Sunday, February 19, 2017

Bark in The Park 2017



Kuwait Society for Protection of Animals and Their Habitat (K’S PATH) - Kuwait's first non-profit animal welfare organization to receive legal status from the Ministry of Social Affairs. We care for 300+ animals in our shelter in Wafra and hold many community events to build awareness about compassion to animals.

Bark in the Park 2017

Our much-awaited dog-centric event Bark in the Park is back! Join us on Saturday 11th March 2017 from 11 am to 4 pm for a doggy and family day out at the KOC Ahmadi 2nd Avenue Garden, our proud venue host We have fun dog competitions, fabulous prizes and great food! Meet other dog owners and their beloved pooches, or just drop by to show your support even if you don’t have a dog. For more info about the dog competitions, rules and venue location, please visit this page: 
REGISTER YOUR DOG & FAMILY SOON!
Hurry! Pre-registration and advance payment is required. Email info@kspath.org to receive the registration form. 
BOOK A VENDOR/FOOD BOOTH!
Are you a business looking to reach families and pet-owners? You can book a booth at Bark in the Park! Contact info@kspath.org to know how!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Better than what?

Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara is sold a Sephora in the US.  The name has been changed to fit local mores to, "Better Than Love."  There is no sex in Kuwait.  Personally, I think the local version should be, "Better Than Majboos."


I also went to buy a friend cologne from Abercrombie & Fitch.  There is no half-neked man anywhere:  Not on shopping bags nor on any of the Fierce cologne products.  Not that I liked him so much, but now I miss him.


Foreign Resident Rant

I am angry about recent politics on two continents; both places I call home - the US and Kuwait. Kuwait's expat-bashing is very similar to the current expat bashing going on in the States. Both administrations (and in Kuwait I refer to the elected parliament and not HH The Emir) seem to want to build a wall to keep others out (Kuwait, figuratively; the US of course literally).

My blood pressure is so high since Trump was elected not-my-president that I can’t/won’t begin to discuss that subject here.  There is too much ammunition and I’m not in the US at the moment; I’m here in Kuwait where I live.  I prefer local ranting.

The recent local issue making my blood pressure rise? "Expats are ruining Kuwait's hospitals." Ok, maybe overloading the hospitals, as the population of actual Kuwaitis is only 1 million and there are 4 million inhabitants in Kuwait.  But “ruining”? 

The highly-skilled Kuwaiti doctors that I know in Kuwait often talk about how difficult it is to perform their jobs at Government hospitals; NOT because of "expats" but because they are not paid well and don't have the resources they require.  Are expats to blame for that?

There is a universal healthcare system in Kuwait.  Yes, that is overloaded for sure.  But, most of the professional-level expats like myself have only set foot in a Government-run hospital a few times. I’ve been here 20 years now and I have been to 1 Government clinic and in a Government hospital only once after a car accident.  (I can assure you, the second time, I had no intention of going there, but I was semi-unconscious and they wheeled me in.)  The first time, I went to get blood tests done and I would never go back. Too many procedures.  Too stressful.   Oh, and then there are the mandatory tests for TB and AIDS when you first arrive.  God help me if I ever have to go through that experience again.  Women were lined up (most of the women in line were domestic helpers) and asked to remove our upper garments entirely and put on a gown to be x-rayed.  I asked where I could find a gown.  The nurse pointed to a pile on the floor of previously-used gowns.  Yes, oh so hygienic.  (Note:  If you come to Kuwait for the first time and are seeking residency here, buy and bring your own hospital gown.)

I have private health insurance through the company I work for.  I also have a decent salary.  I would willingly and happily donate my government-provided insurance to a less-fortunate person if I could.  I don’t use it and it is wasteful.  But then again, so is the mandatory fee that my company has to pay for me towards the government healthcare scheme in order to renew my residence visa (which is normally done annually).  If the Government is looking to save money on their healthcare scheme, make the Government-provided healthcare optional to those in higher paying jobs.  That may give the opportunity to help the less fortunate.

So ok, in general, I don’t like being lumped into a common term of “expat”.  I hope that I contribute to Kuwait because as I said, I consider it home and I love it here (faults and all). But every other word coming from each new parliament is discouraging.  “Deportation” is the common catch-all phrase for all the wrongs in the country.  Cross a red light:  Deportation.  Gather after a football game:  deportation.  Get caught at a party (“immoral activity”):  Deportation.  New Years events:  Deportation. 

When I was volunteering to come to Kuwait along-side my Kuwaiti friends in 1990 at the McLean Hilton to help in any way I could (fight, Red Cross, whatever), would Kuwait have deported me for such petty transgressions? 

