By Carolina S. Ruiz Austria

The word "Heresy"

was used by Irenaeus in Contra Haereses to discredit his opponents in the early Christian Church. It has no purely objective meaning without an authoritative system of dogma.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I believe in DOG :-)

I thought it might as well be a good time to lighten things up a bit but still write about a serious matter.

I never liked dogs. My sister and two brothers used to love all dogs. They raised "askals" (mixed breeds)even as small children and cared for my father's two magnificent German shepards when I was a distracted law student at the UP college of law.

Their dogs were all nice to me mind you. The great big German shepard (who was admittedly cute as a puppy) quite inanely (I thought at that time) called "Milkyway," would always follow me around whenever I spent weekends at Paranaque and come around from UP with my laundry bag. I never paid any attention to Milkyway and was not particularly saddened when he passed away many years later.

My sister in her fit (she was crying and again it was surprising to me to watch her cry like a human being had passed away) was apparently bothered by my blaise attitude made somewhat of a "curse" on me. Through her tears she said to me that someday I when I get to know how it is to love a dog, I will get hurt too when it passes away. I almost laughed but didn't dare seeing as she was every bit serious in her prophecizing.

I married a dog lover years later who maintained his love for other people's dogs, his one time chiuaua having passed away before we even met.Then came our daughter. Watching her grow up these past few years I have felt mixed emotions of awe, amusement and sometimes fear that she is actually growing up sharing many of my own quirks. She hates heights, was terrified at the prospect of swimming (but she's actually getting better at it now and loves the water) and isn't much of a sports oriented type. So imagine my surprise when she announced she wanted a dog. I suspected it was my husband, the real dog lover, lobbying through the kid. (Yes, I am not beneath these suspicions even as I love my husband and bestfriend. Friends do this after all.)

She soon demonstrated that as far as the DOG loving was concerened, she took more from her father's side than mine. She hugged my local NGO friend's dog (a skinny elderly adopted mixed breed from PAWS) whenever we dropped by the office. She played with her stuffed animal dogs as if they were real and kept them on a leash, mercilessly dragging them on the floor of malls, in UP and wherever we went.

This pathetic display of course I could still ignore after all a dog in every sense (we have no househelp and have begun payments on the house we just moved in) was still very much a financial/upkeep concern. Then came MIRA, the miracle dog.

Mira (short for miracle) was born in November 2005, when we were moving into our new home.In a liter of 8 labrador retriever puppies, she proved to be a playful little pup and inadvertently swallowed a nail, a long one. This sent her first owners (my daughter's ninang and her family) in a panic and she was taken to the hospital. After examining the dog, the doctor sadly told the family Mira was simply too small to survive any inevitable movement of the huge nail through her stomach and intestines. She would in all probability die of internal bleeding. The initial decision was to humanely put her to sleep.The family pleaded and the doctor gave it one last try. Instead of the usual enema, he tried water and pumped it into Mira. of course it was then she gained her name. Miraculously, she survived. The nail came out and she was unhurt.

Mira was a gift for my daughter but within a week, she made her way into our hearts and even I became hooked. Even I couldn't believe it. I was so amazed to have met someone like her who seems to be so accepting of people. I wrote to my friends who were dog lovers and asked them about it. What the hell was up with that? Do dogs love everyone? Did Mira actually like me or does she love everybody anyway? My friend, with a wisdom of ages of dog loving calls it "unconditional love." So it does exist? Unconditional love? And Dogs are the expert? I don't know about other dogs (I still find it hard to believe and call myself a dog lover) I love Mira, my dog and because I always smell a bit like her (well not that i use her shampoo but you know what I mean, I cuddle and pat her and the smell can be detected by other dogs---other dogs can tell), other dogs always walk up to me with a look in their faces like ---hey you smell like a lab, your'e not a lab... :-)

What can I say? Having a dog in your life is like having one more being to care about and care about you in return. Surpsisingly (and I still amaze myself), its been a great journey in liking myself better. Mira loves me so maybe I'm not that bad.I believe in Dog.


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