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Rex is Home

Posted by siyerwin on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 3:02 PM

Below is an update from animal welfare advocate and author Alya B. Honasan about the black Labrador named Rex whom she's fostered back into a happy, healthy dog from that scrawny, mangy bag o' bones he was some months back. It's clear how much love Alya has put into his recovery. Rex deserves nothing less after what he's been through. Thanks, Alya! Cheers to happy endings!

(Photo by Popi Laudico)

MY eyes hurt from crying, but they're good tears. Today, January 13, my friends Joy and Popi accompanied me to Silang, Cavite to bring Rex to his new home.

It's a beautiful place to raise a dog, as well as a boy like Gelo, the 4-year-old son of EJ and Eva Espiritu. It's the Espiritus' pottery farm, Cornerstone Pottery Farm, where the air is clean, there's lots of space and gardens to explore, and Rex will pretty much have the run of the place. The best part is, there are three people (four, including Gelo's yaya) who are ready to dote on him. I watched the whole family scratching his belly as he rolled over in contentment, and I knew that God had really singled out this extraordinary creature for this journey. And Rex was gentle, sweet, and totally accepting of the new humans in his life.

I took Rex for one last visit yesterday to Doc Marga, who sent a letter of bilins and offered an open line for any questions to the Espiritus. Rex is now a whopping 33.4 kg, his mange is gone (although some damage to the skin remains), and he is playful and alert. Marga gave me a list of what Rex needs for Eva to refer to. As Eva had texted me earlier, she felt like a new mommy again!

It was a great welcome. Gelo was intimidated by Rex's size at first—apparently he was bigger than they had all expected—but soon he was petting him, and Eva and EJ were throwing a tennis ball in the air for Rex to catch in some vigorous play as Popi feverishly took pictures. As soon as he entered the house, Rex seemed to feel right at home, settling contentedly on the floor under the dining table. What a life to look forward to—cool morning walks and fields to sniff around and a little boy to look after! This is what dogs were made for.

I gave him a last scratch before I snuck out of the house—Popi, Joy and I all snuck out one at a time so as not to make a fuss for Rex—and I didn't look into his brown eyes anymore when I left, lest my heart hurt too much. I will miss walking him every morning as I have these last two months, and I will miss seeing those lovely eyes looking at me every day when I feed him and play with him. But in his new home, Rex will have the love and constant attention of more people, a comfortable place to sleep indoors, and the food and care he needs. I know he will be a big part of these people's lives, and not a dog who has to be kenneled half of the time and walked once a day, his movements generally limited to the end of his leash, as would have been his life if he had stayed with me. I guess part of loving is really knowing when to let your loved one go for something better—even if that means finding it in a different place from where you happen to be.

I will miss him terribly, but I gladly hand him over to Gelo and his family. My heart is so full of joy that he has a second chance at life, and that my friends and I had a part in it. I watched him leap into the air to catch his ball, an incredibly agile and strong dog—- he who had once been a bag of bones- —and I knew he was celebrating, as well. Popi took this beautiful picture of Rex [shown above] in the Espiritus' garden, a newly-fetched tennis ball in his mouth. I can't believe how beautiful he is now.

Besides, I will never, ever really lose Rex. The gift we receive when we let something wonderful into our lives is ours forever, one of the universe's great unexpected blessings, and an affirmation that there are many things more precious than deadlines and money and running around with nowhere to go. At the Espiritus' home in the green hills of Silang, I felt like we could indeed stop and play and smell the flowers and enjoy what really matters—such as allowing ourselves the privilege of loving an animal.

We're planning future visits, and Eva promises to keep me posted. I'm writing this at home with my beloved Banana curled up at my feet; she allowed her mama to embark on this little adventure with no complaint, and with a dog's profound understanding and wisdom, and for that I am grateful to her.

Wherever else life brings me, whatever else lies in Rex's future, this dog will always be with me—and knowing how big a dog's heart is, I'm certain I've got a safe little place somewhere in there, too.

Endings couldn't get any happier than this.

Watch out for Rex's story in Sunday Inquirer Magazine's February 3, 2008 issue!

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  1. 1 Comment: Responses to “ Rex is Home ”

  2. By babybranny on Jan 20, 2008, 7:23:00 PM

    alya: not just a great writer but also an animal rescue hero


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Please do not leave your email or contact numbers in the comments. Email me directly at sherwin @ if you have concerns or questions. This blog is increasingly attracting breeders/pet sellers trying to advertise their business through the comments and I don't want that. The blog seems to also be becoming a bulletin board of sorts for people who wish to abandon their pets. allows no way to edit your comments so there I have no other option but to delete comments that I deem inappropriate in this regard. I apologize for the inconvenience. Again, if you have any questions/concerns, better to email me at sherwin @ than to comment here. Thank you very much!

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