Showing posts with label dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dogs. Show all posts

Thursday, September 29, 2016

BarbiQ, 2003-2016

Our mixed breed BarbiQ or Barbi as we liked to call her passed away today. She was more than 13 years old or 91+ years old in dog years. It was no surprise that her lifespan was longer than our lab Troy who was her contemporary. He was 10+years old (73 dog years) when he passed away in 2014. Barbi was a smaller breed and her being a mongrel likely made her more sturdy than Troy.

We "rescued" Barbi from the wife's parents' home where she seemed to be the odd dog among 2 dobermans and a three Japanese spitz. She was actually given to my mother-in-law by one of her students when she was still teaching. At the time we took her in sometime in 2004, she was already an adult dog and it took her a while to adjust to our place. She did get along immediately with Troy who was still a puppy. 

Barbi relaxing on a pillow at our home
Barbi survived being bumped by a car and a couple of operations on her ears. She was generally resistant to illness and only at times had a significant tick problem. That was when we were still at our first house. The past months she had become weaker and had less and less activity. She still liked her treats and would come to us whenever we called her. The last few days our helper had noticed that she seemed to have lost her appetite. This was probably a sign that she was already dying.The Clairvoyant last checked on her yesterday when Barbi refused her dinner and decided to hang around the bath at the back of our home. It was quite cold and damp the past few days because of the heavy rains so the weather also probably was a factor in her passing.

We will miss Barbi. She was a good guard dog who knew about our impending arrival home even when we were far away. She was the first to bark and had very keen senses. She also had a good feel for people so you know by her moods if a person was a dog lover or not. Rest in peace Barbi. You served us well and we are also glad that Ally got to experience your company even as you were at the twilight of your life.

Monday, August 29, 2016


I haven't written about our other dog, the youngest of the three we currently have. Boots was given to us by a friend and was actually named by her daughter. The dog's fur around his four feet gave the impression that he was wearing boots and that somehow made it easier for him to be named thus. Boots is half Maltese and half Poodle - a maltipoo and is quite an energetic dog for a small breed. We thought he was well matched with our Mocha, a very active Golden Retriever.

Another happy dog

Boots has only recently recovered from what was diagnosed as some kind of fungal infection he got from birds. There are a lot of birds coming to our garden and the vet told us that perhaps something in the bird poop was what infected boots so that he had what appeared as a severe case of dandruff. His kind turned out to be relatively high maintenance and it was the first time we had a dog that required a lot of grooming. Even our Mocha didn't require much in terms of shampooing and combing. Nevertheless, he's a loved member of our home and our daughter loves playing with him especially running around our garden.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Missing a dear dog friend

I was waiting for the Clairvoyant's arrival at the airport when I saw a couple of black Labrador Retrievers playing at the the arrival area. These were members of the airport's K-9 unit and the dogs played with their handlers during what seemed to be a few minutes of free time that they had. The airport was not as crowded as the other times I was there so there was some space for the dogs to play catch. A little girl even came up close, obviously curious at what she saw as dogs playing with a ball.

Black Labrador Retrievers and their handlers

Seeing the dogs play and interact with their handlers, I couldn't help but think about Troy, our dark chocolate Labrador Retriever who passed away in 2014. He was such a gentle creature; always playful and seemed to have not outgrown his being a puppy. He could have made a great playmate with our daughter Ally as well as our Golden Retriever Mockey. I've always told the Clairvoyant that I would like to have another Lab later. We agreed to get one once Ally's big enough to have the responsibility, too, of caring for a dog though I suspect she will pick another dog of her choice. At present, she's just too happy to play with our three dogs including our 'ancient' mix Barby who's the dog equivalent of an 80-year old.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Do dogs go to heaven?

There have been some heated and also humorous discussions about whether dogs go to heaven. You can easily google this and you will get articles about Pope Francis saying something to the effect that Heaven's gates are open to all of God's creatures. There are also many images including cartoons and photos (many likely photo-shopped) of bulletins outside churches in what appears to be a heated exchange about dogs going to heaven with references to the bible and Christian doctrine. I saw this cartoon that I thought perfectly captures my sentiments about dogs going to heaven.

Today is the birthday of our Labrador Retriever Troy who would have been 12 years old (84 in dog years). Here's another photo of him in our room in our former home.

Troy at my bedside in our old home - he loved to sit beside the aircon before eventually lying down just beneath my side of the bed. We thought at times during hot summer nights that he was gesturing for us to turn on the airconditioning.
I certainly would believe that dogs go to Heaven and our Troy who passed away in 2014 would be very qualified. I imagine that he is already there and enjoying himself while also watching over us. 

