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Featured Story – Katong may be an ethnic mixing pot, but pooches rule

April 16, 2016 Destination Feature, Headline News No Comments Email Email

882bd166-76e3-4b21-96b4-27c5bb4c3fecSpent a couple of very pleasant days in Singapore recently as a guest of Far East Hotels (http://www.stayfareast.com), which manages about a dozen properties in the city state, including the Village Hotel Katong, in the very multi-cultural district of Katong, where Straits Chinese (descendants of the Chinese who moved down through the Malay Peninsula between the 15th and 17th centuries) are the majority, but seemingly happily mix with many other groups, including Portuguese Christians, Hindu Indians, Arab Muslims — and canines.

Yes, the locals are very much into their pets, especially dogs, and do so love to pamper them, as we discovered on a cultural stroll around Katong.

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There in Joo Chiat Road was the exuberantly dog-friendly 3 Barks Café (http://www.3barkscafe.com), where you could happily have a coffee or snack while your pooch played in its own area upstairs — or, indeed, ran around under your feet.

One of our travel-writing group, Shonagh Walker (http://iconosquare.com/southern_highlands_hounds), was absolutely besotted. She already has a dog-walking service in the Southern Highlands, and would love to set up something more extensive. I can just see a branch of 3 Barks sprouting in Mittagong, Moss Vale or Bowral.

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Anyway, just about right next door, was the cutely named Wagging Rights (http://www.wagging-rights.com), which offered doggy daycare, a pet-grooming service and, wait for it, holistic training and a pet concierge service. Not to mention describing themselves as purveyors of fine dog food (organic no doubt).

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The other sign shown on this posting has nothing to do with dogs at all, but its use of language did amuse me. ‘Face scrapping’? Is that a means of completely replacing what you have? Probably not; rather, I think, a reference to exfoliation.

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Story and images: JOHN ROZENTALS

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