Warhammer 40K Inquisitor Martyr Season Guide

Note: Updated for Season 5 (July 2022)

Warhammer 40K Inquisitor Martyr is a great action role-playing game (aRPG). You as an inquisitor may find yourself constantly shuttling across the planets dealing with ongoing conflicts and heresies against the Emporer. This game offers many game modes and features. One of the more holistic and rewarding features is the season journey. This guide aims to help the new players in completing the season. If I can do it, so can you!

This is a text-based guide. I also have a video guide for you on YouTube. Should you wish to play together, my Cabal is 2038RedRidingHood.

An upcoming new DLC called Sisters of Battle. I just can’t wait!

Expectation on Season Journey

I am a big fan of aRPG genre, and I am a big fan of season gameplay. Like Diablo 3 and Path of Exile, this game introduces new season mechanics for each season. The season journey provides an excellent tutorial on the various aspects of the game that you may otherwise miss out on. There are also cosmetic rewards that can be earned. To summarize what to expect on Warhammer 40K Inquisitor Martyr season journey:

  • Solo vs Group Play: The entire season journey can be done solo. You do not need a group at all to complete it.
  • Duration: The journey can be longer than other games such as Diablo 3. Around 100 hours.
  • Difficulty: This journey has more depth than say Diablo 3. The difficulty level is reasonable and is perhaps easier than say Path of Exile.
  • Reward: Minor cosmetic rewards for ship decoration. Portrait frames like Diablo 3. Loot boxes and in-game buffs. In-game currency Favour is awarded for more cosmetic item redemption at the vendor (such as footprints, more ship decoration, avatar frame, etc.)
  • Leaderboard: Unlike Diablo 3 that mainly tracks greater rift clear time by class and set, this game tracks “glory” weekly – an in-game currency that is rewarded when completing missions.

Notes on Difficulty Level by Objective

Some objectives below are marked as trivial because you may complete them without even knowing that they exist. Harder objective doesn’t necessarily mean that they are difficult to complete. The game mechanic may not be obvious or intuitive and may require a bit of Internet research to understand how to complete the objective. Or it could take time, especially when you are not aware of the requirements upfront. Last but not the least, difficulty level is relative to the tiers the objectives belong.

Tier I Agent Guide

#ObjectiveDescriptionsDifficultyTips
1Sacred Duty IReach Level 20TrivialPlay story mode.
2Article of SanctityEquipe a Relic ItemTrivialRelic items are brown.
3Laudable CommitmentComplete a Random or DLC Assignment at the AstropathMediumAstropath is actually a person next to the Starmap. You may request a random assignment from him. You must complete the entire chain of missions.
4Empyrean DiscernmentFind Uther’s Tarot & Complete 5 Tarot MissionsHardUther’s Tarot Card is a random world drop that is likely to be found in chests and from commanders/ villains/ elites. Using a Venom Tarot card in a mission may also increase the drop rate. You can convert Uther’s Tarot Card into any unlocked Tarot Card via the Inventory tab (with the gem sign).

To complete a Tarot Mission, equip at least one card through random missions or void crusade (not story).
5Homage to OmnissiahLearn Your First BlueprintEasyBlueprints are world drop. Right-click on your inventory to learn them.

The Store also may sell but it costs Flavour, which you may need to unlock DLC.
6Tribute to OmnissiahCraft an Add-on from any BlueprintMediumVisit Omicron at your ship (unlocked through story). Under the Crafting tab, use the filter “Add-on”. Craft any item.
7Faith in OmnissiahEnhance an ItemEasyVisit Omicron at your ship. Under Modify tab, place an item, go to the 3rd tab and add 5 crafting capacity.
8Studies in AdaptationUse the “Reroll All Enhancements” crafting function on an itemEasyVisit Omicron at your ship. Under the Tech Tree tab, unlock Optimisation. Under Modify tab, place an item and reroll all enhancements.
9Informal AffiliationVisit the Keeper of the Forge (Custodian Rebus)HardCustodian Rebus is a vendor that visits during weekends. The easiest way to find him is through the game interface at your ship. Click through the tabs on the right and if he is there, there is a message and within the message, a link to click onto him.
10Ambitious ProsecutionComplete an Intel MissionEasyIntel is a random world drop. Right-click on your inventory to start an intel mission.
11Full GearEquipe Artificer or better quality items in all Your equipment Slots (Set I & Set II too)TrivialArtificer is a purple item. Do it for both sets.
12Curio CollectorCollect 100 Cortex FragmentsTrivialWorld drop mainly through chests and elites.
13(Season 5) Tireless Judge IMark 1000 Enemies with the Emperor’s JudgementTrivialAuto-triggered as you play the game.
14(Season 5) Relentless Jury IKill 1000 Enemies with Judgement SpellsTrivialKeep killing.
15(Season 5) Halo of Grace IGather 1500 Shards of GraceTrivialKeep killing fast.
16(Season 5) Blessed MandateSpawn a Seasonal MissionTrivialAuto-triggered upon collected enough shards.
17(Season 5) Battle PrayerActivate a Seasonal ShrineTrivialYou just can’t miss it.
18Augmented MeansUse a Consumable Buff itemTrivialRandom world drop to buff XP or DPS. Alternatively, you can buy a Mind Reset from the Store to reset the passive skill tree.
19Benediction of ReprocessingSalvage 100 itemsTrivialIn general, salvage all the relics (brown) and above at Omicron. (And sell the lower tiers at the Store).

