Photo left: King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Thong Daeng at Klaikangvol Palace, 2002
Photo middle: King Bhumibol Adulyadej with Thong Larn, dog nr 18 of the Royal pack. Adopted from a litter of street dogs. Chitralada Villa, 1999
Photo right: On each official Happy New Year photo the King poses with his adopted dogs.
To say that Thai people love the King would be an understatement. From a young age Thai children learn at school about the King and his virtues life. The King is one of two role models for Thai people when it comes to values and moral. The other role model is the Buddha.
In short, the King is deeply loved, respected and looked upon by Thai people.
It happens that this King is an animal lover,and has adopted many street dogs, and isn’t shy to talk about it.
The King even wrote a book in 2002 about his favorite adopted dog named “Thong Daeng”, praising the qualities and intelligence of ordinary street dogs in general and Thong Daeng in particular, and promoting adopting street dogs, as opposed to buying imported breed dogs.
(The book was sold out in a few days and has been reprinted various times, the profits of the book goes to Royal animal welfare projects.)
Thai people are very touched by this story of their King adopting and praising ordinary street dogs.
All in all, the Thai King has greatly influenced Thai society and its acceptance of street dogs. While in most other countries street dogs are viewed as a problem and mistreated, in Thailand street dogs (and street cats) are taken care off and are accepted and respected in street life.
Taking care and having a heart for ordinary animals, now that is what I call true royalty! Me likes.