“There are flagship breeds of dogs in almost every country: Shiba Inu in Japan, Siberian husky in Russia, Corgi in England. In the Philippines, we have Aspins,”— Inquirer.net
The Askal, which was derived from the Filipino words “aso” (dog) and “kalye” (street) as its kind, are usually seen roaming the streets. However, animal welfare organizations led by the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), strive to shift this mindset and encourage people to call them asong Pinoy or Aspin (Pinoy dog) instead. This is to empower them as our own and eradicate the notion n of being strays—that they’re more than that.
Here are some of the reasons why.
They are intelligent and independent
As Aspins are referred to as street dogs, they are indeed street-smarts and have good social skills. They can easily adapt to new environments on their own. Aside from that, they are also observant and trainable.
They are brave and compassionate
Truly, a dog is a man’s best friend. Aspins are brave and compassionate, even in life-and-death situations. Remember Blacky? The hero dog from Sibonga, Cebu City that heeded a motorist to find an abandoned newborn baby? It’s just one of the many notable situations that prove their courageousness.
They are resilient
While there is no confirmed evidence, some non-government organizations (NGOs) observe that Aspins have high resistance to certain illnesses. Some of them seem to survive even without vaccinations. But despite this, Aspins still have to take vaccinations and regular check-ups to ensure their safety from communicable diseases in order for them to live their lives to the fullest.
They are low-maintenance
Although Aspins have no discernable ancestors, which make them mixed-breed dogs, they are commonly medium in size and vary in color. They also have short-haired coats, so they shed less fur and require minimal brushing instead of regular grooming.
Aside from that, Philippine native dogs have a varied diet and are not picky eaters, so it’s not difficult to find food for them. However, we shouldn’t just give treats that are toxic and dangerous for them like chocolates and raisins.
They are cheerful and affectionate
Our very own native dogs are sweet and affectionate. They like to tag along and snuggle. Especially for rescued dogs who find their new families, they tend to reciprocate their kindness with utmost love. Aspins also love to run and play catch until everyone’s worn out.
They are beautiful
Some may not see them attractive, but their distinct characteristics are what make them truly admirable. Aspins either have medium or long snouts to pointy or floppy ears. Their diversity and similarity brought by the variation of origin make them extraordinary.
Let’s appreciate and love the beauty beyond breeds.
Sheldeen is a writer who loves to watch series and to play with her dogs in her free time — ways to pause and take a break.