It has all become too much.  I am waiting for the moratorium on smiling, laughing and joking (all attributes that made me fall in love with Kuwaitis in general – as in the past, their unique humor and ability to laugh at their own foibles made them very appealing).  I have watched so many die-hard Kuwait fans (professional expats) leave after one, two, and even three decades of life here.  People who contributed and not “ruined.”  People who helped design buildings and roads and to set safety and quality practices for the country and industries.  People who left their own families to settle here.

Sure, there will be small-minded people who will say, “They were here for the money.”  Maybe so, but if they were only here for the money, they wouldn’t stay for more than a few years (and those people come and go somewhat invisibly).  I didn’t come here for the money.  I didn’t come here for the lack of income tax or the fact that I could get a maid (also an “expat”) to pamper me for very little money (so she could support her family back home).  Those things were just bonuses and to me along the way; not the reasons I came here.   I came to Kuwait because I found a unique flavor here. I found that I missed the country terribly when I went back to the States.  I cried.  Kuwait is different.  The people are (and Inshallah it is still present-tense) unique. The Kuwaitis I know closely are like my family.  I came on a two-year contract.  I stayed for two decades because I loved it here and it felt like a second home. 

I have experienced (not read about or heard about) Kuwait’s history for three decades of my own life.  More time than the people on social media; referring to expats as “kafir” (those without religion) or being disrespectful of foreigners’ holidays or traditions while demanding respect from the same people they insult.  More time for me to talk to the parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents of expat-bashers; to learn about what the basic tenants of Kuwait truly are:   hospitality, charity, kindness, respect and compassion. 

I no longer like the term "expat,"  although by definition, the term is correct (a person who lives outside their native country), "Expat" has become a derogatory term in Kuwait.  “Guest” isn’t the appropriate term because we are all contributors to the society in some form.  I’m not anyone’s “guest.”  I pay rent.  I pay fees to my bank and car finance company and satellite TV company and I buy products in the local markets. I contribute.  No one is taking me out to dinner or letting me stay in their home for free.   I’m not here to “ruin” Kuwait.  I’m here to live, work, and positively contribute to a society that I have made a conscious choice to be a part of.  I wish politicians would consider that when choosing their words.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What is the worst parking garage in Kuwait?

I ponder this question every morning now that we've moved into a new office building where the parking structure is one of the  most poorly-designed that I've ever seen.

Not to sound negative (but I will, Sorry American Girl in Kuwait), but there are two words that are almost non-existent in the local dialect:  Planning and maintenance.  (That's a joke, of course, but you really have to question engineers' understanding of either term.)  It applies to my top choices of Garages O'Horror below. #1 and #2 are probably some of the oldest garages in Kuwait.

Parking Garage O'Horrors #1:  Souq Al-Kabeer

My two sexy aluminum rear wheel rims (200 KD/ea)  have been shredded going around the corners and they've installed some kind of bumper car restraints around the entrances to elevator lobbies - which are too low to see when you are driving. Torn it uuuup.  Not to mention, they have installed their own speed humps (those horrible, high kind) every 20' or so.  You have to drive the entire length of Souq Al-Kabeer to get down to the next level. (On off-hours, I reverse so I don't do as much speed bump damage to my car).

To get into and out of the house of horrors, you need to drive up a twisting ramp at angles no car should have to traverse; other than (again) bumper cars at an amusement park or some kind of go-cart race.  The walls of the ramp are equipped with (shityounot) rubber side bumpers; and they're NECESSARY.

Perhaps the best suited vehicle for this parking lot would be a Wrangler with heavy duty tires and a lift kit.

The inbound second ticket gate  is always broken.  So, instead of placing a cone there so people in cars would know, the attendants watch as people get stuck and have to back out and re-enter the other lane.  (I actually giggle sometimes because some of the idiots who have raced around me trying to get one over - and there are many in the morning at this garage - have thought that they'll be faster getting into that lane and they get stuck. ha ha ha ha ha - IN YOUR FACE!)

and ok, ok, ok... Dudes, if you are going to charge KD 1.000 per day for parking (more than I was paying at the lovely KIPCO Tower), then you can afford to make some changes!  I say!

Parking Garage O'Horrors #2:  Souq Al-Kuwait


This garage is very similar to Souq Al-Kabeer.  If you ever have the opportunity to see the ugly under-side of the ramp, you can see that it is deteriorating fast (the mall is scheduled for renovations).  Last time I walked around Souq Al-Kuwait and saw the crackled underbelly of the beast, it was approximately 3 years ago.  At that time, large chunks of concrete were dropping off.  I have refused to park there since.  I have visions of my car dropping 2 stories down.  My Kuwaiti car insurance doesn't cover that.  My private Kuwaiti medical insurance doesn't even cover asprin....

