These Photos Of How Dogs Are Honoured In Nepal Will Inspire You To Treat Them Better

After years of being man's best friend - pets and strays alike - are given the royal treatment!

Cover image via Mashable

In Nepal, during Tihar - Nepal's version of Diwali - a day is set aside to honour and celebrate man's best friend.

The festival is part of the five-day festival where Hindus honour a different animal each day.

Image via Mashable

The Tihar Festival is a five-day event that takes place in the fall as part of the Hindu celebration of Diwali. The first and third days of this celebration are devoted to crows and cows, but the second, known as Kukur Tihar, is all about the puppies!

Hindus believe that dogs are the guardians of the gates to the afterlife. They also represent the concept of dharma - the road to righteousness.

Image via MNN

Dogs are especially important to Nepal’s Hindu practitioners. During day two of Tihar, Kukur Tihar, the role of dogs in human life and throughout history is celebrated. In the Rigveda, one of Hinduism’s most ancient texts, Samara — the mother of dogs — assists Indra, the ruler of heaven, in retrieving stolen cattle.

Hindu tradition holds that a dog is the guardian and messenger of Yama, the lord and judge of the dead. A dog is also said to guard the gates of the afterlife and represent the concept of dharma, the path of righteousness.

On 10 November, canines are given garlands, a mark on the forehead called tika - as a sign of holiness and blessings

This furry fella is clearly enjoying itself!

Image via Mashable
Image via Mashable

Worshippers showered their furry friends -- including those who live in shelters -- with good food and garlands. A dash of vermillion paste was also applied to the dogs' foreheads as a sign of holiness and blessing.

Many of the dogs, especially service dogs were honoured and decorated at the Central Police Dog Training School in Kathmandu, Nepal

A police officer sprinkles colored powder onto a police dog.

Image via Mashable
Image via Mashable

Dogs were worshipped at the Central Police Dog Training School in Kathmandu, Nepal. Police officers worshipped their canine counterparts to acknowledge their role in providing security. The dogs were decorated in garland, sprinkled with colorful powders and given various treats.

Many animal rights organisation uses this day as an opportunity to raise awareness for the need to care for strays

Image via HuffingtonPost

"How is it that these animals, so respected one day, can be neglected the next?" said Uttam Kafle, director of Animal Nepal, who estimates that more than 22 500 dogs live on the streets of Kathmandu alone.

This year the organisation took in more older dogs than usual, he said, partly because so many were made homeless by the devastating earthquake in May.

The bond between dog and man is something truly special:

Awhile back, this dog was married to a woman! But why?

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