But for this objective, you may wish to salvage all.
20Display of AuthorityModify your Inquisitor’s AppearanceEasyAt Omicron, under the Appearance tab, have fun with the feature!
21Formula of DedicationModify your Inquisitor’s InoculatorEasyVisit Matrodora at your ship (unlocked via story). Modify your equipped Inoculator.

Tier II Interrogator Guide

#ObjectiveDescriptionsDifficultyTips
1Sacred Duty IIReach level 40TrivialPlay story mode.
2Asset ReclamationHunt down a Wandering Servoskull in any Void CrusadeEasyServoskull spawns randomly in one of the Void Crusade missions. You can see a special additional icon at the Void Crusade Map. You must destroy it within 30 seconds. Pay attention to a special icon on the mini-map as you encounter Wandering Servoskull. There is an audio cue too.
3Crusade MinorisComplete a Void CrusadeMediumAt level 50, you have access to the Void Crusade (the game will prompt you). You may take the shortest route to one of the Supreme Missions (golden icon) to complete this objective.
4Shaper of FateCollect 500 FateTrivialKeep playing, don’t lose momentum!
5Small FavoursCollect & Exchange 200 Cortex Fragments for Favours with Custodian RebusEasyVisit Custodian Rebus to exchange 200 Cortex Fragment for 2 Favours.
6Confiscation ProtocolsDiscover, Protect & Open Up 5 “Spoils of War” ChestsEasyThese chests do not appear on the mini-map. Follow any Void Crusade guide in Steam (that has the maps) that reveals the treasure location. There are plenty of “Spoils of War” chests. Just stand next to it and kill the Daemon within 30 seconds.
7Venerate the OmnissahLearn 10 BlueprintsTrivialOnce you start playing Void Crusade, you will have plenty of Blueprints.
8Aegis of the OmnissahCraft a Relic item from a BlueprintTrivialVisit Omicron in your ship and craft a Relic item (brown).
9Studies in FabricationUnlock the Rerolling Feature and Reroll an EnhancementEasyVisit Omicron in your ship, unlock the appropriate Tech Tree and reroll an item affix to a different one.
10(Season 5) Tireless Judge IIMark 2000 Enemies with the Emperor’s JudgementTrivialKeep playing, don’t lose momentum!
11(Season 5) Relentless Jury IIKill 2000 Enemies with Judgement SpellsVillian / Elite)Trivial Keep playing, don’t lose momentum!
12(Season 5) Halo of Grace IIGather 3000 Shards of GraceTrivial Keep killing fast.
13(Season 5) Sacred MandateUpgrade a Seasonal MissionTrivialDon’t complete a seasonal mission when it spawns. Let it get upgraded. Better still, let it get upgraded to seasonal boss mission.
14Extended DutyComplete 20 Random MissionsMediumJust take time. Suggest completing this objective alongside other objectives in this tier or next. Suggest looking for maps with Influence less than 800 (above 800 there are no more rewards as it is considered as “max”).
15Study in AugmentationReroll a Base Attribute on an itemTrivialVisit Omicron in your ship, unlock the appropriate Tech Tree, and reroll a Base Attribute.
16Tactical AlertnessDefuse 10 Skull Traps (by destroying them before they activate)HardYou know you have triggered a Skull Trap when all of a sudden, you see a red line and then some bad things happen (such as turrets or mobs are spawned to attack you). See screenshot here.

