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.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Life with Blacky


All the articles I have written till now are about Tommy, but my Blacky is an equally intelligent boy, and I would like to appreciate his acts too!

His memory is just great! I used to take him for night walks in the beginning earlier than Tommy, according to his timetable for answering nature’s calls. I would take him via the Reliance Energy office, then travel along the Service Road, and come back making a full circle. It takes about 15 minutes at most for brisk walkers like us. There is a lot of traffic till we reach the Service Road, so I had marked for myself junctions where I would ask him to “cross the road,” the newest command my dogs had learnt.


One night I forgot to cross the road at a junction fixed till date for crossing. Blacky just stood there, not moving an inch. I was stunned by his act. “Why are you not moving ahead Blacky?” I questioned him. After two minutes he showed his willingness to move, but not in the direction
we were walking - he wanted to cross the road where we always used to!

Even now, he remembers the spot where he had squatted yesterday, and will take me to that spot for the next few days, till his spot gets changed.


Once long back, I decided to teach him a trick - finding his treat hidden under one of several boxes lying in a row. I arranged five plastic boxes on our terrace and made him sit. In the first two attempts I showed him where I was hiding the small treat, made him sniff the boxes one by one, made him sit at the right box, and then picked up the box and showed him the treat and praised him.


He is a quick learner. For the third and fourth attempt, I juggled the boxes and hid a treat in the last box in Blacky's absence. I brought him in when all was done and asked him to “search” for his treat. He sniffed the first box, moved ahead, then the second one and stopped there
and sat! I was frustrated, “This is not done, Blacky,” I said. To show him that he was wrong, I picked up the box from the ground, and to my surprise the treat was lying there! It must have accidentally rolled in there. So Blacky was right!!

Manik Godbole

Mumbai

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