Thursday, 28 December 2017

Cheryl is Snowy After All: A Roller Coaster Day

Since I first got Cheryl, I really wanted to know her original name, her real age, and her birth date (so I can celebrate it :D). I thought it was impossible to know it, but I did get to know.... in a roller coaster way.

My Mom posted my last blog post in a dog lover Facebook group right after I published it on my blog. It got plenty of reactions from the members; some were touched, and lots of them gave likes. But one reaction caught me on surprise. Someone messaged my Mom, asking if she could see Cheryl. My mom read it 2 days after the message was sent though.

Kak Natalie (who sent the message) said that she lost one of her white poodles on December 2016. Her lost poodle was named Snowy (Owi), and was spayed when she was 1.5 years old. She also included the last photos she had of Snowy before she was lost.

Cheryl isn't an all-white poodle, she has brown fur on her paws, around her mouth, and around her butt. The photo is exactly like Cheryl, but there could be other poodles with brown fur around those parts. There were 2 facts that that person wrote that matched Cheryl. She was adopted by my neighbour around December 2016, and according to my neighbour, even though a lot of dogs had mated with Cheryl, she never got pregnant. Kak Natalie also lives in the same housing as I do, although in a different block, a bit far from my house.

My mom checked Kak Nat's FB, and from her posts, she looks like a real dog lover. My mom also asked several questions about Cheryl to Kak Nat, and the answers she gave matched with Cheryl's character and behaviour Although to make sure that she is the first owner of Cheryl, we must meet her in person. Kak Nat said she will come to our house after work, at 6 o'clock. The conversation in FB hadn't finished when she said that she's on her way now to our house. It's not even 6 o'clock yet, only around 4 o'clock. :D

I won't go into details about Kak Nat reuniting with Cheryl, as it was an emotional reunion :).

We invited her inside, and she told us the story starting from Cheryl's parents.

Cheryl's mom is white poodle named Kerry, and her dad a black poodle named Bon Bon. They had 5 puppies, Snowy, Vodka, Paris, Charlie, and Chirochuka, born on April 1st, 2007. I couldn't believe that Cheryl is actually 10 years old! She still acts like a puppy (except the chewing habits puppies have). She doesn't seem like a grandma :D.

 Kerry died from cancer, while Bon Bon died from heatstroke. It's possible that all of Kerry's kids may have inherited Kerry's cancer genetics, as Vodka and Paris died of the same disease.

Snowy escaped when Vodka was still sick. Kak Nat just came home from work and let all her dogs out into the front porch so that they won't disturb her preparing the medicine for Vodka. When she finished and called all her dogs in, Cheryl was gone. Later on she found out that Cheryl escaped from the hole at the side of the sliding gate.

Kak Nat didn't ask for Snowy back, but we decided to give her back. Although we felt sad, it was the right thing to do. We didn't give Cheryl back though, we said that we must tell my neighbour (that found and kept Cheryl) first, because I already promised my neighbour that I will take care of Cheryl until the end. Giving her back may seem that I just left Cheryl.

At first my neighbour didn't agree on giving Cheryl back, as she's bothered about my feelings. But before our neighbour called Kak Nat, Kak Nat decided to give Cheryl to us (all communication was through phone, as my neighbour was away), as she doesn't want to break the bond Snowy already has for us. In her honour we renamed Cheryl into Snowy, aka Owi.

Knowing Kak Nat was such a blessing, as we got lots of dog knowledge from her. She's the only dog lover that I'm friends with around here. I also got a book of touching dog stories.

Last Sunday we visited Kak Nat's house. Her house's actually just opposite my relative's house from which I adopted Chiko! I also ever walked Snowy close Kak Nat's house! Kak Nat also often heard Chiko's barks when she comes home from work. It's just......

Well, I think everything has a connection to each other....

Chiro, Snowy and Charlie

Monday, 18 December 2017

My Best Furry Friends

It's been a month since I last updated my blog, due to some busy schedules and 2 newcomers in my family :). I'd like to start from the early days of September, when I got my first newcomer in my family.

Let me introduce you to my first four-legged member, Cheryl:

She's my little sweet mini poodle and only barks when necessary. This sweet girl was rescued from the streets by my neighbour, which possibly means that she was abandoned  away by her previous owner. But my neighbour needs space for her business, so she's been looking for someone to adopt her dogs (she's only got 2 left now).

These cases of abandoned dogs are very common, sometimes with unreasonable reasons. I couldn't imagine anyone abandoning Cheryl . She's such a darling and is very smart (although she's a picky eater).

