In the country of Bolivia, in the valley of Cochabamba, in the city of the same name, there exists a Franciscan monastery near the Andes Mountains with a very special monk: his name is Friar Bigotón (or Friar Mustache in English.) Oh, and he’s a dog.
“His life is about playing and running,” said Friar Jorge Fernandez, who spoke to The Dodo. “Here, all of the brothers love him very much. He is a creature of God.”
Friar Mustache didn’t always live in the comfort of a monastery, surrounded by humans who love him. There was a time when he lived on the streets as a stray, like so many other unlucky animals all over the world.
But with the help of Proyecto Narices Frías – or the “Cold Nose Project” – Friar Mustache was saved and eventually adopted by the monastery and its members. He was originally given the name Carmelo, but after being inducted into the monastery, he was given the more formal title of Friar Mustache.
It’s safe to say that his life is much better now that he spends his days running and playing with his brothers, not to mention sniffing out the local fish.
The Cold Nose Project hopes that Friar Mustache’s story encourages other monasteries and churches to open their doors to pets in need.
“If only all the churches of our country adopt a dog and care for him like Friar Bigotón,” they wrote on Facebook, “we are sure that the parishioners would follow his example.”
Hopefully, they’ll take heed of the message – not just in Bolivia, but in every country, everywhere. Until then, we can be thankful that the Franciscan monastery of Cochabamba and Friar Mustache have set such an adorable example.