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.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Lucy - Lalee's partner in crime

This is Lucy, an INDog-mix and Lalee's best friend. I think of her as my part-time dog though her real owner is my aunt Sunanda Das. My aunt's weekend bungalow in Nagaon is right next to our's, so Lucy naturally spends a lot of time at my place especially when I'm there with Lalee and Bandra.

Lucy has a one-of-a-kind personality which makes her a fun dog to be with. For instance, she rarely barks but has a repertoire of odd noises including a high-pitched neighing sort of sound which is my favourite. Then she makes some strange grunts and also the usual squeaky whines. She manages to combine a sweet docile demeanour around humans with a strong independent streak and a complete disregard for human commands.

Another defining trait is her busy trotting kind of walk with her head lowered.

Lucy's relationship with Lalee is rather complex. Though she is a few years older than Lalee and has been in Nagaon for much longer, she set the tone at their very first meeting by rolling over and giving other submissive signals. Since that moment she's been Lalee's devoted sidekick. Though Lalee is officially the leader it's really Lucy who decides their activities, what areas they are to explore, and what disgusting off-menu objects they are to eat (horse dung and decayed fish, that sort of thing).

One of Lucy's peculiarities is her reaction to dogs entering her territory. If the dog is accompanied by a human she tolerates it. But if it is unaccompanied she is extremely aggressive and chases it off. She's quite fearless with other dogs in most situations. My Bandra tried bossing her around a couple of times but was surprised when she leapt right back at him and bit him. The picture above was taken by Rohan Mukerjee - Lucy, Lalee and Bandra taking a short rest during their evening walk.

Lucy really loves the sea and swims quite often, unlike Lalee who prefers the sand.

Last week we passed a pair of not-very-friendly dogs on the beach, a male and a female who seems to be nursing pups. The two followed Lucy for a while, barking with hackles raised. Lucy didn't show any aggression at all but walked behind me with her tail tucked down. I was quite touched by Lalee's reaction. She had been watching in an undecided way - obviously the nursing bitch was not to be taken on lightly - but now she rushed a few feet towards them barking loudly, clearly angry with them for threatening Lucy. The hostile pair departed after that, and it all sorted itself out without my intervention, as these things always do.

Alibag, Maharashtra

Photos: From top to bottom - first, third, fourth and sixth by Rajashree. Second photo by Kiran Khalap. Photo of Lucy, Lalee and Bandra taken by Rohan Mukerjee.


Lakshmi said...

The resemblance, especially in the first picture, is uncanny! In the long shot, the stance is very different...the coat color seems to be exact, though! Lucky Lucy! She did have a wonderful life, living out in the open, roaming unfettered, swimming, always knowing she had a place to go to for love, shelter, and food...she sure must be reminiscing and smiling in doggie heaven

Rajashree Khalap said...

She was a total darling and we really miss her and all her funny noises. Here's the last pic I took of her, by then Kimaya had joined the gang: http://indianpariahdog.blogspot.com/search?q=Goodbye+Lucy
Strangely, my old girl Puppy (recently adopted) is very like her, same sweet but stubborn temperament and similar colouring too.

Lakshmi said...

Awww...saw the last picture of Lucy...to me, her stance tells me she doesn't seem to be up to it even then (I could not open the comment box in that link..so am commenting here)

Rajashree Khalap said...

She had just done a long walk when I took that pic and she was perfectly normal. Two weeks later she suddenly became very weak and my servant told me her gums were very pale. I believe she had eaten something sharp that had lacerated her inside and she must have haemorrhaged internally. That had happened to her a few years ago and I pulled her out of it. This time I was in Gujarat and couldn't immediately rush to Nagaon to look after her. Her illness was I believe misdiagnosed as tick fever (nothing in her blood report to support that except low haemoglobin). The local vet gave her a lot of fluids twice daily, which further diluted her blood and I think that was what caused her death. My servant says her breathing was very laboured, which I've noticed in severely anaemic dogs - not enough oxygen.