Monthly Archives: October, 2014

another day

I was so tired, carrying this heavy heart.  I was so disappointed by the insincerity of someone I know.  I didn’t even take the time to look in the mirror and have some retouch.  I just left to go home.  Hungry because of frustration, I went on a detour.  I went to Jollibee to grab some dinner.

Falling in line, I saw a familiar face.  With no hesitation, I took the liberty of approaching him.  To cut this short, I had the best conversation ever with this person, son of a colleague.  He made me forget the burden I had earlier, removing the weight on my chest.  Didn’t know he reads books, and surprise, surprise, we read the same books.  I thought he was just focused on his good looks.

And that encounter was quite surprising because it was our very first conversation which lasted for two hours (I like to count, whoever I’m with). It’s also very surprising because we’re totally different people, with a wide gap of experiences.  And he’s not the type that I’m inclined to be friends with.  I’m five years older than him but he’s got more experience now that he already has children at 30. But despite that, our topics of conversation were flowing like it would never end.  We were later joined by his wife who was equally good-looking and who shared a piece of her heart also on what me and her husband were discussing.

To this day, I like recalling that episode in my head.  Because I had fun conversing with them, especially with him since he’s got something more to say.  I was just happy knowing that even if I had a bad day, losing faith, I could still turn my life around just by opening myself up to other opportunities.  Or chances.   And at that moment in Jollibee, I just simply grabbed it.  And from that random encounter, I forgot my misfortune.  And I walked away having the best day of my life that it gave me a renewed energy to look forward to another day.


a writer once said…

“There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be able to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity.”

the dog who loves feet

This is the puppy I am telling you about. My new puppy! And I named her Bea to pay tribute to my auntie whose name is “Beatriz” but more fondly called auntie Betty and who originally owned this puppy. A puppy who has nine siblings! Five of them died though, so she’s one of the survivors. She was born on September 1, 2014. The picture above was taken a day after I picked her up from my auntie’s house.

This is Bea sleeping on my slippers after continuously making an attempt to bite my feet and if I crouched down to control her, my hands. Didn’t know she’s a rascal! A very, very naughty dog. She’s an angel, though, when she sleeps.

Last August, I took care of a 3-month old dog named Cory for four days. A dog that doesn’t bark, easy to train, affectionate, doesn’t bite at all, and lively. When she died after I gave her away to a relative because she came at a wrong time, I cried a river. I felt like I abandoned her. It was the first time in my life that I ever felt that my world crashed literally and figuratively. And to get over my grief and guilt, I thought I’d get another dog. So when Bea came, we did the opposite of what we did to Cory.

When Cory was alive, since her purpose was to be a guard dog, my cousin who gave us the dog advised us to just let the puppy stay outside and tie her so she wouldn’t escape. So she could be trained early with a leash around her neck. But she’s an angel, not a guard dog. Despite being tied round the clock, she remained good. She liked looking at my face, climbing to my lap, and if given a chance attempting to lick my lips, my face. When we walked together for an exercise, she walked behind me or at my left side.  When I returned home, she’s happy to see me.

When Bea came, I decided to keep her inside the house, not outside. And I also decided not to tie her so she has that freedom to roam. Like I said,  she’s a rascal.  She only looks at my feet, my hands, then bites them whenever she approaches me.  Anything that moves she bites. When I tied her to our center table all throughout the night because of her mischievousness and to prevent her from chewing anything, in the morning, when I let her loose, she became wild. Her attempts to bite became fierce that I couldn’t figure out anymore if she’s still playbiting or mad at me. I didn’t know how to control her so each time I would try to grab hold of her then lift her up in my arms then cuddle her.  She’d behave whenever I do that.  But I can’t continue doing this when she’s all grown up and big.  And tall.  I saw her mom.  She’s tall. But whenever her “wildness” subsided, she’d curl herself up beside my feet then put her head on it. The same feet that she “preys” on. Strange dog.

Shown here was her playpen. I treated her special since she’s still a one and a half month old puppy. I wanted her surrounding to be clean. Oh, and if there is one amazing thing that I did, that I’m proud of, I was able to train her to know her name. So it became easy for me to call her attention.  Whenever I call her, far or near, whenever I shout, say Bea, she’d go to me.