Rest in peace Troy. You earned it and deserve to be happy forever.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Lambing and kuyakoy of dogs

Our dogs have always been malambing (affectionate) and playful. We are thankful for them as companions who also bring joy to our lives. We always remember our black Labrador Retriever Troy who passed away last year. He was a jolly dog and one who constantly sought our company. He had his ways of showing his affection including going up to our room to sleep beside the bed if one of us were out on travel. He also liked to just lie on our feet as we worked overtime on our computers or perhaps watching the TV.

Our Golden Retriever Mocha is an even more playful and affectionate dog. She is still very young so she is very active and unknowingly can hurt you if you're not accustomed to affectionate dogs. This is because she has a tendency to jump at you (damba). She does follow commands not to jump at people but she is usually excited meeting people especially those she already knows especially us.

Mocha, our 1.5-year old golden retriever munching her raw hide 'bone' while also spinning around on her back.
Our older dog Barbi, a terrier mix, also loves to spin around on her back especially on grass or on our rugs. We think its partly her doing herself a back rub though many times she will just look at you and you know its an expression of happiness on her part to just do her thing. She also has a habit of snuggling up to us on the sofa whenever we are watching TV at night. Usually, it her bedtime ritual and I guess a way for her to be assured that we're just nearby as she sleeps. Unlike when we didn't have a child yet and Troy would also be in the house to keep her company after we went to our bedroom, she's now basically by herself in the living room. Mocha is still quite excitable so she has to stay out but in the service area where she has her own spot that's protected from the elements. Later, she will probably be allowed to stay indoors more.

Our youngest dog, Boots, whom I have not written about yet is a maltipoo (maltese and poodle mix). He currently likes just running around and playing with Mocha. Both our younger dogs are very active and they spend much of the mornings and afternoons running around the garden. Fortunately, they don't like to dig or play with the plants so its all good so far with the garden. We like to think that our older dogs have taught and passed on some rules to our younger ones on what is allowable behavior around in and our home (i.e., they were all easily house trained and rarely pee in the house).

Saturday, September 26, 2015

6 years A.O. (After Ondoy)

It's now 6 years after Ondoy (Typhoon Ketsana); that particularly destructive typhoon that brought down the heaviest rainfall we ever experienced (some say 100 year flood). We lost 1 of our 2 cars and were demoralized given our investment with what used to be our home back in 2009. Our housekeeper was so stressed and depressed (it was her first time to experience such an event) that we had her take a break for some time. Our pets were also distressed and it took a while before the two ventured downstairs as we were sure they could detect the smell of flood waters that lingered even after we cleaned up and disinfected our ground floor and surroundings.

We now live on literally higher ground. After saving up for a few years, we were able to build our new home. Our dogs moved in with us last year and soon our most wonderful blessing arrived and is enjoying her room at our home - safe from the floods of Ondoy and other typhoons that may bring in floods in the future. Our kasambahay Manang is also with us along with her son whose schooling we are supporting. They, too, are happy and it seems that we can all now look back at Ondoy and its floods jokingly. It is something we would rather not experience again and we hope our former neighbors will not experience again in the future.

Today is actually a sunny day, the weather is opposite to what we experienced this time of year the last 6 years. Perhaps this is climate change happening before our very eyes? There has not been a major tropical cyclone this year so far although there have been intense (torrential) rain episodes on many days the past months and news reports mention that the El Nino this year will threaten our water supply. One thing's for sure though. El Nino is usually followed by a year associated with bad weather and heavy rains. That is not a good thing to look forward to.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


I think one of our dogs have been a little jealous about our little Ally. Although both Barbi and Mocha have been allowed inside our home, it is usually Barbi (our old mixed breed) who is allowed indoors overnight. She is already more than 11 years old (about 80 in dog years) so she gets the preferential treatment over our Golden Retriever who is turning 2 in April next year. they have been trying to get our attention every single chance they have. But it is Mocha who has to make some 'sacrifice' staying at the service area. (She's got proper sleeping arrangements there and is not exposed to the elements.) Our previous dog Troy was always indoors at night. 

And so the wife thought we should already introduce our Ally to Barbi and Mocha. Barbi was okay and generally didn't mind our daughter's presence. Ally now often approaches and pets Barbi and we taught her to approach and stroke her gently so as not to surprise Barbi. Mocha is still young and would seem to be quite hyper whenever we are around and little Ally excites her as it seems Mocha sees her as a playmate. Ally was initially afraid of her but quickly learned that the dog is just super-malambing (to use a Filipino term). We try to walk around as much as possible with both Ally and Mocha. Our dog serves as our early warning against other dogs as well animals (there are many birds and small animals in our area where we have a lot of trees and other foliage around).

