Jan 22, 2012 Sunday was Chinese New Year's Eve Reunion Dinner. Time to catch up. My advice to the young adults would be to ask questions to sustain a conversation rather than keep looking at their smartphones and texting. Ask what your cousins or uncles and aunties have been doing and you can learn much.
There were two Chinese idioms which I can't translate into English.
1. Teochew expression of 6 words. The Teochew mother expresses herself in Teochew and has dropped hints to the late 20s son who does not contribute one cent to the household by giving a bit of his salary to the mother. The daughter gives money monthly but the son forgets about it. In Chinese custom, children should give some part of their pay to the mother as they still live with the parents. So she said the six words. Nobody could translate into English. "It means scrounger," Julia said. Well, that is a public hint to the son to part with a bit of his salary to the mum. It will be like talking to the wall as he said that he is on hard times, having to save up for his wedding and his new HDB apartment renovation. In any case, the parents don't need his money. It is just a custom of some Chinese mothers to expect children to give some token to them when they start work and still live in the parents' house. As for the father, he said to me when I asked his opinion: "If my children don't ask money from me, I am OK!"
2. Teochew expression regarding a "golden chair". This refers to a young man who should marry an older woman. After all, an older woman is secure financially (hence the golden chair) while a younger woman wants money and security from the man. So, the niece with the fairest famed complexion of the Teochew ladies advised Jason not to marry wives younger than himself. "2 years older," she gave an example of a man dating a woman 8 years older but failing in the relationship. "Why not build your own golden chair?" her brother suggested.
Conversations can be sustained if you asked about the other party's welfare. Dogs are one favourite part in conversation. "How do you know it is dangling?" I asked the brother of the fair lady who had asked Daniel some advice about the cost of removal of a lump which keeps growing bigger in a 13-year-old Cross bred of her boyfriend. This boyfriend loves animals and she related an incredible story. One day, his favourite Jack Russell escaped and was hit by a car. The dog waited for him to return home from work. Once he reached home, the dog passed away. "He was holding on to life till he had seen his owner," she said.
To return to the dangling lump, the brother of the fair lady said he had not seen the dog. Daniel presumed it to be a growth from the groin area. I asked in more detail from the fair lady: "Where is the lump? Is it in the breast area?" She said: "No, it is dangling from between the legs and keeps growing bigger fast every day."
Since this is a male old dog, I said: "It is likely to be a testicular cancer. I can arrange a transport man to bring it down for surgery. The earlier it is done, the better for the dog." I doubt that there will be any follow through action by this young lady as it is not her dog.
Sadly, many dog owners feed their dogs and do not bother when there are growths or bad breath. However, recently, it seems that there are more cases of dental work being requested on dogs.
As can be seen in a last-minute request by a mother and her two pre-teen daughters bringing a 13-year-old small breed dog today at 4pm as the dog was not eating. As the dog had eaten at 6 am, I proposed dental work after a general examination. "This dog will not bite," I said to Dr Vanessa as she tried to muzzle him and examine his mouth via the muzzle. This small breed does look ferocious and open-eyed, being a mini-pinscher cross and so I did not blame her for being careful. I lifted the side of the dog's mouth to expose the back teeth full of tartar. "Give an IV drip plus antibiotic IV before dental work," I advised. There was a need for blood test and an anaesthetic consent form. However, the blood test would add up the cost and so this was not done. A general examination would do. Domitor 0.1 ml and isoflurane gas. 3 teeth extracted by Dr Vanessa.
The dog went home to a happy mother with two daughters on Chinese New Year's eve. Many of such cases need dental work but can get frightened by warnings about deaths from anaesthesia from the vet. Obviously the vet has to cover himself by getting the consent form signed as this is an old dog and could die. Hospital doctors do the same too. In this case, no consent form was asked to be signed. Careful anaesthesia resulted in a happy outcome for this dog. Old dogs seldom die from dental work if there is careful anaesthesia and no chatting between the vet and the assistant. Focus on the patient and in my 30 years of experience, I can be confident that the old dog will not die on the operating table as the anaesthesia duration is very short if the vet prepares and knows what to do efficiently and productively.