The world’s longest reigning monarch is the Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej (1927-2016) whose death (on 13th October 2016) plunged the nation into deep mourning. In tributes to him, many people speak about him among which a common topic is his avid love for animals. The story of HM Bhumibol and his dog Tongdaeng is worth telling.
King Bhumibol was an example of animal care and animal adoption, and he adopted Tongdaeng, a stray. He even wrote a book about the dog which later became a bestseller and further went on to be produced as a film. He even released stamps in his beloved dog’s name.
Tongdaeng, means copper, was picked from stray and later became His Majesty’s beloved. Once, the King said “Tongdaeng is a common dog who is uncommon.”
Adopting a stray dog was a very humble gesture for a king and it won many hearts. Once in 2002, the King had a minor surgery after which he left the hospital wearing a tshirt with the photograph of Tongdaeng and her puppies. This swiftly became a fashion trend in Thailand.
However, the King’s love was not limited to Tongdaeng only, but he had adopted numerous stray, disabled and abandoned animals. The money that came from his best seller book is used for the welfare of these animals.
Hope his soul rest in peace.
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