Says Jazamine A. Fidel, “There’s nothing like looking [into] a dog’s innocent and helpless eyes that makes you want to take care of [it].”
Jazamine was staying in Sta. Rosa Laguna in 2013 when she saw a dog lying in the street, looking frail and malnourished. With the help of a friendly passerby, she took it to the vet, who started grooming him and infusing him with vitamins. She was advised to come back in a week for his vaccinations, and despite the dent it would make in her schedule and finances, she agreed.
As weeks passed by, she was rewarded when the dog started smiling, wagging his tail, eating, and regrowing his fur. He also turned out to be a Labradoodle! Angelic, sweet, and friendly despite his ordeal, Jazamine reports that he rarely barks and is very patient—hence the name Casper.
As the years moved on, “Casper and I formed a bond so deep that it made even the whole family happy, stress-free and most of all, ever so loving. I am happy that I made this poor little dog, Casper, join my family [where he is] enjoying life to fullest.”
Mother Knows Best
Lorena Legaspi from Valenzuela City proudly says, “I am a dog lover and a dog parent. I treat them as if they are my children and bring them up as my own.” Her first “fur-kid” is Riven, a smart golden retriever who has a Facebook page devoted to the tricks she can do (https://www.facebook.com/RivenTheGolden/videos). Then there’s Khazix, whom she describes as “…a sweet, protective, handsome and loyal German Shepherd.”
Her furkids had three puppies; though it was unplanned, Lorena couldn’t bear to part with any of them. But when they were three months old, despite complete vaccination shots, all puppies contracted distemper. Desperate to keep them alive, she brought them for a controversial serum treatment said to be the only treatment for the disease—and to her great joy, they all survived, are now free of the deadly disease, and healthy.
Hers is an attitude all pet parents should strive to emulate: “Yes, it is tiring and costly to take care of dogs. The money spent to make sure they are getting all their needs is not a joke. I walk them daily and give them a bath weekly. I make sure that each of them gets that special time with me every day and that no one of them will feel left out. It is tiring BUT definitely rewarding…I love every single thing they do…It’s just priceless. They are also included in my dreams—I dream of being able to buy a small piece of land where I can build my own house and a small farm where they can run freely.”
Here’s hoping this pet parent lives her dream soon!
Four years ago, Dympol Magbanua Sabasaje’s boyfriend found their AsPin puppy in a dark and dusty bodega. “His uncle thought she was a giant rat! She had bulging eyes, [was] thin to the bone, quivering in fear, and when [curled] up, was just the size of [the average] palm. She was the runt of the litter, given away by [a] neighbor and…expected to die [quickly],” she shared.
Her first reaction? “I said a dog would be hard to take care of and would leave fur on just about anything.” He said to give her a chance, and she did—for one week. Dympol even half-heartedly gave her a name: “Twinkle…[not] knowing that she was going to be Our Little Star.”
At first she cried all night “…until we decided to let her sleep beside us. And she grew…stronger and healthier than the rest of her siblings (even sadly outliving them). She became very energetic and very empathetic as well. She’s quite clingy and will cuddle up to visitors once she gets to know them.”
The puppy once mistaken for a giant rat now has a very shiny coat and eyes that look like they have eyeliner on them, “…making her eyes quite expressive in photographs. Twinkle really changed our lives, pivoting our life goals to becoming the best fur/parents that we could be. We [can’t] imagine our lives without her…” or her many adorable antics, Dympol says happily. Best of all is when “…she randomly curls into a ball right beside you just to let you know that everything will be [all right].”
Helga Galvez of Laguna declares, “Guess that it’s true that you don’t need to look for a dog; they’ll find you.” Dogs began coming into her life in 2013 with Spencer, a Shih Tzu they adopted after no one wanted him. While he was initially aloof, “…[he] eventually let us enter his heart, she shares.
But in July 2013, Helga’s mother died, devastating the family. Helga didn’t let herself mourn her loss, keeping herself busy with work. But grief has ways of catching up with you. “One day, I felt so sad, so hurt,” she began. Work was no longer a comfort, and she realized that her entire family was missing Mom as much as she was. “I then asked my sister if she wanted us to have another puppy. She gladly agreed as she needed a diversion…”
That’s when Sasa, named after their mom Elisa, arrived in their lives.
In 2015, they acquired Skyler to be Sasa’s male companion. But Helga says, “When I first saw his picture. I knew that he [would belong] to me.” Though they got him a little too early at just over a month and a half old, Skyler now thinks Helga is his mother. “[He’s] the kindest among my kids. If…my other fur babies [get] into fight, he steps in the middle and [stops] them…[living up to] the meaning of his name, [which is] ‘guarded, learned one’.”
Later that year came Shaya, ‘a worthy gift from God’. “She’s the most excited to see me [when] I [get] home. She always wants to cuddle and sleep beside me,” Helga smiles.
Helga then decided she wanted one large breed dog—and that was Sweet Suzie, a Golden Retriever. Her name means ‘graceful lily’ and she turned out to be a very caring dog; even at the age of five months, “…she helped nurse Sasa’s puppies by licking them every time she got the chance…I found it very heartwarming as she…showed how loving she [could] be.”
For Helga and her dogs, it was always love at first sight, an immediate sense of deep connection. “I love my babies so much as they love me equally,” she declares.
Alone But Never Lonely
Growing up, Anna Riza Libed from Antipolo had many different kinds of pets, from insects, reptiles, fish, rabbits, and even rodents—but it was the stray dogs she adopted that she remembered best.
Those strays were long gone “…before I got Aleck, my first dog…from a breeder. [My fiancé and I] got Aleck shortly after my whole family immigrated to Hawaii,” she shares. This was significant because her family was big and happy. “Our home [was] usually filled with jokes and laughter. When my family left, everything was suddenly quiet and lonely. Having Aleck made it more bearable; she made me smile every single day. She has something in her that reminded me of every family member.She is protective of me and our home yet goofy as can be like my dad. She is sweet and caring [like] my mom. She is also rough [with] has a mind of her own but very intelligent, like my younger sister. Lastly, she is a kind and gentle giant like my younger brother.”
Anna Riza is the first to admit her two-year-old Rottweiler is not perfect. “She is not the prettiest; she plays rough; she hates other animals; she is stubborn at times; and she was definitely not the easiest to train, but giving up on her [was] not an option because you never give up on family and Aleck is a part of my family…and I love her to bits.”
This appeared in Animal Scene’s February 2017 issue.