Mocha watching over the wife and daughter
Our retriever is territorial and we quickly discovered that her protectiveness of us extended to Ally as well. A male dog (a stray of sorts roaming around our village) happened to wander near us. Mocha spotted the dog in the distance and made her stance, barking loudly and making sure that the other dog knew she was aware of his presence and that the other dog should trot along quickly even without me shooing the dog. Ally and Mocha will grow up together and we think Mocha will eventually be Ally's dog (though we'll surely get her her own puppy once she's ready for that responsibility in a few years time).

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Memories of Troy

It's been a year since our beloved Labrador Retriever Troy passed away. He was a loving creature who always expressed his appreciation and love in many ways including giving us licks in the face or just being there when we come home tired from work. He was a happy dog.

Troy loved bananas

He also loved the outdoors
I just wanted to remember Troy as he deserved to be remembered. All the happy memories with Troy will not be forgotten and we have many tales to tell our little Ally about the big black dog that roamed our home with our other dog Barbie. :)


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy birthday Troy!

It's our Troy's birthday today. He would have been 11 years old (77 in dog years) today instead he is spending eternity in dog heaven. Do dogs go to heaven? We believe so with this gentle, kind creature we called friend and family.

Happy birthday Troy! We know you're having a blast with Our Creator in heaven!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Transition - Troy & Mocha

It will be 4 weeks now since our beloved Labrador Retriever Troy passed away. A week before his demise, we brought home Mocha, a Golden Retriever puppy, that we had adopted in part to lessen the impact of Troy's inevitable farewell. We thought that we had to have the two dogs meet up at least in order for Troy to be able to impart some of his "wisdom" and training to Mocha. It may sound weird but we believe that dogs communicate with each other somehow. This was how Troy was able to help us train our other dog Barbi who was quite hostile when we first brought her home.

Welcome party - Troy welcomed a newly arrived Mocha
It was his custom to sniff new friends and was probably very curious about the puppy we just brought home with us.

Troy and Mocha trot along in our garden towards our lanai.

We love this photo of Troy with his tongue out and licking Mocha as she turns around to give some attention to her new friend.

Troy was friendly to everyone he met. His ready smile and affectionate nature made him popular with kids and adults, humans and canines alike. We will miss those private, everyday moments with us when he was most charming and loving towards us, his chosen family. We will always remember you, Troy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Remembering our forever puppy

Troy will be forever with us and we will always remember him as a puppy. He simply refused to grow up and be the adult dog that he already was. Malambing is an apt but probably an understatement in as far as Troy was whenever he was with us. With the 'ber' months coming up fast, we couldn't help but reminisce past Christmases with our forever puppy. As a further tribute to Troy, following are a few more of our favourite photos of him taken during his first Christmas with us back in 2004.

Troy at 11 months always loved to hop on our sofa, often to peek out of the window whenever we drove into our garage. (December 2004)
He loved Christmas perhaps because he loved the smell and taste of the food. He knew he would always get his share of whatever it was we had. Of course, his favourites were the bread and fruits that we generously fed him on Christmas and New Year's Days.
Our Christmas dorgy all dressed up for the holidays.
Post Christmas cuddling at the sofa. He wasn't light as he had quickly grown over the 8 months that we had him. The puppy in him loved to sit on our laps despite his size. And it wasn't difficult to make him pose for a few photos. 

Wherever you are now, it will be Christmas everyday and forever enjoy being a puppy! Thanks for the happy memories of those Christmases you spent with us. You were truly a joy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Missing our Troy

It's a nice sunny morning and we can't help but miss the company of our lab, Troy. It doesn't really hit you until you start wondering why it's so silent now at home and you didn't have to ask if someone wanted to go "Out! Out!" to pee and poop. It is also painful to not have someone wait on you at the dining table for whatever scraps you could spare (though we always gave him his share of good food). 

Troy passed on to dog heaven yesterday and even the vets who took care of him this last 7 years were in tears as they also said goodbye to Troy before he was put to sleep. Two of the vets at the clinic were the ones who usually took care of Troy and Barbi for check-ups and whenever they were sick. They both made the trip to our home for Troy's final house call and we appreciated very much their concern about our lab. They were the ones who made sure Troy had been comfortable these past two months after his diagnosis of bone marrow cancer. His passing was inevitable given that at his age, it would have taken so much from him if he were to undergo cancer treatment.