It could be that the same "engineer" designed both ramps.  They both have rubber baby buggy bumpers (rubber side bumpers).  They both have those scary speed bumps (that's 'murican for "humps" in Briddish); the kind that seemingly could break an axle.   In both Garage #1 and 2, you have to do a "grand tour" to be able to get in or out.

Oh!  And if you are "too slow" by any idiot's standards (or lack thereof), they have no problem blasting their horn at you.  Niiiiiice.  Thank you.  (My best F you smile.... NO!  I didn't mean it as a come-on, you moron!).

Dishonorable Mention:  Avenues

I like all the garages at The Havenues (very well designed, well-lit, well patrolled (but they could use sniffer dogs if they are going to pretend that they are doing security by installing x-ray machines at only a few of the entrance points).  However, ingress/egress (in/out) to the garages is awful.  They should offer shuttle bus service to get there from remote locations instead of putting people through the cattle shoots (entrance roads) to get there.  I shop to relax.  Getting there is NOT relaxing.

Enough Turns to Make You Dizzy:  Araya and Safat Home

I dunno 'bout you, but I don't like those circular ramps in parking garages.  I have a low car and it makes me even more dizzy not being about to see over the hood.  It freaks me out.  Both Araya Center and Safat Home in Rai have these.  The parking garages are ok, but those ramps.... I shudder.  If I wasn't driving, I would shut my eyes to drive up those ramps... just sayin.

Of Mention:  Souq Al-Maseel

I only mention Souq Maseel for one reason:  The sign that says, "Firest Basement" (in front of the elevator) that hasn't been corrected in the 20-plus years that I've lived here.  The garage itself isn't so bad.  Maybe a little dark if you are like me (worried about pervs and lurkers in dark garages).  Other than that - no issues.



OK - so.... Which parking garages in Kuwait do you hate the most? Send me your comments.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

My Post About German Shepherds

Disclaimer:  I'm a novice.  I have ZERO claims to knowing a whole lot about the world of German Shepherds, but I can pass along what I have learned along my 3-year journey with my big dog... 



I got my first German Shepherd in 2013; I have him now.  He will be with me his entire life.  I got him because the guy who owned him was neglecting him and after I basically tricked the guy out of ownership, I paid him what he had paid for my dog (and he went on to buy and neglect 2 other Shepherds who both died).  My dog wasn't cheap.  He isn't now.  He's full of allergy problems and his special food costs more than my food does per month.  Boarding him when I travel costs me huge sums of money.  But he's so worth it.  And I love him more than I can say (Mashallah).

I think he has a stupid name, but it came with him, so I kept it.  I would have liked to have named him, "Jake" (which you might think is also stupid), but his name is Mike; or affectionately, "Mikey".

German Shepherds have 2 distinct lines.  My dog is a "show line."  He's pretty and spoiled and makes a good house/family dog (but just don't piss him off because they are loyal and protective when they have to be).  They are usually the show dogs at events.  Very pretty posers.  Work lines are most often used for police work because of their high drive.  They are smaller and more hyperactive than show lines.  The distinction is VERY important in knowing what type of dog to buy if looking at German Shepherds.  Either is a big responsibility and like any breed, you must ensure that the characteristics of the dog matches your lifestyle and family.

At about 6  months old (Mikey), I called a professional trainer and he asked me, "Work line or show line?"  "Show line" just sounded better to me because I had no clue and that is what Mikey turned out to be.  I also had no clue about where Mikey had come from when I first "acquired" him and to my extreme good luck, he is from a very reputable breeder with champion blood lines. He also has a docile and sweet temperament.  I could have been in a whole lot of trouble had he turned out otherwise, but I just got extremely lucky.

NOTE:  Although they may be from champion blood lines from dogs with pedigrees - dogs born in Kuwait do NOT have pedigrees or registration papers (and they can not be obtained) which would allow them into international shows abroad.  KCA is working on changing that by setting standards that would include Kuwait in FCI - see post and information below about their upcoming show.  

Show lines and work lines come in a variety of colors and coat lengths.  My favorite is the sable color.  My friend has a beautiful dog, named Eros, who is a sable.  Mikey is a black and tan.

Mike Stages
Mikey was born on October 3, 2013, and is from the kennel of Jassem Al-Hashash in Jabriya.  His father is Frest.  I have found 2 of his litter brothers, Bruno The Shepherd, and Pix.  If anyone out there has a sibling, please let me know.  


