So We Have A Dog

Six months later I noticed I haven’t had an entry about our dog. Once referred to as a small rat for being so tiny the first time wifey got it out of a box that was less than half of a regular shoe box into our house is now a grown up dog and we think it is still growing bigger and/or fatter.

Being cozy with Marcus.

Named after Marcus’ pricey smart toy dog he got as a gift while in the US, Shadow soon became house-trained. I’d wish it’s toilet-trained but the fact that it whines whenever it needs to “go” and do it outside, wherever it pleases, is good enough.

First day Shadow went farther from home.

It wasn’t all good and easy though having him around. With me especially. I had less tolerance to pet peeves so I didn’t deal with most of it too well unlike wifey. I was strict. However, what I didn’t learn from reading about dealing with pets, I learned from Marcus. Some the hard way.

An animal lover since he was younger, it was his wish to have another live pet at home after we lost our cat, Mittens, in 2016. We tried a turtle and we still have a dwarf hamster. It took a couple more years for us to test if we can have something furry and bigger. Hypoallergenic dogs are out of the question due to costs. Thankfully, Marcus never had asthma attack with the mongrel shedding all over. So far.

Disciplining the dog was always the issue. Marcus is so particular with how his pets are handled. He reminds me when to clean the hamster. He would protest whenever he sees the dog hurt. It was a challenge explaining to him why I need to keep the dog from doing stuffs. Why there should be rules on what the dog can do and can’t do. At least he now knows to keep Shadow at bay whenever necessary. I taught him that a slight tap to the nose works.

Pet peeves aside, Shadow as it turned out is an active mutt. It has short bursts of energy. It is playful at the same time annoying–I was drafting this post with Shadow licking my head, biting my elbows. It plays fetch inside the house, it runs and jumps around which is the very reason I decided to install an anti-tip strap to our flat TV. Marcus loves all these antics.

This is why I now appreciate Shadow more being with us. To see Marcus enjoy the dog’s company makes me think we made the right decision to get a dog and deal with pet peeves in the process. I think I have learned my lessons–continue to learn may be more appropriate. I’d like to believe I’m a better pet owner and father, while I’m at it. We’re now like an ideal family out of Marcus’ Sims game. If only this dog could get a job or at least run along.

Shadow loves the yoga matt and is always around when I stretch after running.


Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Second week to see the team.)

There is a Turtle in Us


There is a turtle in all of us. Well, at least that’s how it now appears to be in our case.  More than a week ago my wife and I watched on Umagang Kay Ganda a segment wherein they featured turtles for pets and when we told Marcus about it, the next days that followed was filled with questions “Where do I get a turtle?”, “When can I have a turtle?”, and similar other questions with the word turtle in it.  So yesterday was the day we found and bought one and achieved peace. How happy was Marcus? We got a couple of goodnight hugs from him which rarely happens.

Rafael meets Raphael.

Somewhere in Bacolod, however, one was obviously not a big fan of turtles. Over the phone this morning, I told my mother the good news that we finally got a pet for Marcus. A pet that doesn’t have a fur that could trigger allergic reactions. But to confirm the suspicion I had since I was in high school, she immediately advised that the turtle shouldn’t be kept inside the house as people say it makes the life of anyone who has it slow. That flashed me back in time when I found one crawling in our backyard that I kept in our toilet while I try to find the right box for it. That turtle which was about the size of a saucer disappeared without a trace when I returned to check it. My mother said it must have escaped but our toilet had walls of slippery white tiles and a small window above five feet plus I knew I closed the door just before I left. I wasn’t given the chance to name the turtle Houdini.

To entertain my mother’s opinion on this innocent reptile and just to make that mother-knows-best notion true, my career path has been indeed a drag. Could be the effect of keeping, while briefly, a turtle or could be due to me being contented of what I have or could be due to the workplace environment where I am currently at. The safest to blame would be the turtle. Anyway, after years of trying to move on and positioning myself on the next step of the career ladder, I landed the job I least expected to get. It was turtle-pace movement but I’d take it. I learned about the good news just a day before our account celebrated its fifth year this weekend.

Oh, yes, Marcus named the turtle of course. It’s now called Raphael. It costs us 450 pesos to get it so we need to save before we get another of his cowabunga friends.


Among yesterday’s mall itinerary was to watch a movie and the perfect film on the day we get a new pet is no other than Secret Life of Pets.  It is about the story of what pets do the moment their busy owners step out of the door to resume their busy life in New York. As an adult I would say that this is among those many films with its trailer far more entertaining that the full movie itself but looking at how Marcus decided to stay put in his wheelchair—he gets an unimpeded view of the screen from the isle—instead of on my lap during the entirety of the movie tells me that he enjoyed it. And as usually the case, an animated film for kids is meant to be just that. For kids.


Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Expecting a long day with the turtle.)

Goodbye Vader

It just sucks when something you cherish goes away too soon. Like when everything seems to be fine and then boom, the unexpected happens. It’s gone, never to return again. It’s when you wish it’s just a bad dream.

Reality is just that.  In real life, there is disease. In real life, there is loss, irreversible loss. Real life isn’t real if there is no death.

Wherever you are Vader, if that dog heaven does exist or not, or if you can see the gap you left in our hearts or not, and whether you can even read this blog for you or not, you will be remembered.  I will miss our trip to the pan de sal store.

Happy dog day.



Mood: 8/10 Honks! (Let sleeping dogs lie.)

Black Cat

Black cat drawing using Android Paint app
Black cat drawing using Android Paint app

This is the second cat drawing by Marcus using the Paint app but I like the first one he did which was mistakenly not saved by wifey. This is also my first post, if successful, directly coming from the Paint app. (It didn’t work so I’m back to posting via Photobucket’s direct share link.)

