Saturday, March 2, 2013


Note: This article was first published in Animal Scene Magazine issue of September 2012

Short of two months old, Pipoy arrived in our home on that Sunday night of July. With that frail and fragile look, the baby pug appeared wanting in special attention.

Being a newbie to a pug, I did some research and found out that pugs have that innate dynamism because of their genetic makeup. So pugs are like dogs in the wild waiting to be domesticated.

I believe that the pug’s acrid smell is emitted from the pleats in its face. The fold is a good breeding ground for bacteria. It is advised to wipe the face once in a while for odor control.

Using materials from a bookshelf, we built a special cage so Pipoy can stay in the living room. And for toilet-training, old newspapers serve as matting of the cage.

First photo of Pipoy in our home

Being new to the environment, it was expected for the puppy to resist confinement. Pipoy would be pushing the cage with his head in trying to find an egress.

As a sign of surrender, the little pug would whine. Obviously, the antic is to solicit affection but no one wants to carry the puglet because it bites for the fun of it. .

To restrain Pipoy’s constant whining at night, our compassionate maid offered to sleep beside the little creature. The electric fan assures Pipoy to have a good night’s sleep.

A mixed pug, Pipoy sprang from the bloodline of Bruno and Angela, both owned by Teddy Tom. Due to birthing difficulties, two females died leaving only 4 male puglets in the litter.

Pipoy's parents - Angela and Bruno

To avoid being accidentally smothered, Teddy had separated the puglets from their mother. Nursing times were always under the supervision of Teddy’s wife.

When the puppies were weaned, Pipoy was given to us while his brother Chuk went to Teddy’s friend Edel Sulit. Pipoy’s two other brothers, Spike and Chuck, stayed with Teddy.

We named him Pipoy for two reasons. It sounds like Epoy, our beloved pekingese who passed away last Valentine’s day. And there’s a semblance of similarity with the actor Pipoy a.k.a. Larry Silva.

Angela and her newly born puglets being watched by Veronica Tom

For Pipoy’s first breakfast, we gave him a spoonful of dog food laced with milk. But before feeding, I scooped up the puglet and let him loose in the terrace to check his condition.

Lo and behold. The little animal has a built-in turbo engine powered by an energizer battery inside his little body. It was really amazing to see how this cry baby could release such energy.

His first foray was the hem of my pants. Not content with gnawing, he would wag his head as if the cloth would give way. I had to raise both my feet to save my trousers from imminent destruction.

Tisoy obviously jealous of Pipoy being carried by Ninang

Pipoy’s next prey was the potted plants. He picked on the leaves like he was picking cash from a money tree. And then he seemed ecstatic upon seeing the mat near the terrace entrance. More head wagging again.

To divert Pipoy’s attention, I gave him my slippers. What a sight. He was like an ant pulling a loot that is much bigger than him.

In a matter of two days, Pipoy could move the cage which was made of lightweight materials. I placed some weight on top so Pipoy couldn’t topple it in one heave.

A genuine dynamo, Pipoy would be making paper airplanes from the newspaper matting of his cage. And then he would test his teeth by biting the wires of his cage.

Pipoy ganging up on a slipper

And if Pipoy thinks there was nothing else to do inside his cage then that’s the time to whine. Vocal reprimands wouldn’t deter this little creature from his racket.

What noise he could make with his little vocal cords. But it is clear that Pipoy just wanted to be near us. To settle the issue, Pipoy is given regular hugging hours.

Not only the people in our house are affected by the presence of Pipoy. Even Tisoy, our 5-year old spitz, and Twinkle, our domesticated rock pigeon, both seem confused.

Perhaps irritated by Pipoy’s noise, Tisoy would be hiding in the maid’s room. At times, Twinkle would be staring at Pipoy as if saying, “Who is this critter? Is he the son of Shrek?”

As what the vet said, we need to exert extra attention. It’s common for pets to exhibit jealousy in different forms when there’s a new arrival.

Pipoy's brother Chuk being flanked by new owners Lala and Colleen Bernardo

On Pipoy’s fifth day with us, there seemed to be a problem because his feces didn’t look good. And on the next day, blood was clearly present. But despite the ailment, Pipoy’s energy did not wane a bit.

Dr. Ignacio, our long time vet, gave Pipoy a shot and prescribed antibiotics to combat the suspected bacteria. In the afternoon, everything looked normal once again.

Twinkle the rock pigeon is staring at Pipoy

The vet advised us to restrict the puglet from biting anything dirty. So we had to buy some toys for Pipoy to be preoccupied with instead of training his eyes on dirty things like my slippers.

We know that it would take time before Pipoy could adjust to his new environment. A week or two for toilet training and a month maybe to acclimatize with Tisoy.

Hopefully, Pipoy would learn how to socialize with our other pets and with the humans as well. Otherwise he would be staying in the cage for the rest of his life.


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