It’s no secret that I’m a dog fanatic. I LOVE dogs–any dog (but especially my own). I’m like the annoying kid at the park who has to run up and pet your dog, even though you pull your dog back and snarl at the kid. I just love ’em (the dogs), it’s that simple. So I was taken aback when everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE, I looked, there were stray dogs. There are only about 720,000 people in Bhutan, but I swear to you, there are at least a million dogs. Being a Buddhist country, it is strictly forbidden to kill (euthanize) any animal. The dogs aren’t pets, either. They’re just there, breeding and multiplying like mad. There has been a move to build shelters, but without any type of sterilization program (or money to do it), it seems to be an exercize in futility.
Jambay, our guide, explained that Dog is the next reincarnation before becoming a person, so people aren’t mean to them. They are fed scraps (mostly rice), and tolerated, altho they are never let indoors, and sleep wherever they can. The dogs in Bhutan are a lot like the cows in India. They lay on the shoulder of the road, and, if the mood strikes, may decide to go lay in the road. They know that no good Buddhist would dare run over them. So they just hang out in the road, oblivious to the honks, with a “yeah, right” attitude. Here are some of the dogs we encountered on the trip.
So now that we’re home, every night before eating their dinner, Kismet and Roxie say a prayer to the Dog-Gods to find these many beautiful creatures a nice meal and warm place to sleep. Only after i say the word “AMEN”, they dig in.
Sleep tight, Angels.