Celebration of RSPCA dogs to mark Nepalese Tihar Festival

Asian communities celebrate Gods, humans and animals.

Each year in Nepal – and in Nepalese communities around the world – dogs are celebrated with the Tihar Festival. Tihal means festival of lights, and this year the RSPCA is hoping that the light will fall on some of their residents.

The five-day Tihar is observed by Hindus, and at this special time they worship their Gods as well as humans and animals. For Gorkhas, Tihar represents the divine attachment between people and other animals. This year the festival begins on 27th October.

The first day of Tihar is dedicated to the crow. The crow symbolises grief, and sweets and dishes of food are put on house rooves as offerings to keep grief and death away from the home. The third day sees a celebration of the cow, which stands for prosperity and wealth. The animals are fed best quality grass and adorned with garlands.

The second day is devoted to dogs and the special partnership which has grown between humans and their four-legged companions. On this day dogs are decorated with garlands and fed the tastiest food.

In the spirit of Tihar, some of the RSPCA’s dogs who are waiting for their forever home have been participating in the cultural and religious celebrations.

Barney came in to the RSPCA’s Blackberry Farm shelter as a welfare concern. Staff have been celebrating Barney as part of Tihar, and would love to see this one-year-old crossbreed in a loving forever home. Although he has been rehomed once, he was returned to the centre, and is now once more waiting for experienced owners who will be able to supply him with the time, love and training he needs. Barney, who needs to be shown that the world is not a scary place, could live with older children, or with a calm female dog, but not with cats. Any new owner would need to be able to spend most of the day with Barney.

A fun, energetic and playful crossbreed, Woody is full of life, and needs a new home which can support him and continue his training. Woody is sweet and bouncy, and would do well in a home with older children, without cats, but a calm female dog could be a good companion for him. In the right home, with an owner who can help Woody grow and learn, he will blossom into a wonderful family pet.

Tyson is a five-year-old Rottweiler cross who came into the RSPCA’s care as a welfare concern. He has lost one eye but is coping very well. A big softie, he would be a wonderful companion. A house with older children could make Tyson a great new home, but not one with cats. He is a little overweight, and his diet will need supervision, but with plenty of walks – which he enjoys – he should be back to a healthy weight very soon. Tyson will thrive on having a family to give him lots of affection and attention.

Bow is a Staffordshie Bull Terrier who came into the RSPCA’s care with his friend Billy, as they were not being adequately cared for. Bow is a very lively nine-year-old who is playful and relishes being with people. She has learned some basic commands, but would benefit from further training. Bow has mixed well with other dogs at the centre, but would not live happily with cats. A home with older children, who could help train her and keep her company would be great. Bow deserves a home which appreciates her.

If you are interested in meeting any of the dogs featured, call Blackberry Farm on 0300 123 0752, or for more information visit www.rspca.org.uk/findapet