Here are a few abbreviations surrounding German Shepherds that may confuse you.  I had to look them up and I'm still having a hard time with the language of Shepherds:

  • Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)  (World Canine Organization) is an international federation of kennel clubs based in ThuinBelgium.  (For more information on FCI, see HERE and HERE).  Note that my post below relates to a group (KCA) which is trying to get Kuwait recognized by FCI locally.  This will allow dogs here to be issued pedigrees.  Currently, even though a dog may have champion blood lines (like Mikey), they are not recognized as a pedigree if born in Kuwait.  It is very unfortunate for local breeders who want to show dogs at FCI level events internationally.  There are some extremely talented dogs and trainers in Kuwait (as witnessed at this weekend's Sieger show and several others that I've attended).
  •  Weltunich der Vereine fur Deutsche Schaferhunde (WUSV) is the world union of German Shepherds.  (For more information on WUSV, see HERE and HERE.)  KK9A is the only WUSV approved group in Kuwait.  Most of the kennel and dog owners regularly travel to Germany to either perform in or participate in German Shepherd events.

Before I was blessed with my rescue German Shepherd, Mikey, I had no clue about any of this.  I am still learning and at every event I attend, I get to learn more and make more friends with people who have similar interests. This is the true calling of ALL of the dog groups in Kuwait:  Education.  

There are different genres of dog training and types of dogs.  KK9A (the group most dedicated specifically to German Shepherds locally)  is generally focused on sporting events; either obedience or attack (sleeve/bite work) and follow FCI and WUSV rules. Personal protection dogs also differ from sporting attack dogs and they require different training. I have met only a few private owners of dogs who have been trained for sniff work and/or tracking;  and I have never known an owner of a search and rescue dog in Kuwait - although they may be out there. I have known of only one emotional support dog in Kuwait (to a child with autism) and I have never seen service dogs being used by people with disabilities. Sniffer dogs are in use at Kuwait airport and there are also sniffer dogs on contract to the oil refineries.

Alianz group also has a lot of German Shepherd members (and some attend KK9A events also), but Alianz includes many owners of smaller breeds of dogs and they dedicate a lot of their time and resources to public education; including education for children. Worthy causes.

I have no particular attachment to any dog group in Kuwait; I like them all!  As I often say, "My dog changed my life."  I've met some of the nicest, kindest, most helpful people anywhere through the dog groups in Kuwait; and made more new friends in the past years than I can count.  The big dog groups are KK9A and Alianz, and I am hoping to learn more about the recently-new Kuwait Cynological Association (KCA) which is trying to take the steps necessary to join FCI, allowing Kuwait breeders to represent their country internationally (and if you have a chance to attend their show this coming weekend, please show them your support).

Almost all of the dog lovers (breeders and non-breeders) are also rescuers.  None that I have met has ever turned away an animal in need.  I have seen some big, tough guys who have no trouble holding a sleeve and letting a 100 pound dog attack them;  sitting with tears in their eyes trying to console a dying stay.   So, with more education comes more chance of reducing animal neglect and cruelty in Kuwait and (God willing) create better animal regulation and law enforcement.  So, I continue to promote all the shows and all the animal associations, groups and rescues in Kuwait. Collectively, all will inevitably do tremendous good here.

Some words on dog training:
  1. Everybody has an opinion
  2. Everybody knows better than you do.
  3. Just because they've watched the entire box set of "Dog Whisperer" does NOT make them an expert and/or a trainer.
  4. Just because it says, "Trainer" on their card doesn't make them one.
  5. You can be a trainer too - as long as you educate yourself.  Then you can get cards that say, "trainer."  (I should have cards made that say, "Incompetent Trainer"!  Ha!)

I didn't start early enough with Mikey.  Everybody is an expert and I listened and waited until he was around 6 months old to start serious training.  Big mistake.  The OWNER is the most important trainer that the dog will ever have.  If you send your dog to a trainer for a few months, he might learn a few things, but more likely, he will only take commands from the person who trained him.  I learned this from a very wise friend, Mr. Ahmed Hajj.  He was one of the first trainers of K9s in Kuwait and has since retired.  I didn't know that by sitting next to him at a few of the Alianz dog gatherings, I would learn so much or be graced by someone so knowledgeable.  Now, he is a dear friend and I value his advice tremendously; even though he peppers our conversations with comments about how badly I've spoiled my dog and how it may be too late now for redemption (said shaking his head).  

So my advice is:  Learn how to train your dog BEFORE you get a dog (ANY dog). Research the breed for characteristics.  Look on YouTube. Study the videos.  Talk to trainers. Go to trainers who will either work with you and your dog or who will train you to train your dog.  Mikey will not listen to anyone else's commands but mine.  If someone tells him to, "sit," he will often look to me for approval first.  That's what you want.  Don't confuse your dog by too many masters.  Start early - immediately.  Repeat the same commands (don't confuse him by changing commands).  If someone says that they can take your dog for a month or two and he will come back completely obedient and changed; beware. Unless you are comfortable disciplining him yourself or learning what you should be telling him, he's not going to learn.  A puppy isn't much different than a child; he should learn from his/her parent.

