The Fur Will Fly

It was quite a decent evening as I strolled around the outdoor mall to finish some last-minute shopping before my mom and sister went back to the Philippines. While we were about to leave the mall, my brother suggested to pass by the pet store and check out the puppies, so I obliged. As we came into the store, we saw cute furry little things lined up one after another. I remember there were a lot of Chihuahuas available at that time and I thought to myself, I can't have a dog like that. It's too small for me... One day, being the klutz that I am, I'm going to end up stepping on it and that'll be the end of a sad, short story.

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So I kept walking down the aisle until I finally reached the back of the store and looked up at the last two puppies that were displayed in their own separate cages. There he was, second to the last cage... It was a huge puppy which at first glance seemed to look like a Husky or German Shepherd mix but on the label it said BREED: AKITA. I've never seen an Akita before nor have I ever heard about them so I got really curious. Black mask, white boots, pink paws and whoa... his face looked like a mix of a bear and a wolf!

The store had booths where you can interact and play with a puppy, maybe to give you that final push so you can say the magic words, "Swipe that card!" The Akita was still okay to play with, so I said, Hey why not? Let's get him in the booth! Boy were we in for a treat... right when they placed him on the floor inside the booth, he started running around and tugging at my brother's jeans (this was I think one of the reasons why I wanted to have him, so he could annoy the crap outta my brother and tear his designer jeans! Ha!). This Akita puppy just wouldn't hold still... he wanted to play and nibble and run around. He was cute, but so what? Every puppy always looks cute,right? And then it happened... he let me hold him and I placed him on my lap... he didn't move nor fickle around. He just stayed there, perfectly still.

Skyler almost 2 months old at the pet shop
All I remember after that was me telling my mom, I don't think I can leave this store tonight without him. I don't know why but I cannot let him go.  As romantic as it sounded, I did leave the store without him. I could have taken him home right then and there but my siblings and mother convinced me otherwise so I can think it over, at least overnight. They argued that being a large breed dog, it will be very difficult and expensive to maintain it and most especially, we have to check the temperament. I don't want to wake up one day with my pet dog chewing on my thighs with a side of barbecue sauce and have him go murder every other dog we see at the park.

Pretty much most of the common descriptions that I found for the Akita were loyal, highly intelligent, aggressive (especially with food), strong-willed, dominant and stubborn. In short, this cute bear-faced puppy can well be a terrorist if I don't train him properly. But despite all odds, I called back the shop the next day, signed the blank slot for the pet's name as "Skyler" and took this Akita home. Sadly, just two days after we got him from the shop, we found out that Sky had in fact, pneumonia and only had a 50/50 chance of survival. I was stressed out and devastated... so I went under my blanket and cried my eyes out just like this guy... er girl... unknown specie...

Luckily, Sky's vet is awesome and was able to nurse him back into excellent health! The first two years with this dog was the most challenging part as I had to constantly watch over him, get him potty-trained (I think I covered my whole entire apartment with training pads) and made sure he wasn't destroying anything. To date, Skyler almost set the apartment on fire twice (he turned on the stove on two separate occasions), he has dug the carpet, ruined the blinds countless times, chewed on the walls, dug on the floor and the wall, chewed on the door, chewed on my designer shoes (Kate Spade, Guiseppe Zanotti, Stella McCartney R.I.P. *tear*) and sunglasses, chewed on USB cables, chewed on PS3 controllers, you name it... HE CHEWED IT!

My toe is not an exception!
Skyler wearing my sunglasses at 3 years old with his Auntie Kiwi.  He eventually chewed on it too.
Then there's the expenses. *Gulp* Big dog equals big appetite. I have to buy him the biggest bag of dry food available, treats (lots of them), rawhide, toys (he LOVES squeeky toys but none of them could last him longer than a week and he decapitates all his stuffed toys), have him groomed and have his regular clinic visits. One time, he chewed on a bone and it didn't sit well with him so I ended up rushing him to his vet. I left that clinic $350 dollars poorer, to think at that time I only pay $15 for my own doctor's visit. During the summer season, I have to leave the air conditioning on almost 24/7 as well as the TV (preferably HBO) so he doesn't  fry with his double layer of fur.

Bored out of his mind watching HBO
When one has too much time on their hands, one gets bored. And sometimes, Sky has to pay for it. The best part of it all is, he plays along 'coz he somehow knows that I enjoy kidding around.

Sorry Auntie Kiwi, I think we stretched out your headband!
Skyler pretending to be my "lechon" (roasted pig) Yep, he plays dead like that
You know how experts say that dogs can't really understand what humans are saying? Maybe they can't, but they sure can feel how you're feeling. One day, I was feeling down and stressed out and out of nowhere, this big bear of a dog comes to me, reaches out with one of his long arms and lands his huge paw on my lap, as if trying to comfort me. That's the thing about dogs... they never judge you nor hold grudges against you.

Skyler giving me a paw shake
My boyfriend once told me that I saved Skyler because if I didn't take him that day from the shop, he would have surely died from pneumonia. I actually think it's the other way around... I think Skyler saved me. He really taught me to be patient and to know how it's like to care for something invaluable as well as appreciate the small things in life. If you respect animals, they will respect you. Treat animals with care and dignity, as they have feelings just like we do.

Forever paws-in-crime...

My big monster giving me a big kiss
Oh and by the way, mess with me and I'll sick my dog on ya. Just kidding! =)


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