Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pets, With or Without It?

I grew up in the countryside where I am surrounded by different kinds of animals. My Dad loves to take care of domestic animals and it was one source of income for the family. We had a cow named "Baking" and its calf as "Bakiking", I literally witness how Baking gave birth to Bakiking and it was an amazing episode for me. We didn’t have both the cows for long as they are sold after a while. We had a lot of feathered animals like ducks, hens, pigeons and roosters too. Their eggs become our breakfast along with hot pandesal (bread.) Dad raised some hogs and goats too, I even get a chance to clean and washed them and it did not feel like working, it feels like I am playing and having fun.

The best time of my life was when I get to own a puppy whom I named Queenie. She was the prettiest puppy I have ever seen. Queenie would come every single day about a few meters away from our house and wait for me to return from school, as she sees me she would wave her tail to show how excited she was to see me and accompany me home. I had a hammock tied at the two pillars of our house by my mom and I sit there after school to play with her. Eventually she learned how to get on and get off the hammock and it became her resting place when I am not around. One day, she came home very sick, she must have eaten something that made her stomach very upset and in the morning when I woke up she was gone. We didn’t have enough money to take her to the vet and my Lolo was staying far from our house to rescue her from dying. I felt horribly sad and to comfort me, my mom and my dad gave her a proper burial. My dad buried her in the field where he used to take Baking to nibble grass and I put a red gumamela flower in Queenie’s grave and say my final goodbye to a good old friend.

Spot, is another joy of our childhood, she was my brother's dog; she was a beautiful white- and brown spot dog. She lived for nine years and has given my family too many puppies. Every time she gave birth we are getting at least five to twelve puppies, some of them are given as gift to neighbors, friends and relatives who wants to have a pet dog. Some puppies we keep for us to take care of and play with. Sometimes, when the going gets tough, my mom will take the puppies in the market and sell them to support some of our needs.

I had another friend, a feline one; she was named “Muning”. Muning is an orange-white cat similar to Garfield and she was very fat. She’s the one I love the most among other cats that we had. At dinner time she would sit beside me and rub her paws in my elbow to ask for food. When she wants me she would curl up in my lap and murmur. When she wants to play she would rub her body in my legs and circle into me. I used to make fun of her by tying a thread on her tail and she would run after it making her turn around and around which makes me laugh my heart out.

Last May 2009, L and I went to Philippines to visit my mom and meet my sisters’ family before they set off to Qatar. In front of my mom’s house was the house of a friend who owns three puppies, two ducks , birds and a rooster. L was delighted to find these animals in the neighborhood and she watches them the whole time. We even borrowed one of the puppies and keep it in the house so she won’t stay late in the neighbors. I felt the need for L to have her own pet. Child expert says that pets help children to grow and learn. It teaches children to be responsible by acting as a caretaker for a pet; it develops discipline and the importance of friendship and companionship. They provide comfort, increase family bonding, encourage nurturing and keep children healthy. Hmmm :) then my countryside life being surrounded by pets helped me a lot in life.

I feel sad for L that she never had the chance until now to have her own pet. Leaving abroad won’t allow us to have one as it is mentioned at the tenancy contract that it is not allowed to have pets at home specially cats and dogs that might disturb neighbors. We are staying in a flat and it makes it more difficult to get one. L wanted a fish as a pet and maybe that would materialize. A clownfish like Nemo or a flower horn fish will be great. L was eyeing on this flowerhorn fish displayed at the petshop down our previous accomodation.

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