Category Archives: Animals

The Café for Dogs: Furry Fiesta, Miri

There’s a new place in town where you can relax by bonding with dogs of different breeds and sizes, while having a nice meal to catch up with your friends.  It’s called Furry Fiesta.  Come and say hi to the doggies around, have a picture or two taken with them, pat them or even give them a cuddle, share the love!
p.s. please read until the end of this post for some special offers that Furry Fiesta has for you.

Posing at the photobooth

Couple posing with cutie

Sharing the love

The idea of dog cafes is not new in this world, however, most dog cafes are focused on serving good lattes and finger-food, whereas Furry Fiesta offers the full-range of meals for both people and even dishes for their four-legged friends.

Located in Miri’s new Marina Bay Commercial Area, it is a good place to have a quick lunch (less parking congestion there!) or have your dinner after a nice evening stroll along the Marina’s walkway by the beach.

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The place has a beautiful corner for a photobooth complete with a trishaw with floral backdrop for anyone who would like to take a picture with their furkids, or other furkids that are around. Your furkids can also relax and fall asleep with the air-conditioned surrounding while getting their furs gently caressed by the breeze from the fans.  The warm lighting and various cute posters provides a warm and cosy atmosphere for the dog lovers alike.

Brackets for securing

If your furkid is one of the ‘hyper’ ones, fear not as there are brackets around the pillars that can be used to secure them.

Ever seen a husky up close?

Ever seen a husky up close?  Not one but two beautiful huskies who are not camera shy came that night.

Come say hi

Another young guest saying hi to Balu the blind dog.  Yes, he’s literally blind and can only recognize things based on smell and sound.

True love?

Two new fur friends sniffing each other out.  It is a great place for your furkid to learn how to socialize and to meet other fur friends… maybe even find true love?

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Sit your furkid on your lap and enjoy the candle light dinner together.

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Furry Fiesta’s range of dishes are quite a lot, ranging from asian-styled dishes to the western-styled and even dishes for your fur kids.  More importantly, they are all delicious.

Penang Curry Fish

Penang Curry Fish, this would be my favourite dish of the day.  I’m not really a fish dish person, but this dish is an exception.

Thai Green Curry

The Thai Green Curry is also very good, with it’s flavorful curry gravy that is moderately spicy allowing even those who doesn’t take spicy food.

Crispy Chicken

This is definitely my another one of my favourite; Crispy Chicken.  For me, the best part of this is the delicious crispy skin!

Yellow Wine Chicken

Yellow Wine Chicken, another dish of hakka origins. Made with potent rice wine and is considered as a highly nutritious dish especially for the ladies.

Slice Yam Pork

Slice Yam Pork, a kind of hakka origin dish.  The marriage of the tender layered pork just goes so well with the soft yam and sauce.

BBQ Pork

BBQ Pork, the universally loved dish that is best enjoyed with beer.

Pork Rolls

Pork Rolls, wonderfully wrapped spring rolls of tender pork.

BBQ Chicken Wings

BBQ Chicken Wings, simple and surely a no-brainer for the kids.

Hollandaise Chicken Chop

Hollandaise Chicken Chop, an smooth emulsion of of egg yolk and liquid butter to accompany the finely grilled chicken chop.

Grilled Chicken Garlic Cheese Bake

Grilled Chicken Garlic Cheese Bake, a unique dish that has the chicken served straight from the oven, wrapped aluminum to preserve all the flavours from the garlic and cheese!

ABC Doggy Yummy Yummy

A dish for your beloved furkid: ABC Doggy Yummy Yummy, as the name goes, your furkid will definitely love this!

Furry Lamb Special

Another alternative dish for your furkid, the Furry Lamb Special!

Happy Family

One happy family having dinner with their lovely furkids.

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Celebrities which I met that day!  Romeo (the white pomeranian in red gray stripes) wins my heart.

Letting our kids learn

Letting our kids learn to love canines early.  If your children does not have any experience with dogs, this would be a nice place to start, where they can pat and even feed them, and learn to love them.

Chillin;

Romeo just chillin’ and enjoying the ambience.

Fall asleep!

Our four-legged friends aren’t that different from us.  After eating and filling the stomach, they would get lazy and eventually fall asleep!  Well, all except for Pepe the brown dog still standing in the center!

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When it is time to go home, you would probably need to carry your furkid away as they take one last glance of their other friends one last time to say goodbye.

SPECIAL OFFERS
Furry Fiesta strongly encourages you to bring your furkids!  Bring your furkids and get a 10% discount on all the Asian & Western food that you order!
Other than that, Furry Fiesta can also organize a special birthday party for your furkid with a free special birthday gift!

