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Big Dogs of Tibet and the Himalayas: A Personal Journey

This book by Don Messerschmidt is a journey of discovery of the exotic and rare breeds of large dogs from Tibet and the Himalaya such as the Tibetan Mastiff, the rare Kyi Apso (the bearded or shaggy Tibetan Mastiff), the Himalayan mountain dog and the Sha-kyi (Tibetan hunting dog). Don has undertaken thorough research on the dogs, travelled in the Tibetan plateau and the Himalayan regions of Nepal studying them closely and searched information on these dogs in the old writings of various writers, travellers, anthropologists, spies, explorers, diplomats and missionaries. He has also bred, photographed and made them participate in dog shows. An anthropologist and Himalayan specialist, Don is a Tibetan Mastiff aficionado and spent a considerable time researching, raising and breeding them.
This book dispels a lot of myths about these dogs and is a must read for all big dog admirers.

book review

A personal journey of love and friendship

Being a pet parent I love to share stories and anecdotes, peeves and laughs with other pet parents. So when Ibook review came across Dawn Kairns’ book on the Internet, ‘Maggie: The Dog Who Changed My Life’, I knew I had to read it.

The book is all that it promises and more. At one level it’s a sweet and heartwarming story about Dawn and her beloved black Labrador, Maggie. While reading about the bond that the two share with each other, I could not but recall moments that I had experienced with my own Irish Setter, Baloo, who passed away a few months ago. The delightful little moments when you bask in the sheer joy of seeing life through the wondrous eyes of a pup! Or the heart-stopping moments when the pup has a mishap or an accident that could have been worse than they actually were! Or those telepathic moments when your dog actually seems to read your mind well before you have articulated the thought!

At another level, the book is about the spiritual connect that humans share with their pets. It’s almost as if our dogs were a special gift that were given to us to cherish and love, who support us emotionally and unstintingly through our difficult times. And yet, we do take our loyal buddies for granted.

The bond that you share with your dog is one of a kind. As Dawn writes: “Maggie’s life, illness and untimely death led me to more profoundly honour and nurture my inner world…she showed me my way home: to my heart, my intuition, and to a fuller self-love.” Dawn and Maggie’s personal journey of love and friendship is indeed a life-changing experience and resonates for many of us who have shared such a bond with our pets.