On the heels of David’s story we have another heart warming Falker story; although this time it involved a canine as well as members of our Falker family! Nicki and I were guests of the exceedingly generous and gracious Nassif family at what can only be described as a world class estate. Situated on the top of a mountain overlooking the world’s oldest city, Byblos, (over 7000 years old) and the Mediterranean Sea, it is a tribute to the incredible vision of Bassem’s father (Malek’s father in law)! The whole environment is a powerful engineering and construction effort where Bassem did all the structural engineering himself; yet executed to a level of Architecture and Design (Malek’s wife Maya was the interior designer on the project) well beyond almost anything we’ve ever experienced.

So what’s this all got to do with Bourbon?! Bourbon is the puppy in the photo, who wouldn’t be alive today were it not for empathy and kindness of our Lebanese Falker family; especially Malek Masri! Lebanese people clearly demonstrate an incredible sense of family as well as a genuine love for each other and their friends! In fact every other country in the world can only aspire to the Lebanese culture of valuing family and friends above all else!

The Nassif estate is surrounded by nature with all the indigenous wildlife, including coyotes and apparently hyenas. In the middle of the night Nicki and I were awakened by howling coyotes, followed by the barking of a dog and then the screaming and yelping of small dog. The next morning there was a small puppy lying in the backyard (picture attached) who was clearly distressed. Upon closer investigation we noticed blood on his underbelly, which turned out to be what we believe came from a coyote bite. To further exacerbate the situation we could not find the puppy’s owner and we knew the coyotes would be back the following night to finish the job.

This is where our Lebanese Falkers, under Malek direction, sprung into action. They arranged for Bourbon to be taken to a vet for full treatment while simultaneously he started calling pet shops and shelters hoping they would adopt the little guy. None of these efforts were successful so he convinced one of their friends to adopt Bourbon (I wanted to name him Bassem but the new owners decided on Bourbon).

Nicki and I can honestly testify these last 6 days in Lebanon will be among the most memorable in our lifetime. This incredible little country has more history, culture and diverse nature than anything we’ve ever experienced; our only regret is that we didn’t discover it sooner. However it was being with the Nassif and Masri families along with their incredible graciousness and generosity that made this the trip of a lifetime.

On behalf of the Smed family and Bourbon of course, we want to thank our Lebanese Falkers for the impact you’ve had on our lives. You are a tribute to the celebration of your nation and to humanity!

Sincerely, Nicki and Mogens


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