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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

A Dog's Life


FADE IN:

EXT. OPEN SPACE, ARTS MUSEUM , MELBOURNE - DAY

PETER sees a big dog being taken good care of.

PETER (V.O.)

A lucky one.

Peter takes a snapshot.

INT. SLEEPING ROOM - DAY

Peter wakes up, looking terrified.

PETER (V.O)

I dreamt that while my pet

jumps through a fire loop,

she was locked in the ring

of fire!

INT. STUDY - DAY

Peter watches the BBC documentary: Moon Landing - 50th Anniversary.

PETER (V.O.)

Laika is the name of the

first space dog. She was

born in 1954 - the same

year when I was born.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

She weighed just 5 kg -

half the weight of my

pet. Her size fitted the

small cabin of Sputnik-2.

She looked quiet and

obedient.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

She was a stray dog from

the streets of Moscow. She

was used to extreme cold

and hunger. And she was

further trained to adapt to

the capsule conditions.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

A night before her one-way

mission to orbit the Earth on

Nov 3, 1957 a scientist took

her home to play with his

children. Laika had too little

time left to live.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Laika was relatively okay

in the first few hours of

orbiting until the capsule's

cooling system broke down.

She died of overheating.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd)

Sputnik-2 and Laika's

remains were burnt up

when they returned to Earth

162 days later.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

I could figure out the stress

and heat that Laika had to

endure in her final moments-

so was the lead scientist

who regretted openly of

animal testing.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd) I am a bit consoled to find

that the scientist fought to

install a cabin window for

Laika. After all, all living

things strive to survive.

We've emotions as well

as conscience.

Peter takes a deep breath.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd) Laika couldn't master her

own fate. Her good quality

made her the first creature

in space and be remembered

in some ways.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

If Laika has a choice, I

believe she'd prefer to

live as an ordinary stray

dogs in Moscow.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Life is primal. Without it,

there's nothing.

Surfing the web, Peter taps a video: My Life As A Dog.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

I should have watched this

film in 1985. The hero

mentions Laika. But I led

a dog's life then - full-time

Assistant Crown Counsel,

part-time CityPolytechnic

Law Lecturer and external

LLM student.

Peter then taps "Play" and we see moving images with Swedish words.

A beat.

End credits rolling.

INT. DINNING ROOM - NIGHT

Having welcomed Peter, KAJI, follows Peter's foot steps.

PETER (V.O.)

You're quiet and obedient.

You don't need to endure

extreme cold and hunger

too.

Peter shares some bread with Kaji.

INT. SLEEPING ROOM - NIGHT

Kaji jumps over onto the bed and licks Peter's lips, nose, and eyelids to her content as Peter massages her.

PETER (V.O.)

You're born at the right time, and your good quality

has put you in the right

place.

A beat. Kaji sleeps between Peter and his WIFE. We can hear indistinct sounds from an air-conditioner. We also see Peter rolling over to Kaji's side petting her fur. He sleeps well.

FADE OUT. The End

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