Friday, 21 November 2008

Vacation Stories Part II: Meet the Secretary's Pets

Some of you know that I have eight dogs living with my Mom in Iloilo ( learn about my city in Wikipedia). Four years ago, I left to pursue a career in Manila but had to stay indefinitely when I married the Animal Doctor. I am still plagued by separation anxiety, but my job pays for the good life my dogs are currently living. It takes a 45 minute plane ride on weekends every other month for me to see them, and so, I look forward to vacations where I can stay longer. Our time together is so precious, I can't even afford to sleep!

Dee-Dee Marie, who is turning ten years old, is my very first dog. I remember being scared of her on our first meeting, when her brothers and sisters started jumping up my legs ( silly me). The person who gave me Deedee had to pay P1,500 ( somewhere between 30-35$) to the breeder. I think Deedee is worth billions now- or even more-if I can even put a cash value to how much I love her.

Dexter Franklin Toblerone J, Jr, nine years old, was given to me by Deedee's veterinarian in Iloilo City. Deedee was terribly sick at that time, and the vet promised to give me a new dog if Deedee dies. Deedee recovered( miraculously, if I may say so. I think my non stop bawling scared her illness away), but I adopted Dex anyway. The vet kept him in a very small cage, and it was only after I brought Dex home and given him a bath, did I realize he was spitz and not a golden retriever pup.

Here is Luning Ann, aka Inday Lou, (Inday is an Ilonggo endearment for a sister or daughter) eight years old, looking sad and miserable on the day of my flight back to Manila. Lou was born out of Deedee and Dexter's mating. Of all my dogs, she is the sweetest, she follows me everywhere, even inside the bathroom when I take a shower. Lou has never been mated, and right now I am torn whether or not to have her spayed before she gets pyometra. My other vet ( not the Animal Doctor) here in Manila quoted P14,000( between $311-320) for the operation and I might go for it in January next year- hopefully I can deal with the jitters. He will use gas anesthesia so the risk will be minimized. And I will request to be sedated too.

Poput, seven years old, is Dex and Dee-Dee's son after their second mating. I learned my lesson and had Poput neutered when he was two months old. All of Deedee's offsprings had poor skin and coat when they were puppies, but look at Poput now with his glorious mane. Poput did something strange when he was 4 or 5 years old. I was seated on a stool in the middle of the garden watching the dogs play, when all of sudden, he ran to me, lifted his leg, and peed. Yes, directly at me. The vet interpreted it as a form of marking, maybe Poput was telling all the other dogs that I was his fire hydrant.

This apricot toy poodle is Cleo Marie Mae, aging between 7 to 9 years old. She used to live in the veterinary office where the Animal Doctor used to work. Her owner, some rich lady, split up with her boyfriend and decided to rid herself of the mementos of their relationship, including their surrogate child. Cleo came to live with me in my apartment in Manila in 2005, and for a while we had fun living an independent single lifestyle. In 2006, Cleo had enough of traveling and decided to retire in Iloilo.

Jennilyn, is somewhere between 4 of 5 years old. I adopted her from the same veterinary office where I got Cleo. Jennilyn was a product of another person's igorance ( her Mom had just survived distemper when the veterinary staff mated her with another dog ) and was kept in a cage entirely since birth. She was thin and had wobbly gait when she came to my apartment in 2006. In that same year, I decided to relocate my Manila dogs to Iloilo which was a far better environment.

Puppy, now three years old, is a cocker spaniel pup the Animal Doctor bought after Jumbo's (Deedee's son, he was airlifted to Manila in 2005 for treatment of Ehrlichiosis) death. Instead of being happy and grateful, I got so angry with the Animal Doctor because like most misguided people, he thought animals were toys that made nice gifts. I was still grieving and totally unprepared to meet the needs of a very young animal. In 2006, I relocated Cleo, Jennilyn, and Puppy to Iloilo.

