LOOK: Korina Sanchez mourns death of beloved rescue dog
Two months after her pet pitbull Simone passed away, Korina Sanchez once again said goodbye to one of her beloved rescue dogs.
Sanchez recounted her first meeting with Raven, the Aspin (“Asong Pinoy” or Filipino dog)-Collie mix she came to love, in a series of posts on Instagram on Tuesday, Nov. 20. She encountered the female senior dog in 2016 while doing a story on the Bulacan dog shelter named Philippine Animal Rescue Team (PART).
Sanchez was busy feeding the Aspins when Raven went and “talked” to her. Later, Sanchez learned the dog never approached anyone during its eight-year stay in the shelter.
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The Story of Raven I was doing a story on this shelter in Bulacan called Philippine Animal Rescue Team or PART in 2016. I started feeding the beautiful Aspin rescues there, when this black and white Aspin-collie mix approached me and, honestly, seemed to be talking to me, welcoming me. Her name is Raven, a senior dog at the shelter and who had been there for 8 years. Raven was rescued right after she gave birth to puppies on a grassy vacant lot hungry and with nowhere to go. She thrived at PART. Here she is telling me stories. Sabi ko, "Ang dami mo namang kuwento!" She didn't leave my side. We just clicked immediately. The shelter people tell me Raven never did this with anyone else. By the end of my visit I already knew, I would soon go back to take Raven to her #BestLife yet, with me. But it took a year and a half before I would see her again… (To be continued)
While Sanchez never forgot the “indescribable connection” she had with Raven, it took her a year and a half to adopt the dog who, apparently, waited for her. By then, Raven, who they fondly called “Lola” (grandmother), was already 12 years old.
“The way I remembered her talking to me with so many kuwento, ganon parin siya, tumutungo tuwing kausap ko. Nakakaintindi,” Sanchez wrote, describing the time she finally adopted Raven.
(Raven was still the same — the way I remembered her talking to me with so many stories, bowing every time I talk to her. It’s like she understands me.)
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The Story of Raven Part 2 I never forgot Raven. Our connection is indescribable. I regret I didn't ask for Raven much earlier from the shelter. But I got so busy with work. Finally, when I called to check if she was still at PART, I was told "Yes, she still is! Better hurry she's getting older. She's waiting for you!". In the car ride to my house, Weng Suzara of PART said, "she was so excited!". As soon as Raven arrived, my other pets welcomed their new playmate…She was immediately accepted by my pack…I think it is because she was very gentle, a senior they loved and respected. From the day I met Raven at the shelter in Bulacan, she was unforgettable. The way I remembered her talking to me with so many kuwento, ganon parin siya, tumutungo tuwing kausap ko. Nakakaintindi. And this was the beginning of our escapades and adventures together—my demure, kind, loving pet. (To be continued)
Their first few months together made Sanchez dream of spending more years with the rescue dog. However, Raven was diagnosed with high levels of creatinine, a waste product filtered through the kidneys and excreted in urine.
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The Story of Raven Part 3 Raven is a character. There is something about how she just LOVES to be talked to. Like she really understands what I'm saying. Here we are negotiating whether she gets a piece of bread from the table or not. I was putting on my makeup one day and she just kept watching. Sabi ko, "Gusto mo din mag blush-on?" And tumungo nanaman sya. Haha! Iba din itong si Lola. That's what we sometimes call her. I've taken Raven on a few car rides, but mostly, we stay home where she loves to lie on the floor looking out into the garden. She loves to conquer a spot on the sofa. I play calming dog music every night when she sleeps. I dreamt of having more years with Raven. I know some aspins of my friends live to be 20! Raven must have been about 12 years old or more when I got her. My dream of doing so many other things with her and spending more years was not to be. A few months later, her creatinine level started rising and shot up. I knew what was to come. And I tried my darnest to prolong her sweet life. (To be continued)
Raven’s kidneys were still failing despite Sanchez providing the necessary medical care for the rescue dog. Raven seemed to be fighting for her life as well when she managed to live despite having triple the normal level of creatinine in her body.
“Vets say Aspins are the sturdiest. Their instinct is to survive,” Sanchez said. “And they live to please the owners who love them. Raven wanted to live for me.”
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The Story of Raven Part 4 Despite all the best medicines and supplements for Raven, her kidneys were still failing. But Heaven answered my prayers for more time with her. I could not believe that a dog with a crea level of 700 would still even be alive. The normal is less than 200. My beautiful Raven is a fighter. She wants to live. Vets say aspins are the sturdiest. Their instinct is to survive. And they live to please the owners who love them. Raven wanted to live for me. I spent as much time as I could with Raven. She loves to be hugged and talked to. As I blogged about before when I lost Simone, I tend to foster or adopt the old or sick. Grabe, ang hirap. If unable to restore them to health, you have to be there for them when they get very sick. And as I vowed, I would give Raven her #BestLife as much as I could. Yesterday I called up Weng Suzara of PART and said she should visit Raven. So Weng came by with Raven's caregiver back at the shelter in Bulacan because I thought Raven would love to see them again. Raven was happy to be with her original rescuers! She had good and bad days. Even when she mostly wanted to lie down looking out the window, whenever I came around she would effort to stand up and greet me. Strange how my other pets kept watch over Raven. One time they were licking her head as if to kiss and console her. On this same day, last night, Raven had her first seizure. This says the toxins are taking over her frail body. (Last Part next)
No matter how the frail dog fought for her life, she was still not strong enough to conquer her disease. On Monday, Nov. 19, Raven had her first seizure.
Sanchez accompanied Raven on her last hours, recalling all the fun times they have together. The dog was put to sleep not long after.
“This is how I will always remember my Raven. The first day I met her,” Sanchez stated. “It was love at first sight for us both. The dog who told me stories and listened to all of mine. Fought to the end to be with me.”
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The Story of Raven Part 5 At the clinic when Raven saw me, she wagged her tail and kept trying to stand. We had a whole hour of storytelling about our adventures. She listened and her ears would stand and eyes brighten up. Three of us who take care of her at home were there talking to her. Parang naaaliw siya. I talked to her, I said it may be time for us to part, for her to rest. I told her I love her, again and again. I thanked her for having been in my life. For the happiness she gave us. I told her to wait for me up there. I put her on my lap and played her the music she listens to at night before sleeping. She wanted water and drank a bowl full. And then she stretched and laid her head on my thigh, which tells me she feels happy, content and safe. It was the right time to put her to sleep. This is how I will always remember my Raven. The first day I met her. It was love at first sight for us both. The dog who told me stories and listened to all of mine. Fought to the end to be with me. So brave, so strong, so kind and gentle. Raven taught me love and compassion without expecting any thanks. She was with me less than a year but, for some reason, she means a lot and I loved her deeply. Till we meet again Lola, run free my love. 💚🌈
“She was with me less than a year but, for some reason, she means a lot and I loved her deeply,” she said. “Till we meet again Lola, run free my love.” JB
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