“The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue” ~ Anonymous
Those of you who read my blog will know that I have a soft spot for dogs. Although I love to travel, I eventually find myself missing my own animals, so when I’m away I seem to notice dogs more, and they always remind me of home.
In 2007 my husband and I were in Thailand, sitting at a cafe outside MBK Centre, a big Thai shopping Mall. The security guards were out in force for some grand opening of a new store. They had run red carpet up to the entrance, and used gold ropes to mark out a path for the dignitaries. There were fresh flowers, and it all looked very grand. Except for the scruffy stray dog who was sleeping right in the middle of the carpet. He was covered in scabby wounds, and his eyes were weeping and sore. You could see all his ribs. He was not a good looking dog by any stretch of the imagination.
The Thai security were so patient with this stubborn stray. They never raised their voice, they never resorted to aggression or frustration. They just kept politely moving him on.
But no matter how many times the guards good naturedly herded the dog away, he kept coming back and lying down on that red carpet. Finally, we watched in amazement as the guards pooled some money and sent the youngest man off to a street food vendor. He bought some grilled meat on sticks, and used it to lure the dog away, just moments before the VIPs showed up. The dog obediently ate all of his bribes, the Official Party moved inside the building, and the dog went back to lie at the top of the steps in the sun, happy with his full belly.
It really made my day seeing the kindness of the guards and the gentle regard they had for the stray dog. Weeks later, safe back at my farm, I looked through my photos and wondered what would become of that MBK mutt – one hungry stray in a city of so many other homeless animals.
Fast forward to 2012, and we find ourselves back at MBK. As I am walking along one of the overpasses towards the centre, I am stunned to see the same dog. He is sleek, fat and healthy – busy engaged in eating a bag of soup noodles that a lady has bought from a vendor just for him.
I burst out smiling. It was like running into an old friend.
I didn’t have my phone or camera with me, but to my surprise, when I googled MBK here was a picture of Rambo – who has become quite the celebrity over the past few years. He even has his own fan page on facebook.
Hooray for dogs, and hooray for the people who treat strays with love and compassion. May we all learn to have such regard for each other.
*All images from Rambo’s facebook fan page.