Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Just a Street Dog

Let me tell you a story today. A story about just a street dog. Just a street dog? No dog is just a street dog. Each dog has a story, has a life you might not think of when you see him sleeping in the sun by the side of the road.

Maybe he had a good breakfast, because the butcher likes him and throws him some scraps. Maybe he was petted by some school children and enjoyed that. Maybe he was chased by angry shop owners that were scared he might make customers afraid. Maybe he is dreaming about his mate that lives a few metres further down the road. Maybe he loves a girl that gets off the bus at 5 pm and he waits for her. You never know.

Every dog has its story. Today I want to tell you Namaste's story.

Namaste came to KAT quite a while ago, maybe about a year. She was an old dog, skinny and she had mange. She used to live in an empty house in Thamel. She was treated at KAT and we gave her the name Namaste, since she always begged with her paw for more cuddles.

One day, she escaped from the KAT Centre in Budhanilkanta. We didn't think much of it, of course it should not have happened, but she knew how to survive on the road. In June this year, we heard of her again. She was again living in Thamel in the abandoned house, had somehow made the way of about 10 km back. She was again emacinated and again mangy.

She was picked up again, treated again and began to thrive at KAT. When KAT moved, she was one of the few dogs allowed inside the house, sleeping in the living room. She didn't get along with other dogs very well, but she loved the company of humans. She was well loved and we all believed she was happy.

Two days ago, I got told that Namaste has escaped again. Some volunteers said they have seen her in Thamel, so my first thought was that she might have returned to the abandoned house again. Quickly one of KAT's old staff was contacted and he told us the exact location. Our volunteers Linda, Jessy and Richi went there - and found her.

A lady owning a tea shop there feeds her and Namaste seemed happy. She told us that Namaste's owners moved and just left the dog behind - when that was, we don't know. The only thing I can tell you is that this dog's loyality to his former owners is heart breaking. I wonder if they would have left her, had they known how endless her love is. I wonder what Namaste sees if she wanders in the old house. Does she expect the children she grew up with to be in a room, doing their homework? Does she wait for the father of the family to come home from work? Who knows.

We left Namaste in Thamel. After escaping twice and finding her way of 10 km back, I think we have to respect her choice of wanting to live there. But whenever you are in Thamel, keep your eyes open, maybe you see her, maybe you give her a treat or a few cuddles.

You wouldn't expect a story like this when you see a street dog. But every dog has a story, every dog loves, hopes, waits and has maybe done extraordinary things - or might do them for you. Be kind to them.