Dawa: The Story of a Stray Dog in Bhutan

(37 reviews)

Published In: 2016
ISBN: 99936 644 0 5
No. of Pages: 112
Nu. 399.00

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Book Overview

Dawa looks like just another scruffy Thimphu street dog, but don't be fooled: he understand Dzongkaha, he has an urge to see the world and his bigger-than-normal brain is matched only by his compassionate heart. His is an extraordinary life; follow it from its tragic beginnings, to his ascension as the legendary Leader of Howling in Thimphu, to the miracle that saves him. Dawa's story will appeal to all who have experienced life's rigors - but have never given up hope on the possibilities.

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Customer Reviews (37)

by Sangay wangchuk (July 25, 2022)

9 Reviews

I had a privilege to read this book several times when I was in grade 9. From the first chapter, it took my heart out realizing brutality of human being. I have had poured out enough emotions to Dawa that challenge his ups and down's life. We can have enough bouquets and brickbats on this novel but more of a realization and introspection. With greediness, we hardly think of others.

by Tashi Dorji (January 24, 2022)

2 Reviews

Made our days in class 9. Simply love this.

by Phub Dorji (January 07, 2022)

2 Reviews

It's great story of a dog with the reality of life and Impermanence..

by Karma Yuden (December 06, 2021)

5 Reviews

This book was indeed a great book to be taught during the school days. Written beautifully.

by Karma (October 29, 2021)

8 Reviews

I remember going through these pages with my friends back in my school days...it was a wonderful books that me and my friends re-read it again and again.

by Nima Doctor (September 11, 2021)

13 Reviews

A novel by Bhutanese I read for the first time in my school days. And a story of an abnormal dog who travels from very east to west of Bhutan who experiences humiliation, bullying, rejection and ill-treatment by human. It's a display of how an animal (Dawa, a stray dog) feels as he encounters with different kinds of people, and also of same species. Since the day I read this novel, I committed to be kind to animals. Therefore, I recommend everyone to read this story to get a story of an animal, or learn from an animal.Happy reading.

by Tshering Wangchuk (August 07, 2021)

7 Reviews

You know, the book just wow! Encouraging all to read this book and know why wow!

by Kelzang (August 06, 2021)

2 Reviews

I love this so much. I had a fun English teacher who would deliberately explain each and every chapter, not missing his opinion on people being stupid. For example, one dog said to dawa koto where he is heading. Ofcourse,  theres only one path, where the answer is obvious lol. It was I think when he was heading to Bumthang. Aw, my English teacher made this story fun and I never get tired to read it again. I hope, someday, I will pick this book again, revise the memories that once made me smile.

by Samten Thinley (July 25, 2021)

3 Reviews

Enjoyed the book as part of our English Literature Syllabus. Travelled several parts of Bhutan through the eyes of the stray Dog - DAWA. HOPE, as the story portrays, is a miracle.

Happy Reading.

by Choeing Lhazin (July 07, 2021)

6 Reviews

I have traveled half of Bhutan through life of Dawa Koto. I wish I could unread this book so that when i read this book again, I could experience the journey from the very start.

by Sonam Choki (June 18, 2021)

10 Reviews

Dawa; The stray dog in Bhutan is a prescribed text for high school students in Bhutan since 2004.

Because of his misshaped body, other dogs called him koto (crooked). Thats when he decided to name himself Dawa Koto. Though he had a devastating origin he raised himself to become the legendary leader of howling in Thimphu.

