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.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
We got Otto from Circle of Animal Lovers in Delhi/Gurgaon where I always brought needy dogs that I found on the streets.
I had gone there to hand over another dog when I heard Otto screaming from the room where they kept dogs that have just been handed in. I asked to see him and he was this tiny little puppy (see the picture) that had been found by a friend of the shelter when his mother had died from some illness. He was too young to take care of himself and I knew that the shelter did not have the time to take care of such a small puppy (and yes, it is a lot of work and a lot of visits to the vet!) and because of that he would probably not make it. Of course there are a lot of dogs in Delhi that I could say the same for, but whenever I tried to let Otto down from my arms he started screaming and I knew I would have nightmares for the rest of my life if I left him at the shelter, so I brought him home.
It has to be said that my husband had always been afraid of dogs, and we were already the happy owners of two Indian cats (from another shelter in Delhi), so my husband was not very pleased when I came home with Otto. After I told the full story my husband understood why I simply had to take Otto home (he had no name at that time and in the end it was my husband who named him), but he made me understand that this would be my dog and my responsibility.
I took Otto to work with me every day for months. He was so small that he could not regulate his body temperature so I had to keep him warm in my lap in the cold air-conditioned office. Almost all the Indian staff at my office liked him, but of course some thought he was not that nice as he had been a street dog. I did not care as Otto was the sweetest little dog and so perky! We taught him all kinds of things from a very young age and today he is almost a circus dog!
When Otto was a little older I started teaching him to be home alone and we made sure that he met other dogs as well. Socializing a dog, and especially an independent breed like Pariah Dogs, is very important if you want the dog to be able to handle the complex life we urban and modern humans live today. Otto was with us almost all the time so he got to see India from all the different sides and also very different people.
Over time my husband got very attached to Otto, and the funny thing is, today Otto is really more attached to my husband than to me (even though Otto and I love each other), and my husband has got to love dogs in general!
When we left India in August 2008, we of course brought with us Otto and our two Indian cats Franz and Frede. It was great to have the animals with us in Denmark and Otto did adjust to Denmark very soon. He made a lot of Danish dog friends, and as he is very very friendly towards people (and especially children) everybody here just loves him. His look is also very special in Denmark and people often think he is a "purebred." There have even been some people that have asked where they can get a dog like Otto.
We really love Otto and can never imagine having another kind of dog. His looks, his independence, his intelligence together with his perky nature just make him a very very special dog. Of course I would also say that he is not always an easy dog. As Otto lost his mom at a very young age he does have some behaviour problems that we are working on, and his independent nature means that we rarely let him out without a leash as he will run if he sees something he likes. We now live in the countryside and have fenced the garden so that Otto can run around all that he likes and that seems to work just fine.
Overall my husband and I are in love with the Indian Pariah Dog - and who would not be! The straight ears, the curly tail and the slender figure - this is just a very beautiful dog with such a "puppy" look.
I think more Indians should understand that they have gold running around on the streets of India. You have a very special breed that has existed for thousands of years together with you, and it is like the Indian people, beautiful, lively and gracious. And yes, Pariah Dogs (and street dogs in general) can be loving and good-looking dogs if they get the love they deserve - food, respect and love, that really is the answer.
So India, be proud of your native dogs like so many other countries are proud of theirs. You really have something that is worth fighting for and making sure will live on for years to come.
Text: Randi Lildballe
Photos: Nicholas Caron