Happy Dog Day

Lucy Like-a-Charm - Sonorous Repose 2015

Lucy Like-a-Charm – Sonorous Repose 2015 by Dawn-joy Leong

Today is International Dog Day. I celebrate with Lucy our differently embodied existences. Her canine Being is precious to me. Lucy is not “just a dog” – she is a dynamic and sonorous entity to who has not only saved my life on many occasions, but continues to enhance, enrich my realm with pulchritude worth far more than any human is able to provide. Thank you for being a dog, and so much more than my humanity can be. Lucy Like-a-Charm, I love you.




It’s Wednesday. Midweek. Lucy and I hit a few bumps along the road today.

This morning, as if she somehow had an inkling of what lay ahead, Lucy was less happy than usual to get out of bed for her early morning breakfast. During our little walk around the block, she was sniffing around a familiar patch of grass, when she stopped, walked very deliberately to the gate leading to a gallery where I had held my first exhibition, and stood at the gate. She resolutely refused to move from that position, even turning away from her favourite lamb puff treat when I tried to persuade her. “It’s locked, honey, we can’t go in from here.” She usually understands this, and will follow me thereafter, but Lucy stood frozen to the spot, as if in a mini, silent meltdown. Her nose began to drip, another sign of distress. I checked her all over to make sure she hadn’t suffered any injury, or stepped on glass shards etc. All ok. Something must have triggered in her mind. A sensory issue? An olfactory memory? She seemed insistent on going inside via that particular gate. Or perhaps she was just reacting to the big change of being back with me after 2 months at ‘holiday camp’ with my lovely friends Jan and Pete, and their five dogs?  Continue reading


What does it feel like to be in an inclusive as well as embracing milieu? Yesterday, Lucy and I spent six hours in the company of people who demonstrated what open hearts and minds mean. My instinctive reading of the group told me they were a mixed bag of neurotypical and neurodiverse from all walks of life. It was a grueling two day workshop for art educators, but to me, on the very simple basic level, we were just earnest humans sharing experiences and insights, inspiring one another to develop professional and personal skills, strategies and perceptions. Artistic practice is truly a cogent agency for empathic edification. Continue reading


rainy day lunch

rainy day lunch

Grace. That is the word that is resounding inside my brain this morning. It has huge resonance, a deep basso continuo, with a wordless, tuneless contrapuntal soliloquy dancing atop. It is a feeling of lightheartedness, yet intense and profound without semantic description. Grace has no didactic voice. It does not dictate morals or pedagogy of ethics. Grace just is. Continue reading

World Stray Animals Day 2014

Beautiful Panda

Beautiful Panda

So much happening in April. Autism Awareness Month, World Autism Day on 2 April, as well as Adopt a Greyhound Month, to name just a few. Today is World Stray Animals Day. When I first arrived in Sydney, I blogged about this day from the perspective of a ‘human stray’ in search of a ‘home.’ This year, I have learned a very sombre lesson about ‘human strays.’ Continue reading

World Autism Day 2014


April 2nd is World Autism Day. In celebration of this day, I am writing a little retrospective of events that have taken place in my life, since my first celebration of World Autism Day in 2011. Continue reading


“You are innocent when you dream.” That’s a quote from a Tom Waits song.

My baby is always innocent. She is as close to purity and innocence incarnate as any living being can be. I love to just gaze at her when she sleeps. Sometimes, she has dreams that make her whimper ever so forlornly. Other times the whimpers escalate and become tiny sobs and stifled howls. Always gentle. Always soft. Never violent. Even in her dreams. And I wonder, what is it that torments her inside these buried memories? Continue reading


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I need some pick-me-up therapy. What’s your strategy for self-comforting, how do you cheer yourself up after a stress filled, overloaded day? Continue reading


We had a little barbecue today. It is Saturday, our usual bruncheon tete-a-tete session. My friend Rick brought prawns. The barbecue was easy. Rick had  the right equipment – a good pack of starters and charcoal that burned easily. The fire started well enough, requiring only a little restart at the beginning. The smoke was bearable too, it didn’t smell too overpowering at all, which was great for me, because I had been suffering from a severe migraine and sore, swollen throat since morning. (I took two panadol, and Rick’s good company must’ve helped to dispel the bad vibes, because the migraine settled down into an almost imperceptible hum thereafter.) Continue reading

doggy nosh

doggy nosh

doggy nosh

I’ve been so worried and anxious since my baby Lucy developed the ouchies in her front left paw. Yesterday was so bad, she refused to step out of the front porch for her night stroll, which she usually loves. She didn’t have a pee or poo until after breakfast this morning. I was worried sick all night. This morning, Lucy’s Godmama came and took us to the vet, patiently waited for ages until we were done, and then took us home. Continue reading