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Dutch woman extends stay in India to take back street dog 'Jaya' with her

They say the love for an animal is like no other and that proved to be true for Meral Bontenbel, a dutch woman, who had come to India on a tourist visa and is now taking along with her a street dog that she came across in Varanasi and bonded with, reported news agency ANI.

Bontenbel, a native of Amsterdam, met her four-legged friend ‘Jaya’ while taking a walk on the streets of Varanasi, and ever since the dog had been following her everywhere she went.

An incident of ‘Jaya’ getting attacked on the street by another stray is what prompted Bontenbel to worry for the safety of her pawed friend. The Dutch woman then extended her stay in India by six months in order to arrange for a visa and passport for ‘Jaya’.

“I’m thrilled to finally be able to take her with me. It was a lengthy process but worth it. I have always wanted to have a dog and I fell in love with Jaya the first time she approached me,” she was quoted as telling a publication.

ANI posted a video of Bontenbel with Jaya and her passport on platform X (formerly Twitter), where several users lauded the Dutch woman for her generosity.

“Bless you. Jaya will be a source of joy and unconditional love which will fill your heart,” said one user, while others were concerned over the impact the change in climatic conditions may have on Jaya.

“The environment in the Netherlands is not the same as in India. How Jaya will survive?” wrote one user.

Some social media users were much more light-hearted in their response as they wrote “every dog has its own day.”

(Published 28 October 2023, 10:27 IST)

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