Updated: Feb 26
I am an animal lover and I would like to share my two bits... do keep an open mind.
SECOND CHANCE ASPIN SHELTER PHILIPPINES INC.
Second Chance Aspin Shelter is home For 40 dogs. Their objective is to give quality life and eventually find a loving home for all 40 dogs
THE PHILIPPINE ANIMAL RESCUE TEAM (PART)
Volunteer based, SEC registered, non-profit animal welfare group. Our NO KILL animal sanctuary is home to the abused, neglected, abandoned, & injured strays of Manila.
I have nine (9) dogs and all are aspins. Five of them are from Second Chance Aspin Shelter: Hera, Paige, Basha, Tanya and Bella. Two are from P.A.R.T. and their names are Easter and Piglet. Each one has a special place in my heart.
I grew up knowing what it was like to have pets and loving them was never a distant thought or feeling. My mom has had so many dogs of different breeds that I could never count them. Growing up in such an environment has both positive and negative factors. On a funny note though, I will never forget how my mom often tried her best to confuse me with their names. For some reason, I always knew if the dog was one that she has had for sometime or if it was a new dog that had just arrived. "You have a new dog - AGAIN!", I would often say. Her reply was always the same, "No, luma na yan!" (No, that is an old one!). I suppose I could consider that as a positive factor - it always made me laugh. She often adopted the unwanted - dogs that were too bruised and broken. There were dogs that were over-used for breeding. There were dogs whose only faults were to be old. No matter what the reason was, my mother was always ready to take them in. Her love for the unwanted pets is a trait that was passed on to me. No animal is ugly and too dirty to be loved. That, I firmly believe in.
My aspins are blessings in life. Before me, they never knew what it was like to love and to be loved. Each had its own story and as traumatic as it was, making them see that they could trust me was a feat. Some were aggressive, while others were afraid of other dogs. Each case was a challenge; a challenge that I would never turn away from. The fear in their eyes were overpowering that it was impossible not to feel for them. I wanted to help them and I wanted to make their lives better. My dedication to them was unwavering; fueled by the sheer goodness in my heart.
But there are only a number of us - true animal lovers that want to make a difference in the lives of these lovable indigenous dogs of the Philippines. It is heartbreaking to know that time cannot change the general attitude of most people with regard to aspins. In my opinion, they are the most beautiful among all other dogs. However, they are unattractive to most simply because of ones mentality; imported animals are cuter. I cannot fathom how some would say that they love animals, and yet, they are also so breed conscious. Give me a cat or a dog, regardless of its origin, I will love it with all my heart.
NO LONGER UNWANTED
When Easter arrived at my house, it was Rowena of P.A.R.T. that brought her. What she said then pinched me so deeply that her words never left my thoughts. She said, "tumanda na nga yan sa shelter."(It was at the shelter that she has gotten old), referring to Easter. The thought of Easter growing old in a shelter, devoid of warmth and comfort is saddening. I cannot imagine my life without her. She sleeps next to my son every night and follows me down the stairs every morning. She is treated with much love and care - none of which would be true for her if I were a different person.
Hera, my darling, came to my life soon after I lost my Olive. I was so heartbroken that I begged for a dog that looked a lot like my Olive. Of course, Hera could never replace Olive; none are replaceable. But my heart had a big empty hole in it, that it almost felt like I just needed an immediate fix. Hera was my "fix". She was being fostered at that time, and she was sick too, which is why it took a bit longer before I could have her. Soon after, I learned that my fat Hera was a problem doggy - she was a biter. I brushed that off because I knew that I could tame her, even with my eyes close. True enough, it only took me a few hours to make her realize that she was mine and I was hers; all I did was put my arms around her. She is my sidekick; my beta. She is fully aware that among all the dogs, she is the boss and she never fails to remind them of that. "I am Hera, master of the doggy world."
Oh, this girl is my five thousand pesos doggy. She shook my world when she ran out my gate like a speeding cheetah. It took three harrowing days before she was found. As promised, a reward of five thousand pesos was given to the people that took her in. She is part Pitbull, which is why her playfulness is a bit extreme. She is a very sweet girl; ready to embrace you with all her love. She, too, was a bit of a problem doggy. She was friendly towards people, but afraid of other dogs that she would often cower in one corner. Now, not only does she run around my coffee table over and over, she also plays with my other dogs.
I refer to this girl as Tanya the turd because she tends to be annoying at times. However, she is as sweet as the others. Her fur is darkish brown and she is small-to-medium in size.. a turd with legs. She was given to me by Cherry Licup of Second Chance Aspin Shelter because she looked a lot like Harry; Hera's brother that passed away many months ago. Tanya is the smallest among them, but she is such a bitch that she enjoys lighting the fuse between her and another for no reason. Then again, as I had said, she is a very sweet girl - too sweet that when she gets too excited, she pees herself. She can be a handful at times, but the sight of her always puts a big smile on my face. So, whenever I see her, I can't help but sing, "Twerk it like Tanya." Don't ask me why because I, myself, don't have a clue.
There really is not much to say about her and this is because Basha often minds herself. She is quiet and obedient. But don't let her silence fool you; she can bark like mad when she wants to. She sleeps at the foot of my bed and every night, like clock work, her continual scratching makes it seem like the bed is having a seizure.
Bella-licious is a small and round dog. Once upon a time, she was best friends with Tanya. But their friendship was cut short. Long story short, Mortal Kombat would ensue even at the slightest glance - so much animosity is present amidst the two bitches. Bella is one of the sweetest dogs you could ever meet; which makes this war between Bella and Tanya an unfortunate situation because I have to keep them away from each other as much as I can. Otherwise, we would always need the soundtrack playing in the background to complete the scene... "Get over here!"
This handsome aspin has six toes on each paw. Originally, they named him Six toes. For some unknown reason, someone at the P.A.R.T. shelter replaced it with Piglet. Before I took him in, he was their mascot - often tagging along and making people smile. He wasn't an easy adoption. It took a bit more effort for me to convince them to let me have him. He was just so adorable when I first saw him at the shelter that I could not close my door on him. He is a very good dog; quiet and gentle.
My aspins may be ordinary to others, but in my heart, they are special. They would never have been special if I chose to live a life without them. But I chose them, as much as they chose me. Tonight, as I write this, they sleep peacefully on my couch and my bed. They are treated like little kids - looked after and taken care of. My pets live good lives and that is my happiness. I hope that in time, more people would learn to find happiness in having these local dogs as part of their families. They need us - all you have to do is open your doors to them.
"I have been to the above-mentioned pet shelters - it was exciting and sad. Of course, soon as my feet touched the ground of both shelters, I was overjoyed to see the animals. But leaving and having to say goodbye to the orphaned aspins gave me such a desolate feeling that is painful to remember. So many of them, and yet, so little care to want them. Sad. Plain sad."