Year Of The Dog. Being 12. ALMOST.

Goodbye rooster.

Hellllooooo dog!

I would rather eat the rooster than say goodbye to it. One of my favourite words is "Chic-Keeeennnnn".

Mummy is usually oblivious to the annual call of the Chinese zodiac animals but this year is special. And you know why? Because I, Flapper Choo, am born in the year of the dog!


I have the decade mark to welcome the dawn of being 12. ALMOST.  I WILL turn 12 in September (psyching positive thinking energy here). Time flaps pass faster than I can say 'Chick-Keeeennnn'. Mummy has been busy with my whilst juggling to keep Frodo and I active while "I" (*cough mummy*) have been suffering from writer's block. "I" have been uninspired if I may say so. "I" missed out writing something for Christmas and then the New Year... and before I know it, it is now the Lunar New Year. Change the "I" to her/she and the truth is revealed.

Oh mum!

The year of the C-H-I-C-K-E-N (spell it out so I can pretend not to understand the word) was kind to me. I start out every year not knowing what's to come and/or if I will have any new gigs under my blonde belly. Every time I think that no one would want to work with BIG 'ol blonde me anymore, God has His way of opening new doors to bring on new experiences. For a big dog, I have been blessed with more opportunities than I could ask for. We live in a world where tiny/small dogs, fluffy dogs (the fluffier the better) and smashed-up-faced/crinkled-faced dogs rule on popularity count.

So yeah, not bad for BIG 'ol me!

After much deliberation on what my first post for 2018 and the Year of The Dog should be, I decided shall hold  hands wings of the chic-keeeennnn, cross the road with it as I countdown my Top 12 moments of its year to usher in the year of the dog.

And then I will eat the chic-keeeeennnn.

#12: One People, One Nation

It was an honour to be a part of Singapore Discovery Centre's National Day 2017 program.
For the first time ever, I was part of our National Day! Singapore Discovery Centre had invited me to be a part of their National Day program and yeah, it was pretty fun I must say although I received the usual restrictions where where I can be (two fixed spots) which meant I could not be anywhere else.

But focus on the job. It was great to meet and interact with many many people. I have no idea when this would ever become a BIG DOG inclusive nation. Probably not in my lifetime.

I will keep dreaming in the meantime that maybe one day I will finally get to be at the National Parade.

Can't fault a big dog from dreaming, eh?

Just happy to be of service and thank you Singapore Discover Centre for the invite and gracing my presence!

#11: Camera, Rolling, Action!

Me caught in action running for the camera with the glorious morning sun gleaming through the trees
I must confess that Mummy did not want me to do this filming project. When mummy was first approached to use me for a very short scene for a new Toggle show, she outrightly said no. Do not mistaken, not that she was being a prima donna mama but she really wanted me to do just one more filming project (hopefully) and one that was meaningful.

The past two filming projects were underwhelming and not enjoyable to say the least. But for one of them, for the same reason she agreed to do the 8 Days photo shoot with Rebecca (see #5), she said yes just so I can meet Rui En one more time. The chances of meeting my ex co-stars are more often than not, nothing.

Anywoof, mummy eventually said yes to this Toggle-show-that-she-still-does-not-know-the-title.  She found out that, who else none other than my favourite director, Lye Lin (who is now a producer... or is it executive producer) requested for me. And because of how kindly Lye Lin had treated me when she was directing "Sudden", "Mystic Whispers" and "Love?", mummy changed her mind.

The filming was meh but it was so so good to see familiar faces. There is one dude. I like him very very much. I call him Uncle Tommy. He is the man behind the camera. Call it fate. The other faces may change but somehow, whenever I hope and pray the man behind the camera will be Uncle Tommy.. tadah!

