By Queenie Casimiro, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga

June 7, 2013

ZAMBOANGA — The owner of hero dog Kabang is excited to see his pet again after being separated from each other for over six months.
Kabang’s owner, Rudy Bunggal, said since the hero dog left for California last year, he has busied himself with his vulcanizing shop.

He also accepted another job for additional source of income.

Bunggal said he could not wait for Sunday, when Kabang is set to arrive in Zamboanga City after undergoing operation in California.
He said he is confident Kabang will still recognize him. “Isang tawag ko lang, ah lalapit yun agad,” he said.

Bunggal added he is not worried that Kabang would not eat the food he used to give his pet, even if the dog might have grown accustomed to dog food during his stay at the University of California, Davis.

He said he is open to the idea of allowing Kabang to be placed under someone else’s custody if such a situation would be better for the dog.

As of now, Bunggal said he is occupied with preparing his shanty where he will be sleeping with his dog-friend.

Kabang lost her snout and upper jaw and was left with a gaping wound on her face after reportedly jumping in front of a speeding motorcycle last December 2011, saving the lives of her owner’s daughter and niece who were on the path of the oncoming motorcycle.

In October 2012, Kabang was brought to UC Davis where she underwent procedures to remove two upper teeth, reconstruct one eyelid, and eventually close her facial wound with skin flaps.

The two-year old shepherd mix and her veterinarian from Zamboanga, Anton Lim, headed to the San Francisco International Airport last night to board the Philippine Airlines flight bound for Manila.

“I think she’s excited to go home,” Lim shared.

Karen Kenngrot, founder of the Care for Kabang campaign, could not believe she was saying goodbye to a dog she has grown to love. The campaign raised more than $27,000 from donors from 45 countries.

The money raised paid for Kabang’s medical treatment at University of California-Davis veterinary teaching hospital. Kabang was brought there in October was officially released on June 3.

She went through dental and surgical procedures to close her facial wound, as well as treatments for heartworm disease and a type of infectious cancer, known as transmissible venereal tumor.

“I’m just happy it went well. It was worth it. I’d do it all over again,” said Kenngrot.

Kenngrot said she will miss Kabang greatly but takes comfort in knowing they could be reunited soon. She plans to go the Philippines in February with some members of the medical team that took care of Kabang, to see how she’s doing.

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