RIP Karma

Karma ; June 2010 - October 2011

My beloved Karma died on Wednesday in the most tragic of circumstances and I am completely shattered as at the end of the day I was responsible for protecting her in a country that has many pitfalls. The guilt I am carrying is overwhelming as is the anger towards those ( not family ) that could have prevented this happening with the smallest of actions had they just thought with some commonsense because her death could so easily have been avoided .

Karma was such an amazingly intuitive dog to train and so affectionate to be with that I feel like I may never see a dog like this come my way again. She was my first German Shepherd and I poured all of my spare time into training and loving her and she was a true family member. In a strange way, Karma was also my little link to Australia. I always had a dog back there and just having one here in Cambodia finally made it feel normal for me again and she was someone I could speak to when no-one else could bloody well listen. This is just such a horrible and unnecessary waste of such a promising dog. Even Leakhana,who I thought was mostly ambivalent towards Karma, is completely devastated. I rang my friend Bryan as we had to make some immediate plans and Karma now rests in a shady spot under a Mango and Banana grove down in Takmeo. There are plenty of workers coming and going to keep her company and I can see her whenever I want.

Right now I am researching how I can get another quality German Shepherd because I know I will never own any other type of dog and I know we just got lucky with Karma being available when she was. Despite the expense, I am looking at maybe importing a pure-bed GSD from Malaysia. I don’t know if its too early to even be thinking about it or whether its disrespectful to Karma’s memory or whether I should wait and grieve properly. I just know that if I stop for too long to think about Karma and this whole mess I break down and start crying and maybe getting back on the horse will take away that pain. I try and take some solace knowing that we had only just recently returned from a wonderful week long family holiday together and Karma was at her happiest .

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17 Responses to RIP Karma

  1. Catherine says:

    This is so sad. I feel for you, having myself adopted map in June 2010, a common Khmer street dog. I know you have to grieve and I don’t think it is disrespectful to think now that you want another dog. Go for it. Just love your next dog like you loved and still love Karma: for that new dog’s personality, not for how he or she compares to … Karma. Hang in there. But get another dog fast.

    • Thanks Cat. As you can imagine the whole house is glum. Even Sokhaine and I think she was terrified when she first saw Karma.

      • catherine says:

        narom filled me in on the rest of the story and i think you have been to gentle and nice on the wrongdoer. i would have had his balls, brains, and whatnots on a line hanging out to dry and brittle away in the sun. this has been the opportunity for me to remind them all here that my dog is family, F A M I L Y … they know not to stay on the premisces if they turn out to be responsible for my dog’s death…

        now i know you’re set on a GSD, but have you had a look at this to see how cute common khmer street dogs can be :
        and i can vouch that they can be trained, as i have trained map and am still training him. he is very protective too.
        they are slightly smaller (in height and built) than GSD but if you feed the puppy right, he grows tall (like mine) and slim, not once ounce of fat on him πŸ™‚
        just find a nice local puppy you like (i like them all black with a white star on the chest. but the brown or the white ones are cute too).

  2. Goyzer says:

    Jesus mate , so sorry , that is awful. I reckon Karma would want you to give another dog a great home , go for it, another dog will you make you all feel better and remind you of good times with her.

    I am fuming at somebody for this…..

  3. kristin says:

    justin we are so sorry to hear about karma– your family is in our thoughts.
    lots of love,
    kristin, madu, and lucia

  4. Dave says:

    I agree with Catherine. I know you’ll always honor Karma’s memory.

  5. gavinmac says:

    Sorry to hear this.

  6. LaudJohn says:

    I really feel for you Justin.
    A dog is like a child in so many ways.
    So sorry to read this. Reading your descriptions of Karma here since you got her has been a delight, She seemed to be the perfect dog.
    She will live in your heart which should be joyus knowing that she had one hell of a great life, loved and cared for like so few dogs will ever experience in Cambodia.


    • Thanks John. Truly an amazingly perfect dog at only 18 months and yes…..she was as special to me as my kids. I am a dog person and only a dog person gets it.As someone said once ” I would rather be with my dog than most people I know…..” or something along those lines..

  7. Tina Hunter says:

    Such horrible news. I know how you feel when your dog is like a member of the family.
    I think the only real way to get over it is to get another dog…Glad you buried her in a nice place.
    Take care,
    Tina. x

  8. Sophie Smith says:

    Shit Justin, Just catching up on your blog and heard about Karma. That sucks!!!

    So sorry. My12 year old dog from home just died 4 weeks ago (run over by my Mum backing the trailor up at the farm) and then had to be put down 2 weeks later. I balled my eyes out as I wasn’t there to put her down (5 family members were there) as stuck up here in FNQ! Any moves on another dog? Certainly not to replace Karma but to have another friend around the place??


    • Hey Soph ! Well I fell for you because my dad did the exact same thing on the farm many years ago and we had to put his dog down. I will never forget it. have not made any moves on a new dog here yet cos I am still really raw over Karma. Too many memories everywhere. I suppose Ill know when the time is right. Hope FNQ is treating you right ? Please tell me you are fishing up there in Weipa !????

      • Sophie Smith says:

        Been out for a fish (staying overnight on the boat) which was fun! Caught some cod and barra which I must say was exhilarating. Haven’t been pig hunting yet. Don’t think I will πŸ™‚
        Certainly taking time getting use to being here. We left PP and Asia too soon and we couldn’t get further from the place culturally in Weipa. Just think of the money they say. Was Karma one of Suz’s pups??
        How is work? Hope it’s going well. Where has Grace started school? We miss PP but hoping to come back for a visit March next year for a couple of weeks.
        Where are you for Christmas?


      • Karma was one of Suzie’s pups and the best dog in the ****ing world. I imagine Weipa is kulturally bereft. You must stand out like a sore thumb in Coles. All those chunky white woman and then… πŸ˜‰ Work is busy and Grace now at a new little school here. Xmas ? We are buddhists mate…..

  9. Sophie Smith says:

    Thought it was from Suz’s dog. Ha ha, you certainly are right, I don’t fit in here. I don’t swear every second word, I don’t pig hunt, I don’t own a quad bike, I don’t own a boat (for fishing), and I don’t drink XXXX! A friend who lives in Cairns and does some work in Weipa was walking through the aisles of the supermarket here when a lady came up to her and said “You’re not from round here are you luv?”. My friend said no she wasn’t and how did you know. The lady replied “Caus you walk too fast through the aisles to be from round here”.
    Ha ha, sorry about the Christmas thing. Do Buddhists have a holiday on Christmas day? πŸ˜‰

    • I swear every second word, I pig hunt, I don’t own a quad bike but id like too, I used to own a boat (for fishing), and I drink XXXX! I should move there. I was joking about the Xmas. Our place looks like a winter wonderland πŸ˜‰

  10. Sophie Smith says:

    ha ha. You’d LOVE it here. Good life style, people don’t work too hard but earn shit loads. Thank you very much Rio Tinto πŸ˜‰ Plus most households own a minimum of 2 dogs xx

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