The symphony of the enchanting realm creates a melody of comfort that crafts a bridge for a wagging tail, floppy ears, captivating bark, and furry cuddles by our four-legged friends. As we get amazed and excited to have a “man’s best friend”, do you also consider sending plot twists to those under the stigma — the Aspins?
Longing for a chapter that will grant them to be a star, our local or mixed-breed dog, Aspin, or “Asong Pinoy,” draw stereotypes that cause them to be discriminated against by the standard pooches globally. Due to the stigma, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) encourages using this alternative term to end prejudice to their genes.
Compared to purebreds, these dogs are often misinterpreted and considered inferior. There is an impression against them that they are aggressive as they are often presented in packs on the streets — engaged in territorial disputes, seeking food, and waiting for a good hand to rescue them from their life bruises. They often face hardship and cruelty on the streets through no fault of their own. As puppies, they may be born underweight to a stray mother lacking nutrition. They suffer from worms, fleas, malnutrition, and disease without primary vet care.
However, despite having misconceptions, these furry companions possess a treasure trove of positive traits that make them incredible. They are not simply dogs but loyal friends who form unbreakable bonds with their family members. Aspins’ devotion to fostering compassion knows no bounds, and even in the face of adversity, their hearts remain devoted to their owners. Further, due to their mixed heritage, these pups also tend to be more resilient and adaptable to various living situations and environments, making them great pets for different types of households.
While these dogs may not be associated with particular tasks like certain purebred working breeds, their keen intelligence enables them to learn and solve problems. Tricks? Commands? Connectivity? Remember Kabang, the hero dog, who threw herself on the speeding motorcycle to save the two girls? She is the epitome of our canine friend’s loyalty.
Jelai Andres, a Youtube content creator expressing her acknowledgement in her rescued and adopted Aspin in a vlog, “Sabi nila swerte raw si Popoy kasi naka-aircon na, nakasasakyan, ayaw na umapak sa lupa gan’yan, masarap daw kinakain niya. Hindi nila alam, ako po ‘yong swerte kay Popoy, hindi si Popoy ang swerte. Swerte ako kasi nameet ko si Popoy. As in nakakapag-iba. Hindi lang po kayo ‘yong mag-iiba ng life nila, iibahin din nila ‘yong life nin’yo.”
While some seek status symbols, aspins offer substance — faithful spirits in plain fur coats. What these fur babies lack in pedigree papers, they make up for in lively personalities. Undoubtedly, the bond between these pooches and their owners can grow profoundly deep.
An individual becomes a beacon of hope for the Asong Pinoy by choosing adoption over purchasing. It is not just a human story that will have a twist; theirs will, too, as comforting them transforms their lives in a heartwarming way — the bigger person who, their savior, provides them with the love, care, and family they deserve.
LAYOUT ARTIST(S): Trisha Mae Gempesao
PHOTO SOURCE(S): Tracy Ann Gempesao, Mary Julieth Yutuc, Manoh Kulkarni (Getty Images), Kerem Kurul (Getty Images)