That man behind the camera... the one with the thumbs up behind me. He is Uncle Tommy. I always feel safe when I know he is the one behind the camera.
This made it into the list just because every filming project is memorable regardless the size of the role. This was also the most heart-dropping scene (for the mummy) I ever had to film. If only you could her how fast her heart was beating and her beady eyes opened wide with each take. But she just laid her trust on Uncle Tommy's direction and viola! It went well. I am safe.

On a more frivolous note, mummy says it was gratifying for her to watch me, at 11 years old, still agile and performing the action scene.

#10: Romantic Escapades

When your girlfriend is an enabler.... and modern day Mary Poppins
One of the best memories, if I may say so, surely is my hilarious 'girlfriend' who never fails to enable creative sparks of insanity. Add Uncle Nic to the mix and the rest, as they say, is history.

Some may say.

Waste of time!
Others may say.

I say, life is too short.

Everyone needs a dose of childish, bordering on cheesy, escapades now and again to keep one young.

#9: Flapper and Frodo The Toy Testers

Kohepets sent us all these toys for my birthday! Sorry Kohepets! Busy boy me have not gotten around to starting the toy reviews for this new loot! 😩
Ehhh... yep! After much discussion with Miss U from Kohepets, Frodo and I embarked our new journey as toy testers in March 2016. We love working with and communicating with Miss U. It is very important in every collaboration to work with nice people/companies and Miss U is no exception.

She sent us the second batch of toys and squeezed in extra perks as part of my birthday present in September. And eeeee-yikes! Sorry Miss U! We are dreadfully behind with our toy reviews. Promise I will get around to it real soon!

But aye aye, which dog can complain of too many toys especially interactive toys?

So how can this not make it to my Top 12 list? 😁

#8: Frodo Saves.

Frodo the blood donor peeping at the blood receiver who was a victim of onion toxicity.
Yep! My moron brother deserves a place on this honour roll at no. 9.

As I have swiftly gone into blood donor retirement, Frodo Choo has taken on the honour badge of being a blood donor. The sad truth about being a donor is - not all lives can be saved. We can only do our part in trying to save by being a donor.

So here's an honourable mention to Frodo Choo for his bravery of being a blood donor!

Okay bro, at least there is ONE actual purpose for you in life.

Or maybe two.

#7: And It Lives

"Okay doggie, whatever your name is, I hope my blood saves you. I will keep you in my prayers.", I whispered into its ear.
And I came out of retirement to give blood one more time.

Frodo had already donated twice or thrice in 2017 so when my other trusted vet, Dr E (he did my lipoma removal surgery) called mama to ask if Frodo could be a donor, she rejected. Frodo deserves a break and time to replenish his blood.

Then mama offered, "Well, you can use Flapper but he is already 11 years old if that isn't too old for you."

Dr E checked on my health status (see #7) and mummy said it was all good so I was given the clear as a blood donor.

The funny thing was, when we showed up at the clinic and mummy saw the big dog on the treatment table, mummy gasped, "That's the receiver?"

She nearly fainted. She was not quite expecting a big dog. That meant... full 450ml of blood! Maybe  should have used Frodo instead. *guffaw*

Mummy made a request to Dr E quite sheepishly, "Can you please try to shave a smaller patch? Flapper has filming tomorrow..."

She felt quite like an idiotic dog owner making such a request as she is usually not bothered by the shave. But Dr E obliged and did a good job out of it. Thank you Dr E!

Anywoof, the reason why this blood donation made it to this list is because... the dog survived his surgery and transfusion! I have not had much luck in saving lives with blood. I am the 'midnight call' dog. This means the critical condition (and sometimes age) of the dogs, who more often than not required emergency transfusion, would yield little success.

So aye aye! After many many MANY years, a success story.... FINALLY!

Happy news. Happy dog. Better late than never.

#6: Those Oh-So-Important Health Scores

Woohoo! Perfect test scores!

Health screening is always nerve wrecking for the pawrent. So mummy says. That wait for that blood test result to bing through that cursed machine! And the nerves only gets worse each year with age (the dog's/cat's age).

