The Catingin family from Taguig, Philippines went to bed on August 10 at the usual time of 9:00 PM. Rosita and her husband Joel, along with their son Jerome thought nothing of the rains outside. While heavy, they came on the footsteps of two recent typhoons and multiple rainstorms. Along with their dog Brownie, they lay in the dim light of a single 60-watt bulb until settling into sleep around 9:30.
Brownie is a gentle, mixed-breed dog the Catingin family rescued after his previous owner decided to abandon him due to a chronic skin condition. Nursing Brownie back to health with ointments and sharing what food they had became a mission of sorts for Rosita, a security guard for the Taguig Municipal Government. Brownie’s skin condition eventually healed and he quickly became part of the family.
Rosita, Joel and Brownie Catingan
While the family slept, the nearby river began to overflow its banks. At 12:30 AM, Rosita woke up to Brownie pawing and scratching at her hair. Annoyed at first, once her eyes became accustomed to the dark, the first thing she saw was her son Jerome floating in the middle of the room, still asleep on his bed. Over a meter of water had flooded their home and more was coming in fast.
The nearby river that flooded Taguig
“I was in shock,” said Rosita. “I began to cry and at the same time I realised that Brownie had saved our life”. Joel and Rosita gathered up Jerome and Brownie and using one of their papags or flat-board beds, constructed a platform on which they waited for 24 hours, only inches above the floodwaters. “I only had time to grab a small amount of food. – barely enough for my family. What I did have, I shared with Brownie because if not for him my family would not be here right now.”
Joel Catingan shows how high the waters were when they woke up in their flooded home.
We spoke for over half an hour and Rosita petted and hugged Brownie the entire time. She kissed and hugged him and fought back tears as she shared the story of how this rescued dog rescued her and her family. Her final words were: Salaamat-po (thank you) Brownie!
Rosita, her neighbor, Put Put and Rosita’s son Jerome Catingan
Rosita and Brownie in the entrance to their home
Tomorrow, WSPA and our local partners PAWS are delivering food to cats and dogs like Brownie and Put Put in Taguig village as part of our ongoing response to the Philippines floods.
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