I was introduced to Manong3 (Manang’s eldest brother) when his friend, introduced him to a guy who was selling Shih-tzus. He asked manong3 if he knew of anyone interested in Shih-tzus. Manong3 brought me and my sister to their house with the intention of giving us temporary shelter while waiting for our would-be parents to come and adopt us.
We had some skin problems then. Our fur was rough and balding in some areas. We didn’t look like Shih-tzu’s at all. Thus, it was hard to find an interested ‘parent.’
Soon Manong3 was able to find my sister a family. While on his way to sister’s new parents Manong3 cried because he grew attached to us. He told Manong2 (2nd brother) to name me because I had been with them for a week already. We were never given names before. They felt that naming us would strengthen their attachment. Manong2 named me ‘Poopie the Clown’ because I pooed everywhere. I was an exploding energizer bunny.
When manang came home for a vacation she took pity on me since I looked like a typical runt. I was very hostile, scraggly-looking and my fur was lackluster. Taking care of me was a challenge for her. She asked Manong3 if she could adopt and bring me to Cebu and promised to bring me back by Christmas. Manong3 agreed - maybe because I was a very difficult puppy then. I never let people hold me. I hated hugs and I bite when I’m annoyed (which is often).
At some pointManang doubted whether she could really handle me. Finally decided. She brought me to the vet to address my flaky skin and prepare my traveling cage, bottle and thermal pad (for storing frozen ice for my travels). Two days before we left for Cebu, Manang lifted me onto the couch and allowed me to sleep with her. It was my first time on the ‘bed’ and I loved it. It was also the first time that I ever snuggled with a human.
Traveling to Cebu was challenging. The airplanes don’t allow dogs to travel so we had to take land transport. Animals aren’t also allowed to travel in air-conditioned buses, so the humans had to take the non-aircon bus. Upon reaching the boat, they found that animals aren’t allowed to ride with the passengers and had to be left in the bus. Filled with pity, they decided to ‘smuggle’ me inside the cabin. Fortunately, they were the only occupants so nobody took notice that I was inside.
We finally arrived in Cebu after seven stressful hours. I never expected much and thought it would be the same as my previous homes. Almost four months passed and now my fur has grown long and shiny. I've gained weight, am no longer crabby and best of all, I developed a sense of belonging. The Ilonggo House became my home and its furry and furless residents, my family - and I won’t have it any other way.