My family and I have had a lifelong love affair with pariah dogs. We have the rare luxury of a garden in Mumbai which by default is a pariah dog magnet. We've fed and sheltered many canine heroes in the twenty years we've lived here. One such pariah used to eat from the garbage dump near our home and of course my mum and I couldn't bear to have this situation so we started feeding him separately and slowly he became part of the family and our house dog. We named him Brownie. Sadly he passed away two years ago at the age of 14 and is sorely missed.
Last year, after a long period without a dog in our midst, I was at Barista one evening when there was a little wet nudge under the table. Always the doggie sleuth, I peered under the table only to find this cute female dog, barely a year old, lying on her back motioning me to scratch her stomach. I was happy to oblige and we spent the better part of our evening together with her enjoying the belly rub. She started to follow me home and uncannily walked right in (one thing I've learned about pariahs is that they will make friends easily but are not easily convinced to enter a closed room/door for fear of being trapped inside). She had no inhibitions. She walked in, head held high, scoped her surroundings out, found the mat at the base of my bed and went into a deep slumber only after giving me a look to say, "I have now chosen to adopt you, you will obey me." Thus started our life with this adorable dog.
When it came to naming her after her shots were given, a friend suggested I name her "J-Lo" since her derriere resembled that of the Latin Pop star/actress. I of course was too bashful to be running down the street calling out a name like "J-Lo." So I adapted it to "Jello," since when she is happy she wags the stump she calls a tail (she came to us with this little stump so someone had obviously cut her tail as a pup) and she looks a bit like a mound of jelly!
Erica de Souza