I’m Lhasa Apso. With the Special General Meeting at the Tibetan Government in exile here in Dharamsala now underway I felt it was a most opportune time for my comeback. But first, I have to confess one thing. No offense intended but I hate yak. Not because yaks are stupid; yaks are great. But the yak has become a hegemon, overshadowing other precious animals of our nation Tibet. I feel isolated, lonely, abandoned and lost. The legendary exile rock band, Rangzen Shonu, immortalized the yak. Their song ‘Nomads of Tibet’ made yak meat a household name in Tibetan society. The yak has also been eulogised and captured in poetic form. Writers have dedicated their books to the yak. I even heard Buchung D. Sonam’s latest book is called Yak Horns! But how could he forget the beauty of the Apso’s fluffy, soft ears? It’s not that I’m a useless animal. I have great personal qualities. Just Google it, and you will find that apsos are: ’emotive and fearless…they respond to exercise and discipline with a calm assertive energy… they are quite comical, caring and entertaining companions.’ I know there are some valid reasons for why I have been almost forgotten by my own people in exile. When Tibet was free I only hung around with the aristocrats, unlike yaks and the terrier who served the ordinary Tibetans. So, it could be a class issue. But snobby and obnoxious as some of my former companions might have been, that doesn’t mean you should totally abandon me. Look at the demands for my fellow comrades in the international luxury pet market. Let me remind you that Tsering Shakya, the famous Tibetan scholar, is a defender and supporter of the Lhasa apso as a proud pet-owner. Even the great Tibetan poet and historian, Gendun Chophel is once purported to have quipped: ‘there’s no such thing as a snowlion. If you carefully observe the snowlions on the Tibetan flag, it will gradually dawn on you that they are nothing but two Lhasa apsos.’ I’m the unofficial national animal of Tibet and I’m back and barking with a vengeance!