Today is World Animal Day.
This is taken from www.worldanimalday.org.uk:
World Animal Day was started in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species. Since then it has grown to encompass all kinds of animal life and is widely celebrated in countries throughout the world. October 4 was chosen as World Animal Day as it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
The puppy in the house in now 4 months old. He is quite the hyperactive kind so I followed Cesar Millan’s advice that the puppy needs exercise to release all the energy. We walk in our neighborhood everyday, morning and afternoon. Quite a few passersby have asked me what the dog’s breed was. I have no idea. I often reply, “Askal”. Askal is a popular term in the Philippines for ASong KALye (street dogs). Askal’s breed is so mixed that it is already difficult to determine its pedigree. In English, a mongrel. A teen in my neighbor passed by one day and remarked, “Is he Belgian?” I replied that I do not know. He talked to another neighbor, “He looks Belgian. Don’t you think so?”
I have not heard of a Belgian dog so I searched the internet for the breed of our dog. I looked for a database of all dog breeds and the landed on different websites. I seem to agree with the teenager that our dog is part Belgian Malinois. Some of its physical characteristics and the temperament described matched that of our dog. He is hyperactive. He thrashed the garage when left alone. He ran in circles when confined in a closed space. Leisurely walk is not his thing. We had to do some a running and other activities.
When I told my aunt about the possible dog breed of her pet, it scared her. This dog breed is not recommended to first-time pet owners. I told her that a Malinois is a guard dog. It is usually used as a police dog. It is said to be preferred over a German Shepherd because a Malinois has no hip problems. It is said that a Belgian Malinois helped capture Osama Bin Laden. She got scared. I tried to ease her fear by telling her it is just a mixed breed and that Cesar Millan said, “The problem is not the breed. It is the owner.” This time I got scared. HA!
My aunt wanted a lazy dog. The type who can be left around the house without an incident. This dog was given to us because the owner of the dog’s mother can no longer look after the puppies. Our dog benefactor told us that the mother is a calm and gentle dog. Besides, he was so cute when he arrived. Who can refuse this?
And we thought the only problem we will have is toilet training. The puppy pooped and peed everywhere. The house smelled like a dog and newspapers were scattered as a catch basin of the excrement. We realized his hyperactivity then so we borrowed a relative’s unused kennel for him. One night, he was able to ‘escape’. My aunt found all her magazines all over the floor with a happy puppy on top chewing bits of paper.
We are now using his 4th leash. He broke a chain, gnawed on a woven leash and ‘Houdinied’ himself out of a body leash. He has outgrown his kennel so we now tie him to the garage door.
He has toned down his hyperactivity as long as he gets his daily exercise. It turned out to be my daily exercise as well. He walks, runs and jumps leaving me panting and drenched in sweat. When I sit and rest, he rests on my lap and licks on arms. Sweet thing. I am beginning to smell like a dog.
This morning, his guard dog instincts kicked in. We were on our regular morning walk when he barked at a scavenger rummaging the neighborhood garbage area. He barked so hard and deep so unlike his regular barking sound that when my aunt heard him she thought a bigger dog was going to pounce at us. It was Joaqui, our dog.
Hug your pet today!