The dogs, Stewart says he liked him and

The Places in Between

Stewart
is heartbroken when he learns that Babur, his travel companion for the second
leg of his journey had passed away. Although Babur was not the most actively
playful or obedient of dogs, Stewart says he liked him and he was attached to
the dog in the weeks that they had traveled together. The dog offered no real utility
for being a “dog of war”, in fact having to be shielded from village dogs by Stewart,
but it seems that rescuing him from his abusive owners, feeding and caring for
him properly, fostered a closer bond between the two. Babur offered
companionship in a way that the men Stewart had traveled with up until that
point could not. Upon noting that the dog would not make through the rest of
the grueling and difficult journey, he arranged for transportation for the dog
the rest of the way to the destination so that they would be reunited later. He
hoped that the war beast could make it to all the way, and then return back to
Scotland with him. This can be seen from the arrangement for the plane tickets
for his friends Babur to follow him to Scotland, but upon arriving, he is
notified that the faithful ally had died.

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The
death of Babur the dog weakens Stewart emotionall,, and he spends some time
mourning the passing. He says, “I don’t imagine Babur would have been very
impressed to see me crying now, trying to bring back five weeks’ walking alone
together, with my hand on a grizzled golden head, which is Babur, beside me and
alive.” His response to the death of his dog friend thus shows how loyal the
friendship was. He was not only protecting the dog through the journey because
it was weak, but he did it out of his heart. Stewart notes that according to
his religion, a visitor in need should be welcomed and taken care of. He notes
his call for help from some people through the journey and they never turned
him down. For this reason, despite Babur’s weak and frail body, Stewart had an
open and kind heart to accept him and walk with him through the journey.

Stewart
notes that the journey was perilous and having Babur as the protector even made
it worse because it was the opposite, Stewart was the protector to Babur.
Despite the weakness of the dog, Stewart liked him and was pleased with his
company on the journey. On the contrary, this would have been awkward to most
Afghanis because of their religious beliefs. Muslims consider the dog as
unclean, and could not relate in any sense to the connection and bond formed.
Walking through such a dangerous journey with a dying dog that is toothless
would not make sense to most of the readers besides the emotional reaction he
makes after the dog dies. To the Afghanistan’s readers, crying over a dog
especially a dog that did not help one in any way would not make any sense.

Stewart, however, is an embodiment of the few individuals who do not
choose friends due to their abilities, talents and material wealth. Stewart
represents the few who accept people based on their capabilities as long as they
exhibit loyalty. He does not despise the dog because it
is weak and toothless; he takes it and protects it from any attacks through the
journey using stones. Stewart likes the dog for its kindness since he had
nothing much to offer to it but it still followed him through the journey.
After the death of Babur, Steward shows rational reaction since he was attached to the dog despite its shortcomings and the
religious beliefs.

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