You may call me an irresponsible owner, an idiot, call me whatever you want but after three days, I decided to give her away to our neighbor whose house is stone’s throw away from us.

Bea, unfortunately, is not the dog that I feel is suitable to our laidback lifestyle. Because for three days, I had disturbed sleep looking over her, attending to her because I’m worried about her. I couldn’t sleep deeply because I always had this desire to check on her while she was tied to our center table at the sala. Because she would whine. Made wild attempts to free herself from being tied down. When I say wild, she’s really wild. It would take a saint of an owner to tame her and I’m not a saint. I don’t know what breed she is. My auntie Betty’s son told me she’s a crossbreed between askal and dalmatian. Was it because of her black circles on her body? I don’t think she’s a Dalmatian. She’s a hunting dog!

Here she is at our neighbor’s house, with one-year-old dog Carla. The day when I turned her over to our kind neighbor on October 20, just two days ago.

I felt relieved that Carla, the old dog, likes Bea, the new puppy. I have a relative who is interested to take her home but I chose our neighbor because even if she and her family are just informal settlers, I observed how much she cares for her dog.  Oh, and she also has a cat. And they have a garden which I feel Bea would enjoy to race around.

If I’m gonna give my dog away, I wanna make sure this time that her new environment, new master would be suitable for her. Unlike what happened to Cory. And I also volunteered to spend for her 2nd & 3rd deworming and anti-rabies injection for the convenience of the new family with whom I gave Bea to.

I believe I made the right choice because Carla the dog loves Bea the puppy despite her mischievousness. Of course, the advantage that she’s just at our neighbor is that I could visit Bea every day and play with her. Fortunately, she easily adapted to her new home and also enjoys the company of Carla. Bea doesn’t care if she’s sleeping on a soil, on the cement, on a rag, or between my two feet. Just as long as she’s comfortable, she sleeps anywhere!

Here we are: Me sandwiched between Carla and Bea. Look at Bea, she seems to want to bite my hand.

As usual, Bea playbiting with Carla.

Should I get a new puppy again? My answer is no. I’m okay now. I’m thinking of growing plants and flowers instead around our house since I saw the beautiful garden of my neighbor.  I still remember Cory from time to time. The pain is no longer there. Still, Cory’s one of a kind! Bea, I still care for her kahit ganun sya. And I thank Carla for welcoming her to their home.

things you should know about dogs

Just like to share these inspiring quotes you should know about dogs.  Reading this makes me miss Cory.  And at the same time looking forward to meeting my new adopted puppy soon.

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.”
―Mark Twain

“Happiness is a warm puppy.”
―Charles M. Schulz

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”
―Milan Kundera

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
―Josh Billings

“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.”
―Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

“A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family, or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs, dangerous people have dangerous ones.”
―Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

“I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”
―Winston Churchill

“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.”―Johnny Depp

“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.”
―John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog

“Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer.”
―Dean Koontz, False Memory

“Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. Indeed, my experiments have proven to me that he is the Unreasoning Animal… In truth, man is incurably foolish. Simple things which other animals easily learn, he is incapable of learning. Among my experiments was this. In an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately.

Next, in another cage I confined an Irish Catholic from Tipperary, and as soon as he seemed tame I added a Scotch Presbyterian from Aberdeen. Next a Turk from Constantinople; a Greek Christian from Crete; an Armenian; a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas; a Buddhist from China; a Brahman from Benares. Finally, a Salvation Army Colonel from Wapping. Then I stayed away for two whole days. When I came back to note results, the cage of Higher Animals was all right, but in the other there was but a chaos of gory odds and ends of turbans and fezzes and plaids and bones and flesh–not a specimen left alive. These Reasoning Animals had disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a Higher Court.”
―Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings

“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.”
―Charles de Gaulle

“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. ”
―Roger A. Caras

“No matter how close we are to another person, few human relationships are as free from strife, disagreement, and frustration as is the relationship you have with a good dog. Few human beings give of themselves to another as a dog gives of itself. I also suspect that we cherish dogs because their unblemished souls make us wish – consciously or unconsciously – that we were as innocent as they are, and make us yearn for a place where innocence is universal and where the meanness, the betrayals, and the cruelties of this world are unknown.”
―Dean Koontz, A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog

