It is no secret that our lives and our pet’s change through the years as we progress as human companions. While we sometimes catch ourselves daydreaming about our animal companion becoming an astronaut or even a pop star, we usually believe that their full-time job involves begging and flashing their big puppy eyes to tell us that they are ready for their meal.
But even as this is true for all, some pet-owners have furbabies that have careers of their own as actors, doctors, or models.
Raise your hand if your pet has a social media account with thousands of followers!
Social petworking is real and our pets have become more famous than us. Their lives, however, are not limited to the virtual world.
For instance, Maru is an influencer and model for Bow & Wow, a popular pet supply store. Maru’s mom, Ivy Ilaya, is a career woman in her own right and is now fluent in the universal language of funny cat pics. What is a day without a cat picture in your feed, right?
Rue, who was also discovered on Instagram like Maru, has a TV ad under the brand Knorr/Royco, shown in three Asian countries. Jonna Baquillas, stage mom to Rue, is a college professor. She has given this rescued cat the best life possible, which outwardly shows through Rue’s breathtaking beauty.
Rare and expensive breeds do not necessarily guarantee fame as these beautiful felines are proud puspins.
The Dog-tor Is In
According to Atty. Jennie Cerrada, mommy to American Cocker Spaniel Dr. India, her canine daughter is busy with volunteer work under the Dr. Dog program of Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). They get invited for animal-assisted therapy sessions to help complement traditional therapy by uplifting a patient’s emotional well-being with a huge dose of cuteness and calm.
While being a Dr. Dog seems like a huge undertaking as there are specific requirements to qualify for the job, India wakes up at 7 AM, just like any regular dog. She likes to sleep in some days, but she trains everyday. As Jennie shares, “That’s the commitment you have to [make] when you get a dog. Every day is an opportunity to learn.”
By the way, it is not the rigid kind of training as they keep it fun. To India, being a Dr. Dog does not really feel like a job since she meets nice people and gets a lot of petting and treats in return.
Chef and food stylist Giannina Gonzalez found herself cooking for her beloved dogs to ensure they ate palatable and nutritious meals. A crazy idea then hit her that maybe other people were also looking for healthy homemade foods for their pets!
Armed with an authentic menu plus heavy research, she opened Whole Pet Kitchen in 2014 as the country’s first gourmet pet bakery and dog cafe. One of their famous treats is Jack’s Lasagna, her Golden Retriever Mr. Jack’s favorite. It was not a crazy idea after all as many happy customers kept going back to the bark-ery as if it was their second home.
If you have seen modern and unique pet furniture around the metro and online, then you’ll know the name Bow House. It is a household name in the industry of beautifully-crafted dog products.
As Migi Manalastas, the Chief Barkitect, would say, “We love dogs as much as we love good design.” This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “tested on animals”! This just might be the cutest stage in research and development as it is done solely to keep his very own animal companions happy.
I myself have found meaningful work in pet photography after years of photographing our cats and eleven-year old rabbit. Just like Jennie, Giannina, Migi, Ivy, and Jonna, I started naturally as a pet lover first and foremost.
My pets are my constant inspiration and models, even if they sometimes attempt to delete my files by laying down on the computer keyboard or knocking down and breaking a camera lens. In my case, I am tested by animals in this virtue called patience. This is how I am able to give human companions memorable photos of their pets.
Whether discovered for extraordinary work or lauded as professional nappers at home, the full-time job of animal companions is to be ridiculously and innocently cute so that we may forget our daily worries, even just for a moment. Our furry babies hold the key to our happiness and emotional stability.
Gone are the days of their being tagged as freeloaders for they are masters in the busy business of being adorable. By being present and true to their nature, they impart in us wisdom and a sense of calm that enriches our lives.
Yes, it is official: Our pets can have careers and aid us in realizing our own.
This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s October 2018 issue.