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When animals teach US how it is to be HUMANS...

     Before I feature another friend, I'd like to write a post about my two dogs: Yesha and Yassu -- and tell you guys how the two of them taught me to become a better version of myself.


     Don't worry, Show Me Your Look Today is still about looks...  After-all, I think I look real nicey when I parade my dogs around. ☺

A little Background

     I've had several dogs in my childhood, and one even bit me while we were playing.   I got bitten by another dog while I was in Nabua when I accompanied my college friends for their summer classes... and I definitely remember being chased by two Dobermans at Imperial Ridgeview while my classmate Nukie and I were in search for a sari-sari* store in the subdivision.  But that never discouraged me from owning a dog again.

Call Name:  Yesha
Breed:  Labrador Retriever
Birthday:  December 24, 2005
Milk:  Bear Brand
Dog food:  Beef Pro/Optima Hi-Pro

Yesha when she was about three years old...

     Yesha is a female black Labrador Retriever and I got her 5 years ago from one of my mentors (Dr. Ninfa R. Pelea - then our dean) when I was still a professor at Bicol University.  Yesha's dad (a chocolate Labrador) is from a champion line though I'm not sure if her mom (a black Labrador) is too.  I was not so familiar with PCCI (Philippine Canine Club Inc) back then so Yesha had no papers.

     Yesha responds to these commands: SIT, STAY and NO.  When you say 'NO', she just stops whatever she's into and will look at you.  Yesha's got the kindest eyes I've even seen.  She will approach you slowly with wagging tail to let you know she adores you. She loves to take a walk at night.  She also loves to scare the kids in the neighborhood with her loud huge barks.  She jumps at kids terrifying them.  Yeah, she loves to play bully though you'll know that she only wants to play with them.  Yesha is smart even without training.

     I was a little business minded at that time and the reason why we (Jeb and I) acquired Yesha was to breed and sell puppies as a way to generate income.  There was a time when owning pricey dogs were a fad in our area.


Call Name:  Yassu
Breed:  Golden Retriever
Registered Name:  Binxs of Darknight
Birthday:  January 09, 2009
Milk:  Anmun/Bonamil/Nestogen
Dog food:  Beef Pro/Orijen/Optima Hi-Pro

We visited Yassu a week before we got him...

     Yassu is a male Golden Retriever and we found him from the Internet (through Pinoy Pet Finder).  His father, aside from coming from champion parents, is also a champion himself while his mom is from a family with  champions too.  By GR standards, Yassu's got 18 Red Marks and 3 Green Marks.  He's a little spoiled, needs to play a lot and if the aircon is not turned on, he needs to be in front of the electric fan. He responds to these commands: SIT, GET UP, STAY, FETCH, COME HERE, HANDSHAKE, LIE DOWN, and GO BACK.

     Yesha was left in the province with my parents when I moved here in Manila.  I kinda missed her, so when my brother Jeb proposed to buy a dog, I immediately agreed.  Unlike Yesha, Yassu was a little harder to raise.  Grace, my bestfriend, just graduated from UP as a vet and she pampered me with ideas on how to raise Yassu to be the best dog he can be.  Unlike Yesha, raising yassu is a bit more indulgent:  regular visits to the vet for shots and boosters at wee hours in the morning (thankfully there's a 24/7 clinic in Pineda) and he's got Anmum for his milk when he was still a pup.  Yes, according to Gracey we should give him Anmum so he'll have big strong bones. ☻  We shifted to Bonamil after 4 months and then to Nestogen after awhile for practical reasons.

Yassu's first day at home...

     His meal is basically his dog food and a glass of milk.  Yassu eats every 6 hours till he was 6 months old, then it became every 8 hours till he got a year old when he's fed just twice a day.  His dog food was initially Beef Pro, then we shifted to Orijen a week after we got him.  At 6 months, when his appetite is getting huge, we shifted to Optima Hi-Pro, again, for practical reasons.  Orijen is tad expensive and it's an effort to buy it in Tiendesitas.  To provide variety, at times we add chicken liver to his food or soup from pork bones (without the bones).  For special times like when he just had a vaccination, we'll give him yogurt as a treat.