To spot these traps – two tiny skulls hiding in a map – requires a high level of alertness (hence the objective title). It is especially hard if you are a melee character speed farming mission. These traps are common in ship-type of maps. Use a ranged weapon to take down both skulls before triggering them. You could also let it naturally be completed (e.g. barrel explosions etc. do destroy them before you know it).

If you are desperate, do missions that are inside a ship. Or once you have accidentally triggered one in a story or void crusade, press Alt-F4 to kill the game and restart again (which is too extreme for me, but is an option).
17Empyrean JourneyComplete 15 Tarot MissionsEasyApply at least 1 Tarot Card for any Random Mission, Intel, or Void Crusade. Try to apply all 3 if you can (pick the least harmless ones if you have a problem with the debuffs) so that you can complete another objective down the line.
18Refined CompetenceHave 3 Active PerksTrivialYou gain perk slots as you level. Just pick an active perk once you have it unlocked.

Tier III Master Guide

#ObjectiveDescriptionsDifficultyTips
1Binharic ScriptureApply a Psalm-Code DoctrineHardThis mechanic is not at all obvious. Basically, when slotting a predefined combination of Psalm-Code into your gear (which share the same slot as Shards), you get a specific buff on that gear. That buff appears ont your gear as additional text.

Refer to official compendium and pick Psalm-Code Doctrines that work for your build. You may need to farm for a particular Psalm-Code (use Tarot Card to help). You any also craft a higher tier one using the lower tier ones through Omicron.
2Archeotech CompositionCombine one type of Archeotech Shards to reach Level 3EasyMove all the Shards from your stash into your inventory. Visit Omicron, forging, shard crafting tab.
3Radiant GloryCollect 10 Spark of GloryTrivialWorld drop. Or salvage Archeotech Relic (red) / Ancient Relic items.
4Archeotech BulwarkWear an Archeotech Relic ArmorTrivialRed item.
5Archeotech ArmamentEquip an Archeotech Relic Weapon TrivialRed item.
6Machine EnlightenmentMax Out the Tech TreeEasyCollect credits (play missions, sell purple and below at Store) and collect Fate (play missions). Unlock at Omicron.
7(Season 5) Tireless Judge IIIMark 5000 Enemies with the Emperor’s JudgementTrivialAuto-triggered as you play missions.
8(Season 5) Relentless Jury IIIKill 6000 Enemies with Judgement SpellsTrivialKeep killing, don’t lose momentum!
9(Season 5)
Halo of Grace III
Gather 8000 Shards of GraceTrivialKeep killing fast.
10(Season 5) Righteous SentenceDefeat a Seasonal BossEasyStart the seasonal boss at UI. Don’t let the level escalate too high or else, would need to abandon and gather shards again.
11(Season 5) Relic SeekerAcquire a Holy RelicEasyA “lore” dropped from a seasonal boss.
12Expropriated RepositoryOpen Up 20 Void ChestsMediumKeep playing Void Crusade, don’t lose momentum!
13Archeo-EnhancementSocket a Shard into Your GearEasyVisit Omicron, forging tab.
14Thorough CrusadeComplete a Void Crusade wtih all Info-fragments within 75 minutes (On-mission Timer)HardYou need to have a reasonably good build (and gear) during leveling. I have a speed run guide. I would recommend Viridian Void Crusade. You may need to skip treasures in order to save time. Be very careful not to miss Info-fragment. You can’t go back once a mission is completed.
15Prognosticated OffensiveComplete 10 Intel Missions Combined with at least One Tarot CardMediumIntel missions are harder than random ones during leveling. Use a minor Tarot Card if you are not ready to deal with challenging content.
16Comprehensive ProficiencyMax Out 3 Passive Skill TreesEasyYour build may not need to max out any given Passive Skill Tree. Having said that, if you must for this objective, you can easily reset the Passive Skill Tree using Mind Reset consumable. You can buy that from the Store for 14k credit each.
17Accouterment of AuthorityUse a Unique Avatar Frame (of any color)EasyVisit the machine behind Void Crusade in your ship. Cosmetic tab, Avatar Frames tab. Pick the one you earned from the last tier.
18Righteous StruggleComplete 3 ChallengesMediumChallenges are shown on the UI. It has a certain set of conditions in order to complete and usually requires you to take on missions higher level than you. You may reroll it once a day.

