My neighbors are “questioning” my too much affection for my dogs that I even spend money for them. Well, I’m a dog lover since I was young. Dogs had been my playmates….dogs had been the brothers I never had and the sister I never had the chance to be with since day one.
In the early 90s, some 20-25 years ago, our street had only four to five houses, but far from each other . My playmates were from the other streets, and some were from another town. Imagine that?!
That was when I had Brownie as my first dog….then came Gracia, Jamaica, and one cat named Muning. Unfortunately, I eventually lost them. I felt like a brother or a sister died.
I stopped adopting dogs….until that fateful day….my very first day in Taiwan in 2007. I cared for one dalmatian whose name was Nunu. In Taiwan, I learned that people there really value their dogs so much like their own family member. No matter what it takes, my employer’s dogs even receive better treatments and medical care than we (humans) do.
In that place, I also learned that in schools, when children are asked how many members of the family they have, the dog is included in the list, and the teacher won’t question that.
In Taipei, I had cared for another dog named Pooh. She’s a beagle, a very sweet girl at that. Pooh was famous in our district because she was the only beagle there. That made her an instant celebrity even in the nearby market where we used to buy goods.
When my ‘former boyfriend-now-turned-my husband’ proposed in 2012, he bought a 4-month old labrador in Davao and gave it to me as a present. She’s now called Lyka.
On my 30th birthday, my husband bought another dog….a Jack Russell terrier dog from General Santos. We named her Tresya. She was a very fragile dog, which made us decide to leave her with her uncle-Vet in Marikina. Tresya stayed with her vets for a year until we decided to finally get her. Two days after Tresya was with us, we woke up without her nowhere to be found anymore. She wasn’t dead. She was stolen by someone with an evil heart.
I cried a lot like I lost a child in death. She was not just a gift. Tresya was our baby. Eventually, I recovered from her loss and I went home in the province. A year after, we had adopted another dog which we named Hikku.
Hikku is a mixed breed with more than 75% pitbull in his blood and the rest is “askal”, a native dog of the Philippines. Though he looks like a askal which very few could only appreciate the physical features, Hikku is a darling to us. He is our “bantay”. He loves our chicken and turkeys although he hates our slippers and the neighbors’ chicken as well.
Recently, Hikku was attacked by a deadly infection called parvo virus infection. Only few cases of dogs with such infection can survive. I was hoping against hope that Hikku could survive. It was so sudden. The virus was just like a thief at night attacking my dog. That night before he lost his appetite, he was still playing with our Labrador. Then he started becoming lethargic and avoiding foods we gave him.
The next morning, Hikku vomitted and he had bloody stool. I was so scared that I immediately rushed him to the vet. The vet explained to me the dangers of acquiring the parvo virus as she injected different meds to my dog. I was not able to decipher the vet’s explanation until one thing popped up onto my head….and that was the possibility that Hikku could die.
I left everything in the hands of God and the trained vets. For the first two days of Hikku’s confinement, he continuously released liquid bloody stool. He was very weak and didn’t even respond when we were calling his name.
My brother-in-law and his girlfriend who are also vets asked me to stay calm and be patient in caring for my sick dog. Yes, I did. For many nights, I didn’t have good sleep. I woke up every two hours to check on him while he was lying with a dextrose.
Hikku was confined for a week. He was given his meds for 5 days. So far, my dog showed signs of recovery. His stool wasn’t bloody anymore after 5 days. He started to ask for water although he couldn’t eat by himself yet, so I gave his food through syringe.
My neighbors saw my dog with a dextrose when we brought him home at night after daytime confinement at the clinic. Some people in my neighborhood said that there is no use caring for a dog like the way I did because he was just a dog. I just shrugged my shoulders.
A dog is just an animal, but animals also deserve to live. Humans are created to care for animals, not just because these animals could give food to humans but some animals could be our best friends as well.
Who the hell cares about what people say? It only shows these people have lost their compassion in their hearts for saying “just a dog”.