PLEASE READ THIS HEART RENDING STORY OUR HEARTS GO OUT TO SENTI AND MANY THANKS TO YVONNE FOR ALLOWING US TO SHARE THIS HEART BREAKING STORY. I'm very happy his story is going to be told, thank you! Best regards, Yvonne *A story about a dog called Senti (**01.03.2014 - 30.11.2017).* I travelled to India in May 2015, and to Rishikesh in the Himalayan foothills in September 2015. It was my first visit to India, I planned to stay a year, travelling, trekking and taking yoga and other courses. However, Rishikesh has a huge street dog population, and, despite never having had a dog in my life (I always had cats and saw myself as a 'cat person'), as an animal lover I felt an overwhelming urge to help them. I began feeding all of the dogs in a certain part of the village, and after finding several also had broken bones or were sick, managed to make contact with the government vet for the area to arrange treatments for them. After approximately a week of this, I came across a dog lying in a side road who I thought was dead. He was covered with flies with huge maggot filled holes all over his body. He was in fact alive, and the vet and I tried treating him in the street for several days ... however the flies left fresh eggs every time his wounds were cleaned and the only solution was to take him inside. My hotel would not allow a dog, and nor would any of the other hotels I contacted, so I had to rent a room in a house nearby. This was a local person's house, and I was not allowed to stay there myself as a permit is required to provide accommodation to foreigners. He was very weak and unable to eat, drink or move. I spent my days travelling backwards and forwards from my hotel to this room, cleaning his wounds, spoon feeding him water and yoghurt, and clearing up pees and poos. After three or four days he was able to stand to eat and drink, and to take the few steps outside to relieve himself. After a week he could walk a little further and I bought him a collar and lead. It was clear he had never been on a lead before, and in the beginning he was extremely resistant. He still had to be kept inside most of the time because of the flies. After two weeks he was much stronger and I started taking him for proper walks. This was another steep learning curve for both of us. After a month, although recovering well, it was clear he would be unable to survive alone, and I finally found a hotel where he could stay with me. We spent most of our days and nights together, and I realised I couldn't just put him back on the streets. I asked everyone I met, locals and foreigners, if they would adopt him, but no one was interested and I began the process I would need to follow if I had to bring him back to England, microchipping, rabies vaccination, blood titre testing. Meanwhile by December 2015 we had moved into an apartment where we had more space, and in April 2016 we travelled to the high Himalayas and trekked throughout the mountains together. This was an amazing time for both of us and we bonded deeply. We often met other Tibetan Mastiffs on this journey. The dog had not been particularly interested in interacting with other street dogs in Rishikesh, but he loved communicating and interacting with all the Tibetan Mastiffs we came across. I also discovered from the vet that he had had a family. He was born on a farm in the high Himalayas in March 2014, but the farmer brought him down to Rishikesh in the Himalayan foothills to sell as a puppy. He was bought by a wealthy local family, who owned hotels and restaurants. However, he liked roaming the village and wouldn't eat the food they fed him (rice with spicey vegetarian dal), and the climate was much too hot for him, causing him to develop skin diseases which they left untreated. Eventually they refused to let him back into their compound. The family's neighbours complained as the dog had become very weak and spent all day lying in the road outside their home, dirty, smelling, covered with flies. His family dragged him off the road and tied him under a bush, with a muzzle on his mouth so he couldn't bark, and left him to die. Fortunately another neighbour saw him, untied him, and moved him under a tree a few hundred feet away. This was where I found him. His name had been Sentro and I called him Senti. I was told he was a Bhutia dog, but 'Bhutia' means 'from Tibet' and he was a Tibetan Mastiff. We flew back to London in May 2016 and I took him to a vet. His skin condition had remained undiagnosed in India, as there were no veterinary testing facilities in our area - we had simply used antibiotics to prevent further infection, shaved off his fur, and soothed his body with calming lotions. Skin scrapings in the UK showed he had generalised demodectic mange, and he was treated with Nexgard Spectra. Unfortunately, the UK vet didn't suggest a basic medical screening to check his overall health despite his difficult start to life. Had this been carried out, the ending to his story might have been different. He seemed to be doing well. He gained weight, stabilising at 30kgs, and his coat grew back in, full and shiney. He had a beautiful character, and was very clever and very gentle. I have a 14 year old cat, and he understood that the three of us lived together, and that my