Dog Eat Dog World

I watched Papa and his eldest son chopping the pile of meat upon the concrete slab next to the water pump. As I wondered what it was, the magic of my transparency was revealed and Papa inquired in his broken English accent, “You eat dog?” I managed a quick response of “Indi, busog (no, I’m full)” which made Papa laugh and I quickly scanned the yard to find out which of the two dogs had met his fate. “The black dog?”, I asked Papa. “No, brown dog”, he replied.

Awesome, the brown dog. I spent the past two days training that dog to sit and stay. Had I known he was going to be dinner I would have saved myself the effort as I prefer not become emotionally involved with my meals.

Preparing the Dog

Preparing the Dog

I think it may be a long time to come before I am able to remove from my mind the image of his meat covered skull sitting in that pile. For me, it was as awkward as it was gruesome. For them, it was just another day.

The eating of dog was no surprise to me. I had heard the numerous stories time and time again about the family pets who passed away and completed the circle of life by making their way to the dining room. But once again knowledge and experience collided inside of me as I watched the machete fall and split the rib cage of the household pet I knew only as ‘Brown’. I slowly began to fill with worry as I wondered how I was going politely refuse dinner. There is so little here that I find it difficult to do anything but humbly accept what is put in front of me, like it or not I usually eat it. My fears were soon abated though as Papa pointed his machete towards the chicken pen and stated, “I kill you manok.” Thank God, I get to eat chicken.

Were it not for the butchering of the dog [who had fallen ill with something but I know not what], it would have been a typical Sunday evening. We all huddled around the laptop and watched another Tagalog movie while eating chocolate bars. Eventually some neighbors wandered over and the men made their way outside where we all laughed and joked about everything while sipping upon some kool-aid/whiskey concoction. The conversation was of course all in Ilongo but it was a delightful time none the less – my Ilongo is getting better. The pitcher made its way around the circle a few too many times and, for a few brief moments, I forgot I was white: I ate the dog. He was good, a little gamey but good. Sorry Brown, you will be missed.

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