The dog’s name is Coby, and that roof he was spotted on top of, where he was clearly awaiting rescue, was not even where his human family lives. He actually swam a few houses away from their house along Amsterdam St. in Provident, Marikina, and found refuge on a neighbor’s roof at the height of typhoon Ulysses on Thursday.
The owners of the house that Coby found to be his safe place, the Caballeros, saw the dog Thursday, swimming around and hanging on to dear life until he was able to make it on top of their roof. This is according to Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) founder Anna Cabrera, recalling the homeowner Mr. Caballero’s story when he saw the “aspin” (asong Pinoy).
From what PAWS had gathered, Coby’s owners, the Yaranon family, has five dogs. When the floodwater started to rise, the family had to rush to the evacuation center and only managed to bring with them three dogs. “The other dog named Chubsky did not want to go out of the house, so they had no choice but to leave him there as well,” says Anna.
“Mr. Caballero was cheering on the dog and calling him ‘Uly’ (short for Ulysses) because he was such a fighter. He swam towards that spot to save himself,” says Anna.
Two PAWS volunteers Juvial Mangahas and Mitzi Cruz climbed up the house of the Caballeros to rescue Coby Friday around 1pm. “Nahirapan sila akyatin yung bahay kasi madulas at maputik,” says Anna. Coby, on the other hand, was just quietly waiting for his rescuers. At that time, the floodwater had already subsided.
They were planning to bring Coby to the rescue center when they saw the owners who were looking for their dog. “We knew they were the owners because Coby wagged his tail right away,” says Anna. Coby was reunited with his owners around 3pm.
When the Yaranon family returned to their home, they were happy to find their other dog, Chubsky, on top of their airconditioning unit; he was also able to survive the flood.
“This is why if we can’t bring along our pets with us during a rescue operation, the best thing we could do to give them a chance to survive is to unchain them and unlock their cages,” says Anna. The PAWS volunteers estimated 30 pet fatalities during their operation. They were able to save five dogs and one kitten Friday.
Anna insists the government should include pets in their disaster planning efforts, so they won’t just be left for dead during a calamity.
Photos courtesy of PAWS