One thing that I have noticed during my years of living in the Philippines is that most Filipinos are scared of dogs. Sometimes, if I am out walking one of my dogs, and a Filipino is coming down the sidewalk, when they notice that I am coming with a dog, they will even cross to the other side of the street to avoid a close encounter with my pooch! And, my dogs are small, and very friendly.
I have often wondered why it is that culturally, people here are scared of dogs. I think that it is because it would seem that dogs are kept here for protection. In the States, yes, there are some guard dogs, but primarily people keep dogs for pets, even companions. Here, I rarely see people socialize with animals in the way that we would as pets. So, since dogs are generally kept for protection purposes, they might tend to be a little more aggressive, or maybe they enforce their area a little more than just wanting to get some companionship from people, as we would expect.
Remember, last year, John Grant wrote an article that was wildly popular, “Pinoy Dogs” and he told how dogs would keep him awake all night long with their barking behavior? I have written similar columns about noisy dogs myself (although, admitedly not nearly as popular as John’s famous post!), and others have mentioned noisy dogs at night. This all plays hand in hand with dogs focusing in more on being guard dogs than pets here.
What about other animals? Honestly, I don’t see many animals being treated as pets the way that most westerners would do with animals. I really do think it is a cultural thing. We just have different outlooks when it comes to animals.
Here in the Martin household, we are really animal lovers. We have two dogs, two cats, a rabbit, a turtle…. hmm… there must be other pets too that I have forgotten!
What do you think?