Nepali Times
Life Times
Tashi's trek


This Valentine's, we're moving beyond puppy love. How about love between two real dogs?

Tashi Sir used to belong to a Japanese expat living in Patan who decided to leave behind his Tibetan Mastiff when he left the country four years ago. Thinking the dog would feel more at home in the mountains, he drove his pet out to Ramechhap and left him there with a friend.

One day three months later, neighbour Bihari Krishna Shrestha and his wife, Hira, noticed an emaciated and scruffy dog walk up their driveway and immediately recognised Tashi. The dog had walked 200km from Ramechhap along the Khimti Highway, crossed the Tama Kosi bridge below Charikot, then headed down to Dolalghat, up the Arniko Highway past Dhulikhel to Kathmandu, and found his way to Patan Dhoka.

DOG'S LIFE: Development expert Bihari Krishna Shrestha with Tashi Sir and friend at their home in Patan. Tashi walked 200km from Ramechhap to Kathmandu to be with his girlfriend.
"He was like a walking skeleton when he first came back, nothing but skin and bones," says Bihari Krishna, an inveterate dog lover who has picked up several abandoned street dogs. They adopted Tashi too. It takes a week for a human to trek the route (see map) from Manthali to Kathmandu, and Tashi must have memorised the smells along the way and played it in reverse to sniff his way back.

"It is an amazing story, but not that uncommon," explains Jan Salter of the Kathmandu Animal Treatment (KAT) Centre. "We have had dogs and cats return to the shelter after they've left. When an animal becomes attached to a place, its instincts can lead it right back."

The Shresthas attribute Tashi's long journey home to more than just an attachment to the place where he grew up. After all, Tashi had only been an occasional visitor to the Shresthas' home. "We had a white dog named Phyauri at the time," recalls Hira Shrestha. "Tashi had been over before and you could tell right away that they were in love."
Tashi, now 12, lives happily with three other dogs. His girlfriend passed away a few years ago, and Tashi is now going out with two of Shrestha's pets. Says Salter: "Stories like this make you realise how intelligent and emotional dogs really are, something that we don't acknowledge very often."

Tibetan Mastiffs are traditionally bred as guard or sheep dogs. They prefer the great outdoors and like places that are cooler than Kathmandu. Tashi Sir has a calm and understanding temperament, but his eyes tell of the loneliness of the long-distance hiker. One can only imagine what he went through as he walked the two hundred kilometres
back home.

A dog's best friend, MICHAEL COX

1. Rohan Vaidya
Kudos to Tashi! Never thought about such an ethereal affection of animals. Kinda' remind of Disney anime movie: "Bolt". Nice one, really adore it!

2. SRB
Wonderful story! Really enjoyed the story. Just goes to show how intelligent dogs are...just think of Lassie!

3. edamamu

Really wonderful, Tashi's love is really an example to all !

4. Salil
An amazing story in all counts. Animal love is much purer than the human one. I loved the story !

5. DG
Han Suyin first visited Nepal at the time of the coronation of King Mahendra. At that time the Royal Hotel was the premier hotel to stay ; Boris was running it. She stayed in Nepal for about two and half weeks.' Mountain Is Young' was the outcome  of this visit. Vassily the carecter representing Boris  was  once jailed by the Nepalese authority once for making wine without permit.  Kathmandu was then a large population of stray dogs and naturally the  jail area had its share too.  Poor Vassily could not sleep and had a bad time because of dogs making love and barkings.
Tourism Year 2011's authorities can make use of such tips to attract tourist  this year, Further Berlesconi is another macho leader in Italy and keeps up its virile Italian character, where bum-pinching is national sport.
Tourists visit Italy to experience bum-pinching Italian way.
Nepal can promote dogs making love as attction to and the tourist monyhs of Kartic is the right time. It is Valentine days for the canines.
Let us make the Tourism Year 2011 a success.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)