February 2nd 2009 12:41 am
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Oh yeah. Pippin tagged me and I technically have to write five wonderful things about me. Then, I will tag five of my pals.
*Here are the five things about me:
1. My whole name is Princess Madonna Maria Nicolette Georgina Ysabelle Koopie Chanel McJustin Z. Baluyot
2. I love vanilla ice creams, pizzas, and steamed bananas
3. I'm a certified sucker of long car rides
4. I totally love watching The Greatest American Dog every single day
5. I'm not really the most well-behaved dog. But I'm definitely happy for being a simple and down-to-earth companion
*Here are my five great friends that I definitely have to tag:
2. Bella Starlet
December 15th 2008 3:12 am
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Humans have this habit of categorizing things. They tend to put things in “compartments” in an attempt to convince them that they have been able to figure out what they sometimes don’t understand. When humans don’t understand something, they just put things under certain classifications. For example, they have categorized round objects revolving around the sun as “planets”. And they have identified all those nice twinkling objects in the night sky as “stars”. They’ve also identified categories for various creatures. They have classified animals with covering of hair on the skin and protruding milk-producing mammary glands (for females) as “mammals”. They’ve classified small animals with three body sections (the head, the thorax, and the abdomen) and six legs as “insects”. And they have categorized air-breathing, cold-blooded vertebrates that have skin covered in scales as “reptiles”. Yup, humans seem to have nothing much to do, eh? They spend much of their idle time mindlessly identifying creatures according to kind, specie, order, and any other category. And what do they do with these books? They in shelves, collecting dust.
But does this stop them from further categorizing? Nope. They just continue on and on. They just won’t stop. It’s like an addiction for them. Their motto seems to be “Let’s classify and classify until we die!”
Let’s take dogs for example. Man has divided and classified dogs according to every category imaginable; breeds, kinds, hairstyle, bark level, color, size, poop smell, what-have-you. It’s crazy! Last time I checked, there are around 800 different breeds of dogs that kennel groups around the world have recognized, and they don’t include the mongrels.
They’ve also characterized us according to function. There are:
1. GUARD DOG or WATCH DOG – those who guard families.
2. GUIDE DOGS – those who help the blinds.
3. FARM DOGS – those who assist in herding cattles and sheep.
4. SNIFF DOGS – those who detect drugs and illegal stuffs in airports.
5. LAP DOGS – those who don’t do anything but lie on the laps of people.
6. SHOW DOGS – those who are entered in dog shows.
7. TOY DOGS – those that you toy around.
While I’m sure there’s a good reason humans categorize creatures and things, I’m not sure I’m comfortable being identified to a single category. My dad and my vet identified me as a toy dog (well at least for them, I’m a Miniature Dachshund and I don’t think I belong to the toy dog section. I weigh only 4.5kg by the way). Because if you really look at it, we dogs can be a number of thing at the same time. Take me for example. I’m typically considered as a toy dog because I like toying around and because I like playing with toys. But I can be a darn good security dog, too. Ever since my grandfather took me home as a graduation gift for my dad, there’s not been one single burglar can enter our home. I can smell people 100 feet away – and I can tell if they’re up to no good. I bark at everyone who dares to go within 10 feet away from our front door. Before anyone can even ring the doorbell, I’m already barking at my Nanny Beth telling her “Hey Nanny Beth, someone’s at the door! Someone’s at the door!”
I’m also a very good lap dog. When my auntie or my grandmother is in a cuddly mood, I just snuggle up to her and lay my head on her lap. And I can stay motionless for a long time even for as long as ten seconds. Of course, if I hear an unusual sound – like a door opening, I jump right out of my “lap-dog mode” and I instantly become a security dog again. But if I want to be a lap dog, I can be one. For a few seconds, at least.
I am also a fantastic sniff dog. I sniff around the house all the time, checking if there are any illegal drugs or contraband goods lying around. I haven’t found any yet – so I guess I have to train harder.
So really, if you think about it, I can be many things. We can be many things. I’m not just a toy dog. So I resent the fact that people identify me – and my breed – as toy dogs. But then again, what can I do? Humans will continue doing what they want. They will categorize and categorize until kingdom come.
But you know what – I will not stand by and listen to all this categorizing. I will fight fire with fire. So they want to categorize us? Ok, I will start categorizing them.
So, they’ve categorized me as a “Toy Dog”. I hereby categorize humans as “Dog Toys”. That’s right. Humans are dog toys. That’s what they are. You know why? Well, if you really think about it – we have them at our beck and call. They can’t resist us. We just give them our “puppy-dog-eyes” look and *poof* they melt. And we can make them do anything. Just like toys.
And as “Dog Toys”, I further categorize humans as follows:
1. NUISANCE TOYS – these are the humans who keep on ringing the doorbell.
2. CUDDLY TOYS – this is where my auntie belongs. I like cuddling with her.
3. ACTION FIGURE TOYS – this is where my dad belongs. I rough it up with this toy.
4. BARBIE DOLL TOYS – these are the babies – the guys I just lick and groom.
5 THROW-AWAY TOYS – these are the humans I don’t like. So just like an old toy, I want to throw them away.
Aaahh, it feels good turning the tables around. I wonder what humans feel about my classifications? I’m sure they’re all scratching their head and saying “Wonder where I belong?”
