It is a well known fact that dogs are universally awesome.
Nepal has an exceptionally large population of dogs. Some are taken as pets; others run wild in packs, eating garbage and sipping water from dirty puddles. Either way, it is my goal to pet them all.
Over 25,000 stray dogs roam the streets of Kathmandu Valley. A large percentage of those pups suffer from disease and malnourishment. During the last outreach, some of my team and I were exploring the small village (about 45 minutes from Chitwan). We came across a group of children, and to our wonderment, puppies. We instantly squealed, scooping them up in our arms. It didn’t take long for us to notice that they were suffering from mange, underbellies rough and infected, as well as their tails stripped of all fur. The puppy in my arms fell asleep within seconds. I melted, rocking the little thing back and forth like a baby. A girl approached us, holding a puppy upside down by it’s leg. Still carefully swaying my puppy, I gasped. There are cultural differences when it comes to animals, I kept telling myself.
To control the population, the government would poison street dogs with strychnine. Over 10,000 dogs would die slow painful deaths a year, having seizures for 9 hours. The poison also affected small children and pets, as it lingered in chunks on the side of the road. A program called KAT has been trying to stop the strychnine chaos, and came to an agreement with the government to not poison near the areas where they work.
In my 3 weeks here so far, I haven’t met one mean street dog. Shy, maybe, but never outwardly aggressive. Dogs are globally kind creatures, sharing joy wherever they go. What did we ever do to deserve them?