Through the eyes of this yellow-brown scruffy dog, the readers will get a glimpse of Bhutan and its society. I bet the book will force you to smile and at the same time shed tears. It is likely to help you see yourself in Dawa. And it is certain to attract those who have gone through harshness in life’s but have never given up hope.

by Sonam kiba (June 16, 2021)

5 Reviews

Whenever I see a dog, it reminds me of Dawa. This book teaches us to value and to respect animals and all sentient beings. His journey is incredible.
This story has the ability to boost our imagination way beyond our expectations.
So let us all enjoy the beautiful journey to a beautiful imagination.

by rstinpece (June 01, 2021)

3 Reviews

Its has the perfect blend of events which allow us to connect with this story at the same time it also gently remind us of our cultures, and belief throught Dawa.Many times while going throught the story we tend to see so many aspect of bhutan before there was this full blown development in the country.Highly recommended.

by Tshewang Tobden (May 22, 2021)

8 Reviews

One of my favorite books from a Bhutanese author. Of course I read it as a part our curriculum in high school like most people but I have re-read it two times after I completed college because it is that good.
The author gives us a different perspective to life with this book while also reminding us that even if dogs, or any other animal for that matter, have lives of their own, we are all connected to one another; humans and animals. It is because our past karma that we are who we are or where we are. I think the message that the author is trying to pass on to her readers is that just like Dawa, we have no control over where or under what circumstances we are born. The things we go through in life, the people we meet that depends on the Karma of our past life. But even with all the adversaries life throws at us we must believe in ourselves, be open to learning new things, and take risks to better our lives. It is in our hands to change our destiny and accumulate better karma for our next lives.
Even though from the outside we see that this is a story of a stray dog who is unique, talented and intelligent, we can also see that his life can be paralleled to that of a human. He is born under difficult circumstances and has an abnormal body, even though he is intelligent and has a talent at howling and understanding human language. He learns travels to different places and meets other characters. Catches mange and searches for a solution and takes another journey believing that he can be cured and eventually gets cured and travels back and enjoys the remainder of his life. Us humans are the same, all of us are born under different circumstances. We may or may not have unique talents, bodily deformities or a "big brain". But we all go through ups and downs that life throws at us. We will meet others along our journey, some who help us, some who distract us and some just passing by. And even if we are hit really hard by an obstacle like Dawa we can overcome it by having faith in ourselves and believing that the obstacle can be overcome and working towards it and towards achieving any other goals we have in life. And if we work hard towards our goal, then one day we can also look back our lives under the warm sun and smile and be content of where we are.
Just like the author's other book, 'The Circle of Karma' this story is deeply rooted in our belief of Karma. I think it is perfect as a school textbook because it teaches students many life lessons as well as about the cause and effects of our actions all the while keeping the readers entertained and hooked to the story with the peculiar protagonist and the various characters.
P.S. I loved enacting scenes from the story as part of the class.

by Tashi Dendup (April 04, 2021)

8 Reviews

Now who hasn't read this? When I ask youngsters to name the novels they've read, the non-readers proudly say, "DAWA". I read it one evening in 2007 at my relative's house in Dagana. I was headed for my school as a teacher apprentice the next morning. So I needed to sleep early but this book kept me wide awake through the night. One reason also is because the book belonged to them and I knew I cannot take it. So I made sure I completed it before I left. Perhaps, it is this book that gave birth to my reading habits; I just came out of high school then as a not-so-much-of-a-reader. In my eight-month-long stay in a far off rural school, cut out from the rest of the world, I immersed myself in books and travelled the world through them. What a memory!

by Dristi Sharma (April 02, 2021)

6 Reviews

Dawa: The story of a stray dog in Bhutan is a must read. The emotional and knowledgeable journey of Dawa captured the way people and dogs cohabitate and gave us an example of the deep essence of our country. Highly recommended!

by Pema Yangchen (March 30, 2021)

6 Reviews

Dawa (the story of a dog in Bhutan) which is publish in 2004 by Kezang Choden
summery: its about the journey of a stray dog who has a unique voice compared to other dogs .He goes to Thimphu from Paro and even there he becomes the leader of howling because of his unique voice
He understands most of the human language because he was reputed translator in his previous life .
He gets the disease call Mange and to cure this he goes to Bumthang in Gyelong Ma Pelmo's cave hearing that she had also cure her mange disease from there. He reaches there and cures his disease .
Them : Do what best you can do

by anitarai (December 10, 2020)

1 Reviews

Tittle: A sorty about stary dog .

