My mum’s side of the family comes from the great Himalayas. Pauri Garhwal to be specific. The Chowfins, after whom the village ‘Cheenakhet’ has been named (field of the Chinaman–literally), came to be after their Chinese ancestors migrated to Pauri and settled there in the 1800s.
And to this day the Chowfins live there. And so do their dogs.
Locally known as Bhutia and argued by many as Tibetan mastiffs, I am still not clear on what to really call them. But each family in Pauri has at least one of these great beasts.
Growing up they have been a special part of my summer holidays, a new member added each time I would go there; few others subtracted after leopards took them away.
Interestingly they have always been named after booze or beverage: there was Soda, Limca, Tosca, Fenny, Brandy…you get the gist.
Anyway, say hi to Bella.