Furry Fiesta is located in Miri’s new Marina Bay Commercial area: Lot 2028, Ground Floor Marina Square, Phase 1, Miri.  Their opening hours are 10.30 am – 12.00 midnight daily.  Please contact Connie should you have any enquiries or bookings at +60 12 7273272.

Man’s Best Friend

The phrase “Man’s Best Friend’” has been in used for centuries, referring to the unselfish lifetime companion which is his dog.  Through evolution from species of wolves, the dogs has been around for ages and are known to be the first domesticated animal.

Since their domestication, they have served mankind in many different ways: protecting the house, assisting the handicapped, jobs with the police and military and most common of all, companionship.  Dogs have become one of the most widely accepted animal as a pet.

Let’s take a step back and let’s really pondered deeper into the term “Man’s Best Friend”?  We easily accept that they are our most loyal companions, but is the feeling mutual?

Recently, I had the honour of shooting for PAWS (Piasau Animal Welfare Support) during their Dogathon and Doggie Show.  We see a lot of dog shows all the time, but that’s mostly just dogs in their cages being displayed.  This was different.  It was my first ever dogathon and an actual dog show where the dogs display their skills in many categories including agility and obedience.

Mugs Bandanas Shirts
Many of the PAWS merchandize on sale

I am a PAWS volunteer

PAWS Volunteer T-shirt and Name Tag

 A Photogenic Lady Having a drink
Picture (left): Lady looking at all the curious passers-by. Picture (right): Pipi taking a sip keeping himself hydrated during the hot morning.

 Relentless American Idol
Picture (left): The committee working hard to the very last minute to make sure nothing is missed, Picture (right): The stop watch and marking sheet that the invited judges will use.

Swimming anyone? Food for thoughts
Picture (left): A PAWS Volunteer making sure the dogs does not go thirsty in their ‘waiting room’.  Picture (right): Frosty patiently waiting for his bowl to be filled with yummy food.

Before long, many other people  started arriving with their best friends, ready to join in for the dogathon.  The response from the public was extremely good, where there was close to 30 participating dogs for the dogathon itself.

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Many opportunities for picture taking

The interview

Some were even video interviewed…

Meeting new friends

The event was also a great opportunity for dogs to socialize and meet new friends.

Social Skills

Dogs could meet other dogs and learn how to socialize and interact with each other.

Gathering of people with common goals

It was also an opportunity for people to meet … other people.

And while the kids (human and dogs alike) were busy interacting among themselves, the adults had more serious business to tend to…

The PAWS face

Serious business such as… having their face painted with PAWS paws.

Much needed donations

Some of PAWS volunteers going around collecting donations to help support the continuing efforts of PAWS.

PAWS Official Mascot

PAWS official mascot was not left out and was there to do his part.

Doing his part...

The PAWS mascot was a hit among the kids who wanted to have their picture taken with the mascot.

Meeting the orphans

It was also a chance for people to meet some of the orphans of PAWS who are waiting to find their new home.

The journey home

The PAWS volunteer passionately and carefully explaining the process of re-homing for the strays.

A humble task

Responsible PAWS volunteers doing the job that most people would not like to do… cleaning up the pees and the poos.

It was almost time to start the dogathon.  The heat from the rising sun can be felt as the day came closer to noon.

Give me 5! (or paws)

Both best friend gives each other a hi-5 (hi-paws) and good luck!

Life giving water

Giving him some water making sure he is well hydrated before going out into the sun.

Group picture

Taking a moment for a group picture at the Civic Center before starting the dogathon.

And they’re off!

And they’re off!

Concrete jungle

The PAWS Chairperson leads her pack through the dense jungle of concrete.

The Authority

The PAWS Chairperson is highly respected in society. She has the power to stop vehicles dead on their tracks.

Stop look go

Curious passers-by stops to catch a glimpse of the action.

Just passing by...

Walking by one of Miri’s most prominent buildings. Can you recognise it?

White and Blue marvel

Mega Hotel in its white and blue marvel signals that the check and resting point is near.

Ming Cafe was gracious and kind enough to host as the halfway and resting point of the dogathon.  When everyone had arrived, the four-legged friends were treated with water which they gulped on rather quickly, showing how thirsty they were.

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Drinking session

The two best friends having a drink together.

Thank you Ming Cafe!

Many thanks to Ming Cafe who sponsored the much needed drinks.

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After having their drinks and nourishing themselves, it was time for them to rest for a moment before the last half of the dogathon.  Picture (left): Frosty leaving herself into the arms of his best friend.  Picture (right): Leaning on the flower pot is also a good way to rest.

In the cave

Taking shelter under the shadow of her best friend, this works too!

