The things we never imagined doing—rushing out for other choices of kibble (or ulam) just because your pet refuses to eat what’s at home, buying pricey pet shampoo because you wouldn’t let just any ordinary soap touch your furbaby’s skin, holding pet birthday parties—we are all guilty of now. All because we only want our beloved dog or cat to live his or her best life.
My dad hates apples. I’ve never seen him take a bite of the red, juicy fruit. He can’t even stand the smell.
Meanwhile, my mom feeds slices of apples to our three dachshunds as part of their breakfast. Two of them, Penguin and Star, have grown tired of the taste and started asking for the pears on the table, which are for the humans. Guess who’s now forced to eat his hated fruit because our dogs have to switch to pears?
We laugh at ourselves for being extra at spoiling our pets but what’s a doting “pawrent” to do? Many of us would give them the world if we could, as if they are our biological offspring, and there’s no shame in feeling that way.
Here are some pawrents who have gone to great lengths to spoil their furry, four-legged darlings.
Car Olbes, hooman of Boris, 3, Boston terrier
I see to it that Boris has a new toy every week so I stock up on toys, buying them ahead of time. Boris loves socks, too, and I’ve given him free rein over almost all of my socks, even the expensive ones. He also has his own cell phone! I’ve instructed our househelp to contact me through what we call the “Boris’ helpline” in case of emergencies concerning him. That way I know I need to rush home immediately.
Manch Mencias, furmom of Blanca, 5, golden retriever-‘asPin’ mix
I buy Blanca clothes and bandanas for her to wear when we go out. Her shampoos are also more expensive than mine. I need to add ice to her drinking water, otherwise she won’t even touch it. Blanca knows well that she is spoiled and uses this to her advantage. Every time we go out for a walk, she would act weak and kiss me all of a sudden, her way of asking me to carry her.
Reg Silva, cat momma to Tiger, Persian-‘pusPin’ mix, and Sushi, ‘pusPin,’ both 8 years old
I buy Tiger and Sushi kitty treats and enjoy seeing their reactions. I buy them toys and, sometimes, clothes. I let them sleep at the foot of my bed though my pulmonologist doesn’t recommend it.
I always ask them, “Alam niyo bang love na love namin kayo?” usually while hugging and cuddling them. I think they can tell by our actions that they’re loved. Sometimes when pets know that, they think they can get away with anything, so Tiger in particular tends to bend the rules. She’ll try to get into places she knows she’s not supposed to, like up on the dining table or in my closet.
I knew I had gone too extra when, in Taiwan last year, I found myself shopping for a dinosaur costume for the cats. Fortunately, reason kicked in; they probably would not appreciate it as much as I would. They wouldn’t care about pasalubong so I ended up not buying it. (Laughs)
Pauch del Rosario, daddy cat-o to Kuri and Lili, 2, both ‘pusPin’
Kuri and Lili were just a few days old when we adopted them. They were hiding under the hood of another car at a mall carpark. Since they didn’t have a mommy cat, we would wake up every three hours to bottle feed them, like human babies. We also took turns cleaning up and making them poop, too.
There would be times when I would drive around just to look for the cat food that they like since they won’t eat the ones we already have at home. On special days, I cook for them because they like the meals that I prepare.
Waking up in the morning and seeing them sleeping cozily beside me makes all the effort worth it. They have helped me pull through some of the roughest times. They are family. And I will do anything to keep and protect that connection and love.Also, because of Kuri and Lili, it has become an advocacy of mine to remind people to always check under their cars, especially during colder weather. You may never know that you’re already whisking a cat away to a place that is not familiar to them, especially kittens who could get separated from their moms.
Bach Cabañes, mommy to Cody and Cassie, 6, both ‘asPin,’ and Charlie, 2, ‘pusPin’
I buy them food, treats, clothes and other essentials which are way more expensive than my own. My mom scolds me but I always tell her that they are my kids and I will give and do everything for them. I always say it’s okay if I don’t have anything to eat as long as they have their food and treats.
John Rey Espinueva, doting dad to Boozer, 8, Belgian Malinois; Hotdog, 7, dachshund; Toby and Milo, 5, shih tzu; Oreo and Hershey, 1, shih tzu
Dogs have always been a part of our family but when it comes to spoiling them, I am the constant spoiler. I once drove round trip from La Union to Manila just to buy Toby her birthday cake from Ortigas.
Now, my siblings and I are Manila-based so it’s our parents who are pampering the fluffy babies back in La Union. What’s funny is that our parents didn’t like the idea of having dogs inside the house because they’re “allergic” to the fur. When Hotdog and Milo came, all that changed. Now they let some of the babies sleep beside them in the master bedroom. The rest sleep in our rooms with the air con on.
My parents even leave Netflix/Discovery Channel turned on for the dogs before they head to work. They also bring Oreo and Hershey with them wherever and whenever possible. Today the dogs have become our parents’ children. But we’re not complaining one bit.
Anj Tismo, mama to Maximilian, 9, Persian-Maine coon mix; Twix, 7, Siamese; Reese, 3, ‘pusPin’
We allow them to take the “prime spots” in our bed, on the sofa/day bed and even in our work-from-home space. Sometimes, they occupy half of our bed and we’re all okay with it as long as they get to sleep soundly.
Now, they even have their own way of “commanding” us to turn on the aircon so they can sleep peacefully.
Reese has this “entitled” look on his face which never fails to crack us up. He is a “pusPin” that was given to us after he was found in a dumpster in Bicol. Yet, he’s the most meticulous when it comes to food and particular spots to sleep in.
Gab Villarruz, pawrent to Turbo, 1, Welsh corgi
Because Turbo’s very picky and also because he’s allergic to chicken, I’ve done extensive research and experimented on several single-ingredient, all natural and local treat brands in Manila. We’ve probably tried seven different brands and approximately 20 to 25 various products just for him to try and choose the treats he enjoys the most.
Turbo has his own go-bag and emergency kit at home with all his essentials. Whenever we go out for long walks/short trips, his bag has more stuff than mine.
Corgis require a lot of physical and mental exercise so we got a bunch of Nina Ottosson puzzles to make sure he’s mentally stimulated even with limited outdoor activities due to COVID-19 (new coronavirus disease). His sessions with his dog behavior specialist have been halted due to the pandemic so I’m basically homeschooling him with daily trainings.
I realized that I’ve gone too extra when, a few times during the quarantine, after planning and preparing Turbo’s meals, which include cooked ground beef with vegetables, and kibble, my partner and I would ask each other, “What are we gonna eat?” We always end up with fast food. Our dogs really eat better than us. INQ