I was quite surprised during one of my Varanasi ambles to come across this snoozing dog adorned with flowers. Garlands of flowers are a common sight in India (especially Varanasi) as part of the Hindi religious ritual of puja – the daily giving of offerings. You see them in all sorts of places – in nooks and crannies of walls; wrapped around bicycles; on weighing scales in shops or dangling from the necks of goats and cows.
But stray dogs tend to fall at the bottom of the heap in India and don’t generally seem to be respected in this way. I can’t help but wonder who put the flowers around this dog’s neck and why? She was sleeping amongst strays but looked rather content and, dare I say, well-fed and healthy. I like to think this is because she is one of the lucky mutts, and that she has achieved what all dogs seem to have as their ultimate goal in life – to love and be loved.