Yup, it does feel good to be on this side of the classifying end. But then again, it’s not really that great. At the end of the day, we shouldn’t really spend too much time categorizing and classifying. Sometimes, by categorizing, we tend to become prejudiced and judgmental. It’s a divisive exercise. Here’s my two cents worth. A dog, no matter what kind or what breed deserves to be treated well. And a human, no matter what race and no matter how irritating, must be treated with respect.
At the end of the day, we are all living creatures her in this wonderful earth. Let’s just love and respect each other regardless of whether you are a toy dog – or a dog toy.
December 15th 2008 3:10 am
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I always hear and read this phrase “politically correct”. This seems to be the “in” thing nowadays. You have to be politically correct when you say something. “Politically correct” basically means treating other people’s religion, culture, race, background, etc. with sensitivity. So normally, if you say something that is viewed as denigrating or disparaging, it’s considered “politically correct”.
I heard this phrase a lot of times while following the whole Obama-Clinton campaign that just ended recently. People were saying that Obama’s pastor was saying a lot of politically incorrect statements – while Geraldine Ferraro, a Clinton supporter, was also quoted as saying something insensitive against Obama’s skin color. There was a lot of “he said, she said, they said” stuff going on during the campaign – a lot of finger-pointing and wild accusations that this person said this and that. Basically, if someone said something that could be viewed as even slightly insulting to someone’s background or features or beliefs, it was shot down and condemned immediately. And the person who made the statement would be “crucified” (in a figurative sentence) and mocked.
I don’t know. Humans can be very overly sensitive sometimes. I’m not saying that it’s right to say degrading comments about other people’s religion, culture, race, background, etc. But sometimes, people read too much into what other people say. Sometimes, when these statements are made, I’m sure there was no ill intent on the part of the one who said it. People have just become too sensitive over the years – and normally, this sensitivity is disguised as “trying to make sure that everyone treats everyone equally or fairly”. Yeah, right.
Ok. I admit that in the course of history, females, blacks, Asians, Indians, and indigenous people have not been given a fair shake. And I feel for them. Filipinos have had their fair share of politically incorrect statements by other races. But if there’s a group that should really be jumping up and down in disgust, it should be us dogs. You may not have noticed it, but we dogs have been trampled upon and treated as second-class citizens over the centuries. Sure, we’ve been called “man’s best friend” and all that. But let’s face it. Humans will never treat us as equals. Not now. Not ever. And I’m a little bit ticked by that.
Don’t believe me? Ok, let’s start with the way we’re treated. Let’s not count the pets of Oprah, Paris Hilton, and all the other celebrity pets. Those are exceptions to the rule. In fact, I must admit that I am part of that exception – that lucky lot. I get treated really well by my folks. But in most households, the general rule is that dogs don’t get treated equally as people. For starters, dogs are given leftovers. Sometimes, they’re not even given leftovers. They’re given chicken bones and other food portions that are thrown away. It’s really not fair. Can’t we eat what you eat? If you’re having beef stroganoff, shouldn’t we be eating beef stroganoff too? Hey, we’re part of the household, right? And how about baths? On the average, dogs get only to take a bath once a week – that is, if they’re lucky. A lot of dogs are just leashed or placed in cages – basically to act as watchdogs – and they’re never given baths. Sometimes, they don’t even have a roof over their heads – so they’re exposed to the elements. What gives?
And how about the way people call dogs? Again, there are some exceptions. Some lucky dogs like me get called “sweetie” and “baby”. But most people call dogs either by a whistle, or a “tsk, tsk, tsk” sound effect, accompanied by the snapping of fingers. And then people normally say, “Here boy, here boy” – even if the dog being called is a girl. Talk about the height of political incorrectness!
And how about the terminologies? I think people have invented very politically incorrect terms for dogs. For example, not all human girls are “bitches”. Only those who act prima donas and spoiled brats are called “bitches”. But in the dog kingdom, all girls are technically “bitches”. No exception – even me! And when a person is a mixed breed – that is, if his parents are of a different race, we have nice terms for them. From Mulatto to Eurasian to Amerasian. But when dogs are mixed breeds, we call them mutts or mongrels. But the worst is here in the Philippines. Mixed-bred dogs here are technically called to as “askals” or “mga asong kalye” which means “street dogs”. Take me for example. My parents don’t really know my roots. That’s why we don’t know what my breed is. So, people around technically called me as an “askal” or “a street dog” despite the fact that I have my own kennel! Now if that’s not politically incorrect, I don’t know what it is.
Man is very good in inventing all of these terminologies. But what they don’t realize is that when they come up with words, they are always favoring themselves – at the expense of us animals. For example, when they refer to their species, they use the word “mankind” or “human race”. When they refer to animals, they use words like “creature” or “beasts”. When they try to describe charitable act, they say it’s a “humane” act. And when a person kills or behaves badly, they would say “He acted like an animal!” Huh? You’ve never see an animal with a semi-automatic weapon, have you? How can a serial killer be called an “animal”?
You see, humans always talk about being “politically correct”, but when it comes to animals, people are just plain wrong – political or otherwise. Look at all the waste that humans dump in the air and the sea?