Pets are born with stardom glow.
Pets are born with stardom glow.
By ALMA J. BUELVA
WHAT makes a dog a good dog? One that is happy, confident and goofy?
When dogs receive ample love and are given importance, they thrive. This Jeric Sadullo knows very well. An owner of over 20 dogs, he is “bot amo” (boss owner) who treats his dogs like his own kids with unique quirks that make them special.
But, first, a roll call of his dogs:
(Asong Pinoy or Aspins) Pipoy, Pipay and Bokbok
(Yorkies) Saldang, Banggi, Bulan and Bituon
(Pugs) Inang Harot, Magdalo and Makabayan
(Beagles) Bentot and Unica
Shih Tzus: Kikay, Kinchai and Melchora
Cavalier: Prince Oreo
Mini Schnauzer: Guapa
Toy Poodles: Mia, Tutong, Tustado and Uling, plus Kulot
English Bulldogs: Bechay ang Kula
That's a lot of dogs and they all live with their bot amo in Bacoor, Cavite, where he has a kennel. They also inhabit specially made Facebook pages where Jeric documents their outdoor adventures for other dog lovers to see.
Unlike many pet-related Facebook pages that focus mainly on what's cute, those of Jeric's dogs are folksy. Mostly written in Filipino, his often humorous posts on behalf of his dogs are short and sweet, but enough to make readers know his dogs. Some posts carry pointed views about dog ownership from a guy who believes that a dog is a dog regardless of bloodline.
“I have been posting for about three years now, mostly to spread fun rooted from the idea of having a dog. The idea is to make them speak somehow, not the cutesy kind but to stress a point in a fun way,” Jeric told MetroPets.
With a playful mind, Jeric began shaping his dogs' characters based on their strongest personality traits and physical attributes. For example, his pair of male pugs that are as black as soot became the anino (shadow) braders (brothers). He made people see how Mia, his blonde poodle, could look like a crunchy fried chicken. He dressed up his other dogs to celebrate seasonal activities and national events.
“No dogs are the same. If you pay attention enough, you will see their distinct characters. Like Banggi the Yorkie seems to see things we can’t. Pipoy knows when he is wrong and would bow down to say sorry. Bulan is the smallest yet she's the most mataray (bitchy),” said Jeric.
As his dogs' online characters evolved, Jeric created a Facebook page for the aninobraders to test if dog owners would follow their tales of mischief. He followed it with a page called “Mga Aso Ni Bot Amo” (Dogs of Bot Amo) so that all his dogs can have a fun platform.
Following these pages is like watching a dogs' reality TV show where Pipoy, the aspin, is the lead actor. Often photographed looking angry with his mouth wide open, Pipoy has been typecast as one who is “high blood,” a term Filipinos used to call those with short temper.
But Jeric had a different idea. For him, “high blood” is a pun aimed at those who are anal about breeds or bloodlines. It's not about hypertension.
“High blood is more of the character I invented for Pipoy who is an aspin. There are purists when it comes to bloodline and they look down on mix breed and aspins. Pipoy carries the character of a high blood as we know it in our Filipino psyche, the one who always shouts or is mad at anything,” Jeric said.
A gaping mouth has become Pipoy's signature look. But the dog is quite a charmer, too, especially when he dons a hat, takes on household tasks, and wears funny suits.
Pipoy wearing his formal and swimsuit "designer" pieces.
To pull in online followers, it's important to post engaging and captivating photos, which Jeric and his dogs work on together. Armed with an old DSLR, Jeric taught himself how to take action shots like that of Mia looking like a fried chicken running away from Magdalo and Makabayan, a.k.a. the aninobraders.
But art painting is his real passion and profession and doing commissioned doggy portraits helps pay the bills.
“I majored in painting at University of the Philippines in Diliman. I have a studio in Quezon City where I paint and teach painting to kids mostly. I do doggy portraits for a fee and just recently created a page solely for that, Doggy Portraits,” he said.
That and breeding dogs help Jeric to support his own pets, including paying two people to attend to his dogs daily.
Bot amo's chief artistic pursuit still involves dogs.
Bot amo recognizes the fact that dog lovers are still a minority in the Philippines and that many still regard dogs the wrong way. Talking about the positive side of dogs through his pets' pages would hopefully help change that.
“I post to spread fun, to be happy. Owning a dog is happiness and I want to share that kind of motivation, not anger, not flamebait, not paawa (entreat),” Jeric said. “When some followers message me how the post makes them smile, it's like munching on a bar of chocolates when you are down.” -- MetroPets
**All photos used in the story belong to Jeric Sadullo