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Phuket Lifestyle: Keeping your dog fit

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Lifestyle: Keeping your dog fit | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Exercising your dog on a daily basis is essential. The best exercise channels the activity of both mind and body and for that, you need to take your dog out for a walk. Lack of proper exercise can lead to obesity, poor muscle tone, heart ailments and a host of emotional and behavioral problems.

Take your dog different places for them to explore and also play different games to help exercise them mentally as well as physically. Simply taking them around the same block, or just letting them run around the garden will frustrate them.

EXERCISES

Phuket may not have a wealth of bespoke “dog parks”, and taking them to certain beaches can be an issue at times – but there are still a number of places you can go with your dogs, and lots of things you can still do to jazz up the exercise routine.

Walking your dog up and down a beach, down a new road, or if you can find a track in the fast reducing woodland areas of Phuket then make the most of it. New places means new sights, smells and information for your dog to learn about his surroundings. Most dogs who do the same walk each day know it by heart. They stop in the same places, smell the same things and it gets boring. Go somewhere new and you’ll see a different dog, probably more alert, more focused and absorbing as much information from his surroundings as he possibly can. He’ll probably also be more tired after the walk too!

Taking your dog for a run is also a great way to burn energy, especially with the higher drive dogs like shepherds, or labs. However, you need to ease them into it, as well as yourself. Start with short runs and build up slowly from there.

Retrieving sticks, tennis balls or a Frisbee is great exercise for your dog although be sure they are not jumping too high in the air and landing on their hind legs as this can cause serious injuries to the knees and spine. Simply getting your dog to jump over, or balance on a fallen tree log, or scamper over a large rock are also fun things for our dogs to do.

Make a tunnel or a maze with some old cardboard boxes and encourage them to explore and go through it. Or place some treats under an overturned bowl and let them work out how to get the them.

Remember, getting out and about with your dog, allowing them to have off-leash time to properly run, be free and explore is really important for a well balanced dog. So many people tell me that they have huge gardens and that “the dog seems happy to just run around it till he’s tired”.

This is not only not enough, but detrimental to your dogs mental health. How would you feel being kept in the same house and never let out?

KEEPING COOL

Phuket, in case you haven’t noticed, can be hot and keeping your dog cool is vitally important. Make sure they have constant access to fresh, clean water at all times. Also, a lot of people here make the mistake of shaving their dogs coats thinking that will help keep them cool, when in truth, it can have the reverse effect. A dog’s fur coat is designed to both keep them warm, and keep them cool – they will shed what they don’t need, but shaving them is not the answer.

Plus, dogs don’t sweat like we do, and if they are hot, placing cool towels, or a cool tiled floor, on their bellies is far more effective than cool water on their backs.

AND RELAX…

So you’ve been for a new walk, gone for a run, or taken Fido for a swim. Rather than just letting him come home and collapse, why not help him out a bit with a stretch, and a nice rub down? There are various stretching exercises you can do (carefully) with your dog, but there’s also some obedience commands you can teach which themselves act as a stretch. Getting your dog to offer a play “bow on cue” is not only really cool, but also stretches their fore limbs and their back, as does does a simple circle spin.

So with Fido thoroughly exercised, and rubbed down – allowing them to relax is also important. Here at Thailand Canine Academy we’ve just launched our very own brand of dog beds, designed for maximum comfort, whilst also helping your dog keep cool at the same time.

Remember, a mentally and physically well exercised dog is a calmer dog and will sleep and rest better at home.

For more information on dogs in general, or to inquire about training classes contact the Thailand Canine Academy on 089 588 4050, canineworld@me.com or check www.tk9a.com.

— Russell D Russell

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Thailand

21% of Thai teenagers are gambling

Greeley Pulitzer

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21% of Thai teenagers are gambling | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Gambling, local style, Rai Et, north-east Thailand – Pinterest

Early in October the Thai Health Promotion Foundation met to discuss the gambling situation in Thailand in 2019. Also present were the Centre for Gambling Studies, Stop Gambling Foundation and related groups.

The meeting was set up after a report revealed that more than half (57%) of the Thai population, or 30.42 million people, gamble. The director-general of the Centre for Gambling Studies at Chulalongkorn University shared the report, which was based on data from a survey of 44,050 people across 77 provinces.

The figure is an increase of 1.49 million people from 2017. While most Thai gamblers are of working age, 2.4% of the total were aged between 15-18 years. This means that 21% of that age group are gambling.

According to California’s Council on Problem Gambling, youth, like everyone else, gamble for many reasons, including entertainment; socialisation; competition; loneliness, and boredom; to get rich quick; to impress others; be the centre of attention; make new friends, and because winning provides an instant, temporary boost of confidence.

“The California Council on Problem Gambling lists depression as one reason youth turn to gambling, noting that depression can just as easily be an effect as a cause. This is especially important to note in a country like Thailand.”

In an article in The ASEAN Post, it was noted that in December 2017, Thailand’s Department of Mental Health (DMH) reported that an estimated one million teenagers are believed to suffer from depression, many of whom go untreated, with two million more are at risk, making upward of three million among a population of eight million teens then.

The DMH said that stress and anxiety may affect a student’s ability to concentrate and perform well at school, and they may show several warning signs, such as lack of attention, loss of interest in daily activities, lethargy, sadness, and sleeping issues.

