If you ask me what breed I love the most, it’s the aspin, short for “asong Pinoy” or Philippine native dog. Derided by some who cannot see beyond breed, the aspin is just as good as any other dog breed out there, with bright minds, big hearts, and beautiful souls.
Growing up, I was surrounded by both aspins and purebred dogs, and I never knew what differentiated one from the other. For me, they were all wonderful dogs who loved me and made my childhood years colorful and memorable, accompanying me through the highs and lows of my life with much loyalty and devotion.
Today, aspins continue to be an integral part of my pack. They continue to amaze me with their smarts, their flexibility and adaptability, and all-around good health. My aspins have never saddled me with huge vet bills, nor caused me any trouble with assorted health or dietary issues. For me, they are the ideal dog, and the breed that I would always want to have by my side.
Just as I celebrate my champion mini schnauzers, I believe that I should also honor my aspins for being the bestest best dogs I could ever have. Hence, they have this section all to themselves.
Meet my aspins:
Misty – We rescued her from Malabon 13 years ago. She was a puppy swimming in a murky canal when I first got her, ridden with fleas but thankfully not much else. Since then, she has become my constant shadow, always there to see me through. She has survived mammary cancer and remains a joyful soul, despite slowing down a bit in recent months. I call Misty my “ate” which means older sister in Filipino, because that’s what she is to me and to the rest of us, humans and dogs alike, in our pack.
Panda – When it comes to doggy smarts, no one can come close to Mister Panda. He has figured out how to open all kinds of doors and can solve complex puzzles so it’s never easy to outwit him. When he was a younger dog, he was always trying to bolt out of the door with me, causing me many headaches. Now 12, he has hardly mellowed down but has at least forgotten about bolting out of the gate. This is the dog who knows how to anticipate my next moves because, believe it or not, he can read my mind.
Chocnut – Chocnut may be 12 years old, but he is such a baby. He always demands that he be given treats, and it shows in his figure that vets aren’t too happy with. Chocnut is a bit grumpy with other dogs, and demands that his space be respected. Yet he’s always needy and helpless, asking for human help to get past other dogs and for various other complaints. In sum, he’s cute as a button, and though he is beginning to show signs of cognitive decline, he continues to be a sweet dog to his family.
Johnny booboo – Johnny, now 11, was rehomed by a colleague (whose husband had rescued him from the dog meat trade) who had to move to a small apartment and couldn’t take him along. Johnny was supposed to join the military but he ended up with us. He’s a cross between a Rottweiler and a Doberman, and his commanding presence can be intimidating. However, he’s really a softie who just wants pats and belly rubs when he’s not chasing cats.