“Say hello to sweet, beautiful Asha, the newest member of our little family!”

She began her journey to us five days ago, and according to my calculations, traveled almost 9,000 miles (over 14,000km) to reach us. What a brave girl!

There were a few delays at customs, but soon Asha was enjoying her first American grass and trees. She was a little bit shell-shocked, but wouldn’t you be?

What a pretty girl she is! If you know Rupee, she’s about 2/3 his size, but their coloring is identical! She’s limping a lot on the leg she injured as a pup, but I’m hoping that’s just from being cramped up for so many hours/days. I’ll bring her to the vet in a few days to make an introduction.

Next up after leaving the scary airport was meeting her new brother, Rupee. We decided to make the introductions in a nearby park, so Zach took Asha there while I fetched Rupee. Once out of the car, Asha dragged Zach to the sandy volleyball court (maybe they play volleyball at Dharamsala Animal Rescue in India and she was looking for a quick pick-up game?), where they relaxed until Rupee and I arrived.

desi dog

“A little fur went up on two doggies’ backs, but nobody growled, Asha passed the sniff test, and that was that! “

Once we got there, Rupee saw Zach and started trotting over to him as usual and WHAT’S THIS?!? A little fur went up on two doggies’ backs, but nobody growled, Asha passed the sniff test, and that was that! We were prepared for all kinds of contingencies re getting them comfortable with each other – separation with dog gates, etc. – but it was totally unnecessary. Amazing.

desi dog

Once home, Asha explored the apartment and then retreated to her travel crate in the guest room (where she seems most comfortable right now) and after a couple of biscuits, is taking a well-deserved nap. Rupee has been a little bit wary, but is now chilling in his own favorite spot, and all is well.

A little later, we’ll have a walk around the apartment complex, have some supper, and then give everyone a bath! Meanwhile, Asha needs some rest.

Thank you so much to Deb Jarrett and the other folks at Dharamsala Animal Rescue for all they’ve done for Asha and the other special souls at their sanctuary and in the surrounding area. Special thanks also to Barbara Gard of Desi Dogs of British Columbia, who was Rupee’s original Western “mom,” and who helped put us in touch with Deb, and a shout out to Shilpa Gadde of Rescue Without Borders in NJ, who is also engaged in this important work.

As for everyone else: bring an animal into your family, and if you already have some, get another! And, of course, RESCUE/adopt, don’t buy! Finally, consider getting an adult or even a senior animal instead of an adorable puppy. There are so many animals with so much love to give that are waiting for their person to take them home.

Click to Learn more about adopting a DAR dog.


Words: Stuart Rosenthal

images: Author’s own

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About the author

Stuart Rosenthal

Stuart Rosenthal

Stuart Rosenthal’s two loves throughout his life have been the performing arts and dogs. Stuart has lived in every corner of the United States as a music/theatre teacher and arts administrator, and has been blessed to be able to share his last eight years of travels with his first Desi dog, Rupee, who came to him via Barbara Gard in British Columbia. Rupee has enjoyed life in Seattle WA, Mount Pleasant UT, Princeton NJ, Williston VT, and now Miami FL. Rupes isn’t so good with strange dogs, but loves to play once he makes a friend. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a lot in common with these Miami teacup terriers being pushed around by rich ladies in strollers, so Stuart decided to adopt him a little sister who’ll really understands his perspective—beautiful Asha from Dharamsala!