Pancake, a once-stray dog, has become a cherished member of Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary (BLES) in Thailand since her arrival three years ago.
Katherine Connor, the founder, and CEO of BLES, described Pancake as her “shadow” ever since she was brought to the sanctuary by a supporter.
BLES is known for rescuing elderly elephants who can no longer work, and its residents are familiar with the arrivals and departures of various animals.
A notable example from a couple of years ago was when an aged elephant named Sao Noi passed away, comforted by her friend, Boon Thong, an elephant who stroked her with her trunk.
Recently, it was Boon Thong’s turn to face her final moments. Pancake, sensing her illness, rushed to her side.
The dog has enjoyed the sanctuary’s tranquility, sharing a sense of unity with the other animals rescued by BLES. Pancake and Connor spent hours with Boon Thong, reminiscing about her life and bidding her farewell.
In her 60s, Boon Thong spent the last five years of her life at BLES after being rescued from a riding camp.
For nearly 30 years, she carried tourists on her back, which almost broke her. At the sanctuary, she finally experienced freedom, control over her life, and the ability to express herself.
Connor and Pancake stayed with Boon Thong for nine hours as she passed away. Pancake’s compassionate heart never left Boon Thong’s side until her final breath.
Boon Thong was buried on the sanctuary grounds, surrounded by fruit and flowers, and close to her old friends, including Sao Noi.