Meet the Aspin
Which, if you think about it in a historical way (this is going to go somewhere, I promise) — really makes sense. The context: Aspins are mutts. In simpler terms, they’re just a bunch of breeds mixed together, that just so happened to be born and bred here in the country. This explains why not all Aspins look the same. (Pretty much like how we, Filipinos, are just a melting pot of all the races that have colonized us. Okay... this is what I meant by historical)
Kinds of Aspins (it's a thing, okay!)
Aspins in the Philippines
My dogs and I were at a pet-friendly mall (link to UPTC), as we are most Sundays, and the day went off almost quite without a hitch. At least it did, until we were headed home and then things went south.
We approached the parking lot, saw that the elevator was closing and called out to ask the people inside to stop it. When that happened someone from inside the elevator shouted “ASKAL ASKAL!!” (street dog) And surprise, surprise: the elevator doors closed. I didn’t initially understand what was happening until we pressed the ‘down’ button again and the doors opened to the same elevator, with the same people inside.
This time around, we tried to get inside, but the old lady inside started screaming “ASKAL” again and “DIBA ASKAL YAN? DIBA NANGANGAGAT YAN?!!” (Isn’t that a street dog? Don’t they bite?) And by screaming I mean she was hysterical. It all happened so fast I couldn’t process any of it. Before I knew it, she was closing the elevator doors again and the people inside - her grandchildren included, I assume - were also too shocked to say or do anything.
I couldn’t even come up with a reply. I think my sister was able to say "but she's friendly" or "she doesn't bite!" but I was mum. Again, it all happened so fast and before we could do or say anything the elevator doors closed before us.
We ended up waiting for the next ride down, and it didn’t occur to me how absurd the situation was until we got inside my dad’s car and we told him about it. He even joked that we should’ve replied to the old lady saying, “Hindi siya askal. Aspin siya.” The thing is, Hutch was there with us too. Hutch who is much bigger, looks like a wolf and has huge teeth. Someone who is supposed to look like a bigger threat than Yoda, but she never called him out. I don't even think she saw him. She just saw Yoda and immediately thought that a dog with no pedigree can't possibly be trained and behaved enough to be in an elevator and not bite her.
Sad to say, since then, this isn't the first time I've come across people discriminating against Aspins. A couple of weeks after this incident, we put up some puppies for adoption, and we initially had so many reservations. When they learned they puppies were Aspins though, some people backed out, saying “wag nalang,” (never mind) or “thanks anyway."
This happens way too often in the Philippines - which really begs the question --
What's wrong with aspins?
They do everything another dog breed can do (sometimes better!) So, why don’t people like Aspins?After all, they are just like any other dog breed. They just happen to be born and bred here in the Philippines - which, honestly makes them extra special and I am one very proud Aspin owner. ❤️