The Dog days are here!
SINGKIT (The Philippine Star) - February 4, 2018 - 12:00am

Dog lovers, this coming year we celebrate our wonderful furry friends. Whatever the coming lunar year, which starts next Friday or Feb. 16, holds for you – and you can find out on the following pages – it’s not too late to adopt a four-legged friend into your household.

I didn’t grow up with pet dogs. In the family compound in San Miguel district, my cousins had two dachshunds but they were confined to an enclosed garden because they were ornery creatures (at least I remember them to be, barking like crazy and chasing and nipping at everyone on the occasions they were let out, or got out, of their enclosure). In the compound my grandmother had pigeons and chickens, headed by a rooster that chased anyone on a bicycle. Once my cousins and I tried to raise bullfrogs for some wild economic venture that went nowhere, since we didn’t even know what to feed them. Another cousin was given a pair of rabbits but they didn’t last very long; they had LBM and we gave them human medicine and found them dead stiff the next morning. Our most exciting pet was an owl that found its way to our door, but we had to give it up to the zoo because it was too expensive for our allowance to feed.

A dog finally came into my life about 15 years ago, when my niece had her – a yellow labrador named Sophie – live at my house, which had a garden. When I moved to a condo Sophie came with us and adapted quite well to condo living. We had so much fun with Sophie – she was smart, naughty and oh so loving and lovable – for nine and a half years; it was a very, very sad day indeed when we had to put her down when she got so weak after being sick for nearly a month.

I then dog-sat a really handsome Saint James spaniel for a couple of months, and when he was retrieved by his owner we had empty nest syndrome. So my friend gave me one of his pomeranians, a bushy tailed little guy named Poopie. He has grown up to a handsome guy indeed, with a sable coat that is the envy of everyone (he is brushed three or four times a day, with a soft bristle brush that cost ten times more than my plastic one). I must admit that he is one spoiled pooch; but, being an unico hijo and so very cute, how can you not spoil him? And since he is such a little guy – 3.7 kilos at his heaviest – he is so portable we take him everywhere.

Then a friend had a human baby and had to give up their terrier for adoption, so we went to pick up William, a mini Yorkie. We worried how Poopie would react to this new arrival; but he took his role as kuya very well, and the two are thick as thieves, very protective of each other – when one gets scolded the other immediately comes to his defense. William is still full of youthful energy, endlessly exploring and running around, while Poopie is now more laid back, with a been-there/done-that attitude that I guess comes with age and experience.

So I welcome this year with great joy, and wish you all the unconditional love and loyalty that a doggie-doo gives. Gong xi fa tsai!

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