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. During his reign served 30 prime ministers. In his tribute, many people speak many things about him among which a famous thing is his avid love for animals. And we think that the story of HM Bhumibol and his dog Tongdaeng is worth telling.
King Bhumibol was an example of animal care and animal adoption. He adopted Tongdaeng, a stray and even wrote a book about the dog which later became a bestseller further it went on to be produced as a film. He even released stamps in his beloved dog’s name.
Tongdaeng, meaning copper, was picked from the streets. 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, specially the common folk. Once in 2002, the King had a minor surgery after which he left the hospital wearing a T-shirt 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 disabled, abandoned and stray 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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