Tier IV Grandmaster Guide

#ObjectiveDescriptionsDifficultyTips
1Sacred Duty IIIReach Level 70MediumBy the time you finish the story, you should be around level 70. If not, keep playing Void Crusade, don’t lose momentum!
2High-risk OffensiveComplete a Void Crusade in “Hardcore Mode” (One Life Only)MediumThis could be easy or hard depending on your build and gear. In general, invest passive points onto Health and Defensive. Invest in defensive attributes. Build up resistance. If you are not confident, pick the shortest route to Supreme Mission. If you must, ALT-F4 when get defeated by mistake before clicking “Quit”.

Suggest to “master” one instead (all keys, all info-fragments) if you have a strong character and hence complete the next tier’s “Legendary Crusade” at the same time
3Archeotech MasterpieceCombine one type of Archeotech Shards to reach Level 5EasyVisit Omicron, forging, shard crafting.
4Impeccable CrusadeMaster a Void Crusade (complete all missions plus one Supreme Mission) with all Keys and Info-fragmentHardAgain, this could be easy or hard depending on your build and gear.

Pick an easier Void Crusade such as Ebony, Viridian, or Amber. Avoid Azure (end boss has tons of armor) or Zircon (higher level maps towards the end). Read up on how Void Crusade’s difficulty works. Follow guides on Steam.

Suggest to go “hardcore” if you have a strong character and hence complete the next tier’s “Legendary Crusade” at the same time
5Ambitious RequisitionPick up 1,000,000 CreditsTrivialSell all items up to purple at the Store. Keep playing, don’t lose momentum!
6(Season 5) Tireless Judge IVMark 10000 Enemies with the Emperor’s JudgementTrivialYou’d get there before knowing it.
7(Season 5) Relentless Jury IVKill 15000 Enemies with Judgement Spells EasyTakes a bit of time. No extra effort is required. Just keep playing.
8(Season 5) Halo of Grace IVGather 20000 Shards of GraceTrivialKeep playing, don’t lose momentum!
9(Season 5) Virtuous VengeanceDefeat all Seasonal BossesEasyKeep playing seasonal boss missions and you will get there in no time!
10(Season 5) Relic HunterAcquire 3 Holy Relics from BossesEasy“Lore” items dropped by seasonal bosses. Keep playing seasonal boss missions.
11Binharic BinaryCollect at least one of Each Type of Psalm-CodesMediumIt does take some time to collect all. You could accelerate by crafting the higher tier ones through Omicron, forging, code crafting.
12Venerable AegisFully unlock an Ancient Relic ArmourMediumFirst, you need to collect an Ancient Relic preferably from Void Crusade. Second, you need to complete the mini-missions as per the item to unlock the affixes.
13Venerable ArmamentFully unlock an Ancient Relic WeaponMediumAs above.
14Inquisitorial AuxiliaryBuy a Summon from Custodian RebusEasyYou can spend Favour at the vendor to buy a Summon to help you for 5 missions. Don’t think too hard on which of the 3 to get. They die fast.
15Exalted EquipmentGear up with “Archeotech Relic” Items of any Level (Minimum “5” pieces)EasyEquip 5 red items.
16Brink of PerfectionMax Out an Attribute Bar (Tier V)EasyBy now you should have enough points to max out one attribute. There is no cost to adjust between the attributes.
17Interpreter of FateCollect 2000 FateTrivialKeep playing missions, don’t lose momentum!
18Adept AuguryLevel up a Tarot Card to Level 3Very HardHow hard this is, depends on how soon you realize that you should not level up more than 1 Tarot Card at a time for this objective and the next tier’s one (level 5). The cost of leveling a Tarot Card escalates. You may realize that you need to keep grinding Void Crusades just to farm Uther’s Tarot Card.

Level up Venom Tarot Card, which gets you more Uther’s Tarot Card as you play missions. Always use Venom Tarot Card when you can. Convert Uther’s Tarot Card into any unlocked Tarot Card that is not at the max level through the Inventory tab (with the gem sign). You can level up a Tarot Card once it is at max progress using Credits. You can only do so through the Mission game interface.

Tier V Heroic Guide

#ObjectiveDescriptionsDifficultyTips
1Duty EternalReach Level 100Very HardAfter level 70, it is harder and harder to gain XP. Do lots of Void Crusade. Use Murder Tarot Card. Use Meme Virus consumable (through Void Crusade chest).

Keep on playing, don’t lose momentum!
2Sweeping CrusadeComplete all 9 Void CrusadesEasyKeep playing Void Crusades. You don’t have to master all.
3Legendary CrusadeMaster a Void Crusade in “Hardcore Mode” (One Life Only)HardEasy or hard depends on your build and gear. Suggest completing this one and the previous tier’s ones (“Impeccable Crusade” and “High-risk Offensive”) at the same time.

