My name is Julia. This is a very exotic name for a Bhutanese dog, isn’t it? Let me tell you my story. This is not a fairy tale, or is it?
I was born in the streets or rather on the roads of Thimphu. I was a street dog. I don’t like to be called a stray dog. We are not straying. We are from the streets, this is our home, our territory, and we are nomads. Like most of us street dogs, I was free to roam around, free to chase the cars and free to jump in the rubbish bins to look for my next snack. Freedom is great, but for a small puppy or kitty, being without a mummy or a daddy, without a family, freedom is overrated. Yes, chasing the cars or the motorcycles is fun; and begging for food from doors to doors can be full of adventures and surprises. But I have seen too many of my little friends being run over by vehicles and many others being kicked or hit with stones. Freedom has its price and one need to be rich with experience, wisdom and luck to be able to pay for it.
But back to my own story: I was begging for leftovers when I saw those two chilips walking towards me near Dechhencholing. I closed my eyes and prayed that my skinny body, dirty coat and strong smell would catch their eye and bring compassion to their heart. If you are reading this column today, you know that it did. But this does not tell you how I got to be named Julia. This is quite a long story. I hope you are interested enough to call the shelter and ask for Julia. Come visit me in Yusoelpang and maybe take me home with you so I can tell you all about me. This way, my story would really be a fairy tale story with a happy ending.