This is Destiny Joe Aringkingking ( dont ask me about his last name, it just popped in my head) around 2 to 3 years old. He was given as a gift to our neighbors who did not know a thing about dogs. They let him roam in the street outside and basically just forgot that he was a living thing needing quality food and water. My tummy was bursting with a human baby at that time so I managed to ignore Destiny's pathetic cries at night by covering my ears with a pillow. I vowed to save him after I gave birth. Several months later, I barged into our neighbor's house and "confiscated" Destiny. I invoked the law which penalizes the neglect of animals. It was a good thing that the owners did not charge me of theft or tresspassing--maybe they learned how much I spent just to keep their dog alive.

Destiny, after I groomed him on the day of his rescue. He was severely matted and infested with ticks.

As of this date, I have not heard of any person criminally charged of neglecting their pets, although Republic Act 8485 ( The Animal Welfare Act) penalizes this.

Jack Flash is an askal ( asong kalye or stray dog) pup that came to our house in 2002. My Mom agreed to let him in after I assured her that the puppy was only looking for transient residence and will be on his own as soon as he hits adolescence. Well, it never happend. I mean, Jack grew up but my Mom had to spend thousands for the reconstruction of our fence to keep Jack inside.

This is our honorary dog, he is a topiary in the shape of a dog. Sometimes he grows little flowers all over his body and I find those really cute.

This is Pepe, the gold fish I bought to teach my son Miggy about responsibility. Pepe died on Miggy's second birthday. Rest in Peace, Pepe.

We have two other dogs, six cats and two rabbits that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge, but I will never forget them.

We, who choose to surround ourselves with lives
even more temporary than our own,
Live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps,
We still would live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only certain immortality,
never fully understanding the necessary plan."

Irving Townsend, from "The Once Again Prince


  1. Thank you for introducing us to all your pups!! You have a very kind heart to have rescued all those dogs in need. They are so lucky! I just hope you can get back to see them more often. Your mom is an angel to look after them too.

    T-man's mom, CC-man and T-man Angel

  2. hi mommy! thanks for introducing all of your doggie children in Ilo-ilo City. manang wants to do a post on that too but i could just imagine how long that will be.

    we feel a little sad looking at the bib. :( i am reminded of manang's story about what you did for jumbo. in a way, we feel reassured because we know that all those handsome and beautiful furries are in good and loving hands.

    Godspeed to you and the animal doctor!

    we love you so much!!

    drooly kisses and hugs,

    Aki, Poopie and Heinz

  3. Aww, You have such a cute group of dogs. Some of their past life stories are so sad though. We are glad they all have a great home now. Going back to visit them all must be lovely.

    Thankfully our laws here have changed recently. Before you couldn't neglet or ill treat an animal. Now you must give it what it needs too, like excercise etc. Hopefully this will give more powers to the police etc to prosecute the people who ill treat or don't care for their pets.

    Our person likes your topiary dog, that is very cool!

    Holly & Zac

  4. thanks for dropping guys.

    it pains me to think that my adopted dogs once experienced pain and suffering in their lives. i wonder if i have done enough to make up for their unfortunate past.

    -the secretary

  5. Thanks for telling us about the pets you have had in your life. My Mom had 2 other dogs while growing up. Looking back on it, my Mom knows they didn't treat their first dog too well. They didn't know any better. Fortunately my Mom knows better now and I am princess of the house!

  6. Hi, I had a great time reading this post haha! Love your dogs!! I admire you both for being such good and responsible pet parents :) BTW, I have an 8 year old dog who's suffering from pyometra. She's done with her antibiotics for over 2 weeks now. There's been an improvement but I can't say that she's ok. I can't afford the operation so I'm just hoping for a miracle... I love reading your blog, keep it up :)

  7. Thanks for dropping by our blog, Anonymous. I hope your dog completely recovers from pyometra. Please give her probiotics to counter the adverse effects of stong antibiotics.


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