In the summer of 2013, while I was away somewhere, Sochoe bought a Saint Bernard puppy, to add to our dwindling collection of dogs. We already had Shishi the Chi Wawa, Kalsang’s personal dog, Sochoe’s very dear Daisy, a medium size beagle look alike mongrel whom we all loved dearly, and a black dog called Traga, who wouldn’t let anyone touch him. We were talking about a new dog before I left, and I came back to Sangpo.
He was small then, well not so small for a three month old, but he grew fast. He was very smart and learned to open most doors, and got along with the other dogs. His gentle personality and endless patience with the many children who visited every year, earned him his name well (Sangpo means kind in Tibetan). His size terrified visitors who sometimes had to step over him to enter the house, and he had a deep bark that resounded in the night, but he never hurt anyone or anything. Even the monkeys, whom he distractedly chased when they got too cheeky, knew this. He was terrified of thunder, and would rush about the house in fits of terror, which was disquieting for everyone, especially since there are so many storms here. When he was younger, he would seek refuge on people’s lap, anyone, and once barged into the living room and installed his 60 kgs on one of our guests lap. I couldn’t resist a laugh, but no one else thought it was funny. Saint Bernards don’t live very long, but he was healthy, and in July, Sochoe pointed out how well he was aging. The monsoon brings strange ailments and he dwindled in a mere two weeks. It was a traumatic time, when we ferried him to vets in various places, none of whom managed to figure out what he had. He passed peacefully night before last and we buried him in the garden and all remember him fondly.