“If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.”
―Woodrow Wilson

“I believe in integrity. Dogs have it. Humans are sometimes lacking it.”
―Cesar Millan

“The dog’s agenda is simple, fathomable, overt: I want. “I want to go out, come in, eat something, lie here, play with that, kiss you. There are no ulterior motives with a dog, no mind games, no second-guessing, no complicated negotiations or bargains, and no guilt trips or grudges if a request is denied.”
―Caroline Knapp

“I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source.”
―Doris Day

Note:  Thank you for these quotes!

sick leave

I learned this from one of my former superiors whom I admire.  That if you’re not feeling well, feverish maybe, or simply not feeling well, and there are important tasks to do (which never diminish anyway), please, get that one day of rest.  Take advantage of that sick leave and give yourself a break.  Stay home and just rest.  Drink lots of water.  Eat well.  Just rest.  Your employer is not going to pay for your hospital bills anyway in case you report for work, be devoted to your job but only end up getting more sick for a long number of days.  It’s not worth it.

a dog like no other

Since the start of this year, we’ve been visited by a thief three times already. One of which was successful. And once is enough. We do not want another second time, third time.

Since we began living in our current address five years ago, people were strongly advising my father to get a guard dog in case of a bad thing that might happen. For our protection. My father did get one which he named Rambo. He was already an adult dog. But that dog only knew my father so whenever I get home during weekend from the boarding house, that dog would bark at me. I only saw Rambo once, twice? Then never again. I never asked what happened to him. Maybe it was because I am really against having a dog around the house, even though the dog was on a leash. But just recently, remembering Rambo, I tried to confirm whatever happened to that dog. My father said they have slaughtered him and ate him already as pulutan. So for years, we didn’t keep a dog. And we were just fine. We have a relatively tall gate/fence anyway.

2014 is a year of warning for my family and I. Despite the tall height of our gate/fence, a thief can climb to it effortlessly. And I believe it really takes talent for someone to do that. So people were again strongly advising my father to get a guard dog. However, my younger brother and I were strongly against it.

Having a dog is not just having a dog. You still have to take care of that dog like how you take care of a child. You have to train him/her with good manners and right conduct. You have to make sure that he/she won’t bite anyone. And in case he/she bites a child, it would be our responsibility as owners to cover the hospital expenses of our dog’s victim. It takes effort to have a dog because it’s not just a dog. It’s a living thing with biological needs, social needs just like humans. And we’re not used to having a dog. We grew up not having a dog.

My father, unknown to us, still requested for a dog from his nephew Kuya Willy. Actually it’s a puppy. And I met that 3-month old puppy/dog on 28 August 2014, Thursday. It was a rainy morning and I was absent from work. First time I saw the puppy, I thought she was already a dog! Because she seemed tall. But when I approached her, indeed, she was a puppy because when I crouched down to be near her she was kind to me and climbed to my lap. She then squeezed her head between my left armpit for warmth. She’s a child after all! And right then and there, it melted my heart! I’m in love!

But not my father. Turned out he wanted a male dog and what my cousin brought him was a female one. And my father didn’t like the color of her fur, it was white. So he told him (my cousin) that he is returning the dog.

Which I objected!

I told my father let’s try taking care of a dog. Because I liked her, she was sweet, kind, friendly, and playful! Even though she was dirty (since she’s used to roaming around freely around the house of my male cousin), I thought she was beautiful. She had this radiant personality. Obedient, most especially. I asked my Kuya Willy what’s her name. “Cory,” he said. And I just called her that, Cory. As the new owner (we were her third new owners), I didn’t change her name. But we have to put a leash around her neck, tie her to the grill of our stairs outside so she wouldn’t escape. When untied, she could squeeze her body between the gaps of our gate and might get lost and never be found. And we didn’t want that to happen.

By night time, it was a big adjustment for her. She was alone. And on a leash. She’s not used to it. She was a free spirit at my cousin’s house. During her first night she would make sounds of discomfort. Like she was crying. And panicking! She was alone, probably cold, so I had to check on her each time I hear her “cry.” And each time I visited her, she’d stop crying and wanted to play with me. She wasn’t cold. She’s just scared of being alone at night, outside our house! And I remember texting a friend, asking for advice on how to calm down a puppy/dog. On her second night, she was quiet and behaved. She slept early.

