Street dogs (in the authors opinion) are a huge problem in Thimphu – HUGE. there are stray dogs and dogs with owners (but they roam free) everywhere!!…and they have a pack mentality. As a runner, Thimphu is a nightmare. A horror film every morning– who can out-smart who?? I have had to scheme out a run in relation to where the dogs are….I went through 3 different running routes within 2 weeks of being in Thimphu. Luckily I havent been forced to throw stones yet – my intimidating appearance and KungFu yell has worked so far – but I’ve had a few hair-raising morning near ankle biting teeth knarling attacks so far. You’d think being in a ‘buddhist peaceful nation’ the dogs would follow suit, but not so, they are quite the manifestation of little demons. Dont get me wrong, i love animals, just not when they confuse me with raw steak. I find it a bit ironic that in Africa dogs were never a problem (because people beat them, so they are afraid of people) but here in mystical Bhutan they are menace number one. The grandma who lives next door and walks to the Chorten at 4am for her morning prayer walks with a huge stick – and for good reason!
People acknowledge that dogs are a problem here, yet no one seems to want to do anything about it. The biggest initiative was a sterilization campaign where they were supposed to fix 2000+ dogs (yeah, and thats not even a fraction of them!)…many dogs were depressed after that and can now be seen chasing white cars and vans (the kind that went around doing the sterilization – ha, i find this kind of amusing and sorry for people with white vans!).
This dog pictured wandered in off the street to an art show and subsequently went about chewing on one of the art installations: the dragon’s tail. Maybe he is through being a street dog and wants to become ART !