The favorite dog of Thailand’s ailing monarch has died, days after a man was arrested under the kingdom’s strict royal defamation laws for allegedly making a satirical online remark about the beloved canine.
The dog, called Tongdaeng (Copper), became both a household name and a publishing sensation in Thailand after King Bhumibol Adulyadej adopted her as a stray puppy and penned a heartfelt book about her attributes in 2002.
She was praised for her loyalty and obedience, with the book widely interpreted at the time as a parable about how Thais should live and remember their place within the rigid society.
But earlier this month, a man called Thanakorn Siripaiboon, 27, was arrested after he allegedly made a ‘satirical’ Facebook post about Tongdaeng and the king. He could face up to 37 years in prison under the country’s laws.
Tongdaeng’s death was announced in a statement from the veterinary faculty of Kasetsart University on Monday night.