We live in a flat

The Singapore Dog Lifestyle Blog

About

A dog owner’s blog that talks about Living with a Dog in densely-populated Singapore.

This dog blog features Donna the local Singapore mongrelWho are you?
We’re a regular couple who adopted a dog after the first year of our marriage.

We’ve never had a dog before so we didn’t really know how to live with one. Like everyone else, we ingested a lot of Cesar Millan on TV.

But once we adopted Donna we realised CM was not a whole lot applicable in her case. Thankfully, we found that positive training worked extremely well with our fearful, adopted dog.

This blog follows our journey as we learn more about how to manage, live and play with our adopted, adult Singapore Special mongrel.

 

Why did you start blogging?

I started this dog blog in the second month of adopting Donna. She didn’t have any canine friends then, and I hoped that we would be able to meet potential friends for her via the blog, so that she can have positive socialisation.

Eventually we found that Instagram was a better avenue for making friends. The blog continues as a platform to diary events and also the things that we learn along the way like what we are training and the videos of Donna that document her behaviours interacting with other dogs.

Through this constant process of reviewing while writing, we’ve come to understand our dog better. And that helps a lot in helping us articulate the issues that we face and from there how to figure out ways to solve it. Having a global circle of blogger friends to listen to and give us advise definitely helped alot too!

 

Who is the blog for?

It’s hard to say who the blog is for. I’ve always thought I am my blog’s biggest fan so it must be for me.

But along the way, I find myself writing on pet photography and photo-editing topics for other global bloggers who are just learning about these topics.

I write about positive training and am glad if it provides options for anyone outside of their regular CM TV diet.

I write about dog lifestyle because I realise that helps me connect greatly with local friends.

Whoever you are, if you find value in spending some time reading this blog, then my blog is for you. :)

 

 

What’s something that you’ve been working on lately that you’re REALLY proud of?

2014 was the year of heavy involvement with the Dogs of Instagram SG group. For 4 months straight we hosted a twice monthly photo contest with sponsored prize giveaways to group members. We’ve created an almost cost-free photo contest platform that small and new businesses can leverage on to grow their following because we are non-profit. And at the same time created some excitement for local instagrammers, who often feel left out in US-centric pet contests.

Our next big event was the Dogs of Instagram SG Christmas Party. Bigger sponsors may be disappointed to hear that the event only hosts 30-40 dogs, but for us, it’s a big deal. Each dog boosts an average 1,500 followers on Instagram. The party is entirely paid for by guests, again we are non-profit and to have 30-40 dogs willing to pay to attend our own party was FABULOUS! Our small online stores were happy to sponsor the local dog rescue with dog food and leashes for every attending guest. We are definitely very proud of our supportive guests and sponsors. :)

2015 was a year I decided to slow down. So I left the Dogs of Instagram group and began to host my own mini giveaways. That gave me control over my own timelines and schedule, and also the opportunity to grow my e-mail newsletter database.

Organic traffic for the blog was steadily climbing so the frequency of blog posts dropped from 5 posts a week to 1 -2 weekly posts. The result was quality blog posts with greater shares on social media, as well as more engagement with businesses and startups who are starting to hear about the blog. More importantly, I was happy to have people reach out to me via email or social media at the point while they are considering adoption or have questions arise during a homestay that they are seeking more opinion on. Definitely happy to be of help!

Donna continued her regular community service with Therapy Dogs Singapore, and also started Agility Classes in the second half of the year. She is doing really well and Mom is always proud of her. Why do you think Donna features so prominently on all her social media channels? Haha!

Mom is happy blogging but let’s be realistic, blogging is never gonna pay the bills, so Mom is still looking for a job. But Mom is always keeping busy, even while job hunting, so we recently soft launched out webstore at – doggonespiffy.storenvy.com. The the new experience already has given Mom so many learning points! So Mom is really proud that she decided to take the plunge! :P

 

What’s the ONE MESSAGE that you hope people take away from your blog?

If you adopt/bought a dog, you have the responsibility to socialise the dog positively, to train him/her, to spend time with him/her and to stick around for the long term. We hope people don’t adopt or buy just to give up or rehome the dog.

More about our dog Donna

Donna is a sweet black and tan mongrel weighing in at about 15kg. We adopted her at age four. She was previously adopted, abused and returned to the shelter where she was born. For more about Donna, read 20 facts about Donna.

More about our adoption story here:

Life with a dog | A dog is not a plastic toy. Like living with another human, living with a dog requires constant adjusting to one another’s moods and proclivities. And just as a person grows and changes, a dog does to. We are enjoying and putting up with new things from our dog everyday.

If you have enjoyed reading our dog blog, please visit and “Like” our Facebook page at facebook.com/donna.weliveinaflat!

Thank you so much!

