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What are the basic building blocks required for life?

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How They Met @11:12 pm

With the last box being placed on the floor by the movers, Laura thanked them for their hard work and closed the door behind her.  She stood in the middle of the hall, took in the sight of the new apartment and pride filled her heart.  “YES! I had finally made it! My very own apartment!” Laura did a little dance and pumped her fists in the air like someone in victory.

Of course, she was in victory. For someone in her mid-twenties to be able to purchase a condominium on her own, it was a feat.  Laura had just bought a studio apartment in the Eastern part of Singapore with all the amenities and facilities within reach.

For the next few days, she busied herself with the unpacking and rearranging of the apartment.  Now, her new apartment looked just like those in the show room. She sank down on a huge soft feathery cushion, slowing sipping her cup of Earl Grey tea while savoring her own talent in interior designing.

“Hmmm…everything looks so perfectly in place.  Yet, somehow this place doesn’t feel whole,” thought Laura as she pondered over what the missing piece in the puzzle was.  “Oh well, it will hit me when I see it,” she told herself as she continued to enjoy her tea.

The next few weeks were the busiest time of the year as the students were gunning for their final examinations.  Laura, being a tutor and managing director of the tuition centre, had her cup full to the brim with work. All her time was either spent at centre or home.

Teaching the whole day till late was very draining.  Hoping to get rejuvenated back home, she felt lonely instead.  Back home, she faced the four walls and only had the television set to accompany her.

Then it daunted on her, what the missing puzzle was. A pet, a dog actually.  She recalled the joy and happiness she used to have with her first pet dog, a Maltese named Furball.  She smiled to herself as she sat on the sofa, recalling back the good old days with Furball.  Sadly, Furball passed away one fateful day when it dashed across the road before Laura could close the gate of her house and was ran over by a truck. She cried buckets for weeks after the accident. Laura made up her mind to go to the pet farm the next day to choose a puppy.  That night, she fell asleep dreaming of all the different type of puppies…

The next morning after her usual jogging routine and breakfast, Laura drove down to the different pet farms along Pasir Ris Farm Road to take a look.  The first farm she stopped was Ericsson Pet Farm, one of the more popular among the pet owners she enquired over the internet.  A staff greeted her and asked her if she knew what breed of dog she was looking for.

Laura told her that she wanted either Japanese Spitz or Broader-a medium-sized dog which could protect her and guard her apartment.  The staff took her into the holding areas where they kept the different breeds.  You could imagine the volume of the barking the moment they pushed the door and entered.

Puppies of different breeds, sizes, colors and behaviors bombarded them with their barking.  Laura was thrilled to see so many cute puppies. However, she reminded herself that she had to choose the right puppy.  As she walked down the corridor, she saw some Japanese Spitz and beagle puppies lazing at a corner with sleepy expression.  She tried to coax them to move, they just ignored her.  Some breed like Jack Russell Terrier, was super active and kept jumping around her like a joey!

Laura was looking at all the cute puppies around her when she saw a pair of big shiny eyes of a small white furry puppy staring right at her at the end of all the exciting puppies. It was not barking like the rest.  It just looked at her with a wide grin on its face.  Laura started walking down the corridor and she realized the white furry puppy was following her.  She stopped and it stopped. She moved backwards and it followed.  Never once did it take its eyes off her.

“This is the one I want.  It seems to understand me,” thought Laura.  She requested for the puppy which was a Japanese Spitz from the staff and they brought it to her.  The staff brought them to another room for some bonding time.  Laura bent forward with her hand out stretched towards the puppy.  “Hi. Come here, boy,” Laura coaxed.  The pup walked towards her with the grin on its face and licked her fingers. It sat down, wagging its tail and looked at her with its big shiny eyes as if telling her that it knew that she would pick him.

After filling up some registration forms and buying a few hundreds dollars’ worth of necessities like shampoo, dog biscuits, treats and cage, Laura placed her new pet at the front seat of her convertible and went home.

Back at home, she placed the puppy on the floor and observed the cute way it checked out the new environment.  It explored every single room, sniffed at everything it could laid its nose at, barking at its own reflection in the long mirror in Laura’s room.  Laura was chuckling to herself at the funny antics.

She carried the puppy up to her, rubbed its belly and heard it panting with pleasure. “Now, what shall I name you? Snowy? Nah, too girly. Rusty? What about Rusty?” suggested Laura to the puppy. The puppy nipped at her fingers.

“Ouch! Bad dog! You don’t like Rusty? Hmm…what about Chester? Just like the brave dog in the movie I watched when I was young?” asked Laura as she petted the puppy on its head.

“Yup! Yup! Yup!” barked the puppy, wagging its tail furiously as if saying, “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

“From now onwards, you will be called Chester! “smiled Laura happily as she hugged Chester and he licked her face in agreement.

The bond between the two grew deep and strong.  Chester was a fast learner. He learnt every single trick that Laura taught him in two to three days.  He loved the outdoor life too. Every morning from puppy till now, an adult of five years, he had been jogging daily with Laura.  He joined every single dog competition and always emerged in the top three ranks.  Some times when Laura was feeling down, she would tell Chester her worries and Chester would sit there listening with his big shiny eyes staring into her.  She always felt better after that and gave him a huge hug.

Chester was very protective towards Laura.  Once Laura took Chester and a few other students on a walk in the Bukit Timah reserve.  They had just completed their walk and were dusting off the dirt off their shoes before entering the car.  The owner of the car parked next to Laura’s car, came out and told her off for making his car dirty with all the dusting.  Before the man could say another word, Chester stood in front of Laura, growling and baring his set of white sharp teeth at the man. The man backed off in fright and drove off. Laura praised and hugged Chester for being so protective of her while the rest of the students clapped and cheered loudly.

Life can be so different with a pet in your life, especially a dog. Somehow, dogs can sense our emotion.  When we are happy, they celebrate it with us.  When we are sad or down, they will sit beside you and comfort you with their understanding eyes.  No matter what the master does or feels, the dog will always stand by the master.  In time of danger, they will stand in front of the master to protect them without asking anything in return.

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