flat was a home for us all. Once he understood this cat was a friend, he stopped trying to bark at or chase other cats we saw in the street too. Although aware of them, he ignored them. He was my first dog, and I sometimes worried because he didn't display what I had always considered to be typical 'dog' behaviour. When I read about the temperament of Tibetan Mastiffs however, I realised he was simply true to his breed. He recognised his majesty; he was supremely self confident without being aloof. He knew he didn't need to jump up when I came home, or fawn over me, that he was an equal, loved for who he was, not for what he did or didn't do. His only concession was to angle his head whenever he lay down, so that it faced in my direction. He loved the park, and got very excited every time we were ready to go. Our walks were one and a half to two hours long, the same time every morning, and he would always be first out of the door, racing down the driveway to the street, dragging me behind him on his lead. I don't have a car so we walked there, and he liked to choose a slightly different way every day. His favorite route was one we didn't take often, a lengthy detour which (surprisingly!) passed a Kentucky Fried Chicken type establishment. I had to be very alert to prevent him snatching up bones from the pavement. He didn't play ball or fetch. There was a period of a few weeks when he became interested in tug of war type games, but this subsided and what he liked best was to wander around at his own pace, sometimes walking, sometimes trotting, sometimes running, sniffing and marking, greeting fellow animals, satisfying his guardian instincts. He knew most of the other dogs who walked in the park, and he had friends. He was never aggressive. He was occasionally attacked by another animal, but he never retaliated. He also knew which other owners carried treats, and he tried to interact with them. There was a professional dog walker, Paul who he particularly liked, and we sometimes walked with Paul and the dogs he was looking after. Other dog walkers joked that I didn't walk Senti, Senti walked me because, although we did follow a basic route, I let him choose the exact trails we went down and the speed. I saw the park as 'his time'. He was always off leash and recall was difficult until I realised his weak point - chicken and ham pieces. Once he understood I had a bag full of freshly cooked chicken or ham slices in my pocket every morning, no matter what he was doing, within minutes of calling his name and shaking the plastic bag they were in he would come loping hopefully over. Perhaps because he had nearly starved in India, he loved his food. After his meal he would choose one of three treat types (chewy chicken strip, chicken twist or chicken calcium bone) and carry this carefully out to the garden in his mouth to chew. He always alternated his treats, never choosing the same one twice in succession. He loved the garden, and he liked to lie in the sun if it was not too hot, and to roll in the frost in the early mornings in autumn. He would have liked to play in the snow as he was born in the Himalayas, but we didn't have snow in London last winter. He dug holes, sometimes very deep ones. He once dug a huge water hole in the park and drank out of it for weeks. He didn't like noisy machines, he would go outside if I used a vacuum cleaner and he was terrified the one time I tried to dry his coat with a hair drier. When he first arrived in England he often looked up into the sky every time a plane flew over, but he eventually got used to this sound. His flight from Delhi to London must have been incredibly stressful for him. He had to travel in cargo, but it was the only way he could have a home. He hated having a bath or shower, the vet recommended I washed him weekly because of his skin condition but it wasn't possible. He shed his undercoat in early summer and he seemed to enjoy being brushed and combed. Everybody said he was a very handsome young man. The vet recommended a Lepto4 vaccination for leptospirosis, and Senti had this on November 9. However on November 25 he stopped eating and drinking, didn't want to go for his walk, and began vomiting. I thought this was something which would pass, and was not especially concerned. However, when he hadn't improved after several days we visited a vet who gave Senti an injection to stop nausea and sent us home. He deteriorated further the same afternoon, and his breathing became noisy. We went to an emergency clinic with hospital facilities and the vet here diagnosed acute kidney failure (with the vomiting, anorexia and lethargy secondary) and severe dehydration. He was placed on a drip overnight but died the next morning, November 30. I was with him, he died 15 minutes after I arrived. The vet is unsure of the cause of the kidney failure. He was only three and a half, not fully grown. I wonder if he had compromised kidney function as a result of his earlier life and the vaccination tipped his blood toxicity over the edge. Any diagnoses would be welcome. I feel lost without him. After everything he went through, I wanted to protect him and keep him safe, help him have a long and happy life, but I couldn't do it. SLEEP WELL SENTI RUN FREE OVER RAINBOW BRIDGE.