A dog in Taiwan

In November 2018, I visited the Asian Bird Fair in Chiayi, Taiwan. Afterwards, I spend two days in the mountains near Fenqihu, which is a small town along the Forest Railroad to Alishan. One of these days, I met a lovely local dog. Here is the story of that day:
Today I decided to go hiking in the forest! In the morning, I met two people who were walking with their dog. At least, so I thought. I asked if I could photograph the dog because it looked so nice. Turned out that it wasn’t theirs. Because I was friendly to her, the dog decided to come with me.
For the entire day, we hiked together, explored roads and tiny unmarked trails in forests and bamboo thickets. At a certain time, the dog smelled something and rushed into the woods. A moment later I heard her barking, which was answered by an angry alarm call from a Formosan macaque! I know this sound well because 30 years ago I have cared for the only and last of these monkeys in a European zoo …
I waited some minutes and the dog came back, no harm done. Together we hiked and rested, and with her excellent hearing she pointed out birds for me. We didn’t eat together: she didn’t like the bread which I had bought in the 7 eleven supermarket. Well, she had a point with that, but bread is more transportable than a lunchbox.
At the end of the day, I prepared myself for a difficult farewell, but she was ahead of me. When we approached the village she sped up and left without looking back. I hope that she found her way home or to her owner, but I felt suddenly very alone …


Written by Paul Veenvliet, 21.11.2018



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