The Princess Tails

The Musings of Zena, a Tibetan Terrier sharing her life and wisdom with Raffles, a Standard Poodle

The Princess Looks Back – Part Two


You may remember that last time we talked about the first furpets The Help had when she left home.

At that point The Boss came along and life began to change a little bit. You may remember that they went away for a year leaving Jason with a friend and Chaucer with family.

Here is where they went:



First they went to live in Bangladesh and then they moved to Afghanistan. They didn’t getting any furpals in Bangladesh, unless you can count the huge cockroaches which The Help certainly didn’t want in the house!

They knew they were only going to live in Kabul for a year so they didn’t intend to get any pets. The Boss really didn’t know The Help that well if he thought that was going to work!

Walking past a flower shop one day she saw a parrot in a tiny cage. For some reason she felt so sorry for the parrot and asked the man if it was for sale, he shrugged and named a price which didn’t seem a lot to The Help but which she learnt later was about ten times the price of parrots in the market nearby!

The main difference was however, as she told The Boss, was that their parrot was healthy and didn’t die after a week which tended to happen to those bought at the market. They named him Mango and after a great deal of patience they encouraged Mango out of his tiny cage and on discovering his wings were clipped, they bought a stand for him to live on.

Mango used to love The Boss, he liked riding on his shoulder and sharing his bacon and porridge for breakfast. For some reason he used to just sit on his stand and give the death glare to The Help which she thought was very ungrateful of him considering she had rescued him!

One day when The Boss was seeing if Mango would like some fresh air in the garden, the bird shocked The Boss by spreading his wings and flying a few metres. Unfortunately this took him over the wall into the neighbour’s garden. The Boss ran to the wall and saw Mango come to rest inches away from the neighbours boxer dog. Fortunately the dog was so shocked and a little elderly so The Boss was able to sprint around and into the garden and rescue Mango before it got messy!

One night they were invited over to a friends house and told that they had a present. The Help was intrigued, her birthday wasn’t for weeks. When they arrived there they were horrified to be presented with a puppy. Don’t get me wrong, The Help fell in love instantly with this puppy, but they knew they weren’t staying in Kabul very long and they couldn’t take him back to the UK. America didn’t have the tight quarantine regulations that the UK had. This family already had an Afghan hound who wasn’t too happy to have this puppy in the house so they were anxious to find another home for him.

What were the chances The Help wasn't going home with this puppy?

What were the chances The Help wasn’t going home with this puppy?

They were told the story. The couple had been driving through Kabul when they saw this small white puppy running across the road and just miss being hit by a car. They stopped and picked it up. They looked to see if they could see any evidence of it’s mother or anyone who might be searching for it but could see no-one. So they had no choice but to take it home.

The Help and The Boss listened to the story and applauded the family for rescuing the dog but explained the many reasons why they just couldn’t take him. Their decision was accepted and they sat outside in the garden nibbling on crackers and watching the two kids pull the puppy, drop the puppy, dump the puppy in a vat of water and generally do things that should never be done to a little fellow. Did the parents let their kids run riot on purpose? We shall never know but the outcome was that after watching this for half an hour they looked at each other and knew they couldn’t leave this little guy, they had to take him home. So they did.

They called him Pashtu and he quickly grew into a loving, bright and special pal.

Pashtu in the garden

Pashtu in the garden


When they first got him he was still only lapping, within a week or so he began to chew and from then on he thrived. The local people referred to him as a ‘ditch’ dog. I suppose our equivalent of a mongrel. He was gorgeous apparently (although I am sure he couldn’t have been as wonderful as me!). He was a little like a Maremma.

At six months he resembled a Maremma

At six months he resembled a Maremma

Being an only furball he had a lot of toys. During the winter there was a lot of snow on the ground which didn’t bother Pashtu, he was made for snow with a thick double coat and hairy pads to grip the ice.

Every morning in the winter he would go out and dig up his toys. He would carry them to the middle of the garden and then check that no-one was watching. Then he would take each one and bury them in a new place to be dug up the next day!

Don't you watch where I put these!

Don’t you watch where I put these!

He would drive out on the weekends with The Help and it caused people endless amusement to see a dog in the car! Pashtu would sit up like a king, sometimes in the front, sometimes in the back.


The cold never really bothered him but he used to like to sit with The Help close to their one paraffin heater at night. One night The Boss commented on the funny smell in the room. They looked around and down and suddenly realised that Pashtu’s beautiful white feathery tail was smouldering!! It smelt awful. Fortunately they were able to stop it burning before he realised what was happening or felt any discomfort. He had a tiny brown patch in his tail for a few weeks as a reminder.

As a tiny puppy he used to love to steal the freshly washed laundry. One day The Help came back into their apartment after shopping and Pashtu shot out of the door, one of her freshly washed bras in his mouth. She chased him up the street and then suddenly became aware of people, mostly men, looking after her in amazement. Recalling that she was in an Islamic country she decided that Pashtu would have to return by himself with or without the bra. As soon as he realised she was no longer playing he returned, still with the bra in his mouth.

She put the laundry away as soon as it was done after that.

The Boss and Pashtu enjoying the snow

The Boss and Pashtu enjoying the snow

As the time came closer for them to leave it became obvious that The Help was struggling with having to leave Pashtu. They discussed with an Afghan friend the possibility of taking Pashtu home to the UK despite the quarantine issues. They were advised against it. At that time the Afghan government had become sensitive about people exporting their Afghan Hounds and he also said that he had known of animals exported without any water in their cages so that they died in transit.

