Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dogs EDITED (read to the end)

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First, a video. I've always known Maroon 5 was a pretty decent band (Nina will say that they are AWESOME), but I've never known that they could play like this:

check out that guitar outro, man

I've always loved their music for their groove driven tracks. This is just acid jazz that balloons into a blues-inspired rockfest at the end. Wow.

Speaking of music, there's this petition for a musician called Habagat happening over at the Apacible corner of Taft avenue, right in front of the Aglipayan cathedral. I pass by the area whenever I walk to the gym, and while in the late afternoons to the evenings, there's a street vendor selling his stuff out on the sidewalk, during the day there are these two dogs sitting on top of a chair side by side. They remain there, almost motionless from I believe ten in the morning to past one in the afternoon (I believe they have lunch breaks), with baskets in their mouths and a sign underneath the chair asking for donations for Habagat, whoever he is.

I'm thinking this character is a blind musician who's looking for more income to buy better gear. Thing about these disabled folks is that they're usually virtuosos on their instruments - there used to be this blind band over at The Marketplace along Kalentong avenue that could play hits from Deep Purple. And there's this guy over at Baguio who's reportedly one of the best guitarists this country has to offer.

But I digress. Whoever this Habagat person is, I can't help but notice that his dogs are amazingly well-trained. To sit on a wicker chair for more than an hour with baskets in their mouthes is a chore that only efficiently trained animals can stomach. To do that out in the sun makes it even worse. So at first, I thought this was an act of animal cruelty.

But after passing by the dogs several times, I began to notice some things:

  1. The dogs, though mongrels, are pretty clean animals. They have spots and some tangles on their coats, and their claws could use some clipping, true, but other than that, these animals are immaculate.
  2. If this was animal cruelty, you'd think that the dogs would be undernourished. But upon closer inspection, they are actually healthy-looking beasts, with very few bones bumping up from the skin - so no, these animals are apparently well taken care of.
  3. I don't know how any beast can take the heat of the sun at twelve noon, so I'm guessing that Habagat or one of his cronies relieves the dogs of their duties for an hour or so. This gives them time to eat and drink, as well as do their business. Then it's back to work.

So this wasn't animal cruelty. Which means to say that this Habagat person isn't exactly a man without means - if he can afford to feed dogs and train them to work for him, this can mean two things. One is that he is, in fact, a man with a decent paycheck or at least a goodly amount of money tucked in for himself and his family / animals.

The second possibility is more grim. If he is indeed a blind musician, which I suspect, then he might not be making enough out of his showbusiness to satisfactorily feed himself, his family and his dogs. So either he doesn't have any family, or he skimps on himself in order to make room for the animals.

Of course, he could just be a small-time grifter looking out for number one by making dogs do his job for him. But I am an optimist, and I'd rather believe the previous two examples.

One of these days, I shall take a photo of the two dogs and post it here. They are actually good-looking animals, and I have resisted the urge to pet them more than once.

EDIT: Apparently, Habagat is the dog, and the other dog is his trainee. They have a lovely story behind them. Read it here. I'm not kidding, it's a very good story.

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