As we walked into the courtyard we noticed a beautiful young dog laden with heavy chain around his neck. The fir was warn away where the chain hung. The dog had probably been chained since he was a pup.
The clients and I moved closer. The young dog wagged its tail and sat calmly has we glanced over his situation. He had a water dish with drops of water in it. He had a food bowl with a handful of rice. To escape the elements he had nothing. He was chained to a metal bar set in a cement wall that surrounded the court yard. It was snowing now, he was wet.
I grabbed the chain around his neck and found the locking mechanism. We decided to let him loose.
As the chains dropped from his neck he began sprinting around the court, a big smile on his face. It was beautiful to see this dog and his first minutes of freedom. He circled the monastery 3 times, darted toward Steve (a gentleman on our trek team) and because of the lack of experience with movement slid into his legs not knowing how to brake. His tail acted as a wild propeller, non stop turning, a happy dog for sure.
He went back to his food bowl and greedily finished his food. He made a few more rounds around the monastery running, jumping, then exited the courtyard doors, a slight whirlwind flowing out into the expanses.
We returned to our tea house. We found out the dog was actually the monks that we had passed on the steep stairs. I thought about Buddhism and compassion. I wondered what the monk what have felt like with a chain around his neck out in the open elements? Maybe his intentions were pure but did not know how to take care of a dog?
What I do know is that we passed a grumpy, frumpy Monk, and no dog should be chained in the elements without a roof over its head.