Yassu at 3 months old...

     Both of them are toilet trained.  We've put them on a leash, and after each meal, brought them out to do their thing.  It's important to establish a routine, a schedule.  Make them understand that certain things needed to be done at a certain place after a particular activity.  Dogs don't like to pee and poop where they stay or lie down, so when they're on a leash, they will hold it in as much as possible.  In trying to discipline them,  we reward the nice deeds and ignore the bad ones.  Yassu learned how to sit the day I taught him how to sit.  I just needed to be at the right timing... Like say SIT when he is about to sit and when he does, give him a treat.  It was actually fun teaching him how to perform some tricks.

Our first visit to the vet...

     Raising dogs is a bit tricky.  You gotta have the right attitude and the right motivation in order to bring out the best in them.  They will put your patience to a test, and only those who are responsible enough will be able to enjoy the rewards of having a dog or having pets in general.

Making funny faces with Yassu! ☻

     And while I teach them to perform some tricks or behave a certain way, my dogs also educated me in a lot of ways.  Yesha and Yassu has taught me values and attitudes that maybe I could've learned on my own terms -- but they made the learning so much easier by showing them to me.

Yesha at around 2 years old...

     I learned how to be patient.  Dogs are sometimes territorial.  They usually poop and pee on the same area and if something bad is associated in some place, they will never do their business there.  My patience was stressed to the limits when either of them (on separate occasions) wouldn't poop or pee, and it took like two hours with Yesha to find a place where she could unload her stuff.

Yesha at present: all she does is eat, sleep and run around...

     I regularly travel between my province and Manila since 2005, and when I come home, Yesha will always welcome me back with her  excited barks and wagging tail.  As soon as I open the gate at 5AM (the time I usually arrive), she'll bark incessantly and passionately until I approach her and pat her in the head.  With Yesha, I learned that letting go of someone important is something that's inevitable, but with that letting go is the hope of coming back.  And with her, coming home doesn't matter if it's one year or one day... it will always be the same intense appreciation you'll get from her.  She taught me the value of loyalty and being hopeful

Who can ignore those sweet pleading eyes?

     Yassu taught me that I can't have everything I want in life, but if I try hard enough, fate might favor me in my patience.  Yassu used to live with us in Manila.  The receiving area is his place.  He only goes out to play, to walk or for his toilet schedule.  Sometimes when we are inside, he'll lie his head on the door landing and will look at us with such pleading eyes but will never ever put one toe inside the apartment.  He'll just wait until you let him in. 


     Yassu taught me that it's ok to be scared.  I remember him not moving an inch when we brought him the first time to the clinic.  He was afraid of the stairs.  So what we did was encourage him to take one step at a time until he reached the top of the floor.  The next encounter with stairs became a lot easier.  Yassu taught me how to acknowledge my weakness -- and to end them, I must face my fears.  Maybe not right away for us humans, not instantly, but if dogs can take it one step at a time... so CAN we.

Playtime with Yassu when he was around 4 months old...

     Both of them taught me that good deeds, though not necessarily requires a reward, is a reward in itself.  It's not easy to be righteous all the time, we are governed with emotions that sometimes can be misleading.  There will be times when our emotions will provoke us to make the wrong choices... but what's encouraging is, although we take the wrong turns, we know that that there will be second chances, and then -- we can set the wrong decisions right.  We might not be given 'treats' for our good deeds in life, but we certainly made somebody happy.  Apart from ourselves, we probably made our loved ones or important people in our lives proud by choosing to do the right thing.  Just like what Yassu and Yesha made me feel by executing a command right or doing what they're told.


     Yesha taught me to believe and have faith.  I remember when I was practicing with her the stay command --  I asked her to sit in the middle of the lawn and told her to stay there.  My father manages a small sari-sari store and he's not there to man it when somebody called.  While I attended to the customer, it rained all of a sudden.  It was maybe after five minutes that I remembered  Yesha who, when I checked, is still on the grass and drenched in rain.  I was so touched by what she did just to please me.  She believed that I will come back for her.

