Beaches, stray dogs and tan lines

As I’m glancing out the window of my hotel room, the raindrops are falling down. It’s monsoon season and mostly we have been lucky with the weather. But with all things going up, it must come down. Today is just one of those days where you don’t want to do anything but binge watch Netflix shows. My mind and my body is just tired. I’ve been so busy exploring the island that I haven’t had much down time. Even though I love the company of others, spending some time alone is just friggin relaxing. As Marilyn Monroe said “I restore myself when alone”.

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Koh Samui is no doubt a beautiful island with beaches, sunbeds, happy hour and massage parlours on every street. With most countries in Asia, animal welfare is a thing of the future, not the present. There are so many stray dogs and cats here. Animals that are considered holy, like the elephant, is used as a tourist attraction. Myself included fell for the allure of riding on elephants when I was younger and ignorant. Not knowing that these poor majestic creatures are being treated in the worst way. For what? For our entertainment. Don’t mind the hook being jabbed in their sides, or the isolation from their friends and family. As long as we get that amazing shot, where you are sitting on an elephant, right? Whatever excuse you make up for yourself to justify the act, is just not gonna cut it anymore. The problem is neither the tourists fault, or the locals fault. It’s the lack of knowledge and sometimes just ignorance.

These two past days we decided to head up to Dog and Cat Samui rescue center. Very often when man’s bestfriend is no longer a cute puppy, it will be thrown on the street to fend for themselves. Thankfully there are those who dedicate their time and effort, to try and save these gentle creatures. In Koh Samui there are two shelters, a small one in Chaweng and a big one in Taling Ngam. No need to book an appointment, you can just show up to cuddle with the animals, or volunteer with cleaning and feeding. I have never done volunteer work before, not sure what to expect. We visited the big one in Taling Ngam.

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There were between 400-500 dogs and cats divided in different compounds. I didn’t even know where to start looking, there were so many. When a dog has lived it’s entire life on the street, seen and experienced God knows what, you just don’t know how it will react towards humans. In Norway we are crazy about our dogs, they are like family members. My dog Bella is like my baby, and I spoil her like crazy. She has at least 3 different beds, not mine or the couch included. Here in Thailand they don’t have that kind of luxury. We have read and heard from the people working there, the situation of the stray dogs has become better. The work these people do is beyond words. The dogs and cats in this shelter were so gentle and friendly. Wagging their tale, barking, and jumping for joy. Some dogs jumped me from behind, it tore up my pants haha!

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These animals just broke my heart, I wanted to take them all with me. Not all dogs were in bad shape, but some were missing limbs, some had their eye bit out by another dog. One was missing a jaw almost incapable of eating. Then there were those who were so skinny, missing all their fur due to neglect. The first day there was one dog that came up to me for some cuddles, it just stared me straight in the eye with so much love. The tears fell down my cheeks. Only imagining if this was my Bella. Just writing about this experience is tearing me up. Im not a vet nor do I have any experience in helping, so we did what we could. Cleaning, feeding, giving love and cuddles. Most of these dogs will live their entire life, never knowing how a home is supposed to feel like. Helpers coming in and out of their compound, but never to take them home. Since I’m traveling long term, adopting one is not an option for me right now. But one day, when I’m settled back home I will come back, to take one or two with me. It’s actually the same price to adopt a dog from Thailand, as it would be to buy one from a breeder. Adopting a dog from lets say Koh Samui, will not just give you a friend for life. It will also give you a beautiful beach vacation. So please, adopt don’t shop! You can read more about the DCSR’s work here, and how you can help these loving furbaby’s.

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This post wasn’t supposed to be all about animals, but when your mind wanders, feelings are heightened, and your fingers start typing. Well.. Here we are. I will write about Koh Samui some other time, for now I’m gonna enjoy a walk on the beach.

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