Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tribute to Khaaw: How Bangkok has changed my life


By writing this blogpost, I want to tell everyone that myself, Li Li and Baby in Bangkok are all ok. Thank you for your concern. If anyone wants further proof of our resilience, you will soon see more information of us travelling down to Hua Hin over the weekend for some great relaxing time-off with a couple of friends. The flood situation in Bangkok is currently under control, with concerns in some areas till the end of the month. The worst flood in Thailand in 50 years has spared us for the time-being, and I am grateful everyday for it.

Enough of floods, the focus of this piece is really about the cute street dog pictured above. His actual name is Nom-Sod, which means Fresh Milk, but he himself doesn't know his real name, so let's just call him by his nickname Khaaw, which he identifies himself by.

More than a year ago, I wrote about how living in a local suburb in Bangkok has helped me overcome my 20-yr-old fear of dogs, but now (2 of the dogs mentioned in my post have sadly passed away), 2 months after moving out of the local suburb, Khaaw has absolutely deepened my love for them.

He has long fluffy hair, different from usual Thai street dogs
I have fond memories of playing with Khaaw and stroking him to sleep during the two years at my old office, especially during the many months when I was staying all alone, fighting a lone battle to establish my company in Thailand. He felt like my only companion when everything seemed stacked against me, and would always jump on me in enthusiasm to give me a reason to smile.

Since moving away 2 months ago, I had been back to visit him 4 times, and on every occasion he would be sprinting towards me from far far away before pouncing on me again and again, as if to give me all the affection he accumulated over the weeks of my absence.

Last week, I made one of those visits again, but this time I went to have coffee at a stall 50metres away, which is strictly out of Khaaw's designated zone (btw, street dogs work like professional mafia gangs, they have designated regions of influence, and trespassers would not be treated lightly). He took the risk and just sat peacefully beside me as I reminisced with the stall-owner. As expected, the dog controlling the area soon arrived and Khaaw did something to really touch my heart.

Mafia King finally arrived to chase Khaaw out of his area, they circled around, flashing canines at each other, while I was trying to coax Khaaw back to his neighbourhood

To my shock, he did the unexpected! Instead of returning to the comforts of his own village, he came up the platform where I was sitting and continued to accompany me, all the way till I left, despite the angry growlings of the Mafia King

In case any of you are rolling your eyes at this very unspectacular story of mine, take note that we are talking about a street dog here, who never had an owner nor proper training whatsoever, showing such love and loyalty to a friend who doesn't feed him (yes, aside of the odd bone, I NEVER feed him).

Khaaw stole a kiss on my cheek while we were posing for this picture. Our first kiss!

This is not the most flattering picture of me, and in normal circumstances I would never let this appear anywhere in public, but seeing the smile on Khaaw's face and the coincidental fact that I was wearing a bright white shirt as well, I think this is the best picture to show our deep friendship.

Thank you to Khaaw, and to all the dogs who are giving your hearts to the people around you. Your sweet actions prove to us that in the present society full of ignorance and hate, love always prevails.


  1. Baby?! I was just reading some of your posts and I'm confirming this with you. Congrats you two!! Take very gentle care of Li Li :)

  2. Yes MP, baby. We are expecting our first child (and if 4D ultrasound is any good it is a boy and doesn't have much hair now).

    Taking gentle care of Li Li all the time, she's having the time of her life, I am typing this barely an hour after watching Yanni's concert with her and Baby in Bangkok!


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