This is Kali, and before you go searching about what kind of dog she is, I’ll just tell you this: She is a Nepali kukur– a Nepalese dog.
“Kukur” means dog in Nepali, and Kali is what we would call a village dog or what I have sometimes called a “nonbreed dog.”
What I mean by that is that her ancestors were never part of any kind of closed registry breed, but these village dogs were a source for all the breed diversity we have today.
There is some debate as to whether this type represents the original dog. I tend to think the original type was more or less something like a laika or a laika with wolf ancestry. That’s because the bulk of the evidence suggests that dogs were domesticated before there were ever villages or agriculture.
I think the village dog is the transition between the hunting wolfy spitz and the modern breed dogs. Dogs that became distinct from wolves were more like laikas, but as we came rely upon dogs less and less for protein and fur procurement, the village-type dog had a chance to evolve.
We don’t know about Kali’s exact ancestry. We just know that she was rescued from a bad case of mange and emaciation. She was born in the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu, and when she was discovered, she was nearly hairless. She was taken to the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre (KAT Centre), where she was treated for her conditions.
And she met her best friend, Simona Savoldelli. Simona is the one who rescued little Kali from the temple.
And it is with Simona she now lives.
Not in Nepal, but in the wilds of the Swiss Canton of Graubünden.
Simona writes about the adventures she has with Kali on her blog, “A Dog in the Mountains,” and she made this lovely video about Kali, who has been trained to retrieve dummies, assist in wilderness SAR, and even do a bit of sled-pulling:
Kali is proof that a dog doesn’t have to be of a specific breed to be exceedingly beautiful. Svelte bodied with wolf-colored fur, expressive floppy ears, and brown eyes that reflect a sort of deep and noble intellect, Kali is having a wonderful life in Switzerland.
She is a good dog, and you can tell from her owner’s video that she means the world to her.
Yesterday was Kali’s third anniversary of arriving in Switzerland. With such diverse ancestry, Kali could easily experience another 15 anniversaries.
She is a good dog who found the right person.