She liked me. She loved climbing to my lap whenever I crouched down to attend to her. She’d attempt to get near to my face and when she did, she licked my lips. I know it’s improper so I would try to prevent her from doing that the next time. She loved everyone in my family. She’d get excited seeing each one of us and she would show this by jumping at anyone of us cheerfully. She was nice to everyone. I never thought I would love this dog. She made me forget my burdens. I would forget the faces of people I don’t like. I would forget my fears, even my fear of death. I just enjoyed taking care of her although I was worried if I was spoiling her already.

Worried about her well-being since she was tied ‘round the clock, I made an effort to walk her outside so she could see some sights, and smell the grasses. I wanted her to stay normal and energetic so I would make an effort to play with her at our terrace after arriving from work. And I didn’t mind if that was from 9:30 to 10:30 in the evening or during her third night. And when I’m tired, I would tie her back to the grill of our stairs outside.

Then came a problem. Since my retired father was the one left to take care of Cory for her meal time, he was also left to take care of getting rid of her poop/feces. First time, he was cool about it. Second time, still okay. But during the third, fourth, fifth times, he was getting annoyed with it already. It was too much effort for him as an old man. I wanted him to teach me so that when I’m around I’d be the one to pick up her poop but my father preferred doing it himself though he didn’t like doing it. Not only that, we’d argue over the kind of food she eats. I didn’t like her eating mongo. I wanted to train her eating dog food. But mainly the problem was the dog poop. So I made the decision that we should return the puppy to my cousin if we couldn’t raise her well. Like her first injection of anti-rabbies! My father said next time. When I asked my father when we can put barricades along the gaps of the gate so she could live without a leash, my father said next time. It was so annoying that I told him maybe we’re not fit to be owners of a dog and that we should let the puppy/dog go. While it was still early and it was only a few days that she stayed with us. Also, I didn’t want her on a leash ‘round the clock. She was a free spirit. She could get lonely and depressed. I didn’t want her to become insane. I wanted her to explore. To be independent. I thought maybe we were not the right owners of a dog. I wanted a better place for her. At my Kuya Willy’s house, where she came from.

During her last day (fourth day) with us, I played with her, walked her far, had jogging with her, all for more than an hour. She’d follow my every order. She knew her name. She’s a happy dog. Then I asked my nephew to bath her. And it was scary for her at the beginning. Oh, there is something I forgot to tell you. Cory doesn’t bark that my father feared she was unfit to be a guard dog. She’d just wail when uncomfortable. Particularly when my nephew suddenly poured a water-filled dipper on her body. She wailed then ran towards me to climb to my lap, seeking comfort. But she calmed down when my nephew would just sprinkle, pour a little of those water around her body, over her head. After my nephew toweled her dry, I picked her up to put her under the sunlight.

I still remember the heavy beating of her heart when I was carrying her. I remember looking at her while I let her dry under the sunlight. I felt calm that she was going to be returned to my cousin, Kuya Willy. However, for the night, Cory had to stay at my other cousin’s house, Kuya Willy’s brother, at this neighbor subdivision. When it was time for her to be picked up, I had some hesitation. I didn’t wanna let her go. But I had to. I just thought Cory’s going back to her former owner, my cousin Kuya Willy. When I was alone, I cried. I was surprised that I cried. The following day, I texted my cousin if Cory had been picked up already by Kuya Willy. He said yes.

But I couldn’t stop thinking about Cory, the puppy/dog. Was she okay? I was hoping she didn’t feel rejected when we removed her from our life, our home. Every single day at the office since she left, while doing my work, memories of Cory flooded my mind and it would make me miss her. Two weeks later since she left, I requested my father if we could visit Cory at my Kuya Willy’s house. Then came the naked truth. “The truth is, the dog is just nearby, at your Kuya Noling’s house.” I jumped for joy—though I wondered why my cousin lied to me—so later in the day, my father and I went to their subdivision, knocked on their gate, we were curiously being barked at by this adult dog named Shia as we enter and was attended by my already old nephew, son of Kuya Noling, and at the back of their house I saw Cory! She was standing on this table. Alone. And thin!