     Yassu taught me to be interested.  You know what they say, there are no un-interesting people, there are only disinterested ones.  Between the two, at a glance, you can say that it's Yassu who would seem to welcome everyone.  Yesha can be welcoming with strangers too, but with her color and her loud barks, you will be more scared than enticed!  It's easy with Yassu because he's got a friendlier face and color.  Though with his size, you will have second thoughts, specially if you're not familiar that Labradors and Goldens are naturally friendly by nature.  (They are great  with kids too!)  No matter who you are, they will greet you with the same respect as they greet anybody.  They do not discriminateThey are interested.  And if they can read, they will read my blog too, not just look at the pictures or leave robot messages on the chatbox.  Ahem! ☻

I'm not sure what he's up to... ☻

     Dogs can't talk, but when you talk to them, they'll look at you with such endearing eyes to let you know that they're listening.  When I'm mad, they'll just sit with me and make me feel that my feelings are important.  They might not talk back or understand a word that I'm saying, but they made me feel i'm important by just being there...  So in turn I can be there for others too, they taught me that.

Jeb with Yassu last Christmas 2009...

     It was September last year when typhoon Ondoy caused havoc in the country specially in Pasig where we were staying.  The disaster made me realize a lot about life and about other people.  When I woke up 8AM of September 26 to feed Yassu and let him do his usual unloading , the rain was just starting.  Never had I imagined that it will get worse beyond proportions.  At 4PM, the flood water got inside the apartment and all was just a mess.  At 8PM, the water got knee high and we became desperate.  Yassu, now distracted from his routine, still managed to cooperate.  Around 4AM, Yassu was whining... he missed two of his toilet schedules and it's understandable.  We coaxed him to let it go, but he just wouldn't.  He stayed quiet for maybe 30 minutes then we just heard the sound of water dripping from where he was uncomfortably sitting for the night.  He was peeing on his seat but you can see how guilty he looked on his face.  Yassu managed to hold in his poop for more than 20 hours.  Around 8AM, we went up so can he unload on the roof.  We just secured everything in tight plastic bags and placed it somewhere where the flood water can't reach them.

During the Ondoy typhoon and Pasig flood last September, 2009...

     We were stranded for 3days.  On the first night, we had to sleep with our feet dangling on  the flooded floor, had to waddle on the muddy water so we could cook our food, and do other nasty stuff so we could survive. The experience taught me a lot of things and made me look at life differently.  And Yassu was there, he helped us determine who among the people around us will remain our friends amidst the tragic times.

Jeb and Yassu on the roof.  In the background, people with their improvised boats...

     We got help from unexpected people.  The neighbors across the street whom we had not even talked with in the 2 years we were renting the apartment took us in and Yassu.  The owner of our own apartment refused to let us in because they were scared of the 'big' dog.  I still remember how they ask numerous favors from us when things were still normal, and yet they turned their backs when it was our time to ask for favor.  Life is funny isn't it?

At home, when Yassu visited Yesha last December 2009...

     My journey in life is far from over, heck it may only be just beginning!  I will still have so much to learn and I'm just thankful that I find meaning and connection from doing ordinary things... like taking care of my dogs.  Yesha and Yassu have taught me lots of things, to love unconditionally among others -- and I'm thankful and I feel blessed for the gift of friendship that I share with them.  To those who are planning to have dogs or pets, I tell you, it doesn't look as easy.  You gotta have your heart in the right place, because having a pet is not about you... it's about them.
      
     I'd like to end this long post with a clip* from one of my favorite dog movies of all time, "Hachiko:  A Dog's Tale."  This movie is based on the real story of Japan's most faithful dog, Hachi.  It tells the tale of loyalty and life-long friendship between a man and a dog.  I've seen this movie like five times but it never fails to touch me every single time...



