Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Refugee Dogs: Rescuing Afghan War Pups

"Fred Armitage went to Afghanistan to protect people. What he didn't expect to protect was abused, homeless dogs left for dead in a war zone."  enRoute Magazine

This is a very moving story about a Canadian soldier and the street pups he has rescued and taken from Kabul to Canada.

This is their Facebook page, Get us Outta here! (Afghan War Pups).

Chapter Thirteen: A Crash Course in Nepali History

When Gyanendra was born in 1947, a court astrologer reportedly told his father, then the crown prince Mahendra, not to look upon Gyanendra because it would bring bad luck. The cursed baby was sent far away from his family and the palace to be raised by a grandmother.


Chapter Twelve: Murphy's Law

We had a workable plan…

…Until I got an urgent email from Sally, rescinding her offer.

“Do you know about the bandhs [strikes] that have been happening? Basically there are constant bandhs in that part of the Terai right now, and there will be until at least May 27, which is when the Constitution is set to be put into effect officially. We can't take the car out during a bandh (too dangerous), and you wouldn't want to get stuck in one.”

She added, “Boy, you sure lucked into a difficult time to try to travel!”

I’d been so consumed with looking after Alice and making our arrangements, I hadn’t been following the news. Now I got caught up. The west part of the country, which we would have to travel through, was closed.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chapter Eleven: First Family

On a street full of motorcycle garages, Alice stopped and pulled me towards a tiny lane. I shook her chain to pull her back, but she was adamant. When I tried to pick her up, she nipped at my face, which she had never done before, squirming until I had to put her down. Whatever she wanted to show me was more important than smelling motorcycle tires and so deserved to be taken seriously. I gave up and followed her to a stretch of shops made of wood and corrugated tin, into a place that sold three disparate things--cellphone credit, bootleg DVDs from China, and homemade food, which sat on the wood counter in translucent buckets colored bright red and dull yellow by the curries inside. It was a humble place manned by one young Tibetan guy.

Chapter Ten: Alice

Dechen was learning English at school and she spoke it well enough to ask questions about Canada and understand the answers, as long as we spoke slowly (or haltingly) and supplemented with lots of pantomime. I’d already broken this kid’s heart once by giving Pup to Sushma’s family, so I was careful now to include her in our future plans so she wouldn’t be as heartbroken when Alice left her for a second time. 

“Canada has lakes and forests and mountains like Nepal. It is much colder in winter than Kathmandu. Like an ice cream freezer. Some years there is snow on the ground for six months. Alice will have to wear a warm coat and boots in winter."

Dechen loved this. What kind of coat? What color of boots? Wouldn’t her tail and nose be cold? She figured the boots should be red and the coat white and the coat should cover her from nose to tail.


Chapter Nine: A Friend of a Friend of a Friend

Several of her female students, young teens, had disappeared. Shirley was frantic. Her investigation revealed that for weeks the girls had been secretly groomed by a young European woman they had met by the stupa.