The following story comes to us courtesy of SIM's partner in Nepal, United Mission to Nepal. SIM is working alongside UMN in providing disaster relief and reconstruction. See their website here.
By Lyn Jackson
An early warning system sometimes has four legs. Gopal Pariyar's dog, Khaire, is even more precious to his family, since he saved their lives during the big earthquake.
Gopal is a tailor and his business was going very well. He had four machines and was making a good living, good enough to afford building a new three-story house for his family of six. They were living downstairs, while construction went on upstairs. It was a Saturday, they were relaxing, thinking about how to enjoy their day off.
Then Khaire began to act very strangely. He ran left and right, into the corners of the house. Then he began barking in a strange way. Finally he ran outside, still barking. Gopal had heard that strange behaviour in animals sometimes signaled the coming of an earthquake. He called his family, and they followed the dog outside. Within seconds, the ground started to shake, and the walls of their house began to break.
An hour later, Gopal Pariyar's house was just a pile of dirt and stone. He had lost everything: clothes, utensils, his stocks of rice and maize – all his possessions. But he thanked God that he had been able to save the most important thing of all - his family - thanks to his dog, Khaire.
The Pariyars are staying in a temporary shelter like many of their neighbours - about 1000 houses in their area are broken or damaged. It is very difficult for them to adjust. The children are scared, and the parents are worried about how they will manage when the monsoon comes. So far they have received just 10 kg of rice and a tarpaulin.
Gopal is not without hope, though. He is planning how to reopen his tailoring business, and wants to begin building a concrete house, this time with just one single floor.
In his new house, there will be a special place for Khaire, the earthquake-detecting dog.
If you'd like to support the work of SIM, UMN and other partners to help families like Gopal's please donate here.