As mentioned, Ebony, Viridian, and Amber should be the easier ones to master.
4Expert AuguryLevel a Tarot Card to the Max (Level 5)HardA common mistake is that people may level one too many Tarot Cards at the same time. If so, this may take a very long time. Stop leveling more than one Tarot Card as soon as you know of this objective.
5Transcendent ArmamentGear with Fully Unlocked “Ancient Relic” Level 90 Items (Minimum “5” Pieces)MediumStart collecting Ancient Relic items as you complete Void Crusade. Ideally should unlock those that you may need (as it takes effort to fully unlock one). You just need 5 items to complete this objective. You don’t need to go on any mission with all these 5 that may or may not be useful to you.
6Protector MagnaReach maximum influence in a whole Subsector (All solar systems within the subsector)Hard (and Very Hard for Tech-Priest)Ideally, you should use pen-and-paper to keep track of your Influence progress for each of the solar systems against the four subsectors (via Starmap).

As you level to 100, try to avoid doing random missions for solar systems that have already exceeded 800 points (that’s the “max”).

If you are too lazy to track progress manually, keep doing random assignments on solar systems with less than 800 Influence points (last column).

If you track your progress manually, suggesting to target 2 to 3 subsectors. Abandon unwanted random missions if need to. Eventually, the ones you want will be spawned.
7(Season 5) Tireless Judge VMark 20000 Enemies with the Emperor’s JudgementTrivialKeep playing and you will complete this without tracking, don’t lose momentum!
8(Season 5) Relentless Jury VKill 30000  Enemies with Judgement SpellsTrivialThis takes time. But no extra effort is required.
9(Season 5) Halo of Grace VGather 40000 Shards of GraceTrivialKeep playing. You know the drill.
10(Season 5) Ultimate JusticeDefeat all Seasonal Bosses on all Missions (4)TrivialKeep playing seasonal boss missions!
11(Season 5) Relic WardenAcquire all 6 Holy RelicsTrivialKeep playing seasonal boss missions and collect the “lore” items!
12Ultimate PenanceComplete a level 100 (or higher) Intel mission while only wearing Mastercrafted items (Set I & II too)Very Hard (but Fun)Mastercrafted Items are the blue ones. It only comes with 2 to 3 affixes without the special ones.

Start collecting decent blue items that are relevant to your build as you play high-level missions. Use all the crafting experience you have to make a set of the best Mastercrafted item you can have, complete with the same set of Psalm-Codes / Doctrines / Shards. Reroll to the desired enchants and reroll the numbers to near max. Avoid Rescue or VIP missions as the NPC’s may perish before mission completion.

Take Destruction Amplification consumable.
13Binharic ChoirWear 3 Different Psalm-Code Doctrines at the same timeEasyAdd sockets to the max for those items that you can. Apply three different Doctrines as per the official compendium.
14Empyrean OdysseyComplete 20 Full Deck Tarot Missions at level 85 or aboveEasyIf you are serious to get to level 100, you should by now apply a full deck to most of your missions (1 major and 2 minors).
15Contempt for PerilComplete 5 Missions on Difficulty Level 110 without DeathHardYou could try to gear up for it. The reality is that once you have decided on a build that can take you to level 100, getting an upgrade could be harder and harder.

Ranged build is perhaps easier than melee at 110. It just takes time.

Purge is perhaps the most doable one among others.

Take Destruction Amplification consumable.

14 Days Full-Time Dog Sitter

Under the same roof, we have Cynthia and me and a dog named Bailey. In Bailey’s eyes, it is without a doubt that I am not the dog owner. So when Cynthia has to return to Indonesia due to a family emergency for 14 days, I knew I was in for an unforgettable adventure.

Chinese New Year and Bailey’s Instagram account managed by Cynthia needed a photo. So I took one on her behalf. Photo taken with Nikon Z6.

Oh My Routines!

Most people whom I talk to would not truly relate to what “dogs need routines” mean. They would go, uh-huh, so what?

Well, dogs need routines. In Bailey’s case, since he doesn’t like to pee or poop at home (and therefore, no way to even train him to do so), he has to take his walk in the morning at 7-ish.

Every day.

Rain or shine.

In sickness (of the owner or the dog-sitter) and in health.

That alone is a pretty big commitment if you chew on it.