Missing the snout and the company - Troy was always there and especially when we were relaxing or working from home. He will make an effort to squeeze himself in whatever space was available just so he could be close to us.
Even at the last moment, we could tell Troy wanted to assure us that he was okay and though weakened by his condition, he made a last effort to try to get up and do what he did best - comfort us. We restrained him and I had to tell him that it was time for him to rest. He had given us so much and we will never forget all these happy memories. We lost a dear friend yesterday but he will always be in our hearts and remembered. You are now with Our Creator Troy. Rest in peace and enjoy the rest of eternity with your friend Debra. Run free, eat whatever and whenever you can. Make everyone happy!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Troy: 2004 - 2014

We lost our Troy today. After battling what was suspected to be bone marrow cancer, he finally succumbed after his deteriorating condition forced us to finally let him sleep. He was very dear to us, always providing comfort and laughter every time we were at home. He was a house dog or "dorg" as we referred to him - a play on dog and dork. His favorites were pandesal and bananas though he also liked whatever bread or fruit you gave him. He knew where the pandesal or bread was and would usually take our hands to lead us to the table or the refrigerator and waited for us to reach for the food before he let go of our hands.

He loved to go on walks or runs, being my jogging mate during his younger days when we still resided in a nice village along Marcos Highway. He was always a puppy even in his advanced years. He always snuggled up to us and seemed to know when we were happy, excited, tired or sad, even angry. He had this knack for matching our moods and knowing what to do around us. We liked to call him doctor dog whenever we didn't feel well and he stayed at our side even just to provide company. He would sneak into our bedroom and lie down to sleep beside our bed. Sometimes, he snored so loud that we couldn't help but laugh or giggle. He enjoyed life and he shared his life with us. He had a full life - 10 years and 7 months in human years roughly translate to about 74 dog years. And so it is only right that we give him a fitting farewell...

Troy as we want to remember him - a shiny, happy dorgy!

Farewell Troy! Thank you for all the happiness you shared with us. You will be missed! We know that you are now in dog heaven with Our Creator!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Barbi and Troy

We have two old dogs - Barbi and Troy. Barbi is a mixed breed (Terrier?) and what people would usually refer to as askal (asong kalye). Her name is derived not from the doll but as a shortcut to barbecue. She was quite thin when we got her from my in-laws many years ago (around 2005). We sometimes refer to getting her as "rescuing" her as she seemed to be stressed out by living with the three Doberman dogs of my father-in-law. She initially was hostile to Troy, who wanted nothing but welcome her to our home. At times, she would bare her teeth as we tried to house-train her (it took some months for her to learn to pee and poop outside). She eventually warmed up to us and to the other dog once she probably figured that Troy wasn't like the more aggressive Dober-dogs she had to live with for some time and the two have been inseparable since and have their own ways of endearment.

Barbi and Troy looking out the door to the garage of our former home at a village along Marcos Highway in Antipolo
Troy is a purebred Labrador Retriever. He has papers showing his birthdate to be January 4, 2004. We got him when he was about 2.5 months, prior to moving into our then home in lower Antipolo. If we refer to Barbi as our "adopted," we refer to Troy as our "firstborn." He chose us when we first saw him with the rest of the litter. We sometimes wonder whatever happened to his siblings as there were still many of them (5 or 6) when we got Troy. He's over 10.5 years now and has had some health issues lately. Though it pains us to think that he will soon pass, we're trying our best to take care of him and make sure he's comfortable. He always behaved like he's a puppy, our puppy, and you know he's not feeling well when he's slowed down. Still, he gets excited whenever its feeding time and whenever our new puppy Mocha, a Golden Retriever, is around. We know we would eventually have to let go so we're making the best out of when Troy is still with us.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dog-friendly hotel

I was surprised when a Labrador Retriever suddenly appeared beside by table as I was eating breakfast at the hotel we were staying at in Bangkok. One of the hotel staff approached the Lab and his/her owner to guide the man, who was blind, to his seat at the restaurant. I wanted to get a photo of the man and his guide but opted to honor the man's privacy.

A Labrador Retriever walks beside his/her owner as hotel staff guide the blind man to his seat.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Look who's in the water!

We were having lunch today along the beach in Roxas City, Capiz when my friend brought my attention to something swimming in the sea and apparently riding the waves...

It really looked like it was our Labrador Retriever Troy having a dip in the sea and I'm sure the Clairvoyant will like this short video I was able to take from the restaurant balcony. Now, we're really looking forward to the summer!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Guide dog

I've been wanting to upload and post this video on the net for some time now but always tend to forget where I saved the video. It features our two dogs, Troy (a dark chocolate Labrador Retriever) and Barbi (a mainly white Terrier mixed breed). This video was taken a few weeks after we took Barbi in from my in-laws. She was adopted after the Clairvoyant took pity on her for being bullied by her father's four Doberman dogs. The dog just had too many close calls with the Dobies that we decided to take her home where our "first-born" Troy wanted for a playmate. At this time, Barbi was still a little hostile and in survival mode considering her "upbringing" in an environment where the Doberman reigned supreme.