And more advice:  
  • Don't listen to others' BS.  I can't tell you how many times I heard (or overheard) people saying, "Your dog isn't 'original' German."  "Look at his tail.  It's too long."  "Look at his nose, it's too big."  Blah blah blah.  So what?
  • Don't listen to people who tell you that an electric collar is the answer to your dog's obedience problems.  He/she will only lose brain cells every time it is shocked and immediately fear everything. Don't  train a puppy on a sleeve.  Wait until 6-plus months because his teeth are still forming.  You can buy toys with the same training sleeve material (kind of a heavy burlap) if you want him to get used to tugging at it; just as long as it isn't hard.
  • Socialize your puppy around other dogs and in different noisy situations to make him self-confident.  I made the mistake with Mikey of not socializing him enough around other dogs and OMG do I regret it. He has no problems with little children or even cats, but goes crazy when he sees any other dog (scary, although short-lived).
What will my next dog be? A German Shepherd for sure!  He looks big and mean and scary and scares the crap out of my neighbors, but he is just big.  That's it.  Big and friendly and scary-smart.  I think he would go to great lengths to protect any of my neighbors if he ever had to.  He's just that kind of dog.  And the only damage he would ever do to my friends and neighbors would be to kiss them to death!  But a dog can smell bad intentions just as well as good intentions.  It is chemical.  There is a chemical smell to a bad person with bad intentions.  Those people should be afraid.

Does the below look scary?  It's the way German Shepherds play.  These two actually adore each other.  It was a morning ritual.

video
Mikey and Lucy

I overheard a woman recently saying, "I could never own a German Shepherd.  Those dogs turn on their owners."  Well hey, I got news for you:  So do Chihuahuas and just about any other breed of dog if it isn't properly handled.  Just make sure that you educate yourself.

Sieger German Shepherd Show a GREAT Success!



This weekend, the kennel I work with, Ghalya's Hunderparadise, participated in the Sieger German Shepherd Show in Mishref.  Sieger means "champion" in German, so it was a German Shepherd Championship.  Sometimes things get lost in translation and I actually had to look it up - even though I've been promoting it for several months!



The show was organized by the Kuwait K9 Association (KK9A).  They usually hold dog shows/gatherings every Friday afternoon in Kabd in front of the police station. All of their events are free to the public.

They were very concerned about finding an appropriate venue, as most hotels and venues don't want to rent to people for anything dog-related.  The Mishref Football Club (located next to Burger King and across from Yarmouk Sports Club) provided the perfect location for both the dog events, and the spectators (as well as placement of vendor booths).  The weather was amazing both days and it couldn't have been better.
Please see KK9A's Instagram Account or Website for Full Photos

It was a 2-day event.  The first day was beauty and obedience (for show lines) and the second day was for obedience and attack (for work lines).

Patron of the show was HE Karlfried Bergner, German Ambassador to Kuwait, who enjoyed the show so much that he stayed both days! German judges, Hungarian professional handlers, and some of the best trainers in the GCC worked to make this an outstanding event.  Several of the kennel owners brought their dogs from the UAE to participate.

I stayed through to the end of the award ceremony and felt like I was attending a family reunion.  Everyone congratulated each other and were happy for their collective successes.  I'm proud to say that my "home" kennel, Ghalya's Hunderparadise, took home two first-place trophies.  I don't think any of us wanted to go home.  Everyone was singing and cheering for each other.  I can't remember when I've been part of such a warm reception!

I've got to add one thing:  I sincerely believe that the dogs who won first place performed out of love. They were the ones trained with compassion and whose owners truly care for them as family members and not commodities.  Mabrook to everyone!


Vendors included BMW, Breadz, Bruno The Shepherd, Crate a Dog House, Pet Pro German, Champ Dogfood, 360 Dogfood, Sloans, Ghalya's Hunderparadise and more. Catering for VIPs by Safir.


KK9A Championship was under the sponsorship of:
Public Authority of Sport
German Embassy in Kuwait
Lufthansa Airlines
Al Hamra Tower
Champ Dog Food
TriStar Motorcycles Establishment
German Business Council
International Optics

Event Hosts (Instagram):
@q8k9kennel
@aldousariq8
@e.o.t_kennel
@turnado14

Coordination Team: (Instagram):
@feedstarplus
@black_hawk_dogs
#wusv #Kk9A






Kuwait Cynological Association (KCA) Dog Show: February 18, 2017 Discovery Mall





Judging Process

The Kuwait Cynological Association is a non-profit national service organization, focused on being the supreme authority for purebred dogs in Kuwait.

The show is free to the public and dogs can be registered by calling their numbers above.  Instagram:  kca_kw.

Islamic Naming Conventions

Names for both men and women follow your patriarchal lineage.  A woman from an Islamic family always keeps her full name even after marriage.  Most names are religious; either one of the 99 names of God, or prophets and their wives/children.

