Bitches

Pardon my choice of word. No I am not cursing. I will use the word ‘bitch’ on this post without derogatory undertone, rather would simply refer to it as ‘female dog’. My son Rinojo once asked me an innocent question: “Daddy what does bitch mean?“, most probably he got the word from watching YouTube video. As a responsible parent, I felt I am obliged to explain. Although I know exactly what was meant on its proper (malicious) context, I told him that a bitch could mean a female dog, yet I advised him not to use that word as it may have different meaning which is extremely rude and offensive. Again for this post, bitches mean female dogs. Interestingly, ‘dog‘ as defined dictionary.com actually refers to male of the canine species, thereby ‘bitch’ is the correct term for female canine species. Almost all (if not all) of the dogs I’ved owned are females.

I can recall as a child growing up, we always have a house dog and a quasi farm dog. I am usually the one giving name to our dogs (we have one at a time or two the most). Having a dog though is not a big thing as almost all of our neighbours have their own. Interestingly, they would name their dogs something like ‘Brownie’, ‘Whitie’, ‘Blackie’, and similar familiar names. Me however, I am naming my dogs a little bit differently such as ‘Taray’ and ‘Baluga’ (both are female dogs).

File photo of one of my favorite dogs, "Baluga".  I think she lived a full 8 years or more, until she died of old age in 1999.

File photo of one of my favorite dogs, “Baluga”. I think she lived a full 8 years or more.

Living in a city and with common practice to have dogs not on leash, we have had dogs being hit by vehicle on the street. ‘Taray’ is one of them, died after being hit by a car. I am the one who buried her at our backyard. Baluga died in 1999 of old age in the Philippines, while I am in Saudi Arabia.

*In Saudi Arabia, owning a dog is quite difficult (more so a black dog). This have cultural and religious reference — one good read can be found at americanbedu.com.

It is also worth noting that even famous people like Winston Churchill and Bob Dylan are vilifying black dogs, giving negative connotation to the creature.

I do not wish to elaborate these issues here.

Two years ago around April of 2010, while I am in Jeddah running a personal errand, I found a ‘for adoption’ post on a community bulletin board in Sarawat grocery store (Jeddah International Market). It was actually for sale. Right there and on, I contacted the owner and agreed to purchased it for SR 600 (as advertised), after making sure it has complete papers and updated vaccination record. I learned from the owner that it is quite difficult for him to maintain the dog as he is only sharing a flat on a three storey residential building. Certain issues are already arising, thus he had no choice to look for another owner.

I brought the puppy home, to the delight of my kids, and renamed her ‘Loren’. (It is by ‘coincidence’ that in the Philippines, we have a popular personality with the same name running for Vice President on the May 2010 national election.)

Rinojo with four months old Terrier mix bred

Rinojo with four months old Terrier mix bred “Loren”

Sophie with "Loren", two years ago, our first attempt to have a pet dog.

Sophie with “Loren”, two years ago. My first attempt to have a pet dog in Saudi Arabia.

Unfortunately, I have to let her go on June as we can not find someone to take care of her while we are away for our scheduled two months vacation. With heavy heart, I re-advertised her for adoption. This time, I did not ask for any money, I simply gave her away.

Meantime, for the past several weeks this year, it is noticeable from my wife her interest in having a pet dog. After series of research on what breed is acceptable in consideration to Sophie’s allergy issues as well as having a contingency plan during our annual vacation, we finally decided that we are ready to keep a pet dog, particularly within our community that we have a stronger support group for the growing number of pet owners.

We scouted for puppies either for sale within the community or puppies for adoption from an animal welfare group in Jeddah. Soon, puppies for adoption became available. After series of communications we decided which one to get.

We went to Jeddah Thursday morning to pick up ‘Patty’. Her story is more poignant than ‘Loren’. Patty was rescued along with her other 5 siblings on a farm in Jeddah by an animal welfare group. The original owner intended to eradicate the family (again, it should be noted that people in Saudi Arabia are still not accustomed to owning pet dogs), their mother was even blinded. Fortunately the puppies were rescued just in time, and were distributed for adoption to those who are willing — us included. Willingness though is just one of the requirements, being capable is another. The animal welfare group did not simply give away the puppies, we were subjected to interview and evaluation before being cleared for ownership.

Patty, four months old labrador mix bred, we got today from Jeddah.

Patty, four months old labrador mix bred, we got today morning from Jeddah, with Sophie after a late afternoon walk.

I wrote this blog as a journal entry for ‘Patty’ (as what she was named by the animal welfare group, to which we retained). With my Filipino tongue, I have to admit though that I feel weird calling her ‘Patty’ as in ‘Petty’ with emphasis in pronunciation with American accent. Perhaps for me, the name “Patty” will evolve a little to sound more like ‘Pati / Pahti’ to adjust to the twist of my tongue. And still with the absence of letter “P” in Arabic alphabet, maybe it will further evolve to ‘Bati / Bahti’. Then again it does not matter how I pronounce “Patty”. To borrow Den Xiaoping’s line:

“It doesn’t matter whether a cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice.”

It does not matter how I pronounce ‘Patty’, we are delighted having a new member of the family.

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About swrphome

Sophie's World, Rinojo's Playground. Almost crazy. Usually sane. Occasionally busy. Always lazy.

Posted on 22 March 2013, in Patty's Page and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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