Saturday, January 07, 2012

A canine code red... and a few other things

Sometime last week, I realized that our 3-month-old puppies -- the two tiny litter mates I acquired with much care and planning, and with much consideration for their well-being -- have a stronger attachment to our household helper than to me. It was somewhat painful but more because I couldn't understand why than because of some desire to be the only object of their affection and loyalty. I had discovered the reasons since then -- and am working on solutions -- so I don't feel as bad anymore. But first, some stories -- first of which is how they came to be part of our home.

I was walking back to the office one afternoon from a grocery where I purchased a snack when I caught sight of some dogs on leashes walking about near an abandoned building. "Abandoned" is probably not a suitable word because it turned out that the man who owned the dogs has made the building his home -- and the dogs, apparently his source of income.

A few moments later some pups emerged, prancing about as fast as their tiny legs could, and I thought, "Ooh, puppies! How cute!" It just so happened that my family was really on the lookout for a puppy since it had been over a year since Sabrina had died. And we wanted one just like her -- a mongrel, not some high-maintenance breed like a German Shepherd, Siberian Husky, Bulldog or even one of those kinds that had to be groomed a lot (Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier and the like). We wanted a dog to stay outdoors and preferably one that was reasonable on the budget.

I approached the canines, conversed with the man who owned them and struck a deal. That night I told my mother about my discovery, and we arrived at the conclusion that it would be better to take two pups instead of just one (two would mean the presence of a playmate!). So, preparations were made, which was fun but also time-consuming because it had been 15 years since the last time we had a puppy at home (Sabrina died at age 14).

All the preparations were made (I swear, at some point it must have been what anticipating the arrival of a baby was like!), and on November 23, a Wednesday, I brought the two litter mates home! We named them Yahoo and Perdita.

They were shy and somewhat withdrawn, to say the least. Their favorite spot, besides the old carton box that we provided for their little "house," was a corner which seemed to serve as a refuge for them -- especially Yahoo -- whenever one of us visited them to bring food, to play, give them a pat, to coo their names. But the attempts at first were futile, since they would either scamper to their box and remain out of sight or sit in the corner and act disinterested every time somebody dropped by.

"Pa'no kaya kung isa lang binili natin? Eh di ang lungkot-lungkot niya lalo? Buti magkasama pa din silang magkapatid..." were some of our remarks after observing the inseparability and forlorn expressions both wore (except when they were roughhousing when they thought nobody was watching them through the flimsy curtain through the windows). They always slept huddled together, with one's paw over the other's head, or one's body slung over the other's back.

Within a couple of days they were wearing collars (pink for Perdita, green for Yahoo) and running around more enthusiastically. They even lapped up their milk faster and dared to venture out of their designated space and looked happy about it. (I decided that being introduced to the experience of walking with a leash would have to be for later. Too many new experiences one after the other can't be all that good for the little ones so soon after being transported into a still unfamiliar place, away from their mother and original owner.)

I had decided that Sunday -- four days after arriving home -- would be the day to bring them to the vet for a check-up. Two days after the pups arrived, our house helper pointed out worms in their poo! They did, after all, live on the streets during the first couple of months of their life, so this shouldn't even be surprising.

Sunday afternoon at the vet. This is how Perdita looked while waiting for her and Yahoo's turn (Yahoo was somewhere in the box, too):

As it was a Sunday, there were more patients, as expected. Dogs would bark simultaneously once in a while, and on one such instance, here's Perdita's reaction to the noise:

You can see Yahoo lying in there, still oblivious to what was going on (or probably choosing to snooze to cope with the new experience). When their turn came, all went well -- no anxiety-inducing crying or spirited attempts to scamper away, just a couple of whimpers when stool samples were taken. They had loads of worms, the doc said! So that was dealt with.

Anyhow, I'll hit the "publish post" button even though I haven't even gotten to what I was supposed to really blog about in the first place. Something happened at home on the morning of this visit to the vet, the "code red" referred to in the title up there. But the excitement of the morning will have to be for another day's blogging -- soon, I hope!!


Ishmael Fischer Ahab said...

Cute doggies. :-)

Tama yang decision mo to get a low maintenance askals. Laki pala ng dilemma mo namas close sila sa kasambahay mo kesasa iyo. But that is understandable dahil si kasambahay ang madalas nilang makita.

Have blessed New Year. :-)

sunnyday said...

A blessed New Year to you, too, Ish :-)

Oo nga 'no? Actually, hindi ko naisip yung factor na madalas nga nila makita ang helper namin. Pero dapat ok lang talaga. Ang importante, inaalagaan din niya sila ng mabuti just like the way I would.

Anyway, mas napapalapit na din sa akin si Yahoo and Perdita kasi palagi ko na silang binibigyan ng biskwit and other treats hehe. Also, I give them their milk every morning.

Ishmael Fischer Ahab said...

That's good. Nagiging close na kayo ng mga alaga mo. I belly rub mu din. Gustong-gusto ng mga aso ang belly rub.

Ang mahalaga sa pag-aalaga ng aso ay dapat ipakita mo kung sino ang boss sa bahay. Sabi yan ng ka-opisina ko ang it make sense naman. You can instill to your dog by showing them who's the boss. :-)

ignored_genius said...

I love the names of your dogs. Perdita and Yahoo. Anlalaki na nila now di ba?

I'm still thinking for a name for our new puppy. It's a female mongrel. :)

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