 

Looking for more Singapore dog blogs? Come this way.

44 Comments

  1. What a sweet looking puppy-girl. I have two rambunctious pitbull mixes myself.

    • Thank you! Pit bull mixes seem to be very popular, I see a lot of blogs featuring them :) And although they appear to be way bigger then Donna, they have such sweet and/or adorable expressions!

  2. Congratulations on your new home and on the new addition to your family. Donna is adorable! And thank you for visiting and including my Dogs on Trial piece on your blog! You are invited to visit again at any time!

  3. Thanks for becoming a subscriber. Now I’ll take a stroll through your blog.

    • You’re welcome and thank you for your interest :) Looking forward to taking part in the iPhoneography challenge too!

  4. I loved the Doggy Parkour post – it must be a challenge living in Singapore to find places to take Donna. Sounds like she’s smart will easy to train.

    • I started typing a reply in the comments box about finding places to take Donna and then deleted it since that demands a post or more of its own :P (i.e. it will motivate us to take Donna further afield!) Donna is smart, but the human does not really have experience training a dog so the poor dog will have to suffer by our amateur hands! *evil laughter*
      Thank you for letting me know you have enjoyed the post! I have chuckled at Ruby’s stream of consciousness too! Cheers!

  5. Good to learn a thing or two about you and your dog. Great pics of her! So true what you wrote, about learning the ever shifting idiosyncrasies of an animal in your home.
    Take care,
    Paul

  6. What a sweetie-thanks for stopping by Little Dogs Laughed-Jack Henry and I appreciate you taking the time to look and we look forward to learning more about Donna’s adventures-

  7. Thanks for following Sawyer’s adventures. Looking forward to seeing more of Donna’s adventures, too.

  8. It’s wonderful that there are still caring and loving people out there like you and your hubby Donna and yes, taking a furry kid in is a huge responsibility and not many people realise it. I totally agree that a dog is not a toy or should be given out as presents to children and I can tell you stories about that kind of thing and how the poor doggies are mistreated afterwards. I get furious when that happens but nevermind that. It’s so much fun to see these lovely photo’s and to visit you and Donna every time. Thanks for sharing. :) *big hugs*

    • There are dogs that get mistreated but there are also many dogs who did find good forever homes and that’s good. Glad you enjoyed yourself : ) Stay happy!

  9. Glad I found your blog, is nice to get a peek into your journey with a new furry friend, and your life in Singapore. Best wishes, Scott

  10. Ariane

    Hello to Donna’s parents (I’ve always considered dogs as children and their owners parents)! I live in Singapore too, and own two dogs – a 6-year-old silky terrier named Chloe my daddy bought from a pup farm, and a Silky-Maltese mixed puppy named Ally we adopted from a family who couldn’t afford her anymore. I love dogs, and have grown up with them all my life.

    Your blog is truly an inspiration. One day, when I get my own apartment, I hope to get a dog of my own, and while I would certainly like to consider adopting, I’m afraid it’ll be difficult to find a dog who doesn’t shed fur (I’m asthmatic, and have only lived with canines that didn’t shed a lot of fur). BUT one might never know.

    Maybe some day we can get together for a play date or dog-walk! Chloe gets barkish when she plays, and sometimes a little aggressive, but that’s how she is. Ally, on the other hand, is extremely affectionate, both with dogs and people. She’s a real sweetheart.

    Your Donna looks like a real sweetheart too. I’m glad she came to be with you and your husband. :)

    • Hi Ariane,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write and connect with us and to tell us about Chloe, Ally and yourself! :)

      Thankfully, Donna does pretty well with medium/smaller dogs than big dogs (which she is sometimes scared of). Note, we have not introduced her to teeny tiny chihuahuas yet. Maybe she will eat them up for lunch. :P Anyway, Donna can be a little rough (but not aggressive) when she plays as well so I worry that she will scratch or hurt dogs half the size of her sometimes. I don’t know small dogs very well since Donna is my first dog! And also Donna may be snobby when it comes to female dogs, she finds grass more interesting sometimes = = … sigh~ But yes, future opportunities for dog walks together is a good start! ;) That’s why we started this blog in the first place, to find other dog owners who may want to socialise our dogs together! :D So yes, with all these caveats, give me some time to send you an email if you are keen to catch up :)

      And also, thanks for thinking the blog is *cough* slightly inspiring *cough*. As you can see, the latest post is *cough* more frustrated than inspired *cough*. Clean up is a b****!! :P When the time comes, I think you have the option to look at those small “hypoallergenic” dogs which are supposed to be lower shed and dander. But yes, they still will take time to care for everyday. But why am I saying this, you should know, you have two dogs! Wow, we already have our hands full with one :P

      TGIF, have a good weekend. Catch up soon. ;)

  11. Hey Donna and Donna’s mom! We just nominated you for some treats! come get it here: http://angelandchaos.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/we-got-awards/

    • HI Angel, Chaos and houseful of dogs, thank you very much! Allow us sometime o respond on weliveinaflat ;) Hope your weekend is off to a good start! Thanks!!

