Fifty-nine-year-old Brenda Mandel went home to the Philippines from Germany with her husband just wanting to see the beautiful islands. But early on in their trip, it took one stray dog for their plans to change, when they decided to adopt it along with its puppies.
It didn't stop there — they now have over 40 dogs at their place in Cabuyao, Laguna.
"Yung plano namin na we're supposed to see the beautiful islands, my husband compromised because that's my passion— dogs," Mandel said.
The money they were supposed to spend travelling was spent to build cages for their pets, which also include 10 stray cats. On average, they spend about P25,000 a month, excluding pay for their animal caretaker.
Given their number, Mandel said she had to come up with a schedule so she could spend time with them out of the cage everyday.
"Meron silang time na even 30 mins out of the cage, kasi kahit little happiness, I want to bring them. Although sad to say nga, I cannot give them all the love and attention, because they are plenty," she said.
She admitted that while it's a noble cause to care for stray dogs, it has also been affecting her personal life. "Affected ako financially, emotionally and with my social life. Parang ang sabi ko, hero syndrome ba? And it's worth it anyway," she said.
"I've learned from dogs, di ba dogs are man's bestfriend. I feel so sorry diba kasi we human beings, we communicate our thoughts but still nagkakaroon pa rin tayo ng confusion with each other, nagkakaroon pa rin tayo ng away," she said, explaining her love for the animal.
"But the dogs, they don't even talk. They just wiggle their tails, right? But they give you a welcoming feeling," she added.
Before she returns to Germany, Mandel said her goal is to start a foundation for stray dogs.
Know more about her story in this #SummitOriginals video: