BLAZING THE TRAIL WITH PAW PRINTS
Meet Flapper Choo, the local trail-blazing pet on television and the big screen
By: Charlotte Ng
If you have watched Sudden, a Mediacorp Channel 8 law drama series featuring Romeo Tan, you could not have missed his character’s blonde, shaggy-haired, lanky and handsome companion, Flapper. No, Flapper Choo is not a Caucasian superstar but an eight-year old golden retriever-labrador, who appeared in a myriad roles in local television shows and movies, which still makes him a star nonetheless.
Flapper had the most chemistry with Romeo Tan compared to other actors, having been casted together in a majority of shows/projects that he did. They had also built a strong camaraderie through swimming and playing at the beach together on the first day of shooting for Sudden.
You’ll be surprised to know that the naturally-gifted Flapper became an actor by chance. Flapper’s owner, Miss Choo, who prefers to go by a more affectionate moniker, “Flapper’s mummy,” was friends with a trainer whom had received an offer from a movie production company wanting to recruit a dog for a movie, and got in touch with her. Flapper, who was new and inexperienced to acting and filming, procured his first acting gig after they met up and discussed with the director. “I thought, “Why not? Just for fun.” It is always fun to embark on new adventures and experiences with Flapper,” mused Flapper’s mummy. “He (the director) liked Flapper’s naturally sad eyes,” she recalled.
Flapper, who seemed like a well-behaved and precocious canine, was not always this way. Adopted at 8 months, he was very unruly and destructive, and could mess up a room in a matter of minutes. “I spent half of the first year wondering why did I adopt him. He was a handful. He was and still is a sneaky boy so it used to be such that when he went quiet, he was up to his sneaky antics,”remarked Flapper’s mummy. Despite protests, she not give up on him., lest the next owner not know how to handle his hyperactivity and energy. She explains, “The reason why I adopted him was because I knew he was a smart kiddo except he was bored out of his mind, leading to that very destructive behaviour … I knew that if I did not adopt him, he would end up house-hopping if the next owner did not train him or work with him.” Thus, she decided to train him. She taught Flapper little tricks and harnessed his natural ability to pick things up and fetch them rather than to destroy them. “ Then, as I started training him silly tricks, I realized how quickly he learns so that motivated me to constantly think of new things to play/train him.” said Flapper’s mummy. This compelled her to ponder over the range of activities dogs could do to assist the community, eventually enrolling Flapper as a Therapy Dog when he was about two-years old, and later on, a Search and Rescue Dog.
When asked if Flapper had taught anything to his mummy back in return, it is definitely patience. Flapper inspired her to have a steep interest in understanding dog behaviours and training. “He also taught me to always think one step ahead if not he will attempt to outsmart me with his sneaky antics,” she recounted. He has taught her a few life lessons and still continues to learn from him till today.
However, Flapper’s mummy empathically states that Flapper is, above all, her pet dog, and will remain that way. They enjoy their daily lives and activities together, and she does not actively seek out industrial projects for Flapper, unless a project comes along the way. She loves to explore and experiment with different things with Flapper, mostly for the fun of it, and admits that “he still surprises her with what he can do, in a good way, versus what she thinks he can do.” Currently, they are enjoying working on the Sony's "Prove Yourself: Take Your Adventures to New Heights" campaign for the Action Cam 4K, where Flapper is filming his own heartland adventures from his perspective which is to run for an estimated period of 3 months.
Trail along with Flapper as he undertakes one adventure after another and other plans on his bucket list, by following him on his Facebook Page, “Flapper Choo,” and his blog, http://www.flapperthedog.com.