     Yassu is now in the province.  Yesha lives with my parents and Yassu is with Jeb's folks.  I kinda miss them both.  Earlier I wrote that in owning dogs or pets, we need to have the right attitude and the right motivation in order to bring out the best in them.  I realized that in trying to bring out the best in them, they brought out the best in me.

     I dedicate this blog post to my two most loyal bestfriends, Yassu and Yesha.  With you guys in tow, I look twice as cute. ☻

 
   I will see you soon! 

*Sari-sari store is the local term for a variety store.
*Video courtesy of YouTube.
tags: lessons we can learn from animals, lessons on life from dogs, what we can learn from animals and dogs


34 comments:

Axl G. said...

wow.. so cute dog.... iba talaga si bantay :D

Rafhanah Mohtar said...

hey. both yassu and yesha are lovely. they must be grateful and happy for having you as their friend.

"To those who are planning to have dogs or pets, I tell you, it doesn't look as easy. You gotta have your heart in the right place, because having a pet is not about you... it's about them."

i quoted this because it just like a call for me. it just tells that love and devotion are really important for them. not only by feeding them, but we must be their friend. and that's true indeed.

I'll be a good friend for my cat soon

btw, thanks for your nice article!

Ario Achda said...

i agree mikey, animals sometimes can be the best teacher a man can have. i believe that those who understand how to take care of their pet must be great and thoughtful as well. send my big hug to yesha and yassu >.< they're too adorable to be true

Michael said...

Hey guys!

@Axl G. - thanks bro!

@Rafhanah Mohtar - wow, you have a cat? that's nice! I always wanted to have a cat...

@Ario Achda - hey Ario! Thank you! Went to your blog to thank you! ☺

Leah said...

Ohh.. They're adorable, Myke!!!

So true. Dogs can really teach us the true meaning of friendship, unconditional love and loyalty. They'd always be there for you.. be with you when you're sad, smile with you when you're glad.. and just listen to your troubles when you have no one to talk to.

Hey there, Yassu and Yesha. Nice to meet you both. Nice post, Myke. =)

I'm thinking of making an entry about my dog "Fall".. He passed away about 2years ago. Thinking about it.. naiiyak pa rin ako.

Nimber 2 said...

Hi there, CJ. Nice one. This appears to be as my favorite post from you so far. Ideas are all well-placed. Since you're talking about the two BEST friends who are closest to your heart, the whole post just becomes you.

I admire the most honest realization that we, human beings, can learn a lot more from dogs or other animals for that matter. Maybe, being humane is not all the time a monopoly of human beings as you very well explained here.

I love this parts here where you said:

> I learned that letting go of someone important is something that's inevitable, but with that letting go is the hope of coming back.

> Yassu taught me how to acknowledge my weakness -- and to end them, I must face my fears. Maybe not right away for us humans, not instantly, but if dogs can take it one step at a time... so CAN we.

> I was so touched by what she did just to please me. She believed that I will come back for her. (Just like in the movie that you told me about and which you also featured here.)

> When I'm mad, they'll just sit with me and make me feel that my feelings are important. They might not talk back or understand a word that I'm saying, but they made me feel i'm important by just being there...

> I realized that in trying to bring out the best in them, they brought out the best in me.

These are really nice words that will give us, your readers, a lot of pondering to do.

Keep on writing. Your ideas are simply impressive and amazing.

By the way, I also got to like this last part here. But this needs more proof from you. LOL.

I dedicate this blog post to my two most loyal bestfriends, Yassu and Yesha. With you guys in tow, I look twice as cute. ☻

Kidding! Congrats! You're a superb writer. :)

imriz said...

hi, so, sorry for posting my comments thru leah's. it was late already and leah's the last blog i visited.
long post here, but, i learned many things, too. i didn't realized there's as many virtues, we humans, can learn fr animals.
keep the good post coming:)

petitay said...

very interesting post u have myke! ur right its never been an easy thing of having a pet! u must have a heart on them. one should be dedicated enough. :)

>My patience was stressed to the limits when either of them (on separate occasions) wouldn't poop or pee, and it took like two hours with Yesha to find a place where she could unload her stuff. - ganyan na ganyan si kurby. ang tagal ko maghihintay bago niya palabasin ang bomba!