Back in the days one the few ways to display a child’s drawing was Funny Komik’s This Is Your Page section. I think my mother got three of my drawings published. How I wish we were able to saved copies the comics we used to buy every week.


cats love playing with bags
We now know that cats love playing with bags. She is the inspiration of Marcus’ cat drawings.


Mood: 1/10 Honks! (Anxious to see typhoon Ruby out of the country.We are expecting it tomorrow.)

Cat’s Spay Day

King's Road Veterinary Clinic, Where to spay cat in Cavite, Cavite spay, Cheap cat spay in Cavite
Mittens still figuring out what we have done to her.

Responsible pet ownership has a price. Once a person decides to have a pet(s) he or she commits to take good care of it until its lifetime. Pets will need food, it will need grooming, and it will soon find a mate. And it could multiply which is just fine if planned such as for breeding and selling. Otherwise, the owner–as the more intellectual being–must ensure that the pet doesn’t produce young ones that it cannot properly take care of.

What we call in here in the Philippines as askal and pusakal are usually products of pet owners who do not have any idea–or some, sadly, do not care–about pet birth control. Anyone who plans to have four-legged companions must therefore take everything into consideration including neutering (male) and spaying (female) to curb the increase of stray animals. And it is what we just recently did.

Two weeks ago, our cat  was in heat. It became restless, it exhibited the signs that we have read before. It became more eager to go out of the house, it rubbed itself on walls, it rolled like crazy on the ground, and it made those weird mating calls.  Not wanting to get it pregnant by male cats who seem to all of a sudden appeared in our yard out of nowhere, we kept our feline from getting outside. We closed the windows and doors, we too got boxed in.

The experience of dealing with a cat in heat compelled us to take actions. Initially we planned to bring the cat to PAWS (The Philippine Animal Welfare Society) as their spay service is significantly cheaper (based on their website it is only P1,000) than any other clinics we know. However, after realizing that the procedure requires some prior tests and the fact that it’s a long drive from home we cancelled it. Wifey then tried to locate veterinary clinics within Cavite that charge the least and she found one.

Kings Road Veterinary clinic is just more than 10 kilometer from home. Setting an appointment was easy and the spay operation was faster than I expected. Our cat and I reached the clinic minutes before 10 am and the vet, Dr. James, immediately started the procedure. He performed the blood test and then the operation proper. Before 12 noon he is finished and few minutes later Mittens is already conscious.

Dr. James’ clinic is located along Daang Hari road. He has two units–one clinic and a grooming station–within the same building. Both facilities appear bright and well maintained. Kings Road vet has a Facebook page so do check it out for your pet needs.


Mood: 1/10 Honks! (Got kid’s class card. Marcus still his class’ top 2.)

What’s The Plan?

What’s the plan? Spray the male cat away. (Illustration by Marcus)

Our cat I suspect is now in heat and it follows, from my little understanding of our furry friends, that male cats nearby can detect it. In the recent weeks, the three of us at home have been fending off cats who pay our pet a purposeful visit and Marcus has been the most active in this duty of preventing any of those visitors from hooking up with our calico. Today our son comes up with a plan and it’s the first time I heard him refer to something he has drawn.


Mood: 3/10 Honks! (I hope that this is Marcus’ day 2 of playing with our neighbor’s kid. He badly needs outdoor activities–other than spraying cats.)

The Real Oggy And The Cockcroaches

Photo from the Web.

Cat and mouse. This I’m sure that anyone will recognize the famous rivalry. It’s been like that. For example, when I say Tom, someone will highly likely say Jerry. When I start with ‘when the cat is away…’ it will be easily continued by anybody with ‘…the mouse will play.’ Yes, everyone just knows the relationship between the two.

But how many are aware of cats and cockcroaches. For one, I don’t, I never did. I was so clueless that I scratched my head when I first saw the cartoons Oggy and the Cockroaches. Who would have thought that it’s a good idea to create an animation about the misadventures of a blue cat named Oggy and his archnemeses Dee Dee, Marky, and Joey. Well, Jean-Yves Raimbaud seems to know what he was doing.

Marcus started watching Oggy and Cockroaches when he was a lot younger. He loves the show so much that now at age six and with our cable TV subscription gone, for a year and half already, he would mention that it is still one of his favorite cartoon shows. He now hates the others he once watched almost regularly–like Ben 10, Dibo, and, thankfully, Barney–yet his fascination of Oggy and the Cockroaches stays. But do cats and these horrendous smelly creepers meet in real life? Yes, just not as amusing.

We have seen our cat, Mittens, so many times bring inside our house– of course, to our utter disgust–cockroaches to play with and eventually kill. I would often wonder if the poor cockroach would have preferred being sprayed with pesticide rather than the torturous demise due to being tossed around from the cat’s fangs and to be pummeled by its soft paw with sharp claws. Sometimes out of compassion, I deliver the quick death with the classic slipper whack.

The latest encounter happened this early morning while I drag my sleepy self from bed to the toilet. As I was about to open the faucet to wash my face I came eye to eye with the shiny brown pest and by instinct I had my hand ready with a slipper. I saw also that Mittens was right behind me, its iris opened, fully focused, and ready to pounce. The poor cockroach was almost trapped, it hesitated, and decided to avoid the cat. It seems that our cat’s notoriety has spread around the filthy roach community. Oh by the way, its name should’ve been Oggy but we later learned it’s female.


Here’s a trivia I read from Wikipedia. Did you know that Dee Dee, Joey, and Marky were among the members of the American punk rock band The Ramones? Now what are the chances that their song I Wanna Be Sedated is about a cockroach begging to escape slow death from a cat.


Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Holiday today. Another day off for Marcus.)