Panting

They do not have sweat glands like we do, so they device the process called panting (sticking their tongue out while breathing heavily) to relieve heat in their bodies.

BFF

Best friends taking a moment to have their pictures taken.

Yet another group picture

A group picture at Ming Cafe before heading back to the Civic Centre.

Out of juice

Django had already used up all his juice. His best friend comes to the rescue and carries him, giving him a chance to regain his energy.

Miri City Fan

Almost there, passing by the iconic Miri City Fan.

By then, even the larger dogs are starting to show signs of struggling.

By then, even the larger dogs are starting to show signs of struggling.

Putting full trust

But they do not give up and continue to put their full trust in their best friends to lead them safely back to shelter.

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Finally there!  The sight of the Civic Centre was a big relieve, even to the four-legged friends who immediately recognized the structure and knew they have reached their destination.

Distance

It is amazing how far the little ones could go. For many, this would be the first time they have ever attempted such a distance.

Keeping hydrated

It is always important to keep hydrated especially when having activities outdoors and going under the sun.

Flat out

Jack was totally flat out and decided to take a power nap oblivious to all the onlookers around him.

The assurance

Resting in the arms of her best friend, stroking and assuring her that everything is okay.

Best feeling in the whole world

Being cuddled to sleep must be the best feeling in the whole world.

As best friends, they do everything together.  The times spent together, the moments they went through together.  It is not surprising that trust is built, so the point that our four-legged friends who put their full trust in you, no matter where, no matter the challenges ahead.

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Walking the bridge might seem an easy task for us, but its quite a daunting task for our four-legged friends where one wrong footing might mean a nasty fall to the ground.

The leap of faith

Pipi takes a leap of faith…

Courage the courages dog

Pepe gathers up the courage and enters the dark and claustrophobic tunnel headed towards the end where his best friend awaits.

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Picture (left): Frosty takes a moment to checks the surrounding before coming out from the tunnel.  Picture (right): Lady (the one with the four leg) slowly but surely completes the obstacles.

Musical Chairs

Playing musical chairs. The hard part is to get the four-legged ones to sit down when they are suppose to!

Please don't stop the music

Pepe thought the music has stopped and sat down half way.

Rush hour

Everyone rushes for the chair when the music stops.

A lesson in obedience

A lesson in obedience… Elmo listens attentively to his best friend’s orders.

Stay

Tia Maria demonstrates to the others what ‘stay’ means.

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Eating competition: the challenge here lies mainly on the two-legged ones.  The four-legged ones could eat up their food in seconds, while the two-legged ones are struggling to quickly finish theirs.

Almost done.. just take it all in

Almost done… almost done…

I’m done!

I’m done!

The work of art

It is amazing what they would go through for their best friends, even to the point of being dressed up. Into their hands, Elmo commits his body for the ‘make-up’ artists to do their work of art.

Bwains!

The zombie and his zombie dog… bwainssss!

Best Dressed

No surprise here, they won the champion for Best Dressed.

Paparazzi

The crowds were amazed and amused by all the skills that has been displayed.

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Then came the big boys, the K9 Training Centre.  They displayed many different skills that awed the spectators.

The Bodyguard

The Real K9 Training Centre demonstrates how a dog in trained in protecting its owner. Do not try this at home!

Let go

You wouldn’t want your hand in one of these mouths. This well trained German Shepherd is trained to only release his hold upon order by its master.

Total obedience

Total obedience. ‘Stay’.

Hat trick

Can your dog do this? Sitting on only its two hind legs is not an easy task for a dog, needless to say, a dog that size and weight.

Grandma loves it

Even Grandma is impressed with the show of skills and sportsmanship (and ‘sportsdogship’) displayed by both the two-legged and four-legged ones throughout the whole PAWS Doggie Show 2013.

It was clearly a memorable time not only for the spectators, but also for the participants.  The activities and challenges presented in the competitions of the Doggie Show are not everyday routines that they would normally go through.  This was once in a lifetime experience for most.  Above all else, it was a chance for the two best friends to bond.  It brings their friendship to new heights.

How many of us remembers our most loved best friend?  We all do I bet.  All the years together, all the companionship with each other.  We have to remember, we are the ones that will outlive our best friends.  In most cases, we are the only best friends they will ever have in their life.  Not two, not one… just YOU.  In your dog’s whole lifetime, you are THE best friend.  From the moment of birth, to the moment of the first walk, the first bark … till the very last breath.  Your dog knows no other companion.

Do you remember …

Warmth

… the moments that you held him in your arms and felt the warmth from his body, the gentleness from his heart.

Quality Time

… the moments that you spent quality time with him, sitting down next to him just looking at other people go by their everyday routine.

