Singaporeans may be better dog owners, ’cos we’re really, really good at following rules.
“One thing that Singaporeans have - that the rest of the world doesn’t - is the understanding of certain rules. Like throwing trash. The world throws a lot of trash on the floor, but Singaporeans don’t. Singaporeans follow rules, which is a big advantage when it comes to dogs. When I give people the rules [to be better dog owners], Singaporeans follow them. My basic formula is to give exercise, discipline and affection. Exercise keeps the dog’s body calm and discipline is for its mind. If you can follow the formula, nobody in Singapore will have problems.”
Dogs on social media make the world a better place.
“Seeing dogs on social media makes people happy. It creates conversation. Even if your dog is ugly, people talk, and that’s good. Like Grumpy Cat. The whole world talks about Grumpy Cat. It’s not a moment of religion, politics or racism — it’s just, let’s talk about this cat. When you put an animal on social media, it unites people and makes them human. We’re not just talking about ourselves, or about fashion, which is more selfish. Everyone agrees, whichever part of the world you’re in.
Want people to like your pooch? Put a backpack on him.
“Asia is not as dog-friendly as Europe and the US, where it’s like if someone tells you your dog has no rights, you can call the police! Here in America, it’s almost like racism if someone tells you your dog is not welcome. What you can do for your dog to get him more accepted in Singapore is to get him a backpack or a costume. When they see a dog dressed up, they accept them because he looks funny and makes them laugh. Sometimes, you have to change the psychology of the human based on what they see, in order to change their minds.
Your neighbour doesn’t like your dog? Suck it up.
“There are people who don’t like dogs, or who are afraid of dogs. What these people want is for dogs not to come into their personal space. You have to respect that. It’s not respectful if you say, ‘Oh, don’t worry, my dog is very friendly!’ That’s not fair, ’cos that’s not what the other person wants. Not everyone likes spiders! What they want is to keep those spiders away. And that’s how some people feel about dogs. So the owner of the dog needs to be mindful that not all humans want to be touched by their dogs, no matter how cute they think their dogs are.”
Who needs real babies when you can have furbabies? Just remember, though, that they’re not human.
“The new generation of people don’t have plans for real human babies. Their goals are to advance in their professions, own a house, or travel the world. But when a woman hits 25 years of age, her biological clock starts ticking. She needs to do something about it, or she will be sad. So she gets a dog. What’s bad is when people take away the identity of a dog and give him a new one. It’s like someone telling me, ‘Cesar, you are not Mexican, you are something else. And by the way, Cesar, you’re not even a man - you’re an alien.’ Can you imagine how a dog feels when someone tells him he’s not a dog? If people take your dreams and goals away and make you a slave, how would you feel? So treating the dog like a human is good for the human, but not always good for the dog. How do we find a happy meeting point? Well, give the dog exercise and discipline, then put him in a stroller or dress him up. The dog gets his needs met, and you get your needs met.”