To make sure that he has his morning walk without fail, he would bark in the morning as a friendly reminder. I try not to respond to his barking immediately. That would reinforce his behavior thinking that barking equates to a voice-controlled door that opens when he barks.

At times, he would bark before 7 in the morning because he heard other dogs bark on the street (dogs’ roll call, as some may say).

I am not someone who wakes up early in the morning. Having to dog-sit Bailey for 2 weeks temporarily made me one.

Then he needs to be fed at 8 am. A bit of playtime and cuddle moments in between his naps. Between 5 to 6 pm, Bailey would expect his evening walk. At times I walked him in the neighborhood. If there isn’t much rain, I would take him to a dog run nearby so that he can run freely, without a leash. If I have the time and energy, I would take him out somewhere further with a car. Before midnight, he would need another short walk to, again, pee and poop.

3 walks. 3 pee and poop sessions. From 7 am to midnight.

That Walking Feeling Is, I Believe, Mutual

It is obvious that Bailey doesn’t enjoy walking with me and the feeling is mutual. The constant pulling. The ongoing picking up of rubbish to swallow and the refusal to obey my “leave it” command. Zero to little engagement even as I bring along treats. Sudden jump onto random pedestrians (one morning I had to apologize to what seemed like ten people of which, one jogger nearly fell onto the ground as Bailey made an attempt to jump onto her). Towards the end of the walk, Bailey would refuse to budge. He wanted more walking and more socialization with other dogs. To me, once I have collected his poop, the walk was done. Obviously, we were in constant disagreement.

According to Cynthia though, Bailey doesn’t behave like that. Hence, it must be just me and him. The feeling is mutual.

What Recall?

This is partially my fault. It was the Chinese New Year holiday period. My condo was quiet in the early evening. I have decided to walk Bailey up the stairs. Since he was so much faster than me, I took off the leash and let him run ahead. At the top of the stairs is a link bridge. From a distance, I saw a small dog with its owner.

Uh-oh.

I quickly ran to Bailey trying to catch him. He also saw the dog and he quickly ran to the dog with overwhelming enthusiasm (which, unfortunately, the dog owner with colored hair saw as aggression). Bailey outran me, of course. I tried calling him back. But my recall failed.

Looking back, I am still unsure if that dog owner was traumatized by a charging dog from behind or I, the dog-sitter was traumatized by Bailey’s behavior. I apologized, in a weaker voice than usual, and quickly removed Bailey from the crime scene.

To have a reliable recall, there must be a higher value than what distracted the dog in the first place. Unfortunately, neither my praises nor my treats work.

Prey Drive Not The Same As Aggression

Unless you have a dog that has a certain degree of prey drive (and hence read more into it), most people would think a dog is aggressive when they go after other dogs – especially smaller ones – or small animals with such vigor.

In short, prey drive is an instinctive behavior. Aggression is associated with emotions such as fear. They are different. It is easier to correct or subdue prey drive than aggression. Because in the latter case, you would need to resolve the emotional issue first.

Bailey has a medium prey drive. He likes stalking smaller animals and he likes to chase after them. He doesn’t hurt and he doesn’t kill.

I thought it was a good idea to bring him to Botanic Garden. Poor Bailey saw all the chickens roaming freely in the garden but could not give a good chase. He must have been feeling frustrated. Poor me with my arm ached from all the pulling. No, it wasn’t a good idea.

A tired dog is a happy dog. Bailey loves excursions. A successful one is the one that Bailey would sleep in the car. Photo taken with a phone.

Big Brother Role

My friend SF brought home a 5-month old Golden Retriever named Axel a couple of weeks ago. I was with my friend the day she brought him home (she lives alone and needed help). Axel is different from Bailey. He is shyer and he needs a lot of encouragement to even step out of the house. And when he does, he prefers to stick to the green field right next to the apartment not wanting to go further. So we thought, why not bring Bailey and see if he can ‘pack-lead’ Axel?

Bailey and I arrived early and we were playing at the green field next to my friend’s apartment. Shortly, Axel and SF joined us. I did my best to tone down Bailey’s enthusiasm. And it worked. I am pleased.

Bailey and Axel play well with each other. Photo taken with a phone.

As we led our dogs out of the green field, I noticed that Axel refused to move. In fact, he seemed disturbed by loud noises such as cars and motorcycles. He looked frightened.

SF tried to use kibbles as an incentive to get Axel to move one meter by one meter. Unfortunately, that also attracted a lot of Bailey’s attention as Bailey is highly food motivated.