  12. Hi, I, with the insistence of Kuruk, have nominated you for an award!
    [author note: removed award page link as it no longer exists.]

  13. Kim

    You’ll ever go wrong with a dog. They love unconditionally! I have had a few through my life, can’t right now, but do have access to a couple of cuties though — I wrote about them in my most recent post (http://thrumieyes.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/wet-weather/)
    All the best from Australia
    Kim

  14. Hey guys, nominated you guys for an award! come pick it up here http://yashikibuta.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/thank-you-2/

    • Thank you so much Yashie, Congratulations on your nomination too! Please allow us some time to repost on our blog. Have a great day!

  15. My Toby would love to go for a dog walk with your Donna but that would have to wait till he catches the next flight. Would Donna like to meet my Toby? Please click here. http://littlegirlstory.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/my-toby/
    Thank you for introducing your Donna to us. Woof, woof !

    • Thank you for taking the time to comment! Unfortunately don’t think Donna can take the stress of air travel but we’re happy to meet Toby online. Pleased to meet you :3 Have a good a day :)

  16. Al

    Hi. Donna looks like a sweetheart! I think she is smiling because she found a happy home with loving owners.

    We got the puppy to keep the older dog happy when we go out. I just couldn’t take the somber sorry look every time we left her. It was a tough sell on my wife, but she is now head over heals in love with the pup.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

    • No problem. We are still putting up with the sombre sorry look she gives us every time although most times we distract her with food and sneak out before she notices :P I’m glad your wife is happen with the pup :D It was my pleasure visiting. Have a great day!!

  17. I love dog blogs! Looking forward to stories about Donna.

  18. HI nice to see another Singaporean furrykid blog around the corner.
    I write about TOto and ALL ABOUT TOto, furryboy crazy momsie!

    Look forward to more blogpost from Donna!
    By the way, Donna looks alot like a SKINNY mini rottweiler!
    So maybe she is just a rottie mix :)

    See you around!

    • Nice to meet you! :) I totally love reading about your food adventures with Toto in tow! Not sure what mix Donna is really since her parents are local mongrels too. Given she is so skinny I wonder there is a bit of a Doberman in her rather than Rottweiler, but I guess we will never know. Haha :)

  19. We are new followers, but we love your blog. We gave you a little award over on our blog, you can see the post here http://pawedblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/lucky-little-blogger/
    Hugs x

  20. Hi again!
    I just wanted to let you know that I have pinned your blog to my new ‘Dogs with Blogs’ board on pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/fluffytuftsblog/dogs-with-blogs/
    I hope that’s ok! Would you like me to add you as a collaborator on the board?

  21. MiaMusings

    Donna is adorable! I am so glad to have chanced upon your blog via the photo challenge.So happy to meet another fellow dog lover. I also have an adopted mongrel..but we brought Mia (also the name of my blog!) home when she was a pup. Look forward to reading and seeing more of Donna.

  22. Jaime

    Hello Donna and Donna’s mummy,

    I found your blog today as I was doing online research. A few days ago, my partner and I adopted a Singapore Special. We named him Benedict. He was bailed out from AVA then dumped at a vet clinic. We decided to take him in because he has a sweet nature and not as rumbustious – very important since we have three cats. So far so good with the four animals in the house. I’m just looking for information on training (like you, I’ve ingested heaps of a dog whisperer on TV and tried some techniques on Bene myself, not all are working LOL) and working on the boy till he gets his final vac before going for obedience training.

    Sorry for the ramble. What I wanted to say is your blog and efforts are fantastic, and it feels good that I’m not alone, and that there is a Singapore approach to training and being with our local specials.

    Cheers!

    • First, thank you for adopting Benedict! It must be difficult for a household with three cats to take on another dog. Especially if like us, you had no prior dog ownership experience. You are definitely not alone.

      If you can, I do encourage you to train obedience with a positive trainer. Force free training very much takes into consideration dog behaviour (as scientifically studied by real certified animal scientists and not TV personalities), and I have found it to be the most beneficial and enlightening. I hope I’m not being pushy here, but it’s just something I’m passionate about.

      I do not have preference over one positive trainer to another because they open new classes at different times so it’s really who has a class open at the time you are seeking to enrol.

      In the meantime, if you need a listening ear, feel free to drop me an email anytime. I am not a certified/qualified trainer, so you should probably take whatever I say with a pinch of salt. HAHA!

      My very best wishes to Benedict, yourselves and your three cats!

  23. This is our Blog the Change post.

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