Shinga Lion - Foo - Dragon dog guards. Khmer. In Thailand and Cambodia these lions are the ancient sacred guardians of Buddhist temples. The dragon in Buddhist religion was sacred, and has sometimes been offered to Buddha as a sacrifice. Their name originates from the Chinese word for Buddha which is Fo, that led to “Dog of Fo”. In ancient China, the mythological Foo Dog or Shishi Lion was considered a guardian of people and property as well as protection against evil spirits.