Above and below: Deepa approaches Shyla
Above: All dog-owners know that this kind of sniffing is an important canine ritual
Above, below: Friends
Above: Deepa and two males - INDog-mix and INDog
Pariah-type dogs are extremely gregarious and love interacting with other dogs and being part of a group. In fact, I believe such interactions are the high point of any dog's life and those who aren't allowed to socialize are missing something very healthy and enjoyable. The anthropologist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas writes that what dogs really want is to be with other dogs, and that we humans are a substitute for the canine company they crave (The Secret Life of Dogs). In India we often don't give enough importance to this need, mostly because of fear for our dog's safety or fear that our dog may injure others. If pets are well-trained and encouraged to spend time with other dogs from an early age there is no reason why there should be any risk on either side - at least that's my experience.
Nicole Poyyayil has been looking for friends for her Deepa for a long time. Here is her account of Deepa's first interaction with another dog.
Last week, we met another one, but I didn't release Deepa from the chain, since a real strong male INDog watching carefully what was going on. The smaller one was more interested in chewing on Deepa's chain than playing with her. But that one was not at all shy and he tried to jump right into the car after I sat down.
If anyone likes dogwatching (as an alternative to birdwatching maybe), Kharghar is the perfect place to do that. We have dogs in all colours, sizes and shapes. Especially now you can see small ones on almost every footpath here. I guess most are mixed-breed ones but I think the majority outside the city could be showing the "pariah morphotype."