August 23, 2013

An Interview

Posted in: Dog

An Interview

Everyone has a story to tell and this week we interview Belinda Irvine owner of Myoodle.com to find out her story. Belinda and her husband, along with Jet the cavoodle, pictured above, have moved from Australia to Singapore. She takes the time to talk to us about quarantine regulations, Singapore’s attitude towards dogs and what inspired her to start her own forum.

1. Firstly, how would you describe Jet?

Jet is the most gentle, human like, soft cuddly, affectionate, loving dog I’ve ever known. I’m biased of course. He has the most beautiful nature and wonderful facial expressions. He is also the largest/tallest Cavoodle I’ve ever seen, I joke he’s like Mr MyOodle who is 6ft3in….must take after him.

2. You have moved from Australia to Singapore. What quarantine regulations did you have to go through in Australia and Singapore?

Leaving Australia there are no quarantine regulations, though Singapore does have some requirements in order to move there. These requirements must be met before Australia will allow the dog to leave, they check everything on behalf of Singapore. There is a complicated process of vaccination checks, flea wash, paperwork, paperwork and then more paperwork.  When dogs from Australia arrive into Singapore there is no quarantine, just a simple visit to submit all the paperwork to AVA then you’re free to go take your dog to their new home. This is not the same for all countries. Returning to Australia is a different story, currently it’s 30 days of quarantine in either Sydney, Melbourne or Perth along with a series of paperwork requirements. Though, I have been told by the DAFF there is a plan to change the returning quarantine from Singapore (and the other rabies free countries) to 10 days so I figure they’ve got till Jet returns to PLEASE get it sorted. MyOodle.com is going to have a three part blog series on the exact process, so look out for that if you’re thinking about moving countries. It’s not for the faint hearted but can be assisted by a pet transport company and is so worth the effort. To read Myoodle’s comprehensive forum post on International Travel, How To, click here.

3. What is Singapore’s attitude towards dogs?

Singapore is in some ways very dog friendly and in others not so much. They have some off leash areas, however they are in reasonably short supply. But on the other hand many cafes and bars are happy to accommodate our 4 legged companions. We have a favourite restaurant/bar 10 mins walk from home that is only to happy to bring Jet is iced (yes, they add ice cubes) bowl of water each time we visit. Many Singaporeans appear to be scared of dogs, which is a shame. MyOodle Jet Cavoodlle has made it his mission to single handily change this while he lives here. We make an effort to allow as many people as possible to pat him and face their fears. I’m really not sure why this is the case as there are many dogs living here.  In our building the 6ft3in tough looking gardener jumped up on the 3ft garden edge the first time he saw Jet coming…..we’re still working on him to give Jet a pat.

4. You are the creator of www.myoodle.com, a forum about all things ‘oodle.’ What inspired you to start it?

About 6 years ago when Facebook first created groups, it was around the time that we got Jet. So I created the Cavoodle Dog Owners Group on Facebook. I know the name is a bit boring but those were the early days and Facebook doesn’t allow it to be changed. Users would ask questions and interact and that was fantastic but we found that many of the same questions were being asked over and over again (as they would disappear down the page).  I’d be tossing around a few ideas for a dog related web based community amongst other things when a lovely lady by the name of Sandra from Canada suggested that we needed a forum.  Forums allow users to search for previous questions and answers and allows those questions and answers to be categorised for easy navigation. I wanted new and experienced Oodle owners to gain from the experience of others.  There are some general dog forums and some breed specific ones, but there wasn’t one catering specifically to all Oodles. The idea was born.