None of the information they received was hopeful so they turned their attention to finding a home for him within the International community of Kabul. They found an American family who were looking for a dog. They were diplomats and had a small son who Pashtu seemed to get on with. They would be able to take him to America with him when they left. It broke The Help’s heart but she felt it was the best chance for Pashtu. She hoped he would bond with the boy and then return to the States.

Mango went to an American family too and the daughter was thrilled to have him. They had bought many a bird from the local market only to have them die and the young girl was so happy to finally have a healthy parrot.

The Boss & The Help left Afghanistan only a couple of weeks before violence erupted. As soon as The Help arrived home she wrote to the American family to find out how they were, but actually to find out how Pashtu was. The news was not what she wanted to hear.

Pashtu had run away. He didn’t have time to bond with the family before he slipped out of the gates. We have no way of knowing what happened to him. The country was never to be the same again.

Did Pashtu find his way back to their little house and did one of the Afghans who knew him take him home? The Help hopes so.

Her heart broke a little leaving Pashtu behind and when she heard he was lost she was devastated.

By now he is at the Rainbow Bridge and is one very special furball that she is hoping to see again one day.

In memory of Pashtu

In memory of Pashtu

With love from Zena, the emotional Princess

Author: Zena

I am The Princess (aka Zena), niece of Zac the All Black and awesome Tibetan Terrier who took me in when I was just a six week pup and tried to teach me all he knew. When I was six and he was eight, Zac crossed over the rainbow bridge and all of a sudden I was alone. I could no longer be the ditzy, happy-go-lucky pup that I had been. This is a diary of how one Princess managed when the world turned real.

38 thoughts on “The Princess Looks Back – Part Two

  1. The bureaucrats should be left in the war zone and the animals should come home to peace.

  2. Ok…we’re all having a little a cry now.
    Wally & Sammy

  3. This is so sad but sweet, god bless you guys for taking him in and him having a wonderful life with you. Pashtu is so beautiful. I know you will all be reunited again. Loved the story *tear xoxoxo kirby and leah

  4. Oh, Zena, we’re emotional now too.. 😦

  5. Oh my word, that is so incredibly sad. What a gorgeous dog and how hard to have to leave him behind. You really have, however, lead an incredibly interesting life and, by the looks of it, you were living there to help the children. I take my hat off to you!

    • Well spotted re:Save the Children!! Yes, it was incredibly hard and he is one of the ‘specials’ that I still still think about a lot. I think he and Zac would have got on very well together!

  6. Oh dear, you’ve made our Mummy well up. That’s so sad. *hugs* to The Help for helping him anyway!

    Nibbles, Nutty, Buddy & Basil

    ps. whee have got Mummy to start on creating something about the pets she has had.

  7. Oh Zena what a sad story – it had to be heartbreaking for your humans to have to leave Pashtu and Mango behind but just think how lucky they both were even for a little while to know such love and safety. I’m sure Pashtu keeps an eye on all of you from the Bridge…’s a comfort to know “those who came before us” are always with us waiting to join them one day. Thanks for sharing the story…..

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

  8. Oh Zena, this one broke my heart.

  9. That’s sad, Pashtu looks lovely. It’s also very sad about all the parrots from the market being unhealthy – poor things.

    • Yes, Pashtu was bright and beautiful and you are right about the market parrots. It was sad. They had lots of caged birds which The Help hated seeing, finches etc., she would have liked to have set them all free! At least she managed to give Mango a home and get him out of the tiny cage.

  10. That’s a bummer, I can’t imagine having to leave the fur beast behind.
    Really sad indeed.
    Pashtu looks like Clowie.

    • Yes, he does look a bit like Clowie. I think looking back, The Help has always liked ‘fluffy’ dogs! Today there is an animal shelter in Kabul taking dogs left behind, often by the military. There are some great stories of Americans and British soldiers being able to take dogs ‘home’ on the military planes. Wish we’d had that option.

  11. What a gorgeous mixture of dog Pashtu was. An incredible chance for The Help and The Boss to spend time in Afghanistan during peaceful times. Always a great sadness to leave behind any animal πŸ˜‰

  12. Thanks for sharing this memory with me. I feel sorry for Pashtu and some tears were rolling … but that’s life and sometimes things happen to us. I’m verry happy your mom bought Mango – and I’m also happy the neighbors Boxer was elder, and your Boss is still complete without missing parts.

  13. My mommy is a little sad now about Pashtu, but she is happy that your humans gave him such a good life . . . and that he gave them so much joy. On a happier note, she is also just fascinated by the adventures that your humans have had. I have to tell you, Zena, that compared to your humans, my humans are a pretty dull pair. πŸ˜‰

  14. Tears rolling, it must have broken your heart to leave Pashtu, So sad what happened but as Easy said that’s life sometimes.. xx00xxx

    Mollie and Alfie

    • It did break the heart and I’ve since realised that he has always been my ideal dog – that’s probably why Zac was so special to me, they had similar characters. Independent, fun, loyal, loving, just a little naughty (but not too much really) and of course fluffy!!

  15. That is so so sad, I kinda hoped it would end well! Hugs

  16. Oh that’s so sad:-( I hope he found another home and led a full and happy life

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