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Pets are family members too

by Al Sabado

Yesterday, as I waited for the veterinarian to finish examining Shatzie, two men entered the clinic with their dog, a German Shepherd. Just looking at the dog lying on the floor broke my heart, not because he had cancer, but because his master left him there. I wondered if the dog could only speak, he’d probably say something like, “Yeah right, you cared for me for 15 years. Now that I’m sick, you just leave me here on my own, hire someone to kill me, and bury me afterwards.”

It’s human to cry over your pet

I had a biggie dog once. His name was Dexter. He also got ill when he was old. And I say, caring for him was like caring for a child: bringing him to the vet for his vaccines and regular checkup, buying him food so he’d get complete nutrients, and bathing him regularly, among other things. I remember my sister called me in the office one time and said in quivering voice, “Al, wala na si Dexter (Al, Dexter is gone).” That made me cry. My boss ordered one of my colleagues to follow me in the ladies room and find out what went wrong. Then when they learned that my dog died, they laughed. That must be funny for some people, but what they probably didn’t realize was that a “member of our family” for 14 years just died. Dexter was buried in our garden. Before burying him, my dad said, “O, iyak ka na (You can cry now).” I told my dad, “Umiyak na po ako (I already cried).”

Make time for pet care especially on weekends

Over a month ago, I decided to bring Hope, one of my two ‘kids’ (cats), to the vet for spaying. I couldn’t save up for another PhP7,000 (about US$162) to get her spayed just like Humble, her mother. So I was delighted to learn about the spaying services of The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) from former colleague Dhea Santos. Thanks, Dhea! PAWS will gladly spay or neuter your pets for a reasonable amount of PhP1,000 (about US$23). But this fee may change anytime. So call them at +63-2-475-1699 for details.

My niece doesn’t like the idea of spaying cats. She called the act “cruel.” But I told her that if I didn’t spay our cats, they will multiply, and when they do, I’d be least able to care for all of them. Pet care spells out “r-e-s-p-o-n-s-i-b-i-l-i-t-y.” So anyone then who takes in a pet to the household has to be ready to carry out pet care. Is this a threat? No. Times will come when you will thank the Lord for giving you pets—even when you were unlikely to adopt them. How do I know? Well, Humble was once the noisy stray kitten crying all day when she was thrown in front of our house on a rainy day. I tell you, playing with her helps remove my stress. She’d usually peer through the door window to “check on me” while I work. Months after she came, she gave birth to two kittens: the black one died, while the white one (Hope) survived. Then I said, “OK, that ends there” and decided to bring Hope immediately to PAWS.

2 July 2012, Monday


A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal,

but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

(Proverbs 12:10)