There are a lot of reasons for people to abandon their dogs:

- People buy only because they want it. They see the cute puppy on the windows of the pet shop then buying it, before even learning about the dog breed or considering whether they'll be able to raise it. Will they be able to keep their dogs for their whole life? Will they move to somewhere where dogs aren't welcomed? etc. Pets are for a lifetime, it's really cruel to just abandon them.

- They breed their dogs, then abandon them when they're deemed "undesirable" for them. You're the one who decide to bring them to this world in the first place.

- People only buy them according to the trending breed, then abandon them once it's not trending anymore. Like the Siberian Husky, we can find lots of them in shelters, due to them being the trend in previous years.This year I've seen a lot of red toy poodles, they seem to be the trend this year.

- They were bought just for fame and glory. Their owners bought and raised them without love (although it's not always the case) and enrolled them into dog competitions just for prize or money. But once the dog becomes too old, or doesn't win many competitions they will just abandon or sell them, where it's unsure whether the one who buys it will treat the dog well.

- They are gifts/presents. Never give a dog as a present, as the one who gets it might not always be ready for the responsibility of taking the dog until it dies, especially a child.

- They were given without the one who receives' consent.

- There are many more reasons that I might not know.

Who could ever abandon this sweet girl?
I first saw her roaming the streets, and I immediately felt a connection with her. She's very sweet and quiet, just like a doll, and was a rare sight to see. The dogs that roam my neighbourhood are usually mongrels, and none of them are mostly white like Cheryl.

I had been following her for several days around the neighbourhood when I finally met her owner on one late afternoon. She was a friendly woman and was considering to give Cheryl to me as she needs space for her business. At first I refused as I thought she was just being nice to me, but she kept on offering Cheryl whenever I met her. Once I knew the reason, I decided to adopt Cheryl. After getting agreement from my dad, Cheryl was brought to my house to adapt to it first. Although my neighbour wants to give Cheryl away, she's sad to part with Cheryl. But finally she feels relieved when she saw that I take care of Cheryl well.

I didn't immediately keep Cheryl, I just brought and introduced her to my house first. I let her go back to my neighbour in the evening to sleep there. I did this for several days, to let her gradually adapt to my house. All she did in our house was roam the front porch and laid down on her new bed my neighbour gave to me inside. And once I think she's ready to settle down in her new home, I take her permanently.

The first few days were a bit hard as I still don't have a leash for Cheryl. Whenever I took her out to walk, she would always run to my neighbour's house. She would just dash there without caring about the vehicles on the road, which makes it dangerous. Once she got to my neighbour's house, she didn't want to go back, so I had to carry her home.

When the leash arrived, the problem above was solved, although it was still hard to bring Cheryl home. Gradually, though, she came to know that my house is her home. Even without leash, Cheryl will always stick with me.

Since I adopted Cheryl, I've been immersed into the dog world. I wanted to save one of my relative's dog which was given to them; not as a present, but because they wanted to move house and cannot bring their dog to their new house.

First my relative's dog was really spoiled. It was bathed in warm water, was bought clothes, and was taught tricks. But after some time, as my relatives were often on the go, there was rarely anyone to play with the dog (it's a lapdog). Slowly the lapdog was just kept in the backyard and only given limited food once a day. This resulted the dog to be malnourished that even minor wounds couldn't recover and became infected. His fur became matted as he was rarely given a bath. He also never went out so he lacks social skills. 

Then there was a Chihuahua not far from my house which I saw was always locked up in its cage. I wanted to take him out for a walk but I didn't know the owner so I still don't dare to ask. Although my mom has met him once or twice and said that he was kind. However, I was unsure whether I'll be able to take the Chihuahua for a walk. Because usually I was exhausted after just walking Cheryl.

To get some experience in walking more than 1 dog, I decided to take my relative's dog out for a walk. Then my mom asked my relative if I can take their dog out, they asked if I would like to adopt the dog instead. That results in:

Meet Chiko!

 All those wounds and infections were due to malnutrition.
He's a cheerful, playful, and energetic bichon frise with an alpha behaviour. Alpha behaviour means that he was born with a leader attitude.

We guessed that he was an alpha because he acts dominant. When we just got him, he insisted on sleeping on the sofa, unlike Cheryl who went down immediately when we asked her to. It is said that alphas like to sleep in a higher position so they can keep an eye over their territory.

There are many more examples but it will be too long to tell all of them here.