That didn’t work. After barely moving for 20 meters, I suggested to SF not to use kibbles. Just let Bailey does his job.

True enough, Bailey walked in front – like he always does when walking with me unless he is really tired – Axel followed. What a beautiful sight to behold! Once Bailey realized that we were in a pack, he constantly checked back at us. I thought that was pretty cool.

Good job, Bailey!

Bailey Met His Nemesis

Only when you are a dog would you understand the draw of a dog run or a dog park.

I like bringing Bailey to a dog run. He can go unleashed. I don’t have to deal with the pulling. It is a good way to burn down his energy. He loves it. I love it. It is a win-win.

Walking to the dog run is often a challenge for me. He is constantly distracted by other dogs on the street, constantly distracted by the rubbish on the ground (even kibbles for cats). But as we approach the dog run, the scent of other dogs – whether present or not (as dogs leave marks or pee mails) – grows. Bailey would pull stronger and stronger until he totally forgot about me.

One day, like any other day, I would command Bailey to sit between the double gates, calm himself down, before letting him into the dog run. On this particular day though, even as I opened the inner gate, Bailey ran back to the outer gate instead, not wanting to enter.

I was puzzled. As it turned out, he was not pleased with two of the dogs inside. One of them had injured him in the past. Bailey would stand near the gate not wanting to play with his other friends. Although to him – and I know – I am merely a vending machine for food and drink, my pawrent instinct kicked in. I took Bailey to a far corner and played fetch with him, keeping an eye on the whereabouts of the two dogs. I just don’t like how they play with Bailey. No means no.

I rarely see Bailey burying his face into the curtain. Kind of cute I must say. Photo taken with a phone.

Jogging & Bailey Took the Blame

Bailey and I played fetch when we were inside a dog run. That is one good way to burn down his energy. Outside the dog run though, he needs to be on a leash. To achieve a similar outcome, I would prefer jogging.

It is rather fun jogging with Bailey. It is a mix of a slow jog, sprint, and sudden stop.

I enjoy walking Bailey on a rainy day. Because most dog owners would not prefer to walk their dogs in light rain or on wet ground. I like it because lesser distraction means lesser pulling.

Anyhow, one morning, I was jogging with Bailey in a park. As I turned into the park, I stepped onto a wet metal grid on the ground. It was slippery and I fell on my butt. My right forearm was scratched. My palms were bruised. I had minor bleeding here and there. One stranger asked if I was okay. She thought I fell because Bailey was pulling.

While yes, Bailey was ahead of me, it was totally my fault.

A Park Full Of People Thought I Did The Unthinkable!

Here in Singapore, we are not allowed to unleash our dogs in public, except dog runs or dog parks. It was in the early morning. The weather was lovely. One-third of the park was occupied by elderly dressed in uniform standing one meter apart exercising with music played in the background. Some rested by the benches. Others took a stroll on the pavement. In the middle of the park, there was a large patch of green grass. Ginger, the Singapore Special (an actual local breed name) was with her owner’s helper.

Ginger is a rather unique dog. Inside a dog run, she would observe other dogs and play with a selected few. Bailey is among the ones she called friends.

With a leash though, Ginger behaves rather differently. She would still play but when she becomes frustrated (I would presume with the leash), she would bite her own tail.

Back to that one fateful morning, Bailey was playing with Ginger. It went well until he pulled too hard. The leash broke!

All hell broke loose.

Imagine a fast-running dog, unleashed, dashing across the park. Everyone was looking at me running like a mad man trying to catch Bailey. They probably thought that I was the one who unleash the dog in public, the irresponsible one who jeopardize everyone in the park.

Bailey, predictably so, ran back to Ginger. I tried to catch him but I failed. He ran away.

In his second rendezvous, I made a mental commitment. I had to catch Bailey. I threw my body onto him, grabbed him with a good and firm hug, rolled onto the wet grass that I know, and everyone knows, is soaked with dog pee. The helper asked if I needed to borrow her spare leash. I politely declined, tied the broken leash onto his harness, took him home and have the leash replaced, and brought him down in time for the “school bus” that transported him to the dog school.

Till today, I am still keeping the broken leash just in case someone that day took a video and sent it to the police. I swear. I am innocent.

What Else?

