Crimson Post: Welcome the Year of the Water Dragon!

Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, DRAGON, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig

January 23 marked the beginning of the year of the water dragon for all who celebrated the lunar new year. For many in Asia, this is perhaps the most celebrated day of the year. A highly anticipated year purely from the fact that it is the year of the water dragon. The Chinese zodiac is based on a 12-year cycle, with each year represented by a different animal. Interestingly, the dragon is the only ‘animal’ in the cycle that is a mythical creature and not a real animal at all. It is generally accepted and believed that the year in which one is born holds great significance in the person’s life. Your character traits, personality, temper, outlook on life, mindset and even your future partner depends on the year you were born and the animal which you have been inexplicably tied to. Essentially, many of these character traits can be tied into a very general understanding of these animals, or even subscribed to a popular belief of what these animals should be. For example, a person born in the year of an ox is a hard-worker, the snake year is a sly one, dogs and tigers are energetic and you can already make a guess about the pig year. Growing up in a Chinese household, my upbringing was fairly liberal and ‘westernised’, however, I could never escape that hold that the Chinese zodiac had on my life and how ingrained it was into my family, friends and society. I could never accept that there were only 12 character traits in millions of people, however, I will find myself unknowingly musing about certain similarities or coincidences. Continue reading Crimson Post: Welcome the Year of the Water Dragon!

Crimson Post October 2011: With a little help from my friends…

So what does a song written in 1967 by the great Paul McCartney have to do with veterinarians? Probably everything. In Singapore, a small country of five million people where there are 52 clinics (in my last article in June, it said 48 clinics – the numbers have gone up in only four months!), we do not have the advantages of a veterinary school or a register for veterinary specialists. It will probably take a couple more years for our local veterinarians being trained overseas to come home and set up a good network of veterinary specialists. However, this doesn’t stop clinics from providing the standards of care of modern veterinary practice. Thinking outside the box was one of the important steps, next comes calling in the favours. Continue reading Crimson Post October 2011: With a little help from my friends…

Crimson Post

The crimson sunbird is an extremely small nectar feeding bird found as a resident throughout Asia. It is tiny, fast, efficient and extremely vibrantly coloured, a true reflection of the country that it represents.

Singapore is the smallest island nation in Asia and with its strategic location; it functions as a centralised trading zone, allowing Singapore to grow rapidly since its independence in 1959.

Singapore is also a melting pot of cultures with the 5 million population made up primarily of the three major ethnic races, Chinese, Malay and Indian. The vibrant mix of cultures and traditions has a major role in the treatment and attitudes toward the domestic and stray population of animals in a highly urbanised developed country.

The veterinarians here in Singapore are almost 100 per cent small animal practitioners, all of whom have graduated overseas, about 85 per cent calling Australian universities their alma mater. Vastly different to our neighbouring countries (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand) where rural mixed practice and agriculture still predominate.

The 48 veterinary private practices with no registered small animal specialists, this is a highly unique situation where the veterinary community is small, energetic and always having to think outside the box. Continue reading Crimson Post