My friend, Marga

The Freeman - - OPINION -

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.

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