Honorary dog judge
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU MOVED HERE? Much of the same, as I have been a housewife and mother of four children most of my life, but with heavy involvement in the world of dogs: breeding different breeds, showing them, and then travelling throughout the world judging shows. I write dog columns for different papers (including this one) and like to help those with a doggie problem.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED ON THE ISLAND AND WHY DID YOU MOVE HERE? Have been here now almost nine years, having lived in Asia most of my life: born in India, brought up in Singapore, got married there and subsequently moved around Malaysia, back to Singapore, then to Fiji and Cambodia with my husband. We decided when retirement time came to move to Phuket, which was a lovely quiet island. Time has changed that quite a lot but we still enjoy the weather and the easy living.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN THE DOG COMMUNITY IN PHUKET. I really have done little here in Phuket although I did organise a dog show way back in 2003 which was quite a success; I have been asked many times to do another one. The Kennel Club of Thailand is interested to get the dog scene moving here and when I manage to be at home I will find the time to organise another one. I do judge shows fairly regularly in Bangkok and shall be doing my next one there in January.
WHERE HAS YOUR DOG COMPETITION JUDGING TAKEN YOU AROUND THE WORLD? My dog judging has taken me to all the continents and most of the countries in the world over the past 35 years. It is a fascinating hobby which enables me to meet many new friends and catch up with old ones, as often there are around 10 to 20 judges doing one big show.
I get to go to some fascinating places such as San Francisco and Wichita in the US, Canada, Scandinavia, Holland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Malta, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia and New Zealand.
My favourite trip was perhaps to judge at the world’s Premier Show, Crufts in England. To be invited to judge at this the most prestigious show on earth is every dog judge’s dream.
HOW MANY PETS DO YOU OWN? I now have only two toy dogs: a 10-year-old Pekingese and a four-year- old Japanese Chin. I lost my three dobermanns which I brought to Phuket with me, the male from a cobra bite and the two females from old age. I did have one litter of puppies here and three of them were sent overseas wih the remaining six being homed locally. I have bred dobermanns, shih tzu, dalmatians, basset hounds and pekingese and have made champions in all those breeds throughout the world.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE TO DOG OWNERS? To give them a good place to sleep, to feed them the best you can, and to be vigilant every day to any changes in their health. We can all become complacent and not notice when they lose weight or are not eating too well. This is usually a sign they need a trip to the vet to check them out. Give them some excercise daily, play with them and the rest is just to love them to the best of your ability as they surely will love you with all their might.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY? Moving to Singapore, where my life really began.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC ARE YOU INTO? Both classical and the shows. I love Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music in particular.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIP YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE MOVING TO PHUKET? Come and stay here for at least three months before you make your final decision, to be quite sure you are going to fit in with the pace of life. When on holiday everything looks great, but it all can change when you actually have your everyday living to contend with and may prove not what you expected.
WHAT IS THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU WHILE LIVING ON THE ISLAND? I think it would have to be at the dog show which I organised when one lady arrived into the showring with her poodle dressed in a pink ballet tutu and with a tiara on its head! She thought obviously that it was like a human beauty show where lovely clothes were judged along with the dog!
WHERE IN PHUKET WOULD YOU TAKE SOMEONE ON A FIRST DATE? My goodness – I think at my age I can barely remember a first date! However, I would think perhaps to somewhere romantic and beautiful such as Mom Tri’s restaurant.
FAVOURITE PLACE ON THE ISLAND, AND WHY? Nikita’s bar and restaurant on Rawai Beach as it is our home away from home where we can sit with a lovely breeze blowing all year round and enjoy a couple of beers and a meal with good friends.