Troy was very helpful in making Barbi feel at home, being already trained (in a way) and familiar with our system. The video shows Troy attempting to guide Barbi by pulling on her leash. This was a routine for Troy when we take him out for walks and it seemed to us that he was demonstrating this to Barbi at the time. They look happy enough as their wagging tails indicate. 

There is another video (a longer one) somewhere that I hope to post soon enough.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Toilet" training

I woke up from a power-nap this afternoon to hear our black Lab Troy asking to be let out. It turns out that our helper was walking the other dog, a mixed breed named Barbie, and left Troy at home. His turn for his walk would come after Manang returned with Barbie. The "walk," of course meant that aside from the obvious exercise the dogs would be getting from strolling along the linear park along the creek-side at our subdivision, they would be able to poop somewhere at any of the vacant, open lots in the area.

We've trained our dogs for this so that they don't poop or pee inside our house. During rainy days, they have also learned to do their thing in our garage when it is not practical to take them to their usual spots. The usual routine is either or both dogs pointing or scratching the door for them to be let out. When they notice no one's paying attention, they will bark and run in circles. To confirm their intent, one may ask them "out? out?" and they will bark and run in circles in reply. Then you know they want to relieve themselves.

They also know about schedules. They know when it is feeding time in the morning and in the afternoon. And they know that after their afternoon meal comes their time for a walk. Barbie is usually the tricky one as she is usually afraid of anything that resembles explosions or loud noises like thunder or fireworks. Thus, she will refuse to walk and even scamper back home (often pulling at her leash) when thunder cracks even in the distance. Troy doesn't mind any of those distractions. He is fearless, or so it seems. He is only distracted by the other dogs barking at him as he walks to and from the park and passes along several houses with dogs. Troy usually whimpers but it is a friendly whimper as he is a very kind and friendly dog. To those not knowledgeable about dogs, the sight of a 40kg dark chocolate dog seems to invite terror. They do not and cannot immediately recognize the kind features of the dog's face and the mild demeanor that is the trademark of Labs like Troy. Yet our Troy is always at a playful mood, which allows us to determine if he is sick or feeling unwell. And we always start like heck from the house to the park as he thinks it is a game where we run to the park. But always, after doing his thing, he would be more relaxed and he will revert to walking mode. He is easily convinced to jog/run if his handler wishes to do so for exercise or perhaps to rush back home as rain starts to fall.

I write about this as I've noticed a lot of dog owners/handlers in our village walking their pets and allowing the latter to poop just anywhere. This was noticeable to me because when we first moved in to our home, there were few if any poop on the roads. Most pet-owners were responsible enough to take the dogs out to the vacant lots or properly dispose poop according to guidelines circulated by the village association. But with a lot of new homeowners in the village, I guess the association should again distribute guidelines for pet-pooping considering the implications to cleanliness in our area. Despite us living in a middle class neighborhood and the fact that many dogs being walked have breeding (Spitzes, German Shepherds and the popular Huskies among them), a lot of owners really don't know how to handle animals including how to train them to poop at designated places. It is not enough that you take the dog out to do his/her thing. If one allows the dog to poop anywhere, then the owner should be prepared to pick up the poop to dispose of this properly. This is something that I've seen while in Japan and the US that should also be practiced here. It is, after all, in everyone's interest that we be responsible for our pets.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Master sense

As I arrived from the grocery last weekend, our neighbor pointed out that our dogs started barking way before my car pulled into the driveway. I replied that the dogs had the knack for sensing our impending arrival as if they could smell our scent a mile away. This has been validated by our help and my father who at times had to dog-sit for us. The dogs become alerted and bark a certain way and the next thing is our arrival.

Particularly sensitive is our terrier mix Barbie who is always the firs to sense us and starts barking to alert our Lab Troy. Troy would have the big voice that would usually catch the attention of any human. His bark though worse than his bite (Labs being mild-mannered), it always seems that the bark comes from a vicious animal given that he does bark with a loud, whole voice that masks the gentle beast that he really is.

I believe it is one of their ways of recognizing us and welcoming us every time we arrive home. It is something one would look forward to every single day. It is also perhaps something that gives us a feeling of relief after a hard day's work. To me, it is a way to de-stress after a toxic day.