My Children Have Four Legs

I often get called a bitch. Maybe I was a dog in my past life, and I wouldn’t have mind­ed. I love ani­mals more than I love peo­ple. My house is home to 8 four-legged chil­dren. The vacant lot at the back of our house is sanc­tu­ary to all the dogs in our place. As you can imag­ine, it is con­stant­ly chaot­ic. But I don’t mind, they make me hap­py. I couldn’t imag­ine how it was when they weren’t here.

My Soulmates Leave Pawprints


My dad used to hate dogs. Like me, he was OC with clean­li­ness. Dogs hav­ing a lot fur, it was a night­mare for him, hence the no pets rule. One day in 2000, a pup­py was brought home. She was dumped and some­one took pity on her. My dad didn’t know what to do at first. It was like a baby was sud­den­ly thrust unto him. He ordered our work­ers to clean and feed her. We named her Bebe. And how she con­vert­ed my fur hat­ing father!

Bebe was spoiled. Dad had a dog house made for her. She wasn’t fed dog food or scraps—she ate food from our table. The rare times she was giv­en dog food, it was the pre­mi­um kind, and more expen­sive than our food. We used to com­plain why we are eat­ing fish while she’s hav­ing chick­en.

Bebe wasn’t like any dog. Her eyes were dif­fer­ent. They would bore unto you. She seemed less dog. When my late psy­chic aunt saw her, the first thing she said was “That’s not a dog.” Oth­er sen­si­tive friends had the same reac­tion.  I was chat­ting with a guy from Greece once via yahoo mes­sen­ger (it was the IN thing then). He told me he was good at remote view­ing. This bet­ter be good but all I said was, “Yeah? Tell me some­thing you see.” He said I have a dog, described her appear­ance accu­rate­ly and her age, how she came to us, and that she wasn’t a dog. There was no way he could have known.  I didn’t know any Greeks.

She wasn’t a bark­er. She didn’t chase frogs or birds like what most dogs are wont to do. She would chase us though, when she was in the mood. She would be con­tent­ed to lie in the sofa, the fan point­ed in her direc­tion, with a look that says she can’t be both­ered. She loved car rides, and air con­di­tion­er.

Bebe dur­ing Mom’s birth­day. She loved cake.

Bebe was fierce­ly pro­tec­tive too. She didn’t bark at new faces, but she would observe them. There was one time, when dad and the work­ers were talk­ing inside our com­pound. There was ten­sion. I was stand­ing by the door, with a knife hid­den behind my back (just in case things go south) and she was beside me. One of the work­ers sud­den­ly stood, point­ing and shout­ing at Dad in a threat­en­ing man­ner. Bebe was quick. She went for the jugu­lar. And I meant the lit­er­al jugular—she went for his neck. She didn’t bite him, it was more like an equiv­a­lent of a choke hold. When my baby was born, she felt neglect­ed. She wouldn’t go near the him, and would sulk in a cor­ner instead. We had to cajole her. Yes, she was the dra­ma queen. She even­tu­al­ly relent­ed and start­ed guard­ing the baby. She would sleep under his crib and chase the flies that would go near  them. She would be pan­icky when the baby cries. She went on to have pup­pies, and Dad was a dot­ing grand­fa­ther. Her first lit­ter were Dodie and Bil­ly.

Dad & Bebe, hap­py times

Bebe was heart­bro­ken when Dad died. The day I came home from the hos­pi­tal, she was wait­ing for me, as if ask­ing what hap­pened. She was obvi­ous­ly look­ing for him. Dad’s wake wasn’t in our house. She want­ed to go with us when­ev­er we leave for the funer­al home. Dogs weren’t allowed there but we talked to some peo­ple and they agreed to let her in for a short time. When Bebe saw Dad in the cof­fin, she didn’t howl. She just looked at him for a long time, occa­sion­al­ly paw­ing at the cof­fin glass. Her eyes glis­tened, and I swear I saw tears. She didn’t want to leave, and there was no dry eye when she was forced out of the premis­es. When we got home, she wouldn’t eat and sulked at Dad’s office for 3 days.

The fur­ry fam­i­ly grew, and she out­lived them all. She was nev­er vac­ci­nat­ed but nev­er got sick even once (we were igno­rant about canine vac­ci­na­tions then). When oth­er dogs got sick, she was immune.

It was 2011, and Bebe was get­ting old now. She became a lit­tle unsteady, and her eye­sight declined, but she was still the alpha dog. Even with her weak­ened frame, her chil­dren would cow­er when she growled at them for being annoy­ing. I got home one evening from a night out with friends. It was late. Bebe, in her wob­bly con­di­tion, fol­lowed me up to my room. She just stood there look­ing at me at first. What’s up Bebe? Beer smells bad? She licked my face, and then we cud­dled for a bit in my bed. I fell asleep. In the morn­ing, I looked for her, and I found her under the car. Bebe was gone.

