My friend, Marga
Her face lit up as soon as I entered the gates of my alma mater, the University of the Philippines Cebu. Four years have passed since I was just a student, a bystander by the guardhouse. She came running to me with the bell on her collar ringing loudly, as if rushing to meet her long-lost friend. "Marga!" I shouted. She responded by lifting her head close to my hand; she wanted to me to pet her. I stooped down and gave my salutations to the most loyal animal this campus could ever have. We took photos and she gave me her flashy smile. Who would have thought that that would be the last time I would see her.
Marga, the 15-year-old asong pinoy or aspin, has been everybody's friend in the campus. Last Tuesday, she died at the veterinary clinic due to Ehrlichia. It is a disease dogs get when they have an infection from ticks. She could have made it had the clinic been open for the past two holidays but she didn't make it in time. We all felt like we lost a friend, a buddy, and a loyal companion in the university. It wouldn't be the same now without Marga running around the campus.
Everybody knows that I am a cat person but Marga will always have a special place in my heart. There is a certain feeling that an animal gives you in the midst of the crisis of being a student who toils day and night for the highest honors. That dog was there when I get flunked my first major exam in History 1 and when I was announced to be a university scholar. She kept me company while waiting for my dad would pick me up late or when my boyfriend had to stay behind for late night basketball games with friends.
Dogs are what we call man's best friend, no wonder we feel a certain kind of attachment. What makes it sad is that there is a bias towards purebreds. Why? It doesn't make them less of a dog if they are aspins. In fact, the city pound of Cebu has kept over a hundred dogs all looking for a home. If you are a true dog lover, then the breed wouldn't matter. Stray dogs and the rise of rabies cases are some the cases we can address. How? By adopting instead of buying and by being responsible pet owners. We can always spay and neuter our pets if we don't want them to keep on giving birth.
We can find true friends in dogs but they don't deserve the judgment and maltreatment of humans. If we can do good to others, we can also do good to animals. The same goes for all other kinds of pets as well. Dogs aren't just guards or stuffed toys; they are friends who depend on you for their life. Let us not take them for granted.