I have delegated care for the Belgian Malinois Alanis Nadine aka Giggles aka Googles aka Gigglers to my sister and her kids. Nadine has been very nice, that is, she has never tried to eat my face off whenever I approach her for some love and affection. She looks like a kangaroo in some angles, so I have officially labelled her breed as a Kanga-Dog.
Prior to Nadine we mostly had cats. I must have blathered about this in the previous blog entries, but the last cats we had were Hazel and Sleek back in 1996. They were black-and-white PusPins (Pusang Pinoy) who looked like twins. Hazel was last seen traipsing on the top plate of a wall and reportedly fell on the garden of our neighbor, where she was mauled and eaten by our neighbor’s evil, evil dogs.
Soon after Sleek was hit by a rampaging tricycle in the middle of the night. We rushed her to the nearest doctor available–the town’s general surgeon, who was nice enough to answer the doorbell and meet us in his pajamas. His eyes widened when he saw Sleek on my father’s hands, and vehemently said “no no no no”, his arms akimbo, jowls flapping as he shook his head. Sleek died that night, and we buried her in my grandfather’s empty lots. We asked the caretaker to dig a hole while we cried inside our owner-type jeepney. “Okay na!” the caretaker yelled, and we made a procession from the jeepney to the burial ground. To our surprise and slight amusement the caretaker had dug a hole that was more deep than wide, that is, we had to bury Sleek standing up.
We never had a pet after Hazel and Sleek, but we still felt a longing for a cat, or any pet who would capture our hearts. When I was in first year med school one of our physiology projects involved doing experiments on lab rats, who were quite cute. Of course we just made the geniuses in our group to do the actual thinking, while Ardee, Joy, and I took the role of taking care of the rats and carrying the cages, ie, manual labor. The lab rats were nice, and I felt kind of sad that they would be sliced open soon.
I can’t recall what exactly we were trying to experiment on, but at one point we had the rat lie down supine on the table, and I tied all his extremities apart, ie, he was spreadeagled. He was still smiling and very cooperative, oblivious that he would be experimented on. Jonas read the steps on the manual and I followed. “Make a vertical incision on the belly,” he said. I ran the scalpel on the belly, and his guts all sloshed out.
And then, in an act that would visit my nightmares for weeks on end, the lab rat bent forward and started biting at his damn intestines. We all screamed in terror.