In contrast, in Western countries where women normally take their husband’s last name. This becomes problematic for women who have gone through several marriages; when you marry or re-marry, you must legally change your name on all your official documentation.    

So, in Islamic naming conventions, your name would be:   your given name, your father's first name, your grandfather's first name, your great grandfather's first name, your great-great grandfather's first name (and so on);  and then your tribe or family name as your last name. It really forces you to know your lineage.

This naming convention also explains why in Western countries, we tend to misunderstand names of people from Islamic countries, if not provided with enough information. For example, if someone tells you that their name is "Mohammed Ali," you can usually ask him what his family name is or their full name is; "Mohammed Ali Talal Al-Jassem" for example (there are exceptions, of course). So, some people can get away with passport changes if they only include their father's name, then they can go back and add their grandfather's name also and Western people see it as a completely different person.

Also, the "Al-" (predominantly in the Arabian Gulf Region) is the same as "Mc" or "Mac" or "O'" in Irish, Scottish names. It means "of" (whatever family name).


So..... If someone from the Gulf tells you that their name is just “Al” then they are just a jerk and you don’t need to talk to them anyways. 

Monday, February 06, 2017

Noblesse Cosmetic Surgery Clinic

I just want to show you how things work in Kuwait:  Small connections.  You could be talking to someone who knows someone and then you later find out that you know that someone's someone. Amazing!  Little connections.  Kuwait is a small town.

Here is how I came to know about Noblesse Clinic:


(You might have to zoom in on this.)

Here's what it says, right on their brochure, "Who says you're not a queen?  We don't."  Of COURSE you don't, honey!  You know quality when you see it.



Now, what I'm posting about is for the upper end, but the clinic also tightens your hoo-hoo also, for those of you who are into that.

I'm going for Jeuvaderm and botox.  Then they soft-sold me into getting hydra something or other using RF something radio waves followed by something else that tightens your face.  I said I would try.  Why not?

Now look, I have seen some really scary stuff walking around Kuwait that make, "Botched" look like a fairy tale:  over-done lips, angry bird eyebrows, skin stretched so tight that you can't tell if she's smiling or just staring at you.  It's messed up.  And I'm not talking about on women in their 40's or 50's - I'm talking about women that are in their 20's. I really wanted to check out who I go to first.  So it makes me much more confident that I met with Karina, Dr. Verginia and the staff at Noblesse so they could tell me what would happen and what types of products they would use.

I like the atmosphere.  All the staff is happy (good sign) as well as patients going in and out.  They only work on women, so that is a plus for me too. The decor is kind of a light burgundy color and white (similar to Dr. Verginia's GYN clinic at Mowasat Hospital). It's tranquil. Me likes.

Noblesse is located in Maidan Hawalli right on the circle on Cairo Street (behind Shaab park and the new cultural center).  Their numbers are 66483088 or 60695999.

I will write more about them after my treatments.


Mirror, Mirror Salon 2nd Anniversary

I've posted about Mirror Mirror salon before and I'm gonna do it again....

They are such nice people!  I go in there, they feed me.  They bring me coffee and those little Japanese cracker thingies in a bowl.  And the other day, it was owner, Wendy Al-Omani's 29th (I'm guessing) birthday and they had 2 kinds of cake and a box of cupcakes. All the staff and customers sang her the happy birthday song (in English and in Arabic AND with the "cha cha cha's" in between).  The first day of my supposed "diet" was put off.

We gossip.  I listen to other people's conversations (which, being my mother's child, I inevitably drop in on).  I laugh and get my hair done and have a great time.  I don't make any appointments following so I can just relax and recharge. And when I walk out of there, I always feel like I've made new friends and I'm just up and happy.

So, thank you, wonderful ladies of Mirror Mirror, for all the great hair days and shiny toe days and for lifting my spirits.  I just really like you all a lot and I wish you decades more of success.  You're good people!  God bless and good luck.

Happy second anniversary!



Phone 66338666
Located in Jabriya across from Royal Hyatt Hospital, in the building between Organica and The Burger Co.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

German Shepherd Show: 10 - 11 February





International K9 Association Championship for  German Shepherd show line and work line dogs will take place on February 10 - 11,  2017.

Kuwait's Official Championship is approved by the International German Shepherd Union and under the Patronage of the German Embassy of Kuwait.

For any inquiries please contact us through Whatsapp on +965 60426733
To meet any of the Association membership, we are available every Friday from 4 pm until sunset in Kabd next to the police station.

KK9A is the only legal representative of the WUSV in the State of Kuwait.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

2017

Here is my new years resolution:  Drink more tequila.

Well actually, I have a big resolution, but it won't come until the end of the year and I'm not going to share it now.