After we picked him up, we immediately brought him to the vet to be vaccinated. The vet said to put him in a cage for 1 week so he can rest. Once we got home, we put him into the cage. It was a big cage and we didn't have any space for the cage inside. He started crying and barking as he didn't want to be left outside but we had no choice.

A week has passed and we decided to castrate him, so he won't have the desire to mate with any dog. I disagree on breeding more dogs as there are already a lot of dogs with sad fates like him waiting in shelters to be taken home. After the castration, we allowed him to stay inside but he wasn't allowed to move around too much during his process of healing, which was hard as he was a very active dog.

This was Chiko "playing" the piano.

How could anyone ignore/abandon these 2 dogs?
Unlike Cheryl who just smiles politely, Chiko expresses his feelings really clearly on his face. He's very expressive.

In the beginning it was hard settling down with these two, even though we settled down with them one by one. First we had to get used to their new behaviours, then there's their vaccination, new rules for them, etc.

From adopting these two, I learned a lot of things about caring for dogs. Once you get a dog, you are responsible for it for the rest of the dog's life. So consider carefully before getting one. Even if there is a sudden change in your life, you must be able to fit your dog into the change, not abandon or leave it.

It's not easy to keep a dog ( if you really want to keep them properly).They must be vaccinated, brought to vet when sick (which isn't cheap), potty trained, manner trained, etc. I also suggest castrating them so there will be no more dogs that might end up with sad fates.

If you'd like to own a dog, I suggest you go to a shelter and give them a chance for a forever home.  Of course you must pass their terms and conditions before you can bring them home. One of the shelter that I know is Shelter Melati in Tangerang. You can check their instagram .

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The End of My Basic Cooking Class

On the 30th of September, I did the written and practical exam for my basic cooking class. The entire course was about cooking basics, except the 3 last courses, where we were taught to make  main dishes: Chicken Picatta, Beef Stroganoff, and Chicken Cordon Blu. For the written exam, it's not so hard, but I think I messed up a bit when writing the recipe for the Chicken Picatta. For the practical, we were asked to make Chicken Picatta too. I think I did all the steps correct, except the taste of the chicken was too salty, so I didn't really like it. Although, if I eat it with the other foods on the plate, the saltiness won't be so prominent.

At the end of the exam day, the whole class had a group photo with Pak Udan, our main chef mentor, and together with the whole supporters (the parents) who supported us throughout the whole course.
My first trial for chicken picatta at home. This was after we were taught how to make it in the course.

My practical exam result (chicken picatta).

Beef stroganoff (made at home).

My Chicken Cordon Blu (made at home).

A pic of me cooking (not during the exam).

Class photo with Chef Udan. 

Group photo with all the supporters (parents).
Since the last post about my cooking, I haven't posted about the other cookings I've made at home. Here they are:



Thursday, 12 October 2017

My First Flute Ensamble

Last August, I also joined a flute ensemble, called JakFlute, held by Bu Marini Widyastari and Bu Metta F. Ariono. It was held in The Resonanz Music Studio, and in total, there were 20 flutists, excluding a basoonist, a drummer, and a pianist.

First, we all came at late morning to prepare everything and rehearse. We wore the T-shirt uniforms that we already got a week or 2 ago during the rehearsals. It wasn't for the concert, it was just for the group photos later. It became really hot though in the afternoon, as we couldn't have the ACs on. 

My biggest role was playing 1st flute in a kids trio. We played 2 songs, with one accompanied by the pianist. The trio was made up of me, Kayla (a girl older than me) and Nathan, and 8 year old boy. He was the youngest player in the concert.

The most memorable event there was the funny performance by two piccoloist playing the roles of birds. For their entrance, instead of the usual formal entrance of coming to the stage, bowing, tuning the flute, then start playing, the pianist suddenly came from an entrance door, sat on the piano and started playing. Then, from another entrance door, the piccoloists immeadiately came, each wearing a bird mask, and waving and dancing wildly around going to the stage with their piccolos. Once they're on stage, they introduced themselves and explained the reason behind their acts.

The group photo in the morning with our uniforms.

The trio.

The whole JakFlute Ensemble playing 2 songs to finish the concert.

Group photo after the concert.
To be honest, I really enjoyed playing in this flute ensemble than in an orchestra. Maybe it's because almost all of us play the same musical instrument, which might make me feel closer to them. It was a fun day!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Concert in TIM ( Taman Ismail Marzuki)

Last August 9th, I played the flute in my school orchestra for a  DepDikBud (Ministry of Education and Culture affairs)  event. We had practiced weeks before the D-Day, but we were asked to come at the eve of the event in the evening, and required to arrive early in the morning on the D-Day for the preparations.

