Did I get the vax?
To the question asked by the vet’s assistant, I answered that the three aspin (asong Pinoy) puppies were due for the fourth and last jab of the 6-in-1 vaccine, which also protects them from the canine parvovirus.
The assistant clarified that he was asking if the husband and I were already vaccinated for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Being a guardian of dogs and cats has a way of creeping and taking over one’s life. When the husband and I started to rehome Noki’s puppies, we followed the advice of my sister, another guardian who minds other people’s dogs, to rehome after 12 weeks.
Prematurely separating a puppy from its mother traumatizes through forced weaning and deprivation of its canine family. In the first three months, a puppy is not just nursed by its mother but also socialized by her and its siblings.
Twelve weeks also cover the basic deworming and vaccination program that protects the puppy during its first year.
Since our lot is less than 100 square meters, with delineated dog, cat and plant zones for everyone’s sanity, we see it as our responsibility to match each puppy and kitten with a “furever” family.
When prospective guardians see the puppies and ask “anong lahi (what breed),” the husband and I answer, “lahing Pinoy.”
Within our spheres of influence, we push the stance that breed is not important. All dogs and cats, even those with feral ancestry, deserve kindness and respect.
Life on the street is not fit for any animal. Life with some folks who think they want a pet can be as deadly. We screened guardians for red flags: This person will NOT eat our puppy; feed the puppy to its pet snake; groom it to be a bait dog for dog fights; or chain it to guard their home, expecting the animal to eat air while they get a tan.
We dismissed prospect No. 1 because she never visited us and the puppies. Expecting the puppy to be handed over the fence, this entitled creature probably equated it with a pinch of salt cadged from next door. Salt melts away; what would have happened to our puppy after she outgrew her novelty?
Prospect No. 2 met us and brought home a puppy. He passed her on to his 70-year-old grandmother to feed and look after. On the third day of failing on his vow to update us about our puppy, the husband searched for the man’s house and took back our puppy.
Our neighbor ticked the boxes: Not only did she visit us and talk about her furry companions while it drizzled, she took the puppy into her arms and asked her if she wanted to go home with her.
As of this writing, we have yet to visit Ikog and her new mom. Meanwhile, Ikog’s old mom is asking God for a genuine happy ending.