Now a resident doctor of a veterinary clinic in Manila Doctor, Jade Pesigan, 29, has been a practitioner in ‘small animals’ veterinary care over the past three years. A natural animal lover, his family used to be into the piggery or swine industry.

“Actually, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine was not my first choice, but Hotel and Restaurant Management, which was the ‘in’ course that time,” he says. Primarily of parental influence, caring for animals is second nature to Doc Jade. “I have Pepper, a dachshund; Sammer, a Labrador retriever; and Uno, a beagle. I named him Uno because he’s the first dog I bought with my own money. I got her for P12, 000 with papers of course,” he shares. “My parents trained me to be a responsible pet owner. They are the biggest influence for me to pursue my course,” he smiles proudly.

He says that basically, pet owners consider their pets as family members. “Although some still resort to ‘barriotic’ practices or using traditional treatment or means of medication but with new technology and modern veterinary care, more pet owners are willing to spend, and seek professional help for their pets: medical, grooming, or otherwise,” he says.

Any memorable experience? Doc Jade recalls a poignant and sad experience while practicing in a Bulacan veterinary clinic. “I vividly remember Marti, a 3-month old English bulldog who had parvoviral infection, a viral disease affecting the digestive tract. The owner who was too busy working in Makati left Marti to her house help’s care. We did our best to prolong the puppy’s life with medication and supplement. But Marti’s condition was in a serious stage and turned for the worse. We phoned Marti’s master if she was willing to put Mart to sleep or be euthanized. She agreed. Marti, a brave and a loving pup, waited for her master. Minutes later she died peacefully without over intervention. The owner and the house help cried. I cried too,“ he narrates sadly, visibly affected.

Our interview is interrupted when a young girl carrying a white mixed Lhasa apso and poodle comes in for consultation. “Her name is Mizzi, just 2 months old,” says Jane, a fourth year high school student. “I love dogs,” she adds.Ten minutes later, a young lady in her twenties comes in for her Shih-Tzu’s regular grooming. “Pasemi-kalbo ko siya. For low maintenance. I have a hard time combing Yuri’s hair. He is the joy of the family, a natural stress-reliever after a hard day’s work. Always a warm, welcome respite from office routine,” Michelle explains. Doc Jade, Jane, and Michelle have one thing in common. They are animal lovers, Heart month or not they really have their animals in their hearts.

This appeared in Animal Scene’s February 2015 issue.