(This feature article was first published in my dear college publication, The Cascade, vol.23 no.2, March 2008, my last term as EIC)
My family is a pet lover. A super-duper. Huge, thin, furry, plumb, cuddly, snappy, keen, shabby, graceful, stiff, awkward, haggard, spiky, no matter how far it is comparing for or its pungent come across, all pets are deemed irresistible of munching. Thus, no wonder they considered themselves as hard-won tame burglar. That’s why we at home cautiously paste our eyes at meals not because (we always wanted to fill our tummy) but because a brilliant fellow down some yards away is always ready to attack. That creation is a typical uneasy without table manner. Well, forgive me. What else could you expect for an uneducated animal!
To fraternize, we had legally raised chickens, cattle and burly pigs that choose not to live with us in the city. Farm for them is a way of life. While, at home, we had unique friendly creatures—frogs, mice, lizards and cockroaches that after all feel us more secure without their company. Moreover, not to forget those tiny microorganisms which among all were so kind and helpful in our vinegar industry, only at home. My grandfather used to wake up early in the morning to fill those plastics cups loaded with natural made vinegar out from a fence to fence daily routine against the military ovation of our dear palm tree. Mice are not kind ‘a patient in dealing with their masters. Crotchety against them even a whisper cannot save your whole property. That is why you should be very careful if you had that kind of sensitive and smart untouched pet. We also had chickens burgeoning. The ne’er-do-well squirm invites expectators to witness their brawl. Hence, got instant native chicken soup ready for supper.
Among those presented creatures, three were considered legally adopted. Of course, without pertinent papers or any credentials. They are canines. It isn’t surprising how you react. What makes it interesting with a common man’s best friend? All got it. Have it. Some jailed. Some hardly neck laced with chains. Some were not given proper care and attention. Some deserted…some are lost and slaughtered. The most terrible thing I had witness during my innocence is a dog hung, heated, hair falling and boom! An hour of merrymaking with liquor until dawn when mine was overcast with gloom.
We love our pets. We properly nourished them. A proper discipline, like parent to a child showing great love, never was to violate animal rights as we spank them. We teach them when to ask, although ears flapping speak. We teach them how to entertain visitors so as to bid “Bye! Some other time ‘hope you will wear pleasant smell than today.” We take them to bath. A whit could be enough, at least not to the point of brushing their teeth.
Let me do the mustering. “Pangit”, our burly monstrous black dog who scares me even was chained in the morning so as the family’s bank could not be bankrupt out of paying anti rabies vaccine. In night-time, that’s the time for him to jog whatever he wants as if he satisfies what freedom means and to drive away unwanted visitors—pertaining to “Akyat Bahay Gangsters.”
Next on the list is “Bungoton”, the uncommon imported breed of Irish terrier. The name came up so as to complement his whole identity: a beardy golden brown. His attitude of welcoming visitors either could irritate down to bringing an outpouring outrage. He mastered swaggering as if telling us, “I’m the boss. You should pay much respect.” He is so talented, zealous fellow which oftentimes stirs my impatient as he usually approach me with dirt—product obtained from his tricky proud manoeuvre of winning attention. Sure enough that some family members are deem responsible for this. However, after all, he often entertains and makes us laugh trading-off our impatience than creating good career out of being a troublemaker. This is what makes him worth.
Alas! My fave dog, a puppy, a cute white with black spots named “Mahal” has just died some months ago. He is the only survivor whom had reached four months out from prematurity. I watched him grow, became my playmate, a good friend, a comforter. He used to pamper my melancholy and anxiety…sleeping at my lap, snatching and biting my slipper, sits whenever I told him so, embracing me with angelic stare of innocence, he’s so good at. His first bark at last, proved us wrong—he isn’t dumb. And…his lost just reminds us of our past dogs’ sullen goodbye. The cadence no longer visible but now part of history.
A dire animal extinction may be far possible to any domestic animals. Yet, a gradual but drastic arrest of tramp roaming at public streets at the belief of their collective ruination to the city’s peace and order, whipped though innocent and leniently slaughtered can never be impossible to attenuate them at large. Animal activists were born because of this: to stop lawless violence against animal welfare and rights that we citizens neither pet lover nor a combination of sheer corruptible has to be obliged with, so as protecting our properties.
I remember how a foreign segment, usually aired at particular cable channel Animal Planet once featured a true to life story on how an adopted dog was able to save an eight months old baby from a near-death situation, had touched my heart.
You too, have your own stories to tell about your pets. How much you value them will then profit you with the same kind in return. Moreover, raising and moulding a pet is same as raising and moulding a child in such a way of providing an amount of love, care, attention and discipline. Let’s just learn to love everything grasp by our faculties provided that it is only a lent thing. Your pet is a prodigious talent. Indeed, good treatment is what it deserves. (Jenny Nalzaro)