Author : Kunzng Choden

Published in :2004


Dawa is brown dog who lived in Thimphu.
He was bron in cold Dececember night , his mother and shibbling were poistiont by humqn beings, and all his family died .
He was from Paro One day Molay an old dog told Dawa about Thimphu .She mancetion the Thimphu as dream place for all the dogs .She also show a ways to Thimphu for Dawa , jus than after a month Dawa reach to Thimphu town .where he was appionted as a leadre of howling pack .After that he made Dampa who changes the life of Dawa .He taught Dawa in many ways than he came to know about the underdog .Which made Dawa so worried being a leader .whlie Dawa was going around the Thimphu town he made with many dogs whos same like him.In that place he gets the manch throught one femal dog by having phsyal contact which she was suffering from manch.
After Dawa gets manch it was very difficult him to contro thisl manch .so, there was no any way to qure this manch , while he gots news about gelong Ma Pelmo how she and cure her manch thorougt mediatationg.So,Dawa decide to jounery towards the thowadrak .Finally he reach in that palace where gelong Ma Pelmo cure her manch Dawa stay there manys years , after cure his manch he return back Thimphu where he left his friends .Day after day Dawa sits on the edeg of the Changankha hilltop, looking down the Thimphu town .

Theme: adversity and kindness, along with a particullar worldview found among Bhuddist societiesy .

by Deki (December 09, 2020)

1 Reviews

It is a story of stray dog named Daw who gains his unique voice from his doomed family. He understand Dzongkha and other languages as he was a excellent and well reputed translator in his previous birth. He has urge to see world therefore he starts his journey but unfortunately he gets chronic disease mange so in order to cure his disease he start his journey to Bumthang to get cure his disease. This novel teaches us that we will experience life rigors but we should never give up our hope as hope is a solace.

by Norbu Ghalley (December 09, 2020)

1 Reviews

This novel mainly talks about how a poor stray dog had faught against the disease mange and won over the disease, and this novel talks about the journey of of Dawa towards Bumthang to cure his disease. This novel starts with a stray dog who even don't have a house to live but ends with his adventurous journey that he had made while going to Bumthang. So lastly, this novel teaches us how to cope up with the situations and never give up even when the situation or a conflict go worst.

by Dawa Dema Gurung (December 09, 2020)

2 Reviews

This novel mainly tells the story of a dog called Dawa and the journey of his life.
Dawa is a very intelligent dog with latent talents. He could understand different human languages as he was the well reputed translator in his previous life.
But out of all it was his voice that shaped his life, it was the gift from his doomed family that he could howl so magically and hypnotically. However, during his stay in Thimphu he gets infected by mange and his true journey starts then. In order to cure the disease he was determined to visit Gelong Ma Pelmo's cave. On his way he meets with lots of challenges and encounters with many dogs and humans who tries to be the obstacles of his journey but he never gives up. Instead he amazed them by showing his decent behaviour just like human. After bearing manifolds of hardship and losses he bears a fruit were he gets cured from mange. Then when he returns to his hometown, to his surprise paro was no more same place he thought to be, it was modernized. In his absence many unimaginable things had already taken place. He lost his friend Molay and Dampa. Further, there were many vehicles and concretes than before, wrappers of junks were everywhere to be seen. As a result, he couldnt even see his own reflection in the water.
As a lesson dawa teaches us many things but what i most liked is the determination he had. If we are determined to do something, everything is just possible♡
This novel however took me to the dogs world, and showed how they are interlinked with us and how they desire for many things. This book really made me think beyond humans mind. I really appreciate this book and would like to recommend though it is the part of curriculum

by Deepika Dahal (December 09, 2020)

