March 24, 2023

Other than boosting the number of online delivery services (for food and other stuff), the Covid-19 has also caused the mushrooming of various pet stores, veterinary clinics, and other similar establishments and services.
When this near-sighted Ibaloy writer and self-confessed animal lover was tested positive for Covid-19 in 2020, I had to isolate myself for several days in order not to infect my loved ones. Thank God, I already completed all my vaccination shots that was why I only had a mild case and recovered quickly and fully.
Anyway, being isolated from family for even just a few days is definitely not fun and downright depressing. But thanks to the presence of my dogs who provided me with companionship and provided me with a sense of being ‘not alone and forgotten’, I was able to survive the ordeal with my sanity intact. Thanks also, of course, to my family and barangay officials who regularly checked on my condition.
There is such an animal (forgive the pun) as pet therapy after all where, according to an article in the Internet, can improve patient satisfaction, energy levels, self-esteem, and mood, as well as decrease depression. Additional benefits include increased motor skills and movement, improved social skills and verbal communication, decreased boredom, and a more positive outlook. Now that’s a lot of benefits.
In our tiny Ibaloy homestead in Bakakeng Central, my mag-ina and I care for several dogs, a cat, a turtle including a bevy of free-range chickens that provide us with a steady supply of organic eggs that are supposedly believed to be healthier to eat than the commercial variety. Although feeding and taking care of them can be very tiring and tedious at times, the love and care that they show us, in their own animal way, more than makes up for the hard work.
I have often boasted that although my family is small, there being only the three of us, we are actually a large brood since we consider all our pets as members of our extended family. Besides, pets (especially dogs), are even more loyal and trustworthy than some humans I know. Just saying.