Kabang, the one-year-old dog in the Philippines whose face was horribly disfigured when she saved two young girls from being hit by a speeding motorcycle has become a celebrity of sorts. Kabang, a white-and-black “aspin” (short for asong Pinoy or native dog) shielded Dina Bunggal, 11, and cousin Princess Diansing, 3, from harm when she jumped into the path of the motorcycle. But her head got caught in the spinning front tyre, causing her to lose her entire upper snout, including her nose and lower part of her eyelids.
Veterinarian Mario Ariola said that Kabang’s story generated reactions, including on the internet, “where many people got interested.” Her deed has been described as heroic and her resulting plight has drawn a wave of sympathy. Despite the still open wound on her face, Kabang (a Visayan term that means spotty) is not showing any sign of trauma, according to Ariola. “She was very calm, friendly and submissive when she was brought to our clinic,” he said. Kabang is almost two months pregnant. “We are hoping she can give birth after the accident,” the veterinarian added.
The dog’s owner, Rudy Bunggal, said: “She has become a superstar. People come here to have their photos taken with the dog. Some came with medicines and vitamins,” Bunggal said. One visitor even brought roasted pig for Kabang. “Kabang had ‘lechon’ while I had none for breakfast,” Bunggal said in jest. Donations have poured, not only for resilient canine, but also for her owners. “Some people came bringing in clothes, a little money for us. We are so thankful. We did not ask for those things, but still we are thankful,” he added.
Ariola admitted that some of his personnel had recommended euthanasia “after seeing her pitiful state, but the owner strongly objected and we respected their decision.” Ariola also appealed to other animal doctors, seeking specialized surgery for Kabang. “Her snout can still be reconstructed and we are looking for an Elizabeth collar (cone-shaped protective medical device worn on the head of an animal) for the dog because yesterday we saw the dog following the owner harvesting swamp cabbage, so it’s inevitable that her open wound will remain fresh,” Ariola said.