MANILA – No dog, no wedding.
This was the rule set by Jaja Ayao before her wedding to fiance Dominique Bitancur, following the loss of the couple's dog "Daddy" two weeks before their big day in Naga City.
Daddy, an English bulldog given to the couple by Ayao's sister, was lost on October 2. It was a big blow for Ayao, who came to rely on Daddy for support after she suffered an ectopic pregnancy four years into her relationship with Bitancur.
Daddy, who was named after "dog whisperer" Ceasar Millan's canine companion, was also very attached to his "parents".
"Every time na aalis kami, umiiyak siya. Kahit saglit lang, umiiyak na siya. Pagbalik namin, namumula ang mata niya. Kahit ano, gagawin namin basta makasama lang namin siya," Ayao said.
(He cried every time we left home, even if it was only for a little while. When we came back, his eyes would be red. We would do anything just to spend time with him.)
When he was lost, all the pain that Ayao suffered when she lost her baby came rushing back.
"Kinakain lang nito, lugaw. Nagsusuka pag rice. Kung anong nangyari doon sa ectopic [pregnancy], naulit," Bitancur said.
(She would only eat porridge. She would vomit up rice. It was a repeat of what happened when she suffered an ectopic pregnancy.)
The couple went on social media and ABS-CBN Bicol morning show Marhay na Aga Kapamilya to ask for their dog’s return.
On October 5, they got a message that someone had found Daddy, and they were reunited in time for the couple's wedding to push through on October 15.
Bitancur carried Daddy as he and Ayao walked down the aisle. --from a report by Mylce Mella, ABS-CBN News