Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Southeast Asian Special, Part II - Lao Village Dogs

There are many, many different ethnic minority groups in Laos, most with distinct languages and customs and living very simple lives (no indoor plumbing, land lines or modern appliances). I visited a remote village in the northern Luang Prabang province that had been wired for electricity only three months earlier. Three months!

Most village families raise their own livestock for food and keep dogs to "guard" their property, although there wasn't much guarding going on. The animals (pigs, chickens, cats, cows, water buffalo) wander around the village, somehow knowing which family they belong to. The dogs, as you might imagine, were always either sleeping or looking for a snack; none of them were spayed or neutered, and none of them wore collars or any sort of identification.

When I thought about Arthur and his cushiony, fleecy dog bed, I had to laugh. He's such an American.

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