I really hope to fight off negative energy this year.  I'm still in a mood over the court case with the dude.  It is scheduled for March 7.  I don't know if I want a year with anything with him in it.  I don't need the disruption to my chi.  And ultimately, I feel he is going to commit suicide later in life when his looks and his charm fades and he's left with no job/life skills and no nationality and no one to support him because he's been a conniving taker his whole life. I don't want to feel like I'm a part of that downward-spiraling journey.

I just came back from the States and everything is good.  I haven't seen most of my friends yet and I have a lot of catching up to do.I had such a good time there.  This holiday was really great. Everything was happy.  It was hard to leave.  I miss my family so much.  I miss all the beauty there.  And people who don't stare at my ass constantly.  (Ok, ass-glances are fine, but really?  Staring at one's ass blatantly is just soooo 1950's.  Ick.  Do NOT walk through Souk Kabeer if you don't want your ass stared at.  Just sayin.)

Mikey is still at the kennel. I will get him back today or tomorrow.  Louie (Dorothy's cat) has been following me around like a dog since I arrived and has been REALLY vocal (he shouts, "hel-LOO" down the hallway if I don't give him attention).  He's so funny.  I had no idea what type of a cat he was until one of my friends showed me a photo of her cat and told me it is an Arabian Mau.  It is the same breed as Louie.  I did some research and Louie has all the character traits of the breed:  One of them is following you around, behaving like a dog.  He really isn't cat-like. He doesn't snuggle well.  He's very adaptable.  And really loyal.  I'm also not allergic to him (they say that Arabian Maus have little or no dander which is what I'm allergic to).  They've been around the region for (supposedly) thousands of years and are descended from Egyptian Maus.  They are mostly street cats and are adaptable to extreme temperatures.   AND - they sell for outrageous prices in the US (not that I could ever part with him).  Who knew?  Check out the Animal Planet video on Arabian Mau's HERE.

I got into a conversation when I dropped Mikey off at the kennel with a man who had a German Shepherd puppy.  He watched me as I walked Mikey around using the laser pointer; the ONLY training tool that works with him - no ball, no treats, but laser pointer.  The cat is a dog.  The dog is a cat.  That's my life.  The reason I whipped out the laser pointer was because of the puppy.  Mikey goes into attack dog mode when another dog is around (I know I am to blame.  Bad socializing.)  Dude (who obviously is new to the dog world) asked me if I'm a professional trainer.  LMAO.  Uh, not even remotely close.

He asks for recommendations for good dog trainers.  I reply with the same thing most of the real trainers will tell you, "YouTube."  You train the owner, not the dog.  I even recommend that people start educating themselves on puppy training BEFORE you get a dog.  Mikey fell into my life; I didn't expect to be a big-dog owner.  For that reason, he isn't socialized with other dogs and that is my fault.  At his age, he should be socialized and he isn't.  And I surround myself with trainers all the time.  I'm to blame.  Anyhow, if you take your dog to a trainer, the dog is going to listen to that trainer; not to you. When you go home, he is not going to react to you.  You need to work with him as an owner.  And that is a big responsibility.  Anyhoo, to get  Mikey's attention off of attacking little puppies, I use the laser pointer and it distracts him.  It works.  And that is another thing:  not every training method will work for every dog.  It's just like a child.  Some kids will do anything for a particular toy or treat; others won't.  You have to find your dog's thing.

Oh, and speaking of dog-things....

Remember the posts about the company that had killed all those sniffer dogs last year after they lost their contract?  No one has been brought to justice by the way and the handlers haven't been paid since last May.  They only received their releases from work last month.  I work with a dog kennel and we hired 2 of the former handlers of this company.  One of my friends with another kennel hired another other the handlers.  We all felt really sorry for them and so we did our best to make them comfortable.... Ok, so no good deed goes unpunished.  Sometimes people are just out to get what they can. And that's what happened here.  I shouldn't feel bad for trying to help, but at the same time, I hate feeling used and now 2 of my good friends feel that they were for hiring them and housing them. These guys came up with all kinds of excuses about having to take days off, not having money for taxis, and took a lot of time off during the day to "cook".  The 2 guys that my friend hired ate FOUR chickens a day; leading us to believe that they were somehow using the food to give to friends.  Who knows?  They all left with no notice at all and excuses that they were going to work for Global Services (that has some kind of a new sniffer dog contract) as handlers.  The guys we hired were afraid of the big dogs; they wouldn't handle the German Shepherds or Malinois.  It seems like they had a nice vacation with us and didn't even complete an entire month of work.  Oh well.

That was negative.  But wait, it was kinda positive because we tried to help.  Right?

Here's my philosophy on takers:   That's your test with God.  I have nothing to do with that.  I do what I think is right and good and I know that I  have done well.  That's my test.  I always give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong.  Sometimes they do.  Que sera.

