Bless a dog’s life

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Saturday, October 13, 2012


WE’VE had dog stories in the past few days for dogs are in our life—if not in a doghouse or inside the big house itself, out in the streets wandering past us. What I missed about home in Cebu when I’d go to Manila for college at school opening were the family dogs. They were police dogs that were part of my growing up years.

When I would come home for short weekend vacations, I’d arrive home at dawn from early plane flights discounted for students. Everyone home would still be asleep, except Lassie and her kind (two more) who’d rush to welcome me home.

Our house boy taught the three police dogs how to “play” basketball using the play basket put up by my brothers just off the patio. Some steps away from the open-ended net, the playful boy would dribble and then throw the ball up to the net or basket while the dogs stood looking up to it, anticipating a jump. Then the three of them would scramble forward to try and “catch” the ball, or hit it to the ground as though that made a score. That was to please us while we cheered on the side.

Dogs do make news that warms the heart.

You’ve read the news about a dog with a face crushed by some heartless person in Talisay City and how a trisikad driver took the animal in, announced the bad news to netizens which caught loving fire. The news saved the dog’s life in a heartfelt operation undertaken to restore his face, the medical process taking four hours as performed by eight medical professionals of the Animal Wellness Veterinary Hospital.

A day or two after, the news of a heroic dog came out, this time in Zamboanga city. A female dog named Kabang (spotty) was in the scene where two young girls she knew were crossing the street while a motorcycle roared towards them. Some people saw this, including Kabang.

What the dog did was throw herself between the rushing motorbike and the two cousins related to the dog’s master. Kabang’s head crashed against the front wheel, her snout stuck in it until the vehicle stopped. The girls fell but were left unharmed.

There were people who saw the incident, first thinking that someone threw the dog into the path of the motorcycle. But it was the dog herself in a mother’s pain who came between the vehicle and the girls to save them in an act of heroism. When she herself was pulled off the front wheel by the people in the site of the accident, she ran away and disappeared for two weeks.

When Kabang came back, she looked strange, her face twisted but safe, her life whole, this time that of a hero. The dog owner, Rudy Bunggal, said that Kabang “has become a superstar. People come here to have their photos taken with the dog.” Kabang has sympathizers and she will undergo surgery of the snout in the US.

There have been dog heroes the world over, besides here. Some years back, there was this Fox News about the heroic acts of a female dog named Shana in New York upstate who saved the lives of a senior couple caught outside their house in a snow storm which sent trees crashing from the roadside.

Trapped in a small space between a wall in a village building and fallen trees, they had no way of getting out until Shana came along and dug a tunnel in the snow as a path for the couple to get out and to rush home which was just a few meters away.

In San Rafael, California a dog was with her masters in an SUV that rolled over and down in a deep ravine. The 5-month-old female dog whose name is Honey managed to get out of the overturned car and ran, calling attention to everyone she saw. After half a mile’s run, she brought back with him a man who started the activity of saving the couple inside the car.

Of course, there are such stories in our own locale but they hardly reach media and so our people take dogs for granted. You go up to the Capitol site and see a dog here and there, lean and hungry, dirty and hairless, homeless.

Yes, there are local stories of dog heroes. There are fantastic stories, including the heroine Kabang, or simple ones like our family police dogs playing basketball. And it simply means that they have something to do with our life. Anyone hurting them, the way the Talisay dog Kenneth was hurt, should pay.

(ecuizon@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 14, 2012.

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