I quickly stroked her head, calling her name in a sweet way, and she seemed sad. She looked frail and it made me sad. My nephew told me she’s sick. Always lethargic.  She’s vomiting blood, excreting in liquid. Cory had to be brought to the vet. But my cousin, my nephew’s father, thought it’s overkill bringing a dog to a doctor. Since it’s just a dog. The dog probably had parasites, my nephew said. I said I don’t think so because during her last day with us she had a nice poop because I was only feeding her rice, strips of chicken meat, and a little dash of dog food. We even jogged together. Cory was energetic.

I picked up Cory then put her down the pavement then it was automatic, she became alive then ran towards my father. I was calling out her name Cory but she’s not responding to it anymore. Turned out, my nephew renamed her Elaine. Because he found “Cory” to be a corny name. Shia, his adult pet/guard dog, didn’t like her that much. They’re not that close, Cory and Shia. That was why Shia’s territory was at the front of the house and Cory’s at the back. Turned out, my cousin Kuya Willy who lived far away in a city, didn’t want Cory back. He no longer have space to have another dog. I felt he’s just lazy travelling far just to get a dog. Who looked only ordinary. He said to his brother to just give the dog away to whoever was interested. So this brother, my other cousin, adopted Cory as an additional “guard” dog.

Worried about her big weight loss, I asked permission from my nephew if I could visit Cory every once a week. He was reluctant to say yes but he said yes anyway and he had to know what time or day I’d be visiting. I said same day, same time. That was September 15, when I was absent at work, on a sick leave. Before going to sleep, I prayed for Cory that she would finally be accepted by the adult dog. I prayed that she would come to love her new place, new masters. I prayed that my relatives would take care of Cory humanely. It was my first time to pray over a dog.

September 18, Thursday, I dreamed about Cory. She was lost and I was in distressed looking for her in that dream. At work, I wanted to leave at noontime and go home and get Cory from my nephew. I felt she was going to die there. But I stopped myself. Maybe I’m just crazy, got so attached with a puppy/dog who I took care of for 4 days. But I was restless. September 19 (Friday), work got cancelled because of Typhoon Mario. It rained hard we had to keep the floodwater at bay by constantly wiping our floor, or gathering those water using the hard broom, dustpan, and a bucket. It was stressful! Saturday, I dreamed again of Cory. In that dream, I asked an officemate to steal Cory from my nephew’s house. When I finally possessed Cory, we ate in Max’s Restaurant with my family and while I was feeding her, she bit me. Strange dream. My brother joked that I visit Cory. Check what happened to her after Typhoon Mario. But knowing my nephew, I said I’d just visit on Monday. But on Sunday, September 21, I couldn’t stop thinking about Cory. I told my father I wanted to visit Cory. Then came a news that shocked me. He said, “The truth is, the dog died yesterday.”

My world crashed. Literally and figuratively. But I still have to wash my dirty clothes so I did them first before going to my nephew’s house. For three hours I was shocked, grieving for Cory, while scrubbing my clothes. I felt like a fool feeling bad, guilty, losing a dog. A dog who was just a dog to my father, or to my cousin. But to me, Cory is not just a dog. She’s a loyal friend. And I regret giving up on her so easily. I wished I could have done more. I wished I followed my instinct and didn’t give her to my cousin. And I don’t think I could find another puppy/dog like her since no two puppies are alike. Cory was one and only.

Learning my lesson the hard way (to listen to my gut feel always), and probably out of guilt, I feel like volunteering at an animal shelter just to get over my grief. They’re a loyal friend, will give you happiness, will protect you if you treat them well. Unlike humans, they’re not two-faced and traitors! Remembering Cory, she was real. Genuine. Would lift up my weary spirit. Cory was a good dog. And I miss her.

I plan of getting another dog.  We really need a guard dog though it’s not a guarantee but still.  And I do want to take care of a dog.  But before I do that, which is so easy, I’m buying books about raising a dog well.  Reading them whenever I have time.  And though my father is against it, he advised me to get a dog crate first before I adopt a new puppy.