Thursday, July 4, 2013

Eight Days to Go!

By this time next week, I would be frosting Odie's birthday cake. The recipe I got is pretty big so I'll most likely distribute to neighbors and friends. I'm not sure if I can get carob chips. Maybe I can substitute sweet potato instead. I also intend to use recipe 5 for the frosting. As for the letters, maybe mashed carrots? I think bright orange is gonna be a pretty good contrast. Hmmm... whatever I end up using, I hope the cake turns out great.

I've reposted the needs and wants entry to act as a wish list of sorts. I don't think we'd be opening lots of presents on his birthday, and some of those things are impossible to get on time (most of them are available only in the US haha). Some are impossible, period. But of course, even if I'm working towards getting a good number of those material things, his health and happiness would still be top priority.

Can't believe it's going to be his first birthday real soon! His other classmates celebrated their birthdays on the 1st of this month and did their own festivities. It's crazy! The first time I met Odie, he was a few days shy of being two months old. He was only about to turn 3 months when he first met teacher and his classmates. The goldens were so small back then, and Odie was small enough to pick up with one hand. Sigh. Time flies and I sound like a mother.

Odie's first day at home
We got Odie on a rainy September day. He was a tiny puppy that fit in a small shopping bag. I bought him a large-sized crate in anticipation of his full size, and he looked like an infant in a mansion. On the first two nights, he kept crying at the oddest hours, maybe missing his mommy and his litter mates. After all, he was still on unfamiliar ground. He also kept eating the plants (he kind of shaved an entire patch of soil), would run away from me, and would eat his meals while lying on his belly.

I started training him on his third day at home. I went on YouTube and taught him how to do "sit" and "down" just so I could feel like I knew how to train. On day four, he finally got a leash and harness (the leash and collar we bought for him turned out to be too big haha). He would lie on his belly and completely refused to move whenever his harness was on, but the moment we removed it, he ran around like normal. Weirdo!

I looked for training facilities in Manila just for fun, but then I saw that one of them was really near our house! I initially thought it would be ridiculous for me to become one of those pet parents who would send the dog to school. WELL, we all know how that turned out! I kept going back to the page and saw that there was a Puppy Class the following month. It was a time when Odie was learning to misbehave - he chewed on the plants, bit me to the point of having lots of scratches on my arms, and was causing a riot no one knew how to control. My sister and I went halfsies and went to Puppy Class for the first time ever. When Basic Obedience Class came, she became pretty busy so I took it upon myself to keep Odie in school.
3-month old Odie at the Puppy Class graduation day.
Note how small he was, and how small his treat container was!
Photo from the Pet Centrics Facebook Page

He's still a crazy boy, but I could only imagine how things would have turned out if we didn't give him and ourselves proper education. Odie has finished three courses so far and could use another couple courses, really. He went on to become a "demo dog" for other Basic Obedience students, and for a TV spot! He's not perfect, he's far from perfect, but he's definitely a better boy than most dogs, thanks to Doc Marose and Pet Centrics. Going to training has been a big part of Odie's growth, having done so since he was a little over two months old. I didn't know that even for a dog, education is the best thing that we could give. Next to food, of course.

Odie has schooled me a couple of times as well! So much has happened in the span of 10 months that Odie has lived here at home. He's eaten strange things like a cigarette butt which caused him to throw up (he was three months old then and I couldn't be more thankful that he survived), a big twig which made my sister and I panic, a dishwashing sponge which worried his yaya April, among other things. He taught me that he's a lot stronger than I think. He's also teaching me how to let go and how to get dirty. When he picks up a dead frog during a walk, I would pick his mouth with my bare hands and throw the damn frog away. This has happened thrice already and it doesn't get any less disgusting. Also, prior to knowing Odie, I never imagined myself cleaning up after a pee/poop machine. I never thought that I would be picking up puppy poop in Eastwood or High Street. Posh places? Haha, dogs do NOT care where you are. If he has to go, he has to go. If it means wiping the floor clean at a high-end mall, there's no choice but to do it.

It's also going to be Godzilla's first death anniversary on July 16. During our walks, Odie and I still visit his resting place from time to time. I also still cry over his passing. I miss him, and to some extent, I take care of Odie this way because I regret not being as educated when we had Godzilla. But then, as it says in one of the comic strips in Marshall's Law, "you always end up with the dog you're meant to be with." I hope that as he looks down from dog heaven, he's happy that I'm doing this partly for him. And the fact that the day of his death is four days after Odie's birthday, I'd like to think (oh, here goes the lump in my throat) that he has picked Odie for us, he just wasn't so sure about it yet on the day that Odie was born.

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