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  • Writer's pictureMichael Chen

This is Captain, my best furry friend

*Another #throwback post, originally posted on 12 Dec 2014, in honour of my best friend who was with me for 12 years. Hope you're enjoying yourself in dog heaven buddy.

My best friend.
11 Feb 2002 to 12 Dec 2014

This is Captain. 

In 2002, when I was done with Form 6 and was in the midst of my Law studies. My Father decided that the family would go into the agricultural business. And that included a lot of excursions into jungles and unexplored lands by himself. His intention was to get a dog who could accompany him when he went on these excursions. 

For me, it meant getting a dog!  

My Father did the research and decided to look out for Labrador Retrievers. He felt they had the right temperament and size. Happy, friendly, intelligent and easy to train whilst being a good size that enabled them to scare off smaller creatures or humans who weren’t smart enough to know that Labs are likely the most playful of all dog breeds. 

We went to a house breeder in Aman Suria, PJ and when we saw the litter of Labs scurrying around, I was immediately drawn to Captain. As cliched as this sounds, this is a #TrueStory. All of the other puppies looked lethargic and scared. Captain was the only fella that followed me around as we browsed the compound at the other available pups. He was spunky and I loved that. 

Later on, I realised this also meant he was very head strong and stubborn, which made it super hard to train him sometimes. But I loved that about him. When he was still new in my house as a pup, he used to hide under the living room table and I would lie down on the ground at his level and just stare him in the eyes. I read that a headstrong dog would stare right back. And stare right back he did. 

When we got him. I almost named him ‘Snook’ or 'Snooky’ because I thought it had a nice ring to it and I was playing snooker almost every other night at the time. Luckily my Father veto’d that and suggested 'Captain’ to which I thought felt totally right. It was dedicated to my eldest brother who was a Captain in Singapore Airlines. 

Right before Captain runs off to fetch!

Captain has quite literally seen me grow up. 

From my silly days as a college student trying to brave my way through my law studies to me today as an adult, married and getting on with life.

When I was a student, on the nights before my exams, I would wander down and open up the wooden door to find Captain lying there. Then I’d talk to him. I shared my anxiety of the exams with him. And he would just look at me as I talked, as if he understood. He probably just wanted me to take him out to play. 

Captain is the talk of my neighbourhood. They are impressed that I can take him out for walks without a leash. That he would stop walking when I stopped walking. That I could play fetch with him for exercise. That he didn’t bark unnecessarily. And how when other dogs try to antagonise him, he just looks back at them with a look that’s like, “Chill dude. I’m just here to take a piss." 

My family history thus far is filled with a bunch of pet dogs. None stayed with us for as long as Captain did. 12 years. Almost hit 13. He fought all the way. Never letting on that age was getting the best of him. Acting like he was 5 all the time. Jumping out of my car when I take him to the vet before I can catch him, knowing full well he can’t land properly anymore. Running out the gate when my Mum opens the gate to drive herself out. Mucking about when I try to bathe him. 

I’m glad I made this crappy video of one of our walks.

We had loads of this types of walks in the last 12 years. I’m going to miss him. 

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