one day na palo ko si kurby! sa sobrang galit ko. grabe natameme siya iyak siya sandali tapos ayaw niya ako puntahan. nung una ayaw ko siya puntahan dahil para matuto pero naawa ako. after several minutes. naging ok na siya ulit. nag sorry kasi ako. :) he lick on my neck! yun ang lambing niya! ang hilig niya magpakarga! hehe..

salamat sa pag-share ng mga pets mo. hope to see the two soon.. :) wag lang nila ako kagatin hihi..

Michael said...

Hello everyone!

@Leah (5) - Thanks! You should write about Fall. I'll be glad to read about him. ☺

@Nimber 2 (6) - Hi madam! Words coming from an accomplished writer, an editor-in-chief, a person looked up and respected in the academe, a birthday celebrator (ehem!) ... that means a greattt lot to me. Thank you for appreciating what I wrote!

@Imriz (7) - Hello! Thank you for visiting my blog... Hope you come often!

@Petitay (8) - hahahaha! Kurby is a terrorist? bomba? Hehehehe! It's nice to read anecdotes about our pets... little do we know that in our daily encounters with them, we learn stuff about life... And nope, Yassu and Yesha won't bite you. ☺

petitay said...

wow really gusto ko sila makilala. hehe.. mas lalo si kurby hindi marunong tumahol! nyaha.. natatakot lang neighbors ko sa knya alam mo naman instinct ng dog akala nila kakagat even not!

WenYi said...

myke!! i love this post! it's really well written, and I can truly feel the love you have for the two of them!! Very touching indeed!

btw, what's a sari-sari?
and that flood looks really nasty, thank goodness nothing bad happened to you and your family (your dogs are considered your family too..hehe)

Gaia Eos said...

wow never realise such things...I never had a pet and am afraid of dogs cos always fear they gonna attack and bite me...
your two doggies are really cutie :)animals remains the most loyal to us they are always here for us happy and bad times esp about the flooding times

Kamila said...

Waah hello myke.. they say if your a good pet lover, you'll be a great parent, I mean with all the patience you give to your two lovely dogs,, maybe you'll be.. hahaha

I was never a dog lover, or any pet in that case.

Waaahh! But I envy you, the way you talk about training them, makes it sounds so easy and lot's of fun!

i know it was never easy to raise dogs, and I know I can't be that person to have patience to raise one,. that's why I never tried.. hahha :)

i missed your blog!!!

Yen said...

Naalala ko tuloy ang pet ng sister kong si pochi. lagi talaga ako badtrip,kasi pochi would always play with my things. Cellphone, shoes and other stuff basta maabot niya, at ang nakakainis pa di niya yun titigilan hangga't di sira sira. Yung bang tipong di mo na talaga mapapakinabangan. At pag hinanap mo sya, tatago na agad sa ilalim ng sofa. Alam na niya kasing may kasalanan siya. Hahay!!Sarap ihawin. And yet I'm thankful sa pet ng sister ko kasi the dog planted patience in me that I wasn't aware of. Napaka impatient ko kasing tao sa totoong buhay, haha.Napapalampas ko mga kalikutan ni pochi kasi wala ako magawa. In the long run, magagamit ko din pala ang ang mga pag papasensya ko sa aso ng sister ko sa mga taong masarap tirisin. hehe

jackieKOH said...

woww..nice dogs u have there..

Michael said...

hey guys, thank you for leaving comments!

@Petitay (10) - kurby don't bark? so, does he meow then? kidding! LOL!

@Wenyi (11) - i went to your blog and voted on your entries, hope you win on the contest!

@Gaia (12) - thanks Gaia! what you said is true...

@Kamila (13) - thanks for missing my blog... im actually on my way to yours to check things out... hehehe. I hope you'll have a pet some day and you'll tell a story about them in your blog... ☺

@Yen - Hahaha! Thanks to Pochi huh? Belated Happy Birthday last October 7 Yen.