I didn’t want to be close to any dog after she passed. It was like a fam­i­ly mem­ber died. We mourned her. Some peo­ple would think I was crazy for cry­ing over my pet. Pets have a way at tug­ging at heart­strings. They often dri­ve me crazy, but they are the most loy­al and lov­ing. I often get into trou­ble with my neigh­bors because they are dog-hat­ing piece of shits who have no place in this world. Of course, dis­tanc­ing from my babies was short-lived. Bebe’s lin­eage sur­vived until now.

My crazy crew

I’d be wor­ried if my babies don’t trust some­one. I usu­al­ly ask any poten­tial suit­or if they love ani­mals because if they don’t, it’s a deal break­er. When my bf Chris came to vis­it, I watched my dogs’ reac­tions. They didn’t hate him, so I stayed with him (LOL!).


Rescued Is My Favorite Breed

Some of the most awe­some peo­ple I know! Clock­wise from top left — Gre­tel, Imanuel, Lhen­ny, Sandy, Ron­nie, Sve­ta, Mishel, Karen & Mye. I asked per­mis­sion from the own­ers of these pic­tures.

I vol­un­teer for a local ani­mal group called Sav­ing Strays Cebu.  Most peo­ple often give up on strays, even the gov­ern­ment. Some pet own­ers are irre­spon­si­ble. I read so many sto­ries of ani­mals being dumped because they are sick, or the own­ers have to leave. I wish we could spay or neuter these people—they shouldn’t be allowed to breed. It breaks my heart when­ev­er I see posts of ani­mals being abused, killed or neglect­ed. It is frus­trat­ing when you can’t res­cue them all because funds are scarce. Res­cuers are not rich but they are thick-skinned—they are not embar­rassed to ask for help. They rely on dona­tions from kind-heart­ed souls. They often spend from their own pock­ets too. What they lack in mate­r­i­al pos­ses­sions, they are com­pen­sat­ed in oth­er ways—I’ve nev­er met an ugly res­cuer haha!


It is easy to check if a per­son is a real pet lover. Check the gallery in their phones. If it is most­ly pic­tures of their dogs/cats, then they are the ones who don’t see ani­mals as pets. They usu­al­ly have an album in their Face­book ded­i­cat­ed to their furba­bies. Some­times their pro­file pic­tures are of pets.

My great­est peeve are those who are the self-pro­claimed pet lovers. These “pet lovers” would claim to love pets but would nev­er adopt an askal/aspin (mon­grel). It is fair­ly easy to spot them. Ask them if they would be will­ing to adopt a mon­grel and you would get a big no.  They think of pets as acces­sories. They can be seen walk­ing their pets in malls that allow them. I’m not say­ing that every­one who does that hates mon­grels, just some. I’ve known some despi­ca­ble peo­ple who do that, and that’s why we are not friends any­more. When res­cuers post pets for adop­tion, these are the same peo­ple who would ask for the breed, and would enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly respond if it’s a labrador, etc. Mixed breeds get snubbed.

My oth­er boyfriend — Hachi

I wish I was filthy rich. I try to help when I have extra and sup­port fundrais­ers, but it is not enough. My great­est dream is to build a dog sanc­tu­ary, with a vet on site. I some­times won­der if I should have been a vet. This is why I’m blog­ging about my cause.

Please sup­port the res­cuers! Vol­un­teers are always wel­come. Be H U M A N. If we could be half the per­son our dogs are, we’d be twice the humans we are.

For dona­tions, you can direct­ly con­tact them at their Face­book pages below:

Sav­ing Strays Cebu — Gre­tel is the main con­tact per­son of the group. She’s a Cebua­na in Thai­land but her heart is in Cebu.

Wild Res­cue Crew — He is the man behind Songs for the Res­cue that you see around the malls. His name is Imanuel Wild.

Island Res­cue Orga­ni­za­tion — I’m not sure who the main con­tact per­son is. Is it still Ana­lyn?

Tanyanyas Hill House — It’s an ani­mal shel­ter that dou­bles as a bed and break­fast (great idea!). Please con­tact Karen & Steve O’Neal.

Sve­tRes­cue — Please reach out to the pret­ty cat lady, Sve­ta Bel­skaya.

Mayari Ani­mal Res­cue — Con­tact per­son is Joene Omega.

if you can’t adopt,
if you can’t fos­ter,
if you can’t spon­sor,
if you can’t vol­un­teer,
if you can’t donate,

Been there, Done that!


Girlfriend Translation Guide

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