About Me

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Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier, birder and amateur arachnologist. Founder of the INDog Project (www.indog.co.in) and the INDog Club. Before that, worked with urban free-ranging dogs of Mumbai from 1993-2007. Also a wildlife conservationist working in the tiger reserves of central India with Satpuda Foundation.

This blog is for aboriginal breed enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah) and INDog-mix mongrels are featured here. The two are NOT the same, do please read the text on the right to understand the difference. Our aim: to create awareness about the primitive natural breed called the Indian Pariah Dog/INDog. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Books for dog-lovers

I don't know about you, but for me there is no bigger thrill than that of interacting with a different species (it's hard to remember this at times, but dogs are a different species)! Though we live in the same physical space as our pets, their world is in many ways a strange and unfamiliar one, and their perceptions and motives very different from what we imagine.

Dr Manik Godbole had this great idea of posting a list of books which would help us understand our dogs better. I added some of my favourites to the list. Topics covered include dog behaviour, health, and the dog-human bond. I hope you'll add your own favourites - either post your list as a comment or email me so I can put it as a separate post.

Manik recommends:

Games pets play by Bruce Fogle

I wish my dog would do that by David King (for training purposes)

Pets and their people (Ins and outs of pet owning) Bruce Fogle

Pet loss - a thoughtful guide for adults and children by Herbert A. Nicberg

If you are interested in scientific research in the field of people-pet relations there are these text books:

The pet connection - its influence on our health and quality of life - R. Anderson

Interrelations between people and pets - Charles Thomas

New perspectives on our lives with companion animals - A. Katcher and A. Beck

The mind - R.H. Smythe

All creatures great and small, and all the other famous books by Dr James Herriot
(If only they could talk, It shouldn't happen to a vet, Let sleeping vets lie, All things wise and wonderful, All things bright and beautiful)

I'd like to add:

The truth about dogs by Stephen Budiansky - a great introduction to recent research and discoveries about evolution, the dog genome, behaviour, and the dog-human relationship. I really like Budiansky's totally unsentimental, common-sense way of looking at dogs, but some people might find it unpalatable.

The Indian Dog by Major W.V. Soman. This is actually a classic, published in 1963, and only two copies remained with the publisher (Popular Prakashan) of which I now own one. There is a chapter on "The pariah and the mongrel" from which I am quoting here: "there is evidence to show that the Pariah pups caught and reared up, have proved to be the best house dogs and have not only protected the owner and his property but have gone out to protect the other village dogs."

The nature of animal healing
by Martin Goldstein (a graduate of Cornell University who became one of the world's best-known holistic veterinarians). The theory that disease is simply the body's attempt to heal itself somehow makes a lot of sense to me - it reduces one's fear of illness and helps one cure it better.

Natural Health for Dogs & Cats by Richard H. Pitcairn and Susan Hubble Pitcairn - another must-read if you are interested in holistic healing.

Doglopaedia - A Complete Guide to Dog Care by J.M. Evans & Kay White. A mind-bogglingly useful introduction to this topic. I remember getting extra copies for WSD staff and volunteers. I don't know whether it is still available off-the-shelf. If interested, you can get it through Amazon.com. Check this link: http://www.amazon.com/Doglopaedia-Complete-Guide-Ringpress-Books/dp/1860540740

In tune with your dog - An owner's guide to training and improving behaviour by John Rogerson (a world-renowned authority on canine behaviour)

The Hidden Life of Dogs by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. The anthropologist author tries to answer a very simple question few dog lovers ever ask - "What do dogs want?" Her conclusions are often surprising.

A word of caution - books on pet care, holistic or conventional, often express extreme views on topics such as vaccination and diet. Personally I find it best to read everything I can and then make my own - moderate - decisions.

Happy reading!


Abhishek said...

Dear Readers,

I don't know if this comment deserves to be published here.

Well, there's a real life story of a dog -
'Marley and me'
Life and Love with the world's best dog....

I cried all the way till end of the book

Rajashree Khalap said...

Dear Abhishek,

All suggestions are welcome and thanks very much for your recommendation. Keep visiting our blog!


Purnima said...

Hi there!

Im a fellow dog lover and the proud (but rather tired) owner of a rambunctious & boisterous 3-yr old indian pooch.
Anyways...im desperately looking to rehome a 3-month old female roadie. My friends & I have been taking care of her for a while but we would have to give her up to jeev ashram if no solution is found - she's known by different names - Pishti / Gypsy whichever-u-please.

Help me get a home for me.

Rajashree Khalap said...

Hi Purnima,

Send the pup's photo and description, I'll post an appeal here and also email people in my list. Write to me on rajashree.khalap@gmail.com


Siddhartha Agrawal said...

Hi Rajashree,
I have been trying to search for a book which led me to your blog :) .. I am really interested in reading the 'The Indian Dog - by Major W.V.Soman'. Would you or any of your friends have a spare copy to pass on?


Rajashree Khalap said...

Hi Siddhartha,
I'm so sorry, no spare copy :( In fact my own copy disappeared from my house and I'm left with a xerox copy that I had fortunately had made. Do you live in Mumbai?