Drink more tequila.





Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Dog Boarding Services - Ghalya's Dog Paradise



Book your dog's Christmas vacation at Ghalya's Hunderparadise ("dog paradise" in German) Boarding Kennel. Located in the farm area of Hijin/Kabd, Ghalya's kennel is run by compassionate ladies who pamper your furry family members with love. Dogs are treated to open green areas and swimming in the pool (summer) to keep them entertained/active. Stays include socialization with other 4-legged guests in a special area created for pets to feel like they are at home (photo directly below). 

No deposit and reasonable fee of 7KD ($23)/day. We only serve top quality brand food! Grooming services are also available. 

Call 97615615. Instagram: turnado14. Member, Kuwait K9 Association/FCI.







See Bazaar Magazine's article on Ghalya's at bazaar.town/ghalyas-dog-paradise


Kuwait K9 Kennel Association holds weekly exhibitions of  K9 working dogs performance.
Come visit us in Kabd in the open area, 4th Round About on 604 near the Kabd Police Station 
(29.1060059528592547.784740114212006)
from 3:00 to 5:00 pm every Friday during the winter.  Dress warmly.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Kuwait K9 Association hosts Kuwait Dog Show this Weekend in Mishref

Mishref Fair Grounds - Hall #7


Come to the KK9A dog show this weekend - taking place at Mishref Exhibition Hall #7 on December 2 and 3. It is free and open to the public. Bring your kids. Get great dog advice from trainers and breeders on site. Show takes place indoors for your comfort. See the KK9A FB page for more information on the group at https://www.facebook.com/kk9ateam/

This is a wonderful group of people who have become my friends over the years and have helped me immensely with Mikey.  They held a show last year and you can see the video here:  https://www.facebook.com/kk9ateam/videos/1327984713880822/,


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ayurvedic Massage: Diva's Ladies Salon Home Service





Ad:Symptoms like body aches, joint pain, stiffness of muscles - book your appointment for Ayurvedic relax massage in the comforts of your home- Promotional offer - 15KD - 90 minutes session. This is one perfect gift you can give yourselves and your loved elder ones.  Extremly friendly staff who will take special care of the senior citizen requirement.  Whatsapp-99006934.

Disclaimer:  I booked the ayurvedic home service for the "body aches, joint pain, stiffness of muscles" NOT the "senior citizen requirement." (They also do postnatal massage, which would be a really nice gift to friends who have just delivered!  I still didn't book for that - unless you count the pizza I ate last week from Sbarro as a small baby...)


I found Diva's through a Facebook ad and had a fabulous at-home Ayurvedic massage!  90 minutes of hot oil and really professional massage done by a certified ayurvedic therapist from Kerala, Ms. Reena.

I don't have the patience or time to go to a salon for a massage anymore.  I can't stand the traffic and by the time I get home from the massage, I'm all stressed out again.  I prefer to call someone to do the home service.

Ms. Reena brought all the equipment and set up at my home.  I was kind of concerned about the oil getting all over my room, but it turned out to be a non-issue.  They bring plastic sheeting to fit over the massage table they bring and nothing goes onto your floor.

The oil is some kind of special therapeutic oil that comes from Kerala that is supposed to be good for your muscles.  The therapist asks you not to take a shower for an hour after the massage to allow the oil to work into your skin.

I've had "massages" before where I thought the lady was touching me with a feather rather than actually getting into my aching muscles.  This was not one of those massages.  She knows what she's doing.  She worked on all my problem areas and with 90 minutes, there was plenty of time so it wasn't done in a rush.




The only thing I didn't like about the experience was that the oil is heated, so it gets a little smokey. I kind of felt like a fryer chicken at one point and I wish I had known so I could have ventilated a little better.  For those of you who are sensitive to smells (like I am), this is a consideration.

Don't expect it to be a Pinky's Salon experience.  Diva's home service doesn't have all the frills that Pinky's does.  Pinky's has obviously spoiled me for every other home service!:  They usually sets up with fresh rose petals, soft music, candles, and even a tea service with cookies or chocolate (THEY bring it all).  Diva's is a table and that's about it.  You should prepare to provide your own ambiance (and/or tea service!).

Overall, WELL worth the 90 minute experience at 15KD.  Check out Diva's on Facebook or Instagram.  They've got 2 salons and their prices are outstanding.

Slight word of warning:  Be patient (I'm not.,..) giving directions to your home on the first appointment.  The driver asked me for directions, but asked if I spoke Hindi.  While it is definitely on my list of languages to learn - sadly, notsomuch right now.

To book an at-home appointment:  Whatsapp 9006934
 Instagram:  @divasladiessalon
Website:  divassalonkuwait.com 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Divaladiessalon/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf