In honor of National Puppy Day, I have to give a shout out to the amazing animals we’ve seen on our travels. Obviously, animals are everywhere in the world. Each continent, country, island, town has some. Big ones, little ones, furry ones, scary ones, silly looking ones, loud ones, annoying ones, you get the point. I am particularly dog-crazy, and don’t have one at this juncture, I often obsess over the animals we encounter when we’re away. In fact, it’s not a rare event when I loudly and abruptly scream out the words “puppy” or “bunny” when I see an animal. Any animal – not just a puppy or bunny. (Can you imagine how much Matt loves it when I do this? I’m sure he’s counting the days until we go a safari) There are rules though. The word bunny is reserved for real bunnies and kangaroos where as puppy can be used to describe any other mammal.
It is rather exciting though when I do spot a really puppy as then I don’t confuse my husband as much. However, it’s way more interesting to spot an animal that I wouldn’t normally see at home. Australia is full of animals in this category, but most other locations provide interactions with a plethora of equally interesting creatures. Or ridiculous ones that just make us smile.
The Himalayas are chock full of yaks. Some of them are hard workers who carry heavy loads up and down the mountain pathways for villagers or trekkers alike. Some of them graze in the village paddocks, providing milk and cow dung for the families who live there. Some are wild and roam about as they wish.
Elsewhere in Nepal, cows and water buffalo are considered very sacred. The animals are thought of as gods and wander around freely in nature and in city streets, even Kathmandu.
Elephants live in Nepal too, but we didn’t meet one until we got to Pai, Thailand. Here we were able to spend time at an elephant rehabilitation center and even get a chance to ride bare back and swim with one of the resident pachyderms.
In New Zealand, it was hard to keep a straight face with all of the funny animals that either roam about or are penned in on the side of the road. Sheep and cows graze on the picturesque hillsides, and ducks and other birds roam around campgrounds and hiking trails. On one occasion we pitched our tent not too far from a couple of llamas. (If you can’t laugh at the first photo, you might not have a soul)
But really, I can’t post this particular piece today without including some puppies. I wouldn’t be doing my job. Baby animal viewing while traveling is like putting vanilla ice cream on top of a brownie – both are awesome enough separately, but when you put them together its like a whole new world of awesome. We found puppies in Argentina, puppies in Nepal, puppies in Indonesia. They were just hanging out, you know, doing stuff. It was refreshing to see them not couped up inside a tiny pen. However, one does wonder where their owner is and if they are worried about me stealing one. Every time we see a puppy it makes us yearn for a gaggle of puppies of our own. One day. One day.