Our dog Shancai (named after the leading character in the Japanese TV Novela “Meteor Garden”) gave birth to five puppies last Friday (June 27). I came home from work and I found four puppies scattered on our balconahe. It is rule that no one, even the owner, should touch a new born puppy when the mother dog is watching. It is a rule that every Filipino teach their children. So, when I saw that Shancai was not wagging her tail at me, I immediately understood that as a sign that she was did not want any help. I smiled at her and entered the house.
I did not want those puppies; we already had three native dogs and a Labrador. I was planning to bury the puppies so that I would not have to feed them. (The price of rice here in the Philippines doubled in the last few months.) I was thinking of a plan to get the puppies out of Shancai’s sight so that I could grab them and put them in a plastic bag and bury them or throw them away in a river. I know that when these puppies begin to look like puppies, I would not be able to do my plan; my conscience will prevent me. So, I waited for the opportunity, but it did not come. I know now that I will never be able to carry out my plan.
The next morning I found two puppies being eaten by ants. Well, nature took care of what I was planning. But it’s pitiful, heart breaking, really, to see a mother dog licking a dead puppy. It’s almost human, too human. I knew that if I did not do something, the other puppies will be killed by the ants too. So, when I saw Shancai wagging her tail at me, as if begging me to do something, I gathered her puppies and put them in a batya (washbasin), safe from the ants. Then I put the washbasin in the far corner of our balconahe. Then I put my daughter’s tricycle as barrier so that Shancai and her litter will not be disturbed.
But my gulay, my goddaughter, was bitten by Shancai. It was afternoon and my wife and I were both asleep when it happened. Though she did not admit and she lied about it, the neighbors saw that she went alone to our balconahe and then she came out with a bleeding finger. Our dogs, as most dogs in the neighborhood, are not vaccinated with anti-rabies because it’s expensive. So, I ended up paying a share in the anti-rabies shot of my goddaughter and my gulay, it’s a lot of money!
I cannot blame Shancai, though I was tempted to euthanize her because I am afraid she’s rabid, when I found out the neighbor’s version of the story, I knew that Shancai was innocent and the one to blame was the one who could think, in this case my goddaughter.
But I cannot blame my goddaughter too because puppies are irresistible.
My gulay, bad things happen and I’m having headaches.