“It is clear from studies that depression and gambling go hand-in-hand: the unfortunate case in Thailand is that it is affecting children too.”

SOURCE: The ASEAN Post

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Bangkok

Professor: Military government too interested in tourism – not people’s welfare

Greeley Pulitzer

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Professor: Military government too interested in tourism – not people’s welfare | The Thaiger

A professor of Rangsit University has criticised the previous military government for focusing too much on tourism and not enough on the welfare of the Thai people. The professor was speaking at Chulalongkorn University at a seminar discussing street stalls and urban development.

She questioned the National Council for Peace and Order’s policy of clearing street vendors in all but a few areas such as Yaowarat and Khao San Road that mainly cater to tourists.

She claimed that the NCPO – in power since the coup of 2014 until this year’s election – was more interested in economic development through tourism than in the welfare of the public.

Having affordable street food options was not just about tourism, she said, it was vital for poor workers who have migrated from the countryside, adding that it was part of an informal rather than a formal economy.

“For years people had earned their living from selling goods and services, including food, on the streets.”

This in turn provided an affordable option to eat for workers who came to Bangkok on for large investment projects. The issue, she said, was not just about tourism but the wider economy that might benefit.

The professor noted that CNN had once called Bangkok the best place in the world for street food but this had changed with the sanitized food trucks that have appeared since stalls and vendors were banned from most areas.

The Thaiger notes that banning street vendors has divided the capital. Many are happy that the sidewalks are easier to navigate, but others – including tourists – have said that the lifeblood and character of the city has suffered.

SOURCE: Naew Na | ThaiVisa Forum

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Chiang Rai

Journey back to Tham Luang in ‘The Cave’ – VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Journey back to Tham Luang in ‘The Cave’ – VIDEO | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Tom Waller on site during the filming of The Cave – AFP

Determined divers racing against time. Rising waters threatening lives. 12 teenagers and their soccer coach trapped inside for two weeks. A remote cave that most had never heard of.

The stuff of a Hollywood drama, except that it’s all true and happened in Chiang Rai last year. Now the first of several re-tellings of the story comes to the big screen in The Cave.

The ordeal in late June and early July last year had barely ended when filmmakers began their own race to get the nail-biting drama onto cinema screens. The first of those projects premiered at the start of October, when director Tom Waller’s The Cave showed at the Busan Film Festival in South Korea.

The film was shot over three months earlier this year and has been in post-production since then. The 45 year old Thai-British filmmaker says the epic tale of the Wild Boars (Mu Pa) football team was a story he simply had to tell.

“I took the view that this was going to be a story about the people we didn’t know about, about the cave divers who came all the way from across the planet.”

The 13 young men entered the Tham Luang cave complex after soccer practice and were quickly trapped inside by rising floodwater. The boys were forced to spend nine nights lost in the cave, whilst Navy Seal and other diver searched frantically, before they were spotted by a British diver.

It would take another eight days before they were all safe, against all odds, in a risky mission.

Waller was visiting his father in Ireland when he saw television news accounts of the drama.

“I thought this would be an amazing story to tell on screen.”

But putting the parts together after their dramatic rescue proved to be a challenge. Thailand’s government, led by the military NCPO, became very protective of the story, barring unauthorised access to the Mu Pa team or their parents. Waller often feared his production might be shut down.

His good fortune was that the events at the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai province had multiple angles and interesting characters. Especially compelling were the stories of the rescuers, particularly the expert divers who rallied from around the world. He decided to make a film “about the volunteer spirit of the rescue.”

Other people proposed telling the story from the point of view of the boys, and Netflix nailed down those rights in a deal brokered by the Thai government.

“I took the view that this was going to be a story about the people we didn’t know about, about the cave divers who came all the way from across the planet. They literally dropped everything to go and help, and I just felt that that was more of an exciting story to tell, to find out how these boys were brought out and what they did to get them out.”

Waller even had more than a dozen key rescue personnel play themselves.

Waller said they were natural actors, blending in almost seamlessly with the professionals around them, and helped by the accuracy of the settings and the production’s close attention to detail.

“What you are really doing is asking them to remember what they did and to show us what they were doing and what they were feeling like at the time. That was really very emotional for some of them because it was absolutely real.”

Waller says his film is likely to have a visceral effect on some viewers, evoking a measure of claustrophobia.

“It’s a sort of immersive experience with the sound of the environment, you know, the fact that is very dark and murky, that the water is not clear.”

“In Hollywood films, when they do underwater scenes, everything is crystal clear. But in this film it’s murky and I think that’s the big difference. This film lends itself to being more of a realistic portrayal of what happened.”

Some scenes were filmed on location at the entrance to the actual Tham Luang cave, but most of the action was shot elsewhere.

“We filmed in real water caves that were flooded, all year-round. It is very authentic in terms of real caves, real flooded tunnels, real divers and real creepy-crawlies in there. So it was no mean feat trying to get a crew to go and film in these caves.”

The Cave goes on general release in Thailand on November 28.

ORIGINAL ARTICE: Associated Press | Time.com

Journey back to Tham Luang in 'The Cave' - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Tom Waller – Associated Press/Sakchai Lalit

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