In 1954, a series about a fictional collie named Lassie aired on television. The TV series lasted for almost 20 years. Kids and adults were glued to their black and white television sets to watch the adventures of their beloved hero dog Lassie.
I also had fond memories of my son Nashi’s golden retriever named Mocha and daughter Jackie’s retriever named Micca. I remembered how much Mocha and Micca were loved and how Mocha would leave traces of her pee because of excitement. My son would carry that bundle of joy that weighed almost 40 pounds at four months like a baby.
Fast forward to 2022, I searched for canine lover Isong Santos. I heard about him from Abbie Lara. I think they were colleagues at GMA 7 in the past.
His full name is Narciso Nadal Santos Jr, friends call him Nars. He uses Isong Santos on Facebook. According to the resume of Nars, his skills include writing, editing, video editing, development and administration of training/diagnostic materials, events coordination, directing, producing, basic graphics designing, social media account development and management, administration work, and teaching Psychology and Political Science.
Absent in this list is his love for his canine family and breeding of dogs.
His passion for dogs started when he was four years old when his father gifted him with a puppy. It had short white hair, big black nose and medium brown eyes.
“My grandfather and I named him Lancer. With Lancer, I discovered I had a natural affinity with dogs” Nars said.
“I had a wonderful time as my grandfather and I took turns taking care of him. I wanted to be with Lancer all the time. Sadly, he was not allowed inside our house. I promised myself that someday I would have a dog who would be living with me and I fulfilled that childhood promise in 2001. I decided it was time to have a dog when I came back to the country after working in Singapore. She was a golden retriever. I called her Uma after Uma Thurman, who had glorious blonde hair,” he added.
Nars has a degree in Social Science from the University of the Philippines Baguio. He was a Human Resource Officer of Texas Instruments Baguio. Left the country and worked as video editor and multimedia producer in Singapore. When he came back, he worked for GMA7. He now does freelance work. Aside from the skills mentioned above he now breeds and joins conformation dog shows. His companion dogs at present are Roslin, Flurry and Sabrina. He also had his fair share of happiness and woes.
“There are two instances that I fear the most as far as living with companion animals is concerned. One is their demise, and the other is, when I have to rehome them. For me, coming to terms with the death of companion animals is easier to deal with than when rehoming them,” he explained.
“Rehoming a dog is more stressful. It is a practice among dog breeders. Companion dogs who have been with dog breeders for a long time are sometimes given to other people without a fee. It is a tedious process, as prospective homes must be identified and shortlisted based on their capability to provide a loving, healthy and safe environment for the dogs concerned,” he added.
Nars explained further that rehoming dogs will always mean broken hearts for the owners as well as for the dogs. The reasons for rehoming can be as follows: the dogs may not be the best representation of their breeds in the conformation rings. In this case the breeder sometimes ends up with having more dogs than originally planned. Sometimes, some show dogs may have disqualifying faults, or may not pass health clearances. Some dogs sometimes produced mediocre puppies, while others have extreme behavioral issues. In addition, finances can also be an issue.
Nars used to have a column about dogs called “Petmalu” after the millennials slang for “malupet”. It subsequently folded because of various reasons and closure of the paper.
A dog organization was established in Baguio sometime in December 2019 called the Baguio-Benguet Canine Club, Inc (BBCCI). It however closed because of the pandemic. Nars hopes to relaunch it next year. His inspiration comes having more knowledge and education on purebreds and the purebred’s sport.
His goal as a breeder is to produce healthy and sound golden retrievers who are able to do what they are bred to do and for them to become loving companions to families and individuals. Part of the standard is the proper screening of breeding pairs.
“One of the important goals of BBCCI is to bring conformation shows in Baguio City and Benguet. Another is to educate dog lovers about being responsible companions to animals. Third is to establish an animal eco-park sanctuary in Baguio City where dog lovers may enjoy with their furry companions and also where they may opt to make the eco-park sanctuary become the final resting place of their beloved companion animals.”
Lastly, the most important message Nars has for dog owners and lovers is to realize that their pets are not accessories. He said: “Domesticated animals should be treated humanely. It does not matter if a dog is a purebred or not, they should be treated as family and must not be bred just to recoup expenses or on a whim.”
For more information or inquiries, you may email Nars Santos at [email protected]or call him at 09260298427, or look for “Isong Santos” on Facebook.
By the way, his kennel name is Noblepine Golden Retrievers.