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JoAnna Lou
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Herding Elephants in Thailand
A shelter dog finds a job at Elephantstay sanctuary

With my Sheltie and a Border Collie you can probably tell that I love herding breeds. It’s so much fun to see these dogs organize sheep or cattle in a way that will never be matched by human or machine. For all the fellow working dog lovers, I had to share the story of Buddy, a cattle dog who manages quite the herd.

Buddy has the job of keeping 100 elephants in line at the Elephantstay sanctuary, a rehabilitation and breeding center in Thailand. The story is even more amazing because Buddy was rescued from a shelter to do this job.

Working at Elephantstay isn’t always serious. Buddy has a playful relationship with the elephants. The sanctuary residents have been known to take him by the leash, tickle him with their trunks and blow air on his back.

Recently, Buddy was faced with a unique challenge when floods forced the elephants to leave the sanctuary. For weeks, Buddy had to keep the elephants together on the streets of Thailand, a testament to his dedication.

To learn more about Elephantstay or to donate to the cause, visit their website.  The flood destroyed the farm where they grow the elephants’ food and it will take over a year to resume production.

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Elephantstay via the Herald Sun.

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