Good Samaritan adopts dog injured in Minglanilla fire
Dolorosa Parami looked out the window inside her husband’s office and couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
Thick black smoke was billowing from the area where their house stood. Then her phone rang.
“Bi nasunog atong mga balay!,” her cousin shouted. (Bi our houses are burning). Bibi is Parami’s nickname.
As she froze speechless, she realized another tragic thing — she had left her two dogs, Stibok and Botchi tied to their porch when she and her husband left their house shortly before noon that day.
“I don’t know what to say, we hurried back to our house and I couldn’t believe what was happening,” she said in Cebuano.
Several men dressed in black and yellow, others in neon suits got out of a fire truck. The firemen put on their gear and started fighting off the blaze which started in a densely populated, interior portion of Barangay Poblacion Ward 3, Minglanilla on March 19.
“Angakong mga iro,” Dolorosa remembered shouting at the firemen.
She said the first thing that came to her mind was her 13-year-old Japanese Spitz Stibok who she considered her daughter.
“Usa ra akong anak, si Stibok ug si Botchi kay mura napud nako silang mga anak,” said Dolorosa.
She braved the thick smoke and scoured the area hoping to find her dogs, but to no avail.
“My husband Nilo pulled me out of the area because the fire was getting bigger. Then I saw Botchi and grabbed him. I also saw my neighbor carrying his dog who perished in the blaze,” said Dolorosa.
This time she was in a panic, afraid that Stibok may have also died.
“I was crying hysterically, I was about to be upset kay wala mi nadala nga butang gud, but my husband said pasagdi lang basta ang importante buhi ta,” recounted Dolorosa
“If Stibok is still alive mangita ra siya ug paagi nga mobalik nato,” Dolorosa told herself.
At around 4 p.m. she and her husband who is a bookkeeper, returned to the fire scene to inspect what’s left of their house. What they found gave them ultimate joy.
“She came out of nowhere, exploding and that was an incredibly gratifying moment,” Dolorosa said. “I was so excited and led her to safety.”
Stibok she said, smelled of soot, was covered in ashes while her face and body had severe burns. But the 13-year-old canine looked happy, happy to be reunited with her loving family.
Dolorosa and her family stayed at the multi-purpose building at the back of the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in Minglanilla along with the more than 40 displaced families.
That night, Dolorosa treated Stibok’s burns with betadine.
Medication and adoption
The next morning, her son Mark called Tonette Sy, a close family friend and the mother of his classmate Jimmy, and asked her if she is willing to adopt their dog because they could not afford to treat her third-degree burns.
“Pag ugma ni tawag ko ni Tita Tonette kay kahibalo ko ganahan siya ug iro, Stibok will be in good hands,” said Mark.
According to Mark, Sy has 43 dogs and is more than willing to pay for their dog’s medical expenses.
That day, Sy brought Stibok to Animal Kingdom Veterinary Hospital on Escario St., Cebu City, for treatment.
Dr. Shawn Ma, the attending veterinarian said Stibok suffered third-degree burns on her face and needs immediate medication. Tests showed the canine also had liver problems.
“We thanked Ms. Sy’s concern over the dog because if Stibok was not treated immediately, she would suffer severe infections,” said Ma. “As of now, Stibok is in good hands, we are putting her on intravenous (IV) fluids because she hasn’t been eating.”
Ma also said there is a possibility that Stibok might lose her eyelids because of the severity of her burns.
Nevertheless, the veterinarian said recovery would take around 2-3 weeks.
“We are closely monitoring the dog’s condition to determine other options to save her eyes,” added Ma.
Dolorosa, on the other hand, said she is thankful when she learned that Sy will be paying for Stibok’s medical expenses.
On Tuesday afternoon, Sy also offered to buy new shoes and shirts for Mark since all his belongings were burned.
“Wala man gud tawn mi nadala pagka sunog, so he (Mark) opted not to join the graduation rites on Friday, but Ms. Sy offered to buy him new shoes and shirts,” said Dolorosa.
Mark will graduate with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering from the University of Cebu -Maritime Educational Training Center (UC-METC) in Mambaling.
Sy, in a phone interview, said she saw the Facebook post of Cebu Daily News that went viral and was overwhelmed by the number of people who showed concern for the dog and the affected families.
“Naluoy man gyud ko niya, si Mark, I already considered him as part of our family maong ni tabang ko,” said Sy.
According to Dolorosa, she is thankful for all the help she received including the sheets of plywood that will be donated by a company named Anseka.
The Mambaling Poblacion Barangay Council also gave P5,000 cash assistance to the affected families.
Dolorosa said she will never forget that afternoon of March 19 when the fire gobbled up all their belongings.
Despite the tragedy, Dolorosa said she remains grateful that her family was safe. That her Stibok is getting all the help she needs. And that generosity and genuine concern are still in people’s hearts.
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