The last time the house had a dog was when I was still in grade school. His name was ‘Bagets’. If you are not familiar with the ’80’s Philippine pop culture, Bagets is a coming-of-age movie which stars Aga Muhlach, Herbert Bautista, to name a few.
I was afraid of the dog. (I am afraid of dogs. Period.) Being the new face in the house then, Bagets would go near me which frightened me. I was so afraid to go near the dog that they let him out of the house just to stop me from crying. But when it was time to let him in, they could not find him. He strayed to some house a block away from the house. Even my grandfather looked for him. Good thing they found him. I realized that I should try not to panic around Bagets because I saw how worried everyone was when he got lost.
It is evident in this photo that I was afraid of him. Bagets tried to ignore me. Thus, he was almost cropped out of the photo.
Since I was often visiting my aunt’s house, Bagets and I became friends. When we moved to this house, Bagets treated me the same way he treated other members of the household. He would bark and run about when I return home from school. When my cousin and I would ride the tricycle to go somewhere, he would run after the tricycle wanting to go with us. We sometimes feared he might not be able to find his way home because he would run after the tricycle as far as he can. When he got into a fight with another dog, my cousin and I cried over his wounded leg. When there was a fire a block away from us and we were packing our things, my cousin and I cried thinking that we will leave behind Bagets. Bagets died when I was already in high school. I was not home so I did not see him die. I still miss him. He was a good dog.
Bagets died in the early ’90s. We did not have a dog until my cousin brought ‘Shawie’ home in 2008 ( Or was it 2009?). She is a dachshund.
Shawie’s stay in the house was short-lived. My cousin had to bring her to a place with a bigger lawn because my father vehemently refused raising the dog in the house. We visit her from time to time whenever we go to that place. Don’t get me wrong. My father loved animals. As a kid, my bedtime stories were stories about Rin Tin Tin (dog), the black panther and the bear. I do not know if he made the stories up. Most of his stories were the friendship formed between man and animal. My father objected raising the dog here because he believed that those in the city should not have dogs for a pet if there is not enough space in their house for the dog to run around. (We do not have a lawn.)
Now, my aunt has a new puppy and I get to play with him everyday. I am the big sister to the puppy, so to speak. (There are no more objections from my father because he is already in heaven.) The puppy was named Joaqui. I hope he is a good dog like Bagets. He is still small and the entire house is his playground. He quite behaved. Although he is still not toilet-trained, he would find a corner to hide in shame whenever we shout his name because he pooped in the house. It is so easy to forgive his toilet mishaps when he looks at us with his doe-eyes. I think he is going to be a sweet, sweet dog. I just hope we will be able to raise him well so he can live a long life.