 17:43:17 +1100

Dear Sir

I am moving to Singapore in early January 98. I am interested in renting accommodation with a small bit of garden/land as I have a small dog. The area I am interested in is the east coast. The lease is corporate and I expect to require at least a 2/3 year lease. I am also interested in 3 bedrooms and of course, all air-conditioned throughout the property. My budget is in the vicinity of S$8000 pcm. What can you suggest ?


The following types of housing, at $8,000 rental budget/month and within above specifications, are available in the East Coast:

  1. Intermediate Terrace house, e.g. 1,700 sq. ft of land and 2,200 sq. ft of built-in area, 2-storey.
  2. Corner Terrace house with bigger garden but same built-in area, 2-storey.
  3. Semi-detached house, e.g. 3,600 sq. ft of land and 3,000 sq. ft of built-in area, 2-storey.
  4. Small bungalows (detached house) e.g. 5,000 sq. ft of land, single-storey, without swimming pool and more than 5-10 years old. Rarely available.
  5. Townhouse (terrace house equivalent) with communal garden, security and car park.
  6. Cluster Townhouses with communal pool and other condo facilities.
  7. Ground floor apartment (walk up) and garden enclosed.
  8. Ground floor apartment with condo facilities and garden enclosed.
  9. Lower maisonette of 2 maisonette/unit type of condominium.

Please let me know if you require more information.

For more Information on FREE house-hunting for expats relocating to Singapore, email Judy Quek, tel: +65 9668 6468.

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