For those of you following our Instagramming, you already know we have a thing for dogs. Adam is more contained about it, but I light up like a Christmas tree when I see them. Portuguese strays, street dogs in Tbilisi, Italian winery puppies, mountain dogs in Tusheti, sweet Bali dogs, coworking dogs, resident CrossFit pups – we’ve met so many fur faces over the past 8 months! Unlike in America, or even Europe, it is completely normalized in Georgia and the areas we’ve visited in Asia for stray dogs and cats to roam about. At first, this was total culture shock and our hearts hurt wanting to “save” all of them, however, after becoming accustomed to their nomadic ways, we now just give them some love and a snack or water if we have it.
When we arrived in Koh Lanta Thailand, we were excited to see posters for an animal rescue called Lanta Animal Welfare (LAW) and even more excited to find out it was right around the corner from our Airbnb. Their posters were truly marketing magic reading; “On Holiday and miss your pet? Come cuddle and walk ours!” We were there nearly every day thanks to those posters. #smartketing
After one of our walks, we met three adorable puppies named Boo, Benny and Ricky. These three cuties were rescued by a LAW mobile clinic in August with two more pups that devastatingly didn’t pull through. They were starved and had horrendous skin conditions, some of which they are still healing from. You can read their rescue story here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/lantaanimalwelfare/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10156408546365240
As all puppies are, these three were adorable, but it must be mentioned that once our eyes met Benny’s, our hearts melted all over the floor. We played in a private pen with the three pups and Benny just seemed to already know he’d be ours. He was like a little doll, just letting us hold him like a baby and sprawling across our laps with ease. He was clearly the more (albeit slightly more) dominate one of the three but played so gently. Looking back now, he won us over in an instant with his easy breezy attitude and chocolate brown eyes… as did our current dog Bentley when we adopted him. We motor scooted back every day to get some face time with Benny and learn more about the adoption process.
International dog adoption?? That’s crazy!
At first, it did seem crazy because we know there are so many dogs in our hometown of Cincinnati that need a home. With that being said, a dog in need of a home is a dog in need of a home and the costs are quite a bit less than one would think. We also learned black dogs and cats have a much harder time being adopted in Thailand because there is a lot of superstition around them due to the religions of the region. So after the superhuman people of LAW went over all the adoption information and best practices regarding how to integrate him with Bentley, we made the decision to adopt Benny!! We also made the decision to change his name to Thai, which so perfectly means “free” in the Thai language.
Meet Thai Curry
Before we left Koh Lanta, we were able to take Thai out for a few afternoons to bond. We scootered around town (he loves the motorbike btw) and ended up at ‘Beautiful Beach’. There he chewed on some coconut husks, dug a few holes and learned to swim a bit in the Thai turquoise waters. He’s a curious little guy and we are looking forward to providing him with a home, lots of love and an amazing big brother. Bentley and Thai seem eerily similar in appearance and attitude, so we hope it will be an amazing match.
Getting him back to the USA – Still looking for someone!
LAW has their I’s dotted and t’s crossed with international adoption. They do a lot of this so their system is very easy to follow and understand. Since we’re not coming home until December 23rd and won’t be flying from Thailand, Thai will fly with a flight volunteer who is going back to the US. Basically, we will pay for him to be some very amazing person’s ‘excess luggage’ traveling in a temperature controlled area (NOT cargo). There will be no cost or inconvenience for the flyer and we will meet him/her at the airport to collect our new Thai Curry baby. We don’t have a flight volunteer yet, so if you know someone traveling to Thailand flying out of a Midwest airport (Cincinnati, Indy, Cleveland, Columbus, Nashville, Louisville, Lexington, Chicago etc.) please let us know! We are very flexible so Thai can fly back before or after our arrival back home.
Thank you big-hearted LAW Volunteers
A gigantic thank you must be said to everyone working and volunteering at Lanta Animal Welfare. You do such amazing and thankless work with animals that otherwise would very likely not be alive. You all were inspiring to get to know and we appreciate all the poop you scoop, each meal you proportion out, and every scratch or bite you endure trying to make animals’ lives better. We are thrilled to be a part of your incredible family!