1 Reviews

This novel mainly focuses on the journey of a yellow-brown scruffy dog Dawa, the protagonist of the story. The story starts with the introduction of a weak and helpless Dawa and ends with a brave and extraordinary Dawa. He is not an ordinary dog as he was gifted with a beautiful sound by his doomed family. He was a dog with the big brain and could understand the human language which the ordinary dog couldn't. His journey got a start when he got a cure for his diseases mange which was to reach the cave of gelong Ma Pelmo.
I like this book because the protagonist Dawa has an exemplary character which made me build that character in myself. So lastly if I were asked to rate this novel, I would have given 10/10 to book.

by Sangay Sherub Wangmo (December 09, 2020)

2 Reviews

I really liked this book and I am glad that it was made a part of syllabus for Class 9 as it reminds us that anything is possible, if only we have true determination. Even though the novel talks about Dawa who is a stray dog, we humans can also relate to this book and can learn valuable lessons and that is why, this book is so precious.

by chimi Rinzin (December 09, 2020)

1 Reviews

This book is one of my favourite book that I have ever read. Dawa is unlucky dog as he loses his mother and his siblings in tragic circumstances as a young and helpless pup, after all he wins over other stronger and ferocious dogs in Paro and jorney to Thimphu. He rise as a legendary ''Leader of Howling'' due to his beautiful voice and his strange gift to learn different languages being translator in previous life.

by Matrika sharma (December 07, 2020)

1 Reviews

I had read this novel many times as a part of curriculum and I had never fell bored reading time and again .This novel mainly tells about the hard challenges faced by the dogs in Bhutan and It also talk about the religion and culture.The building strong bond of friendship and loyalty .Dawa the protagonist who was born unlucky , Dawa was born in cold winter night in paro. When he was small his all siblings died due to human poisoning on food .most of the time he used to stay Hiding .Dawa used to come out at night to pick up the food rejected by other dogs ,which affected the growth of his height and later on Dawa move toward Thimphu after a long journey he reached Thimphu .Suddenly Dawa was asked to lead the howling that night.. he understand Dzongkha, he has an urge to see the world and his bigger-than-normal brain .dawa was not happy becoming the leader because he know the consequences if he failed to do Dawa experiences the dreaded itching all over his body.After that he decided to run away from there Dawa hears two old people talking about Gelong Ma Pelmo who had prayed and meditated in a cave and got cured from leprosy. He travel towards Wangdue insearch of Gelong Ma Pelmo cave to cure his disease. He reached there and found the cave, he stayed there until his mange get cured And later on when the mange got cured Dawa decided to return and Dawa finally decides to spend the rest of his dog days in Thimphu in front of Changangkha Lhakhang.

by Abijeet Gautam (December 07, 2020)

1 Reviews

This is a perfect novel. It talks about the life of stray dogs in Bhutan. This book talks about the struggles of a dog and the challenges it has to face. It also talks about the struggles when a dog gets mange. So lastly, I would say that the novel teaches us to be determined in whatever we do in our life.

by Sonam Dechen Lhaki (December 04, 2020)

3 Reviews

This novel is really good and I love how dawa faces every hurdle head on. It really motivates us to do the things we are passionate about without giving up.

by Kinley Bidha (December 03, 2020)

4 Reviews

This novel is the most inspiring novel which makes the reader to influence themselves on discoverying and learning new things without any hesitation. It gives an idea how to deal with problems . It was really fun reading about Dawa's life as an dog. It was a superb novel for me?.

by Kinley gyelmo (December 02, 2020)

10 Reviews

To tell you the truth I found this book very ingenious. Every book I read have been from a human perspective but this book have been different, the author have written this book from an animal perspective. This is a story about a crooked dog name dawa and his struggle in thimphu and how he got to the post as a leader of the stray dogs community and the later half of the book describes his journey to bumthang to cure his disease and the difficulties he faced during the journey.
. #kinley gyelmo(Gelephu HSS)

by Kamyln Chiyo (December 02, 2020)

