September was National Service Dog Month. Of course every month people are grateful for the invaluable work that service dogs perform; from medical assistance dogs to military dogs. Regular readers will know from this blog post here, that the Search and Rescue Dogs of Nepal hold a special place in my little ratty heart.
Nepal is currently celebrating its most important festival, Dashain. It is a lunar festival lasting fifteen days and coincides with the end of the monsoon season. It is celebrated slightly differently by the country’s Buddhists and Hindus, but the main concept is the triumph of good over evil. Shortly after this festival, there is a five day festival, Tihar. This is a festival of lights, similar to Diwali in India, which was mentioned in this post here. The significance of Tihar is that on the second day, dogs are worshiped for their honesty and loyalty. Dogs get to wear garlands and, more importantly, are given tasty treats.
In the midst of these celebrations SAR Dogs Nepal will be having their 25th anniversary on 8th October 2014. The Himalaya Rescue Dog Squad Nepal, to give them their official title, is the only rescue dog group in the Himalayas. Nepal is a very poor country and this organization has struggled through civil war and natural disasters to keep helping the poor people of Nepal, as well as foreign trekkers who sadly go missing in the stunning scenery of the Himalayas. They train and employ local people, along with the dogs, in search and rescue and disaster response. The training is to UN guidelines and standards, the teams can work in jungle gorges or avalanches. The recent floods and landslides caused by severe monsoon rains this year have resulted in many deaths and SAR Dogs Nepal’s funds have been depleted by their assistance with the disaster recovery.
Please visit their website to learn more about their work, personal stories and for some beautiful photos of the dogs themselves: SAR Dogs Nepal
It would be wonderful if you could make a donation to help the SAR Dogs with their invaluable work. As little as $10 goes a long way in Nepal and they would be truly grateful for it. If you can make it $25 that would be very fitting for their 25th anniversary. If you are able to afford even more, then that would be fantastic. You can donate via their website : Donate to SAR Dogs Nepal.
If you wish to help more regularly, or in other ways, you could visit Rescue Dogs for Nepal. The site is in German, but you can run it through Google Translate, here is one I translated earlier. This is a sponsor organization, run by Daniela Neika, which helps SAR Dogs Nepal with funding and training. You can become a supporting member for as little as 12 Euros per year. An individual, business, school or community group could also sponsor a particular dog and handler. If you, or somebody you know, would be interested in this then please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Meet some of the SAR Dogs and their handlers:
All of the photographs in this blog post are the copyright of, and used with the kind permission of, SAR Dogs Nepal.
Those clever SAR dogs have added a new page to their website for their 25th anniversary. The page has some very interesting information and photographs of the history of the organization. There are also very tempting details about their resort for anyone thinking of traveling to Nepal. The area is abundant in beautiful scenery and nature.
New page for donations here.
25th Anniversary page here.
Please do click on their pages and learn about Nepal and their wonderful SAR Dogs and if you can spare a donation, please consider them and share this information with anyone that you can. Thank you.