Everyone, if you haven't heard of him already, meet Bruce (update at bottom).
Outside of NapPark hostel in Bangkok, a four legged mut named Bruce calls the street corner home. He spends his days roaming the streets of Bangkok, avoiding turf wars with other stray dogs, rummaging for food, and making friends with the backpackers that pit stop at NapPark along their journey. I was one of those lucky backpackers to come across Bruce and befriend him when I was staying at NapPark. He was a social butterfly with the backpackers, but definitely had his favorite people. I'm not exactly sure what I did to deserve this pup's affection, but Bruce took to me just as quickly as I took to him. Before I knew it, I couldn't go anywhere in the city without Brucie Boy at my heels.
The night I realized Bruce and I had a special connection, was when myself along with some fellow backpacker friends from Canada and Australia were walking down the street to the local 7/11 to grab ourselves some brews to drink before our night out on the town. Bruce tagged along per usual, jumping at our heels, excited for the little excursion. Usually once we arrive at a location he'll just turn around or disappear. However this time he decided to stroll on in with me. Let's just say the cashier was not happy. She quickly shouted and tried to chase Bruce out, I quickly hopped outside too to see if I could coerce him. Thankfully Bruce followed right along and stood next to me as we waited for our friends to purchase the beer.
From that point on, I couldn't go anywhere without Bruce by my side. Bruce would walk with me as I did my local shopping, he'd follow me to the restaurants I would eat at (I quickly learned to only dine at places with outdoor seating so Bruce could join). Bruce would follow me into the local 7/11 for his daily snack, thankfully the people at 7/11 eventually got used to us so they would let him come.
Bruce wasn't just a companion, he was a true homie. Once, as two friends and I were having breakfast at a local outdoor spot, another feral dog began approaching us. This dog was acting quite aggressively, and Bruce would have none of it. In a sheep dog fashion, Bruce approached this aggressive dog, and herded it away from us, putting himself in harms way to make sure we were safe. Now THAT is what I call (wo)man's best friend.
In my month of being in Thailand, I stopped in Bangkok three times. Each time it became harder and harder to leave, because I could tell Bruce would get more and more upset at me leaving as time went on. The first two times I left, he sat at the foot of my Uber outside the hostel, with those sad brown eyes. The last, and final time, I left, he refused to leave me at the hostel doorstep and followed me and my cab down the street. *Que Marley and Me soundtrack*. A friend then told me he didn't return back to the hostel for two days after I left. What a pal, am I right?
As many of you know I posted a few pictures of Bruce on Facebook along the way, and over a hundred of you, no exaggeration, expressed your support in figuring out how to get Bruce home. Many of you sent me very helpful information, and for that I'm so thankful. I quickly learned that a dog is required to have a microchip and rabies shot before entering the US. After some digging (and with the help of many of you) I found a local vet that said they could do the micro chipping and shot. However they informed me that Bruce needed to have the rabies shot at least 30 days before entering the United States... Unfortunately for me I was leaving before the 30 days needed. I reached out to a handful of dog rescues, all of which have said they are too full to take on Bruce's special case.
UPDATE: We haven't given up hope yet! It might still be possible to bring Bruce home to the States. I am currently emailing back and forth with a local dog rescue in Bangkok that might be able to help get Bruce off the street and eventually over to the States. Fingers crossed they are able to take his special case (most if not all animal shelters are overwhelmed and underemployed in Bangkok). Thanks to all the love you guys showed, Bruce's story is getting some attention. I'll update this post if anything evolves. Thank you for all the love for Bruce!