3 Reviews

It is an amazing book where the readers can get an insight from entirely different but interesting perspective of a scruffy and rugged dog named Dawa! He isn't like any ordinary stray dogs. Dawa may be crooked but he is amazing creature who not only managed to survive the urban life in Thimphu but also led the pack of dogs. This book is also quite helpful if one wants to learn more aboutthe culture and geography country to some extend. Moreover he gives us lessons to learn from his mistakes and shares his beautiful experiences of a life time with the readers. Therefore I believe this book deserves 5 stars.

by Jeeten Rai (November 25, 2020)

2 Reviews

Crooked dog but who is determined to explore beyond the wall.
I had read this book many times as a part of curriculum and I never felt bore reading time and again. Dawa, protagonist was born unlucky as a stray dog with many sibling from a old and a weak mother but he lived his life with a blessing. In his previous life he was language translator so he can understand varieties of human language. He always wonder what lies beyond the mountain and finally he start his journey from Paro to Thimphu.
He has a sense of respect for human but unfortunately he will receive and kick with "stray dog" from policeman at Chuzom.
After reaching Thimphu he became leader of howling and later he left Thimphu when he was caught by deadly disease mange.
He travel towards Wangdue insearch of Gelong Ma Pelmo cave to cure his disease. He reached there and found the cave, he stayed there until his mange get cured. Finally he will returned to Thimphu and stay outside Changangkha lhakhang viewing the site of capital, Thimphu.

by Karma Zangmo Tshedi (November 24, 2020)

6 Reviews

Do you wish to see Bhutan in the eye of a dog then ....this is the book for you. How this book made me into a dog person was still captivating to recollect. Everyone should stop treating an animal as a heartless creature...they too have a heart to feel. Some have bigger than us human.

by Sonam Norbu (November 23, 2020)

1 Reviews

A beautiful short novel that captures the essence of Bhutan through a dog. Aum Kunzang Choden has knit the story so well that one can feel like travelling along with the protagonist.
It’s good to read the book to get a quick and rich perspective of Bhutan.

by Pelden Wangchuk (July 31, 2020)

21 Reviews

This is my second book to read by Aum Kunzang Choden. The reason of giving a five stars is because of the portrayal of invaluable themes and morals depicted in the book.

It is no wonder the book is selected as literature textbook for class 9. Through the story of Dawa the stray dog, we can see the events that can relate to human being. It tells about the loss of our love ones, power and freedom, adventures, consistency, competence, acceptance, betrayal and self respect. Throughout the book, we can feel the life of Dawa.

Do read this book. Highly recommended.


by Sherab Tenzin (June 12, 2020)

3 Reviews

It's an allegorical novel that takes us through social, economic, leadership, political and geographical landscapes of Bhutan all through the eyes of Dawa - a humble stray dog in Bhutan.
We get to know various Bhutan's cultural aspects that ultimately change how Dawa reacts. I feel Dawa's characteristics of not-so-smart with a compassionate heart to pursue his dreams and hopes without intervening normality of others' lives are characters of Bhutanese and then Bhutan as a whole despite being such a small country.

by Peaceful Sparta (May 10, 2020)

1 Reviews

Dawa's story is not just a story of a stray, it is a tale of Bhutan disguised as an adventure story. The people, the places and the processes in Bhutan are explained through the eyes of a puppy, and later a dog. Read this book to follow the adventures of Dawa as he overcomes hardships and difficulties at each turn in his life. There is a level of spirituality involved; a must read for people who are interested in reading books about adventure/fantasy and Bhutan.
The writing style makes the readers feel connected to the main protagonist - an animal with an impressive amount of humanity.

by Sonam C Choden (January 10, 2020)

5 Reviews

Dawa is my all time favorite novel. When I first read "Dawa the stray dog" in 2009 I really enjoyed reading. Besides, Dawa is very smart, lovable and funny dog. Just like a human Dawa also travelled to Thimphu by crossing the passes. He is exampleary leader in howling pax. He has capacity to understand dzongkha. He lives in Changangkha looking over the Thimphu city. Dawa is not just a stray dog but extraordinary dog.
Please! flip the pages to Know, why he is extraordinary dog?