Patrick recently had the incredible opportunity to travel to Dharamsala, India, located at the base of the Himalayan mountains. The International Campaign for Tibet was his host, and they gave Patrick the privilege of meeting with the prime minister of the Tibetan Parliament, the Oracle of Tibet, monasteries, a Tibetan nunnery, and an orphanage (where he entertained the children with a presentation that centered on Heart to Heart, but also included Earl and Mooch!).

He visited with Geshe Lhakdor, the director of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, who will be translating Heart To Heart into Tibetan, and was guided through a meditation by Mingyur Rinpoche. Another highlight was a performance by the Tibetan Institute of Performance Arts. Patrick was treated to authentic Tibetan meals and great Indian food, and learned that pizza can be found almost anywhere.  

But, of course, the highlight was meeting with the Dalai Lama. Patrick presented him with a personalized copy of Heart to Heart, and His Holiness signed a copy of the book to Patrick as a gift. 

From Patrick: “My journey to Dharamshala, India, to meet with the Dalai Lama was a magical trip of a lifetime. The Tibetan people I met there are so kind-hearted and loving, and have a playful sense of humor and the most generous smiles — as personified by His Holiness.

“With the majestic Himalayan mountains as our backdrop, we were surrounded by nature’s beauty. It was my honor to present His Holiness with a copy of Heart to Heart. We looked through the pages, held hands, and shared a smile. I must admit being in his presence was very powerful. Immediately afterward, I felt so still and relaxed, in a state of bliss. I’ll never forget that feeling.”

We invite you to learn more about The International Campaign for Tibet.


In planning the trip, Patrick worked with Project V.E.T.S. to coordinate and deliver much-needed medical supplies to Dharamsala Animal Rescue (DAR). He, along with others on the trip, together brought five large duffel bags of supplies including 1,000 scalpel blades! DAR works tirelessly on a shoestring budget to provide medical care to the area’s community dogs. They spay/neuter, give vaccinations to the animals, perform life-saving surgeries, and advocate for these street dogs. Some dogs can be returned to the community, but others with severe injuries are either made available for adoption after healing or spend their remaining days at DAR. You can follow this incredible organization on Instagram. Although some of their posts are hard to see, they need our support and their love shines through.  

At DAR, our team met with Pratibha and Shweta, two heroes of the animal movement. They are fearless advocates for animals, personally taking injured dogs off the street, providing medical attention, and taking care of all their needs. It is amazing how far a dollar can go when invested in this wonderful group.  

DAR was founded by Deb Jarrett, an American who traveled to Dharamsala and found her life’s calling.  For more about Deb, watch her inspirational TED Talk, What Happens When You Save a Life.


Comments (4)

I so loved the book, that I read it right away. I am so glad that you got to meet the man himself, and you also paid recognition to my friend, Deb Jarrett, who I’ve been donating to her group for years now. The animals really need our help and support out there. Patrick McDonnell you’re the best!

joan silaco

It was a pleasure to buy the book directly from Mutts as soon as it was available. Leafing through it outside in the garden or the woods is a very relaxing experience. Thanks Patrick, for all you do.

a fan since Bad Baby, Mike McG

Mike McGrath

Thank you for writing about your trip to India and what moved you. I can’t wait to dive into the links you provided. You continue to be an inspiration! Thank you Patrick!

Gina Huntsinger

wonderful to be in this part of the world, have family that lives in Kathmandu and so know of the very dire need for animals to be cared for and so glad that Patrick and others were able to make the trip. With the supplies that can be life saving. It is the most beautiful countries with the Himals and trekking out in them can give peace and comfort to your heart, body and soul, leaving the hectic world behind and honoring our Maker. Also nice to know that the book will be translated, so that people in Tibet can enjoy the fine efforts of Patrick and Team Mutts ..
with appreciation each day for the world of Earl and Mooch
Namaste ejh

jane hunsberger