A family member called Nikko 

 

                                                 In memory of Nico
                                             So loving and adorable
                                   Sorely missed and never forgotten 
 
 
 

He came into our lives by chance and quite unexpectedly.  I was driving with my wife along the national highway in Cabanatuan City when she caught a glimpse of the signboard and frantically asked me to turn around and check it out.

And there they were, four “siblings” to choose one for adoption, but the tiniest of the four was quick to jump to the outstretched arms of Elsie.  He didn’t even give us a chance to check the other three out as he hung on tight to Elsie and licked her face profusely.  So much for choosing!

We brought him home and named him Nikko in memory of Elsie’s companion dog Nico who passed away two years before after a long and agonizing bout with cancer.

Maltese are perfect for condominium dwellers like us — they are small, quiet, gentle, loving, smart and happy with daily 20-minute walks.  Their coat is silky and soft but doesn’t shed, making them a good choice as well for allergy sufferers.

Maltese are noted for their long snowy white coat that hangs flat over the sides of the body almost to the ground.  But for his comfort in tropical weather and ease of grooming, we have decided to keep Nikko’s coat clipped short in a “family cut,” courtesy of his groomer Michelle who owns a pet shop at Tiendesitas, Pasig City. 

Nikko can sometimes be a picky eater, so we serve him a “cocktail” of dog pellets and let him pick out what he wants.  He likes freshly baked pandesal early mornings and snacks of soda crackers or plain cookies late afternoons.  On weekends he gets a treat of Cesar’s dog meat or strips of Jollibee fried chicken from Elsie.

For some peculiar reason, he prefers Jollibee over the other popular burger and chicken shops.  I often ask him why but he never tells me.

A true companion dog, Nikko loves to travel and especially enjoys long drives to the province, sticking his head out of the car’s window to take sniffs at the country air and watch the passing landscapes.  “Pit stops” at big petrol stations excite him as occassions for short walk, “marking territory” and of course Jollibee chicken. 

Occassionally, on his lucky day, he gets to meet and play with a female pet dog.  Saying goodbye when it’s time for us to move on is always hard for him (and a struggle for me to get him into the car).  “Did you get her mobile number baby?”  Elsie will tease him, and he will respond with more angry barks directed at me.  But soon the “chance encounter” will be forgotten when he gets busy sticking his head out of the car’s window.

Nikko’s bedding habits at night are almost childlike.  He has his own bed but prefers to sleep the night in our bed, with his stuffed toys and chewing bone.  His nightly bed “rituals” include frenzied running and rolling all over the bed and a game of hide-and-seek.  He loves to hide underneath the comforter and lay there motionless, waiting for me to lift his cover and “surprise” him with bulaga(!).  He goes nuts when I do that and will repeat the game again and again. 

When he’s done with his plays he will nudge me with gentle barks to turn on the bedroom TV and tune in to his favorite channel.  He is a big fan of the Animal Planet and watches it intently, especially when his favorite program, The Meerkats, is showing.

Sleeping time for him is when I turn off the TV set and bedroom lights.  He never complains(!) and will obediently curl close to my feet where he will fall asleep.

His body clock tells him with uncanny precision when it’s time for his morning or evening walk and when I will arrive home from work.  He will patiently wait at the front door and jump all over me as soon I enter the house.  I must first hug and rock him before he lets me hug and kiss my wife. 

Nikko is also very perceptive of our feelings and moods and is especially sensitive to Elsie’s.  He can sense when something is bothering Elsie and will show his concern by hugging and licking her leg.

My wife and I are not really experts in dog care and training.  What little we know about it comes from experience and the Internet.  But Nikko has taught us that child rearing and dog raising have things in common — they both require constant care, patience and, above all, love.  Love them both and they will love you back many times over.

 
Published 22 October 2011
Pasig City, PHILIPPINES  

 

Remembering Nico 

 

Loving and kind

 

 

 

 

Gentle and polite

 

 

 

 

Perceptive and smart

 

 

 

 

Dedicated and protective

 

 

 

Goodbye baby, we love and miss you! 

 

 

Some photos of Nikko

 

Mom Elsie proudly displaying the 4-month-old Nikko

 

 

 

“Juvenile” Nikko 

 

 

 

 

2-year-old Nikko

 

 

 

Nikko with his mom Elsie

 

 

 

Travel dog Nikko with his mom Elsie

 

 

 

Hmmm smells good.

 

 

 

God it’s tough.  Mommy! 

 

 

 

 

Nikko and my granddaughter Acky making faces for the camera

 

 

 

Nikko with his mom Elsie

 

 

 

 Nikko’s “cousin” Billy owned by Zharina Paez Lock of Ontario, Canada 

 

 

Photos of Maltese show dogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commonly popular dog breeds (in alphabetical order)

 

Afghan Hound 

 

 

 

 

Alaskan Klee Kai

 

 

 

American Cocker Spaniel

 

 

 

Askal or asong kalye (literally “street dog”) from the Philippines.  If only we can be as kind and tolerant as this magnificent creature ….    

 

 

 

 

Beagle

 

 

 

Bichon Frise’

 

 

 

Boxer

 

 

 

Chihuahua

 

 

 

Chow Chow

 

 

 

Dachshund

 

 

 

Dalmatian

 

 

 

Doberman Pinscher

 

 

 

English Bulldog

 

 

 

German Shepherd

 

 

 

Golden Retriever 

 

 

 

 

Great Dane

 

 

 

Greyhound

 

 

 

Jack Russel Terrier

 

 

 

Japanese Spitz

 

 

 

Labrador Retriever

 

 

 

Maltese

 

 

 

Maltese “Billy” owned by Zharina Paez Lock of Ontario, Canada (also in photo is Zharina’s daughter Chelsea Grace). 

 

 

 

 

Miniature Schnauzer

 

 

 

Papillon 

 

 

 

 

Polish Hound

 

 

 

Pomeranian

 

 

 

Poodle (Miniature)

 

 

 

Poodle “Cloey” owned by Caroline Dantes Fabugais of Ontario, Canada.

 

 

 

Portuguese Water Dog 

 

 

 

 

Scottish Terrier

 

 

 

 

Shih Tzu

 

 

 

Spanish Water Dog

 

 

 

St. Bernard

 

 

 

Toy Bulldog

 

 

 

Yorkshire Terrier