One fine day, Bailey has destroyed or shredded my T-shirt in the morning and the floor mat at night. On the other day, he has destroyed his bed made of canvas, shredded a hole in the middle. I tried to brush his teeth every night. It was an interesting experience having my fingers right inside his jaws. I have risked losing my fingers trying to stop him from eating a discarded chicken drumstick in bone (and I succeeded). While some dog owners may frown upon him thinking that Bailey is too aggressive, it was heartwarming to see Bailey playing well with dogs with the same energy level (Luna, Whisper, Ole, and Bella). I tried cleaning his ears once and got my face and body covered with the fluid he shook off. I bathed him every week. I bought a trimmer online and shaved his fur around his paws (not good for his hips in the long run). I don’t necessarily enjoy the process of being a dog-sitter. But I must admit, there were moments I enjoyed.

I Think I Got It Why Bailey Wants To Wake Up So Early Every Morning

I must confess that I don’t get Bailey all the time. Like why he puts his paws onto mine when I cuddle him. He seems to really enjoy it when I rub his chest and the back of his ears. He would freeze and put his paws onto me.

Bailey really enjoys a good cuddle.

Bailey wakes up really early. If it was up to him, he would want everyone in the household to wake up at 5 am every morning together with him. Do things together.

I often wonder why. Today I have an epiphany. And that kind of makes me feel sad.

The average lifespan of a dog is perhaps 12 years. That is not really a long time on Earth. If I were to live only 12 years, I would have made every day counts. Like waking up early every day and making the best out of every single day.

In that way, I kind of got it why Bailey wants to wake up so early every morning.

Because to him, every day counts.

Common Grill by Collin’s – That Weird Moment When Staff And I Locked Eyes

I have lived in Hong Kong for 17 years, Singapore for 26 years. I can tell you with certainty that Singapore cares less about customer experience. In Hong Kong, I feel that customers are kings and queens. Here in Singapore, I feel that those who are taking my money are doing me a favor. I have to bow and beg as I am spending my hard-earned money, for food and what not.

Seriously.

It sucks.

Picture this.

Tonight I craved for steak. But I didn’t feel like spending a fortune for one. Just a good-enough steak. So I headed to Common Grill® by COLLIN’S® @ 26 Jalan Membina. 8 minutes walk from my home. S$20 for a ribeye steak at a hawker center. Outdoor, literally just next to a drain, with old men drinking beer playing loud Chinese music. The ambiance is – for lack of a better word – shit. Yet I endured. Collin’s is a decent brand here in Singapore with outlets dotted throughout the island. Personally, I feel that they charge way too much at such an ambiance.

Whatever.

I was alone. After placing my order, I bought a bottle of beer. Seated right next to Common Grill® by COLLIN’S®. I have got a digital device upon placing my order. One that would ring when my food is ready for collection. I was literally just 2 steps away from the stall. As seen in the photo below.

Err … not ever I wanna revisit.

Super long queue, so I waited patiently. Halfway through my beer, the digital device rang. To be honest, I was so tired of waiting whereby I didn’t even notice the device was ringing. Next table, one old Chinese man was playing some really loud Chinese music through his phone. I waited so long till I was near death from my hunger, mummified.

Such a strange moment. My food was ready at the counter. The two staff were just looking at me, and the digital device that rang. We starred at each other. They knew that it was my order but did nothing. If I were one of them, I would have served the food – despite the fact that I was supposed to collect my food at the counter – to score some positive client experience, in the hope that the same customer may visit again soon.

I mean, I was just a stone’s throw away.

Even shorter than that.

But alas. Here in Singapore whereby positive customer experience is at the bottom of the list. Really. Think about it. It is us to be blamed.

Because?

Because we Singaporean and residences accept this sort of lousy customer experience and yet, throw money at them.

Well, Collin’s. Let me tell you this. Your steak sucks. It is dry. Thin. Chewy. Not medium-rare as I have ordered. Cost way too much when I have to eat right next to a drain.

And ya, your service is terrible too.

Karma, If Only

I wish karma exists, if only. Or perhaps, it does.

I have recently learned that my mother-in-law in Indonesia has developed some sort of breathing problem. Upon diagnosis, it has been concluded that it was due to her being a passive smoker in the office when back then, people were allowed to smoke in the office.

That got me thinking. If those smokers back then were to be aware that their action has a consequence to others in the future, would they still want the do the same thing?

I would never know. Because I still believe that human beings are self-centered. We create problems and expect the future generation to solve them.

Like plastic usage. Fossil fuel. Space junks.

And yes, noise pollution adds stress to people. I used to have neighbors who were inconsiderate, disturbing my sleep so much so that I was sleep deprived for a prolonged period of time.

Does karma exist?

I wish.

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