the royal sentinels

in my article “gines training camp” (click https://wanderingjouster.com/2012/10/02/gines-training-camp), i mentioned that we are in the process of looking for a househelp. three days ago, my eldest sister olen texted me that there was one interested applicant for the post. i felt thankful and happy. i prayed that she would be the perfect “angel” that we have been all waiting for to help us normalize the situation in the house.

unfortunately, the day after the information about this maid was delivered, it was quickly substituted with the confirmation that she backed out. according to the middle man, the prospective 32-year old househelp hadn’t finished processing the papers (whatever they are!) of her mother. i took the bad news calmly especially when i learned that she was already married with two children. having a phobia of married maids, it was a blessing in disguise that she changed her mind.
now, what i am going to talk about in this entry of mine? just stay put…
when my sister told me about the maid, she asked: “gusto mo ining katabang? (do you like this maid?).
i replied, “basta igwang tulong M (mabait, masipag, at mapagkakatiwalaan) okay na an.”  (as long as she possesses the three M’s, it would be fine.” ) right after sending the sms, i made a follow-up piece of information. “sana mahilig asin maboot man sa mga ayam.” (i hope she likes dogs and is kind to them.)
i was shaking my head and smiling when i sent that message to olen. imagine, i am now adding this fondness of canine as one of the qualifications of a househelp!
i remembered that when my children were still very much in need of  “yayas”, my main concern was the good treatment and care that they would be getting from them. apparently, it became different now as i worry how our dogs would be taken care of. quite absurd, eh?
you see, we have three pet dogs – sultan (baptized by my husband, with a name that is identified with royalty), biggs (named by me after one of my favorite fastfood chains in legazpi city), and leone (named by alexander because of its features).
roy1
sultan, the askal with a pittbull breed
having these canines was a wish came true to our family. we’ve all been wanting to have dogs but our residence in manila (which was within malacanang compound), prevented us from realizing it.  it was only a month before our change of address that we owned our very first house guard. we happily welcomed sultan despite being an askal, but was assessed later on as possessing the breed of a pitbull by the  veterinarian who vaccinated him.
then came biggs in july 14, 2010.
five-month old biggs
five-month old biggs
he was being sold along the road of  the national shrine of our mother of perpetual help, also called the redemptorist church or baclaran church. my three sons and i were on our way home to las pinas city after having a dinner date with lancelot’s godmother at sm moa. the jeepney, which we were riding in,  stopped and the seller started his sales talk. priced at php 500,  biggs’ appraisal was low. as i looked at him in his snowy fur, i knew that he has a breed. i was about to open my mouth to haggle with the man holding his rusty chain when one of the twins, arthur, did it for me. i was very surprised. it was his first time to  show his haggling skills which made us buy biggs for only php 300. obviously, the man was in a hurry to get rid of the dog. to add, he was already drenched from the rain.  before the jeepney moved again, we became the new owners of biggs. the next day, i brought him to the dog clinic to have anti-rabies shots and to be checked. i laughed after i was given the bill. it  increased biggs’ value amounting to almost php 3,000. well, the consolation that i got was knowing his breed and being assured that he’d be safe to touch. 
december of same year when we got biggs, i was thinking of a christmas gift to my sons. it was solved when i chanced upon a “dog for sale” notice in one of the bungalow houses in pilar subdivision. instincts told me to take a look at the dogs. voila! i saw the perfect christmas gift. there inside the cage were three cute puppies – two white and one had a mixture of brown and black fur. i picked one of the white tykes. i tried my haggling skills hoping to duplicate my son’s success. php 2000 from php 2, 500? i was unsuccessful. according to the owner, the dogs are a crossbreed of chow-chow and labrador. she even added that they were a good buy already in that price plus they were already vaccinated as proven by the cards which she was holding. i was planning to do another tactic when  i again looked at the two remaining hounds in the cage. my eyes were met by those marble-like brown eyes of the pup  with chocolate fur. he seemed to communicate with me, appealing to my soft heart to buy him instead so he would be free from the iron bars. he overpowered me. then, the sale was closed.
leone at 2 months
leone at 2 months
i decided to wait for the school service to pick me up in front of the house where i bought the christmas gift for my boys. oh my! you could have seen how my three sons reacted when i entered their school service carrying the additional member of our family. the smiles didn’t leave their faces. they asked questions one after the other about the new pet. until, the question on the name was addressed. the younger twin was quick in his response and everyone approved of it. now, leone is the biggest among the three dogs that we have and he is living up to his name  –  the king of the “jungle” …
alexander and leone, still light and huggable
alexander and leone, still light and huggable
leone at one year and 6 months
leone at one year and 6 months
undoubtedly, we are dog-lovers. the life-and-death situation that leone was in last july proved that. we did our best to save him from poisoning. we realized, we did not want to lose him because we knew it would crush not only our hearts but most especially the hearts of our children.

this mutual affection that we show to them is something that also glues us as one family. our pets seem to feel this, too, thus they are happy everytime we all go out at our backyard to check on them. as a payback to the care that we shower them, they are our protectors day and  night. silently, we can sense that they will also go through anything to show their loyalty and service to us.

to this date, we are again waiting for the fourth dog which was promised by my husband’s cousin to him. a pure breed german shepherd, i hope we will be able to nurture it the way we did it to sultan, biggs, and leone.
as of now, my children and i cannot contain our excitement to see our additional royal sentinel…but, first things first. i’ll continue finding for the perfect maid who will share our love to these dogs or else, i am the one liable to my husband and children if their number is reduced.
pressured?
i am!
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