BETWEEN FRIENDS: Engaged in fulfilling work PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 07 April 2014 11:19

BY REMEDIOS F. MARMOLEÑO

Her family can afford that she does not work at a nine-to-five job. While she does not have to go to a workplace it doesn’t mean that she does not work. Truth to tell, she stays at home but she is engaged in things that are work for her, and this work takes her from about 6 in the morning to about 10 or so at night. What is it that occupies her for something like 15 hours every day?

She takes care of her dogs ( Chihuahuas), her pet chickens and the plants that have made the nearly 2,000 sq. meters of the property something like a natural forest of rare flowering vines and ferns from many places in the Philippines.

Her pet dogs  do not number six or even a dozen. At last count they numbered fifty ( yes! 50) and it is a good thing they are Chihuahuas and are small so that the mass of “dog presence” is not overwhelming. Each dog has a name and  my friend remembers them all and the names range from the fanciful to one that is reflective of the particular characteristic of a dog. There is one called Spotlight because he has eyes that look like spotlights and when you say “Smile” he extends his lips so that he looks like he really is smiling.

With 50 dogs there is need for organizing space otherwise one spends all that time breaking up dogfights. And my friend, with the use of movable iron link sections in the garden,  limits a particular groups of dogs to a particular section of the garden. The dog grouping is based on a given litter with the mama dog in the group. And yes, my friend is able to trace the lineage of each dog – who the mama was and who sired  it.

She can even  distinguish the particular bark of one dog against that of the other 49. Some  mornings  I remember she will muse “I heard Pettina barking last night. I wonder what that was all about.”

The dogs have to be given their baths, their vitamins, their medications for particular ailments,  if any. No wonder my friend can be occupied the whole day with so many pets to look after. And not to mention the cost of all these.

There are not as many chickens, the bantam kind, as there are dogs. But they all have names too and my friend remembers the name of each chicken.

Her garden which looks like a natural forest is something which is for me a matter of envy, non-gardener that I am. The natural look was not arrived at by accident but is the result of careful landscaping. My friend is after all an architect and took extra courses in landscape gardening.

Even with the help of two full-time yard helpers, the work still requires the many hours my friend puts in. I suppose this is a concrete example of what it means to be truly engaged in something that one finds rewarding and meaningful.