Staring into space

the moments that you looked him in the eyes, wondering what is he thinking, how is he feeling, or whether he knows how you feel about him.

In sickness and in health

… the moments you fed him, making sure his water is always enough, nursing him back to health in sickness.

Patiently

… the moments that he would sit and wait patiently as if time did not exist, waiting for your next words.

Making funny faces

… the moments that you made funny faces to see which face he would find to be funniest.

I love you

… the moments that the both of you held each other’s hand, staring into each other eyes, silently telling each other “I love you”.

Dance the night away

… the moments that nothing else mattered and the both of you just danced the night away.

Eating from the same plate

… the moments that you shared your meal with him, feeding him bite by bite, straight from the plate, sharing the same spoon.

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… the moments that you took him and gave him all the hugs he could ever want so that he knows that he is loved, he has a home and thanking him for giving you such happiness, such unwavering companionship and love.

Tender kisses

… the moments he would give you a lick on your face, kissing you tenderly, telling you there is not another soul in the world he would rather be with.

They are man’s best friend because we are their only friend.  We are their longest relationship and their constant companion.  We are their only experience of true love.  We are…

their best friend.

PAWS is dedicated in decreasing the number of stray animals (not just dogs) by making sure each stray finds a home and experience what true love and friendship is … then he can finally have a best friend too.

Have a look at PAWS’ Homes Needed section and you might just find the companion that you have always longed for, your best friend.

PAWS’ also organizes many other activities for people with best friends, such as the PAWS Dog-A-Walk which is held regularly in which it also allows best friends to spend quality time bonding with each other.

Until then, here’s me looking forward to have the chance to be among these new found friends, both two legs and four legs again next year.  But for now, the next up and coming PAWS’ Roadshow that will be held from October 4 – 6, 2013.  See you there!!!

The Omnivorous Hornbill

Hornbills are quite a common sight in Brunei, especially in the district of Belait where they have learnt to blend themselves with the cities and its surrounding; flying across the road, jumping from tree to tree looking for food.

Many of us have the misconception that hornbills, as beautiful and elegant looking as they are, with their black and white coats, are herbivore.  Or at most, occasionally have some small insects such as grasshoppers or cicadas in its diet.  Read about my friend’s interesting account of that here: When Birds Get Territorial.

But did you know they are actually omnivores?  Behind that classy looking James Bond themed outfit, is a bird who can eat other birds!  I’ve seen it happen a few times before from the window of my room on the 1st-floor; and this time, I was lucky enough to capture the mighty hornbill show its true colours.

Please be advised that your perception of hornbills will never be the same ever again if you choose to read on.

Hornbills usually travels in pairs; the male and female.  The male is the one with the horn attached to its beak while the female is usually without the horn.

The Oriental Pied Hornbill

Here’s a picture of Oriental Pied Hornbills sitting on the lamp post right outside my window of my 1st floor room. Beautiful birds.

Stop Look Go

Another male Oriental Pied Hornbill, this time resting on a road sign.

All out defense

The hornbill are unwelcomed visitors to the swiftlets who have their nests nearby. I am always alerted whenever the hornbill is nearby as the first indication would be the noises made by these swiftlets as they make passes at the hornbills trying their best to deter the predator away.

WARNING: PLEASE DO NOT READ ON IF SEEING CUTE LITTLE BIRDIES GET EATEN.

In position

The hornbill is in position and is ready to take its meal; cute little innocent baby swiftlets still in their nest, too young to fly away.

Go Go Go

Go Go Go. The hornbill storms the front.

End of Days

The baby swiftlet is no match for the hornbill.

Fight

With the baby swiftlet in its beak, still very much alive and kicking, fighting for its life, the hornbill quickly flies to the nearest spot it can.

Not giving up without a fight

From here, I could see that the baby swiftlet was still concious, still flapping its wings trying to get away from the crutches of its prey.

Within seconds

The hornbill uses its strong beaks to crush the baby swiftlet rendering it motionlessly dead within seconds.

Second serving

Seems like one baby swiftlet is not enough to satisfy a hornbill’s hunger. The hornbill decides to go back for a second round.

A different approach

This time it chose to rest on the nearest signage.

Under attack

The adult swiftlet continues to make passes at the hornbill, still determined to defend its home. A female hornbill joins in the party.

Give me give me give me

This time the hornbill uses its strength to knock the poor helpless defenseless baby swiftlet unconscious with the signage. The female hornbill is hoping to get a share.

Into the air...

With the baby swiftlet already unconscious and probably dead from all that blunt force trauma, the hornbill swings its beak in an upward motion tossing the body of the baby swiftlet into the air….

Into the mouth

….. and into its mouth. Without sharing.

Still think the hornbill is beautiful and majestic?