"Good boy" I said, smiling to the dog we'd named Houdini as he stared back at me, his eyes wide with the belief that there were digestive biscuits in my rucksack.
He was right.
We were deep into the Himalaya and four and a half thousand metres further toward the cosmos than our regular habitat of a ground floor flat in South London. Houdini had guided us, unasked, on a day long hike from our lodgings at the bottom of the mountain to the top and back again, all for the price of a few head scratches and the odd biscuit. "Tourist dog!" the teahouse owner exclaimed when we told him of Houdini. Apparently this diligent Himalayan hound shepherds a new companion on their ascent to the summit each day, a good boy indeed. Or as we later learned in Nepali, Rāmrō Kēṭā.
This series celebrates the ownerless dogs of Nepal, the Houdini's, the strays, the resourceful urbanites and the noble mountain dwellers.