The banner.

Me playing among the flutists.

There were cultural dances too.

Presenting the traditional clothes from the places where all the performed dances came from. 
At the end of the day,  I didn't realize it, but I got really tired until I slept in the car after several minutes in it. To be honest, though I don't really like meeting new people (or people whom I don't really know), I kind of enjoyed playing in the orchestra. It was a fun day.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

My Newest Cooking Journey

I recently enjoyed making simple desserts, such as cookies and pastries, following recipes from a baking book that I bought in the last BBW book fair in Jakarta. It's simple and easy actually. The only problem was that the recipes all creates an unpleasant "full" taste (eneg) and since then I stopped making those kind of desserts, as I still don't know how to make not-so-sweet desserts.
I was then thinking of cooking main meals, because the dishes all look interesting (like in Masterchef Australia :) ), but I didn't know where to start (even though I have lots of main meal recipes from my Mom) so I stopped for a moment, until I was offered a cooking course.

Here are some photos of me in Cooking class:

Here are the ingridients and equipments.
It has been three weeks since the first day of the cooking course, and I'm looking forward to every cooking class. Recently I was taught how to make French toast, different types of egg cookery, salad (with homemade mayonnaise and french fries), and 3 types of soups.

Left: Over-easy, Rolled Up Omelette, Sunny Side up, and scrambled egg. Right: French Toast

The eggs I made in the course.
And this is my salad:

I haven't remake the soups yet, so you won't be able to see it now :). 

Monday, 26 June 2017

My 3-Days Holiday

A day before Friday, 23rd of June (the day that Pak Jokowi made into a holiday), my family and I went and stayed in Gunung Mas, Puncak. The journey took 2 hours, which is pretty short, and we reached there around 1:30. When we reached there it was drizzling, so I took India my tortoise on a walk after lunch around the concrete path (which the rain couldn't reach), then, around the field once the rain stopped. It rained again a few minutes later though, and it got a little bit heavy so I have to put India back. I found these from my nature walk with India:

Here comes India:

Awesome scenery.

He looks quite happy! Free from his cage!

Between my father's feet where he shaded himself from the soft sunlight.
After the rain stopped my mom and I played badminton until my arm hurts :p. After my Dad came back from taking my sister on a walk, he snapped some photos of me doing gymnastics. 

The legs weren't straight.

Copying my friend with her Wushu pose. Not swords, just rackets. :D
After that I played badminton with my father until it got dark ( my arm hurt more ). I closed my day by dinner & practising my flute with only 5% of energy left....

Waking up in the cold but fresh air, we ate Indomie for an early breakfast to warm ourselves, then set out on a hike (tea walk) while it's still early and quiet:

Warrior pose!
Usually after our hike me and my sister ride horses but my sister refused, so we had brunch and I took India out for a walk. While India was taking his walk, a cat became curious with India for his bright pattern which is unusual around that area, and came creeping up to him, although it was scared of humans. After India was warmed up, I put him back and it's time to pack up!

Playing flute after hiking. With a much better air than the city and with much more energy.
In the middle of loading the luggages, I did something silly while coming back to the hotel to fetch my things. There were short steps towards the hotel hallway, and there was a metal, rectangular "archway" at the sides of the stairs. Well, I didn't pay attention to the rectangular archway, so I jumped at the top of those steps, hit my head on the archway, lost my balance, fell on my tailbone and slid down to my back at the bottom of the stairs. My glasses and shoes all fell off (stupid, stupid). This is the third time I fell on my back in my life :p.

We continued our journey to Bandung. 

Our last journey from Puncak to Bandung took 5 hours, but this time it took 7 hours! There was a heavy traffic from Ciranjang to Padalarang. I brought bubble plastics to pop when I'm bored, but as the traffic was so long, I haven't finished popping all and I got bored soon after. 

After we reached where we stayed in, we dropped India, then visited a friend.

The next day, we went to register for my UN Paket B which I will take next year. I registered in this Homeschool community in Bandung because I don't have to attend the many drillings like the ones in Jakarta. Once everything is sorted out, I packed up my things, then, it's time to go home!

The next day, my aunt and cousins from Bandung came to visit and they found baby fishes in my pond. A month ago my Mom bought fishes for my turtles to eat, and one survived until now. A week ago there was another one but that one was eaten up, so I don't know whose baby fishes do they belong to.

This is one of the baby fishes.
If those baby fishes are still alive until they grow up, we don't have to buy any fishes anymore :p.