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 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.
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.
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
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.
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,