There was extra stress for mummy during that time. There was A LOT riding on that blood test result. She knew that if there was anything wrong with me, my dog food would get the blame (see #4.)

She requested for comprehensive blood profile including complete blood count, thyroid and 4DX. With my ripe old age of 11 years young, she wanted to make sure that I was well. If there is one thing mummy will not sting on is our health-related matters and diagnostic tests where necessary.

Pop the champagne!

I scored perfect on my blood tests!

Point to note: Health status can change very quickly with geriatric dogs (*cough me*).

AND! I have yet to get my ultrasound scan done to check on other organs like my spleen.

But as of now, I will just rejoice and give thanks to God that my blood tests show that I am well systemically.

Paws crossed!

#5: Exactly 3 Years Later...

Mere coincidence (or not?) but I got to meet the lovely Rebecca Lim again after three long years. And may I add... EXACTLY three years later. (From left to right: On the set of 'Sudden', 'Love?' and 8 Days photos shoot)
It was not about making it to the cover of 8 Days magazine that made it into this list. But it is the delight of being able to meet up with Rebecca again. My clock is ticking and I rarely get to meet these wonderful people that I've worked with who played an important part in building my memories. They are so busy with their filming schedule that being able to see them is a privilege. Compared to Romeo Tan, Sheila Sim and Rui En, it is always a short stint with Rebecca. But even for just one afternoon, it was absolutely fabulous just to spend some time with her again!

I still hope I can get that one last MEANINGFUL filming project and who else would I want to work with?

A dog can dream... no?

#4 : Frodo continues to be a Wellness Boy!

Lunar New Year greetings from Frodo and me... in Wellness style.
It was agreed back in 2016 that I would be sponsored for two years while Frodo would be sponsored for one year. So hip hip hooray! Silversky Pets decided to extend Frodo's sponsorship and he continues to be a Wellness boy!

I know I know.... Commercial pet food has been receiving horrendous press and review for quite a few years now. The not-so-recent class action suit against Wellness did not help matters and boy oh boy did mummy receive flak for that. She will bark about that a different day.

Whatever it is, I have been on Wellness Pet Food for almost a decade while the rest of my siblings have been on it since their day of existence in this household. And we are all doing well, thank you very much.

So maybe it is time to just say a simple 'Thank You Wellness'?

Once again, I think Frodo enjoyed this yachting trip even more than I did. A true yuppie boy he is. Isn't that sunset beautiful? #ilovemylife
Another check off my bucket list!

Oh lookie! There's me in a trash can and I am going to eat me up!
Double check off my bucket list!
Level up.
Achievement unlocked.
I need not say more.
The photos tell the story.

You can read about my fabulous 11th birthday adventure here.

#2 : It's All About The Sony XPERIAnce

The Sony XPERIAnce is all about coming from a point of creation, pushing boundaries to enhance life XPERIAnces and capturing oh-so-important life moments. (in the photo: the XZ1 taking the selfie with smile capture technology while the XZ1 Compact takes the selfie moment... yeah, we are a little mad but we love it that way)
After two consecutive years of being an influencer for Sony Action Cam, I have been swiftly converted to becoming quite an adrenaline junkie. However, it became pretty darn quiet that I could hear the trademark sound of the Action Cam playing in my head.

Along came Miss J from Sony Mobile Singapore division and it brought renewed lease of life as a Sony boy. She asked me if I, Flapper Choo, would like to test the Xperia phone! I accepted the invitation with much fear that I may end up hating the phone....

11 months on and the self-proclaimed die-hard Apple boy is now officially converted and that's how Sony XPERIAnce and #WETnesday were borne. The Xperia XZ1's camera technology boasts of "capturing life in a new way with our Motion Eye™ camera. Built using know-how from our α™ and Cyber-shot™ ranges, the Xperia XZ1 reveals moments you could only imagine." and it did not disappoint at all.

