Introducing Max the Temple Dog
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Thailand is a fervently Buddhist country, and for us street dogs, that means the government doesn't have an official policy of rounding us up and putting us to sleep. Also, many Buddhist temples provide food and shelter for street dog populations of various sizes. Max, a 2 year old brown dog with pointy ears and a friendly personality, has lived in a Bangkok temple compound since he was a pup, cared for by the local monks, and surviving on food donations.
In exchange for the privilege of living at the temple, Max makes himself useful by serving as a kind of 'tour guide' for first time human visitors. Although he obviously can't speak, and his knowledge of the temple's history is a bit spotty, Max has become quite popular with visitors, who appreciate the kind and cheerful attitude with which he greets them. Sometimes, people even queue up at the temple entrance for the chance to experience his unique tour guide style.
If things continue to go well for Max's budding tour guide career, opportunities outside of the temple could very well arise. Several local museums and parks have expressed interest in his tour guide services. However, Max told me that he's not ready to consider these options, as he has grown very attached to the temple's monks as well as the other street dogs that reside there. There's not always enough food, and life at the temple isn't luxurious, but fame and fortune mean little to this well-grounded young dog. He's happy where he is, and I wouldn't be surprised if he lives out the rest of his life in the temple.
As Max is fond of saying, "Want nothing and you shall have everything."