Sunday, 22 February 2015


It has been over three months now, I haven’t seen Nagmo. It happened once, that she disappeared for about a month. And when I thought she must have died, she came with wobbly legs and emaciated body. The rib cage bones were jutting out of her thin body. She was different from what she used to be in the past.

Nagmo is a stray dog living in the vicinity of a home some few hundred metres away from where I live. She is a clever dog. Dogs are supposed to be clever with animal instincts but, she was one who stood over the rest of her packs and those around our area. The entire fur on her body was black with a patch of white on her chest like that of bear, hence a farmer in whose place she often remained, named her Nagmo (literally meaning black female)

When I say this dog was cleverer than the rest, I mean it from what I observed about her. She was a stray and that means she have to be on a constant lookout for food. Unlike other dogs, she will never stay in one place and will always be on the move. She is an opportunist. When she comes looking for food, she does it with stealth. She always makes one round of any home she is visiting and if the doors are open, she will enter and eat anything she can find. She eats fast and as soon as she finishes or hears sound, she leaves the place and will never return for the day.

Even after having found something easy to eat from one particular place, she is that kind of dog with instinct that she will not come back often like other dogs do. Perhaps, as a stray, she must have learnt her lessons the painful way. Even when she is fed, she will not stay put in that place or come back as often.

The fact, that she was not sterilized despite repeated sterilization campaigns in this area is a proof of just how clever she was. When the campaigns are on, professional dog catchers were able to nab most of the canines but not Nagmo. A neighbour who is familiar with this dog said that, the she always disappeared from the scene every time sterilization campaigns were taking place in the vicinity and reappears after few days. She was also never put in the dog pound, when government made attempts to cage all the strays in pound.

She doesn’t bark much but she never allows human too close either. And because she was not sterilized, she always gave birth to at least half a dozen puppies each year until last year.

When she disappeared for over a month and reappeared again, it was obvious someone broke her leg then. And after that, she was never same again. She was no longer young and neither was she able to make full recovery from that gruesome injury.

For the last few months, she was not found in any of those places she goes to, looking for food. So it can be surmised that, she must have died or may be picked up by leopard in the night. The later is likely as her dead body was not found.

With her no more in the vicinity, my neighbours began mentioning her of late. They often say that, no longer do they find this clever dog around. This is an indication of just how clever she was for people to notice her in particular out of so many strays around. If she is dead, it is good for her soul. Bhutanese and Buddhists believe that next rebirths for dogs are as humans. I think, she will be one of those intelligent humans after being a clever dog too.

Gyembo Namgyal

February 22, 2015 09:30 PM

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