In England dogs may be considered a man’s best friend, but in many other countries they live a pretty challenging existence. In Thailand’s towns and cities stray dogs are just part of the general traffic. The more streetwise dogs are pretty good at avoiding the traffic, but even they have to contend with punishing temperatures, crippling sickness and a basic lack of food and water.

My wife Liza’s job is to promote a beautiful 5-star resort in Phuket called ‘Surin Phuket’. We had the privilege of staying there free of charge in March 2013. The contrast between the sumptuous surroundings of the resort and the distressing state of the local dogs meant I wanted to give them their first taste of love and affection.

We smuggled out handfuls of cold cuts from the hotel breakfast buffet and headed off downtown to put a wag into a doggy tail. The heat is oppressive during the day so all the dogs were tucked away out of sight. Finally we came across a lame and sickly creature that just broke our hearts. Even after showing him the handful of cold cuts it still took us a few minutes to earn his trust and encourage him out of his shady hideaway. The poor thing was in such a bad way I wonder if that was the last decent bit of food he ever ate.

We saved a little of the meat for another dog we spotted across the way and treated him too.

It really is quite distressing, but to end on a slightly humorous note, I did enjoy using my dear wife as bait while I lined up the photos. I’m sure the dogs didn’t really have rabies, but you never know….