Introducing Jim the Canine Saint
(Many thanks to William McLay for use of this photo)
Life for a street dog in Bangkok is no picnic. Nor is it a walk in the park. In fact, you can pretty much plug in any cliche for something enjoyable, and a Bangkok street dog's life will not resemble it.
Although there are some kind human souls in the city who regularly give stray dogs water and leftover scraps of food, and allow stray dogs to hang out in front of their homes, the canine competition for limited resources is quite fierce. As a result, Bangkok street dogs have to look out for themselves, because for the most part, they face the world alone.
However, there are some selfless (and clever) canines who have taken it upon themselves to do whatever they can to help their street dog brethren. Jim, an extremely intelligent, crafty 5 year old street dog of Alsatian ancestry, is one of these special souls. He is seen here using his talents to collect spare change from pedestrians on an elevated walkway near Bangkok's Victory Monument.
Jim was once one of Thailand’s most sought after canine actors, and appeared in dozens of television commercials, for products such as dog food, pet shampoo, and allergy medicine. However, around the time of his third birthday, Jim began to take a long, hard look at his life and decided he was not doing enough to help others. So, Jim decided to leave his family home and set out to raise money to help the cause of his fellow Bangkok canines.
Jim’s most effective fund-raising method is to dress up in ragged clothing and gaze up with mournful puppy dog eyes at pedestrians on elevated walkways and sidewalks all over Bangkok. Few passersby can resist dropping a few coins in his collection bowl. At the end of each day, Jim donates the money he has collected to organizations that help street dogs in Thailand, such as Soi Dog Rescue, Dogchance, Hua Hin Dog Rescue Center, Soi Dog Foundation, and others.
Jim is an inspirational example of a dog who changed the path of his very comfortable life specifically so that he could use his abilities as an actor to help others. “Although the financial rewards from my acting career were great, the rewards I have gained from helping other dogs are far greater,” says Jim.
The world could use more souls like him.