Bangkok Street Dogs

A place to learn about the lives of street dogs in Bangkok, Thailand, with emphasis on the individual characters of the Bangkok street dog community and their stories of hardship and humor.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

"Yea, I Miss You Guys Too"

This is Barley, a 4 year old brownish dog who used to drift around the alleys and streets of Bangkok, but now lives in America. Barley was (and still is) one of the most popular individuals in the Bangkok street dog community, and still has a huge group of friends. Barley is not only a friendly dog, he's also an athletic one. And like my friends High Jumping Harry and Stretch, Barley used to apply his athleticism to help obtain food for his friends.

Barley's most legendary exploit was the time when he somehow managed to knock over the cart of a roasted chicken seller in a Chinatown market who wasn't paying attention. I don't know how Barley did it, he kind of just threw himself at the cart, and the thing toppled over, spilling several delectable roast chickens into the street, where they were summarily devoured by me and several other street dogs. Damn, that was a great day.

Barley, like Ricardo, another good friend of mine, was adopted by tourists when he was a pup, an event that whisked him away from the near-certainty of a hardscrabble life in the Thai capital. Now Barley lives with his family in San Francisco, California.

But Barley still misses his buddies back in Bangkok. And he's pictured here during one of his weekly marathon phone calls to his friends there. He just calls a pay phone down in the Silom district of Bangkok and a bunch of us dogs go down and pass the phone around and reminisce about the good old days.

Don't get me wrong -- Barley loves San Francisco -- but there is undeniably a piece of his heart that never really left Bangkok.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Introducing Sally

Hey everyone, I'd like you to meet Sally, a 2 year old female who's pictured here snoozing on a Sunday Bangkok morning at 6:45 a.m. Well, she's actually trying to pretend she's still asleep, when in reality, her mind is spinning like a hamster wheel. At this moment, life is spilling in on the fringes of Sally's consciousness, in the form of people and cars and motorcycles arriving to chase her out of the vacant market area and send her reluctantly into the day.

Sally is sick and tired of breathing in the constant stream of pollution emanating from vehicles in the Thai capital. She's holding out hope, however, that people will heed the words of His Majesty The King, who recently urged Thais to step up their use of biodiesel fuel in order to begin reducing the city's choking air pollution.

Sally isn't overly idealistic though. She's fully aware that changing peoples' habits and effecting environmental change are slow processes that require infinite patience. She plans to help further the cause herself by spreading the word in the Bangkok street dog community. As soon as she finishes this nap.