You might remember Lil' Pup, my favorite little soi dog that lives outside my house. I know it seems cruel and awful that there are so many dogs living on the street in Thailand but they really are well fed and seem to be pretty happy (usually) and really, there is only so much a person can do for the millions of dogs that roam the streets. Thankfully, there are some awesome organizations that take care of many sick and injured dogs as well as adopt them to loving homes.
Lil' Pup recently came into womanhood and I decided I needed to get her fixed so there were not more baby street dogs that would die or more mouths to feed. Of course I took my sweet time doing it but finally my wonderful landlord and friend helped me get a vet to come to our house and take her back to the clinic to do the procedure, give her medicine and keep her safe after the operation. This was a decision I did not take lightly, I didn't want to steal motherhood away from her but I knew it was for the best that she be spayed and be able to play in peace for the rest of her days.
Fate seemed to be on a different schedule than me and this part of Lil Pup's story is hard to share. Even though I had only the best intentions and love this dog to pieces, this gift I gave to her became tainted when the vet opened her up at the hospital. She was given anesthesia for the operation and that was when the vet found 5 babies halfway developed and now dead inside of my Lil Pup. I was devastated to hear this news and I wish there is something I could do to change it but whats done is done. Many people have tried to help me justify it, the whole point was so more puppies were not brought into the world, and most of them probably would have died anyway, but I still very guilty and sad for Lil Pup. I think she knows that I only wanted to help her and I will just have to live with that.
|Lil Pup. Look at that sweet face!|
Now she is back at our apartment (she stayed at the clinic for a week to recover, with her own room and real dog food, so luxurious!) and seems just as happy as ever. She always greets me when I come home, wagging her tail wildly knowing she is going to get some good loving and maybe a snack. When we first moved into our apartment, she seemed a bit apprehensive of people, even though the Thai people feed the soi dogs, they are not always very nice to them. She makes me love getting home and when she hears my voice calling her, she comes running with that dog like quality of making you feel like your the best person in the world. I love her like she is my own.
Mama Pup is Lil Pups mom, hence the name. They look so much alike and love spending time together. She was a mess the whole time Lil Pup was at the vet clinic. She is constantly picking at Lil Pup with her teeth, carefully grooming her even as she grows into an adult, like a good mother does. They are beyond adorable together and even though Mama doesn't seem to like us as much as Lil Pup does, you can tell the unspoken bond between the two.
This is Richard and this picture is a perfect representation of what he looks like pretty much all the time, happy and dopey. He is really quite a beautiful dog (a little beat up from the streets) and I think he may have a little pitbull in him. He is also the sweetest dog I have ever met in my life. He runs along side my motorbike as I pull in and immediately proceeds to lick my feet and legs, his hips moving side to side with excitement. He loves to lick any part of me that he can and is also fond of putting his head up my skirt. Once he even lifted his leg and PEED on me to mark me as his, obviously I made it known that I am not. The dumbest ones are always the sweetest though and this dog has a heart that is almost as big as his... well, lets just say his name Richard for a reason (Side note: I still can't get used to the male dogs here, in America they are usually neutered but not in Thailand, they let it hang out proud. Boys.)
This is Draco. His name defines him perfectly, he is the villain in the soi dog story (at least my soi dogs.) He tries so hard to be the dominate male in the bunch but really is quite a wimp. He always tries to tell Richard what to do, and he is so nice that sometimes he just smiles and lays down in submission. Draco thinks he is the ruler of the kingdom but when I am around he knows to back off. All I have to do is yell in his direction and he runs away with his tail between his legs. It is a love/hate thing with Draco and while I do still give him food with the others, I make sure he knows his place and he eats last.
In Buddhist belief, no killing (whether human or animal) is the most important of the Five Precepts and is avoided at all costs (I know Christians say the same thing, but how many wars have been fought for Buddhism?) Honestly, my Thai friends won't even kill a huge spider they will just sweep it out. I love this aspect of Buddhism and while sometimes I do freak and still kill the occasional cockroach, I try to abide by this cultural norm as much as possible...
Last week I wrote I wrote about my experience giving alms and said I would share the story of why I finally decided to do it. Earning merit in Buddhism is very important and when sometime happens in your life that is not the Buddhist way, you should pray and offer to the Buddha to make sure your still in good standing with the enlightened one. When we found out the Lil Pup's babies had died it was hard for everyone involved, we all felt very sad and guilty about the whole thing. My landlord suggested that we give alms to seek repentence for killing these unborn pups, but I still have a hard time dealing with what happened.
So thats the whole story. I probably (definitely) spend way to much time watching the street dogs, trying to understand the method to their madness and talking to my (human) friends about them like they are real people. I love animals, I want one of my own so badly, but I know I am not in a position for that at this point in my life. These guys give me the best of both worlds, I get dog love when I get home but don't have dog hair all over my couch. They all have such unique and distinct personalities and their lives are honestly the perfect story for a soap opera. These are my homies, if your not cool with the soi dogs, your not cool with me.