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Diary of an expedition dog 2015-2017

7 a.m. in Ulan Bator / Diary of an expedition dog

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Me in the Mongolian Gobi desert.

(Photos of the diary entry can be found at the end of the text).


I love strolling through the streets of Ulan Bator, U.B. with Tanja at 7 o’clock in the morning. There are few cars. The sky is still a little red and there are hardly any people out and about. Here, too, we found a park where it’s nice to walk and as far as the world of smells in this city is concerned, I can only call it limitless. Since I no longer only get dog food and food mixed especially for me, my sniffing world has also expanded.

Not every corner in U.B. is relaxed at 7:00 in the morning. A few days ago we were at Gandan Monastery. It’s wonderfully fresh early in the morning and the atmosphere is great. We are already on our way back home when suddenly everything happens very quickly. A dog comes at me with bared teeth, doesn’t hesitate and bites me directly in the tail. Tanja throws a stone at him as he runs towards us, but he doesn’t seem to feel anything. Tanja yells at him. He seems briefly irritated. But then retreats with a huge ball of my hair in its mouth, only to attack again. Tanja kicks him with her foot so she can keep him at a distance. Two Mongolian men join them and fire stones at the attacker. One of the two men chases the biting dog until it has disappeared around the next corner. Tanja stands next to me with her pepper spray unlocked and takes a look at my backside. “It’s okay, big guy, he just got your feathers,” she reassures me. We would like to thank the men.

Guys, I’m glad to be back in our yurt above the rooftops of U.B.. After a hearty breakfast, I sleep the sleep of the just. Later we learn that the yurt area where we live here in U.B. is home to many dogs. They roam around and sometimes cause trouble. However, the colleagues out there are much better off than the guard dog here in our accommodation. The poor guy lives on a 50 cm short chain. He never gets away from it. One of the saddest dog lives you can imagine.

On a Saturday afternoon, we want to take the usual route to the park. It’s market day and quite a crowd. I walk very close to Tanja and hear in one go; “Jon, Jon, Jon!” That means wolf in Mongolian. They actually think I’m a wolf. That’s fine with me. Suddenly a wild crowd of children races after us. They harass us and shout loudly. Tanja turns around in a flash, forms a mouth with her right hand and lets it bite into her left arm. “Hatza, hatza!” (bites, bites) she shouts loudly. The children jump backwards in horror. We now leave the market as quickly as possible.

If we don’t go for a walk, I lie at Denis’ feet. He writes down all our experiences and I enjoy life in a yurt. When it gets late in the afternoon, my favorite game begins. My humans hide my ball between the yurts on the roof and I am allowed to search for it. The nights are pleasantly cool and when I fall asleep, the barking of the dogs from the district reaches my ears and I dream about the experiences of the past few days.

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