From its innovative super slow motion capability (Cyber-shot™- which I call it the RX technology) to Predictive Capture to Autofocus Burst (the latter shines on its adaption of the α™tracking ability) to its fancy smile capture for selfie-junkies (it only reads human smiles) to, wait for it, the 3D CREATOR - I mean, what more can a dog or anyone ask for in a phone?

The overall end-user experience exceeded and the transition from an iPhone to the Xperia was pretty effortless. And this is coming from the once Android hater. And for those who follows me on Facebook or Instagram can see my many memories recorded with the Sony Xperia XZs and XZ1.

You can read my reviews of the Xperia XZs and XZ1 here.

#1: It Will And Always Will Be God's Purpose First

My purpose is to bring oodle of joy to people.
I've missed doing dog-assisted therapy. I kept bugging mama to get me back to doing what I love most and to serve God in whichever way permissible... aiya! wherever that would grace my big blonde presence.

After much prayers with mummy, the door finally opened!

Love Cope, a community division of St Hilda's Church, decided to welcome me! I started serving two groups of lovely elderly since September 2016 and even celebrated my birthday with them. I took December off because mummy could not shake off her flu. She did not want to infect their lowered immune system.

I happily resumed work in January and I donned on my brand new therapy dog vest! It was on my Christmas wishlist to own my very own vest. Someone received my wishlist and made big efforts to have the embroidery patch made!

With my weekly visits (bi-weekly per group), it was well-noted that some of my lovelies made good progress. They were certainly not as reserved or shy compared to our first meeting. They are happily interacting with me, playing fetch/throw with me, taunting me (yes they are cheeky!) with the toy and even taking turns to give me massage - and I mean full body massage.

I am starting not to be sure anymore who is the one receiving therapy! Me thinks... both! But it does not matter. When my lovelies are happy, I am happy. When I am happy, they are happy. It works both way.

So yep! Even though I am not allowed or permitted to serve in a church but as long as I can serve people - Christian or not - it is always my honour and pleasure. Just because I am merely dog does not mean I cannot serve the community, right?

Thank you God that I, Flapper Choo, am still healthy and mobile at 11-ish years old to keep serving You.

- THE mummy has snatched the keyboard -

One more very very very honourable mention....

Roger Federer won Australian Open 2017, 2018, Wimbledon 2017 and he is back as world number 1! The End.

Back to Flapper Choo....

Thanks mum. 🙄

There is one more big honourable mention that I do have to make. That is Uncle Nic. He does make up a big portion of those listed moments. He is always at the background behind the camera providing the fabulous images. And most of all, #WETnesday adventures would be non-existent if not for him. So big round of applause for my sleep buddy, Uncle Nic of Furry Photos Pet Photography!

The roll of honour for my sleep buddy, Uncle Nic!

Hello Dog!

With that, I say goodbye to my good friend - the rooster/chick-keeeennnn.

We have crossed the road.

No, I have not eaten it yet.

I must say that the year of the chic-keeennn turned out to be quite spectacular. I have no idea what exciting adventure the year of the dog will bring me but as usual, carpe diem!

Of course, I do have my wishlist - Silversky Pets continues to sponsor our food, Kohepets continues our collaboration as toy tester, more fun collaboration with Barkery, Sony Mobile/Singapore side... hmm... that wishlist is quite extensive 😝😝 and my dog-assisted therapy with Love Cope yields good results.

And then there's the dream list - a new collaboration that involves some kind of computer or laptop 😂 and perhaps finally, that one last meaningful filming project.

But most importantly, for Frodo and I to just stay healthy and fit.

Come on mum! When will your wonky knee recover so we can go out and play?

And that's that.

I want to bark and wag a big warm welcome to usher in the year of the dog!

Here's wishing everyone Happy Lunar New Year and may this year be filled with happiness, good health, meaning and prosperity!

Can I eat the chicken now?

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