imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

Pets

When our eldest son Genghis was around 3 years old, he developed that keen interest in pets. We did not have dogs that time and when he said he liked to own a dog, I surveyed who among my students had puppies. A little dark, thin boy stood up and said, “Sir, we have two puppies. Come to our house this Saturday and we will talk with to my parents about the puppies.”

The boy, whose name was Dengui said they owned 2 tiger-skinned puppies and that interested me no end.

Sure enough, Sporky grew to be a very big dog who dominated all the other dogs in the neighborhood. He lived for around seven years until he suffered from stroke and became invalid. He died a few months later.

But Genghis was not only interested in dogs, he was also into cats. So, we adopted two askal cats, but one of them was a clever food tripper-thief. Minggay would sneak into our dining room and eat the food on our table. One day, Minggay jumped over our dining table and helped himself with the fried fishes. That act broke my patience and so, I decided to get rid of the thief cat. I threw it away in the forested bamboo thickets where there were several houses nearby. When Genghis learned about this, his sorrow knew no bound. He was not able to sleep that night and the following day, he did not allow me to go to work unless we find first his cat.

So, off we went to the bamboo forest to look for Minggay, but he was nowhere to be found. But when we arrived home, we found him there, asking for water and food which Genghis generously gave. Minggay lived for a couple of years with us. She died of wounds she got whenever she quarreled with visiting cats.

Then we had a semi-German shepherd black dog named Bravo, as big as Sporky, but he was gunned down by a barangay toughie-assassin; a few months later, however, Mr. Toughie himself was gunned down by a tougher opponent.

Babo, 6, our youngest, then got interested in little dogs, so we got two cute shih tsus to complement our two big askals, Widodo and Chuchi. He also prodded his mom to buy 2 colored chicks when he went on a kiddie camping. When two small native pigs arrived at home, he said they belonged to him, too.

“Please, don’t hurt all my pets, otherwise…”

Of course, we love all these pets, fellas.

The 2 shi tsus and the 2 big askal dogs are very loving and they guard the house day and night.

Pets are a perfect company; they welcome us at the door, and eagerly wait for us to spend some time playing with them. They perform numerous pranks and tricks to make us laugh; they are amazing with kids and they offer unconditional love.

Pets are always there for us when we are feeling blue or lonely, when we need comfort and a warm hug, and when we are happy that life can sometimes be too beautiful to be true. With almost no effort at all, pets manage to bring so much joy into our lives. They make us laugh, comfort us when we’re sick or upset, and are always there for us no matter what.

This explains why people find it too difficult to say goodbye to their pets. The loss of a pet is always a traumatic and painful experience, as it is the departure of a best friend. This can only be explained by the fact that pet owners are deeply connected to their loved pets and they suffer as they have lost their soul mate.

I remember I also once had a dog whose name was Kiko. He liked to eat chicken feeds but he always stayed at home that he grew to be very fat and sluggish. One summer, we couldn’t find him. We searched for him everywhere, but he was nowhere to be found. We later found him at the bathroom, sprawled there dead. We presumed he suffered from heat stroke.

The waiting shed drunkards asked for the cadaver for their pulutan but we refused. We buried him in our backyard with all the weeping accorded to a dead family member. Indeed, losing a pet hurts more than people think.

What can pets do to our lives, fellas? Here are some:

1) They keep you fit

Dogs prod you to play, walk and run and that will help you get physically fit. Yes, a dog is possibly the best personal trainer you could ask for.

2) They make sure you’re never lonely

If you live by yourself, or your partner works different shift patterns to you, it can get awfully lonely at home – unless you have a pet, of course! Cats and dogs make great companions – they’ll always be waiting for you to come home and they’ll be happy to lend an ear should you want to moan about the awful day you’ve had.

3) They lower your stress levels

Modern life is stressful and high levels of anxiety can lead to numerous health problems. Luckily, pets can really help us relax – stroking your cat or simply watching fish swim around in a tank can make your worries melt away. Previous studies have proven that pet owners tend to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol level.

4) They can help you make friends

The pet owner community is an incredibly friendly one – you’ll often find that people will stop to talk to you about your dog in the park. Having a pet is a great way to meet new people and create bonds quickly, especially if you’re not too good at small talk. You never know, owning a dog may even help you meet the love of your life!

5) They can improve your immune system

Pets spend a lot of their time outside and therefore bring all sorts of dirt and germs into your home. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though – the additional germs can help improve your immunity to colds and other mild illnesses. In fact, previous studies have shown that babies who live with a dog tend to experience fewer infections and are generally healthier than those who don’t.

6) They can stop your children from developing allergies

While it’s no guarantee that owning a pet will stop your children from developing certain allergies, evidences suggest the particles in their fur may help. However, it’s worth noting that you should never own a cat or dog if you are allergic to them – you won’t suddenly become immune!

7) They can catch cancer early

It’s no secret that a dogs’ sense of smell is incredible, but did you know that some canines are capable of detecting cancer? Several pet owners have reported that their dog saved their lives after they noticed they were constantly pawing at, sniffing or even licking a tumor hidden underneath the skin.

8) They can teach kids responsibility

Every parent has heard the question ‘Can I have a pony/puppy/hamster?’ at some point in their child’s life. It’s no secret that kids love animals, and if they’re old enough, having one as a pet can actually teach them a lot of important skills. Not only will they learn the practical skills required to own a pet, such as cleaning out the cage, grooming and teaching tricks; they’ll also develop their nurturing and empathy skills, which are vital in later life.

9) They make you feel safe

Not everyone likes being home alone, but having a cat or dog there can make you feel a lot safer. Plus, burglars are less likely to target a house that’s clearly home to a dog. Some breeds make excellent guard dogs and will even protect you when you’re out for a run or walk.

Pets are here to cheer us, fellas.

If you haven’t got one, then by all means get one and live happier, longer and healthier!