Meet Barbus! This little guy was one of our fellow travelers at the beginning of the OEX-MBDP Mongolia trip as we transported him to his new owner at Three Camel Lodge. He was one of the Bankhar pups from our January litter, and was surprisingly well behaved and stoic for being so young.
Our goal was to bring him to his new home where he would educate future guests about the Bankhar dog and the environmental and cultural significance behind livestock guardian dogs in general.
After many adventures with the pup – traveling across beautiful steppe, deserts, and canyons – we finally presented him to his new owner.
We were lucky enough to witness Barbus’ “milk ceremony” during which he received his new, official name. His new owner presented the puppy with a bowl of milk and wrapped a blue prayer scarf around him. As the Bankhar pup drank the milk, his new owner said a beautiful Buddhist prayer and then knelt down next to him to whisper the new name into his ear.
The act of whispering the name comes from the old traditional belief that it is safer to whisper so that evil spirits won’t hear the name and cause the dog harm. Names hold a lot of power. The ceremony was beautiful and emotional for all those who had grown so attached to this dog after just a couple of days.
Barbus stood up just as the ceremony ended, and proceeded to walk right out of the gathering area he was in, as if he finally knew his purpose in life and was ready to start his job as a guardian.