In the long distant past while consuming adult beverages with the neighbors here in my Purok, the subject of pulutan (Snack food consumed while drinking) and the subject of eating dog (Aso in Tagalog) meat had come up a few times, without my saying a word my friends knew how I felt about that, as they would look at my dog army and I’d say; “”Don’t even think about it!” So I’d take a pack of Glow-in-the-Dark Hot Dogs steeped in red dye #5, slice them up, and boil them in BBQ sauce and serve them with one spoon, and my dogs survived another day.
It’s a subject that I’ve not heard about in the last few years as except for the most rural areas it is a practice that has decreased, thanks to the new generation of Filipinos who shun this old tradition.
Since building our house on the mountain its ended up being the repository for dogs by both my friends and family who no longer had room for them at their house. But they all knew I’m a sucker for dogs and found it hard to say no. One friend lived in a small two bedroom apartment and had two elderly full sized German Sheppard’s living there; he asked if I could take them until he found a larger place? So I did, he found a larger place and never asked me to return the old girls, and they stayed with me for six more years until they died of old age. I didn’t want to give them back anyway, as I loved them both.
Coco the Flying Brown Labrador, came to my house by way of my daughter Hanna, when not at the farm in Subic they live in an apartment in Olongapo, and bought Coco when she was a puppy, they brought her up to visit and it was love at first sight between the dog and me. So I pointed out that Coco was going to grow to be a very large dog, and when the apartment became too small, she could board (Read Give) her with us. A month later Coco was here, and here she’ll stay.
I had dogs as a kid, but my life in the Navy and as a Merchant Seaman precluded my having dogs during those years, as I was always gone out to sea. And In Puerto Rico I was single and “busy”, and decided to forego pets as I could not give them the care and time that is required. Albeit I did have an African Gray (Congo) parrot, who lived in my bar full time as the Bar Mascot, and yes when the crowd swelled, she had a room in the back to herself away from the smoke and drunks.
But the Philippines, was a different story altogether, here I could assembly my dog Army, as I have the room and the means to give them the care, love and attention that all dogs deserve.
Do not spread this around my Barangay but out off all our dogs, there is not a vicious one in the lot, as they were raised with kindness and love, besides with my Grandchildren, nieces and nephews plus children of friends who visit our house on a regular basis I couldn’t allow that.
Okay, the exception to the rule. I don’t chain up any dogs of mine as I find that something I ‘m against, but I won’t be calling PETA if someone else does. The exception, was Louie, who came to me after a friend passed, his wife could not control the dog, as it had spent its life locked in a bathroom and had seldom if any human contact. He was a Tasmanian Devil by the time I got him. I put him in the front yard and gave him freedom and he took to gate duty like it was his life’s mission. No human being was allowed through the gate in either direction. He took a month before I could go near him, and in about six weeks he calmed down to where we in the house could come and go freely. But absolutely no other human being on earth could enter. So during the time of visitors I had to chain him and warn all who entered to beware of the Louie. He was with me for six more years and became a sweet loving dog, but to no one, but our family.
I’ve told the story before about after we moved into our house, I found that my wife had installed a doorbell, it’s still there but I had ripped the wires out of it the first week, as local children thought it was a source of amusement to them. Now I have dog doorbells, if you come to the gate they have a special bark that lets me know you’re there. You can’t sleep through it as the three house dog’s take up the chorus with the outsiders. Problem solved!
We have a very strange thing in our area, which as a city boy was unheard-of to me, a Veterinarian who makes house calls. He comes by every six months or so to inspect each of the dogs, and to insure their shot records are up to date. During day to day problems we take the dog to the clinic in town for emergency care, such as when Coco the Flying Labrador lept from the second floor patio and hurt her leg, but she loved riding in the car. Now here’s a question that I’ve never figured out; “Why does a dog not like it when you blow in its face, but will ride to town with their head out the window, just loving it?”
If I only had my New Ole Honda back, I’d load the entire dog army into it, drop all the windows and take them for a ride.
Proof of the unconditional love a dog has for you is verified by this simple test. Park two cars side by side, put your dog in the trunk of one and your significant other in the other trunk, sit and have a beer, then open both trunks and tell me which of the two is happy to see you? I rest my case!
When mistakes happen, and puppies appear on my horizon as it is the way of nature, I’ve never sold one (A Puppy) even though most are pure bred. I will give them to people whom I know will take the best care of them, if not they’ll stay with me. Some of the breeds are Shih Tzu, Japanese Spitz, dachshund, and of course the Chocolate Lab. My one special house dog Coolett, is a damned if I know mix and she is mine and mine alone, her decision.
And for the record, we have one 17 year old cat, which plans on out living both me and Mayang. The cat and I tolerate each other as we signed a treaty 15 years ago.
I’ve read that dogs have a calming effect on the human spirit, and that having dog’s around will help to prevent depression and heart disease, with my car in the shop for well over a month, and I’ve chilled the entire time might prove this to be true, as there was a time eons ago when I would have quickly hit my Popeye Factor, and broke out that can of whoopass and shouted; “”That’s all that I cans stands, ands I can’ts stands no more.”
But life is like beer, they’re both better when properly chilled.
Shucks Bob, another long winded article, but once I get started about my dogs…