@Jackie - thanks bro

Faisal said...

Nice Blog and very nice post picture are so perfectly shoot. I reach your blog through one of my friends blog because and she have the ShoutMix where you leave a massage I follow your msg and reach to you now I have one suggestion for your blog please put ShoutMix gadget to your blog so it will easy to your friends to leave a short Massage and you will reply them. you can get the shoutmix on www.shoutmix.com i have also a shoutmix visit my blog and leave a short msg i will follow you my blog is www.faisalsight.blogspot.com I hope i will see your msg on my blog.

Biegurl said...

so that your pet? dogs .... I do not know about the dog ... and the fear of dogs ... dogs do you like scared right people? Owhhhh .... I fear ... hehehehe

musicMan said...

Thanks bestfriend for sharing this blog.. I really love this topic and amazed me.. I've met Yesha and I was afraid of her because of her huge bark.. haha.. well after I read the whole story.. maybe if I have the chance to meet her.. I'll bring some chocolates for her.. lol..

i really love to read your blog.. i want more.. hehe.. take care best..

petitay said...

kurby barks now! hahaha!! just last night i noticed! cool. pero malaki atraso niya sakin ngayon e. yung ibon ko pinilay niya! at tinangalan ng tail. amp na doggie! pero bati na kami di ko naman kasi siya kayang tiisin e. salamat sa comment sa post ko myke! malabong novel ang isulat ko. hindi keri ng powers ko. baka imbes na sumulat ako nun. magpacharming na lang ako! haha.. joke. hindi nagkakalayo ang pag-iisip ko at ni BO. haysss...

Michael said...

Hello, have a great weekend everyone!

@Faisal (17) - thanks for the visit! I visited your blog back and left a message. I do have a chat-box on the right side ☺

@Biegurl (18) - some dogs are really scary, but Labradors and Golden Retrievers are quite friendly... You should get one, maybe a smaller breed... ☺

@musicMan (19) - hey bespren! Chocolates are not really good for dogs, they have a certain (bad) effect on their behavior... but you still can bring some for Yesha... i'll be the one to eat them... wahahahaha!

@Petitay (20) - maybe kurby was just curious... you know how dogs can get curious with anything... hopefully he wouldn't hurt another one of those cute little birds...

Thank you for the comments!

biegurl said...

I want a dog that small and cute but ..... I can not keep as is, it is wrong in my religion .... but I can still see your dog ..... although only just pictures .. hehehehe

Rafael Garcia said...

cute ng dogs! :D

Michael said...

Thanks biegurl, thanks rafael!

BON said...

cool buddies.. through good and bad times! =) dogs really are man's bestfriend!

yoetama said...

dog is good friend, intelligent and has a keen sense of smell

Michael said...

BON (25) - Indeed they are! ☺

yoetama (26) - Yep, among other things bro! Haha!

Thank you guys!

Badbug said...

Lovely doggies you got Michael, I still miss mine :(

Aragaki Momoy said...

Yassu and Yesha. Nice to meet you both.

I really love this topic and amazed me..they must be grateful for having you as their friend...

Nice post Myke !! :)

Michael said...

Badbug (28) - Thanks Badbud, where's your dog btw?

Aragaki Momoy (29) - Thank you! Yassu and Yesha says 'arf-arf!' ☺

Darwin said...

This is amazing! :)
I have a dog too. A Shih Tzu.

Michael said...

@Darwin - hey man, thanks! You're luck to have your dog, as I am lucky to have mine. Thanks for visiting! ☺

january said...

a very inspiring write up from a dog owner himself, i wish more people would give value to our canine bestfriends.

yewgotherb said...

golden retrievers are friendly, good-natured, and make wonderful family pets. ... They have a great sense of courage, and highly intelligent, easily excited, and motivated. My golden retriever once save my cousin in robbery holdup just happen this month. pointing a knife on her throat my dog attack mode (barking) sets the suspect directly on my dog, which my cousin manage to hit the suspect on his head and my golden attack him on his lower leg.

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