Heartwarming Tale of Loyalty: Stray Dog Stays by Ailing Elephant’s Side at Thai Sanctuary

Pancake, a once-stray dog, has become a cherished member of Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary (BLES) in Thailand, capturing the hearts of all who encounter her during her three-year stay.

Katherine Connor, BLES’s founder and CEO, affectionately refers to Pancake as her “shadow,” a term of endearment stemming from a supporter who brought the loyal dog to the sanctuary.

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BLES is renowned for its commitment to rescuing elderly elephants retired from work, and its diverse animal community is no stranger to unique bonds.


In a touching incident from a few years back, an elderly elephant named Sao Noi found comfort in Boon Thong’s gentle trunk strokes during her final moments.

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Now, the tables have turned, and it is Boon Thong facing her last moments. Pancake, sensing her friend’s distress, rushed to her side.

Having embraced the serenity of the sanctuary, Pancake, alongside Connor, spent precious hours with Boon Thong, reminiscing about her life and bidding her a heartfelt farewell.


Boon Thong, in her 60s, spent her last five years at BLES after being rescued from a riding camp. After nearly three decades of carrying tourists on her back, an endeavor that took a toll on her, Boon Thong finally found freedom, control, and self-expression at the sanctuary.

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As Boon Thong took her final breath, Connor and Pancake remained steadfast by her side for nine hours. Pancake’s unwavering compassion shone through, providing solace to Boon Thong until the end.

Boon Thong was laid to rest on the sanctuary grounds, surrounded by fruits and flowers, joining her old friends, including Sao Noi, in a final resting place that echoes the compassion and unity fostered at BLES.

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