Having a pet like a dog is different from having any other because the love and joy it gives to its owner is truly unconditional,” Apple M enthuses. The charming teacher in her early twenties is obviously referring to the apple of her eye—Barney, a four-year old Japanese Spitz-poodle crossbreed.

Walking in tandem at the air-conditioned Imus Sports Center, they attend with fellow dog lovers the annual Petstival. Now sitting on a white monoblock chair, Apple continues her paean for pet dogs, while Barney, his white coat blending with the chair, quietly stands by. “Owning these dogs is tough for it requires tremendous effort, money, and time. So getting one would be life-changing, especially [for] someone who is single like me, because it is most like raising your own child.”

Interestingly, Barney is a gift of the mother of Apple’s former boyfriend. Barney is lucky to have a master who showers him with tender loving care: a visit to the vet every 3 months, having annual rabies shots, regular grooming sessions, proper diet, etc. “Hiyang siya sa (He thrives on [the multivitamin]) Tiki-Tiki,” she shares. “Kasama ko rin siya sa pagtulog (He is also my companion when I sleep).”

What makes the Japanese Spitz such a great pet is the fact that this breed simply craves human attention. These little dogs will not be content to just sit back and watch family activities; they want to be part of the action! They make great watchdogs because they tend to bark when a stranger comes near, though they are quick to warm up to people when properly introduced, says petguide.com.

When asked for comments this Christmas season, Apple says, “Barney is adding a lot of sense in our Christmas for he brings joy to us and relieves our stress whenever we come home exhausted from work. We always see him as a dog who is so well-behaved, sweet, and disciplined; and it’s all because how well our late mom raised him. I am truly grateful to have him around and every year that he still gets to be here with us we take it like a Christmas gift from our dear God.”

Undoubtedly, Barney continues giving Apple untold joy and wonderful companionship not only this Christmas season but for all seasons.

 

This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s December 2017 issue.