About Me

My photo
Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier. Founder of the INDog Project (www.indog.co.in) and the INDog Club. Before that, I worked with urban free-ranging dogs of Mumbai from 1993-2007. Also a spider enthusiast and amateur arachnologist.

This blog is for aboriginal dog enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah Dog) and INDog-mixes (Indies) 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 landrace village dog of the Indian subcontinent. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too. Also see padsociety.org

Friday, January 30, 2009

Anyone looking for a desi girl?

For those who don't know hindi or haven't seen the Bollywood hit movie Dostana, "desi girl" roughly translates as "Indian girl."

Charu Shah has four of them.

Beautiful female pups in solid colours: two brown, one fawn, one white, and all four extremely playful. They love running around with the building kids and the other dogs in the compound. The sisters are three months old, and will be vaccinated before rehoming.

They are available for adoption only in Mumbai.

Please show these pup photos to everyone you know. Anyone wanting a pup can write to Charu on shahcharu76@yahoo.com

Photos: Charu Shah

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Mumbai pups for adoption

We need good homes for these six beautiful puppies (four males and two females). They are about three or four weeks old and are currently living in a bush in the Valencia building compound at Hiranandani Gardens, Powai.

Anyone interested in adopting them should contact Jay Chatterjee on 09820309094 or Mrs Ramdas on 022 25797281.

Jay Chatterjee

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Picolo's siblings need loving homes

Above: Picolo, recently adopted by June Basar

Above and below: Picolo's siblings who are living in the building compound. Both need good homes.

All these pretty pups live at Sangeeta Apartments, Juhu, Mumbai. Little Picolo recently got adopted by June Basar and now lives in her apartment. Look out for more Picolo photos in a future post.

June would have loved to keep them all but due to limited space (a common problem in Mumbai) she can only keep one dog. The other two pups are living below a car in the building compound. One is male and the other female. Their mother was lame and very malnourished and has vanished recently, possibly poisoned by some building residents. There was a fourth puppy who was run over a few days ago.

June is taking care of these two but wants to find good homes for them soon. Their family history shows all over again how risky life is for street dogs and especially for puppies. So do spread the word and try your best to find nice owners for them. Anyone interested can contact June on
june@image-quotient.com or call her on 09820501101.

Photos: June Basar
Juhu, Mumbai

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snapshots in the snow

Far from sunny Mumbai where he was born, Rishi is actually enjoying the cold NYC winter, wrapped up in two coats one on top of the other! The first two pictures were taken in his favourite dog run, where he goes to meet his retriever friend Redford and of course race around with "sibling" Leela. Meanwhile his biological sibling Kimaya is having an equally boisterous time a hemisphere away in my garden in Nagaon. Both pups were very timid at the time of adoption so it's great to see their completely changed, confident temperament now.

All the photos were taken in Riverside Park, NYC. The first two are inside the dog run at 105th Street. The third picture with Leela and owner Yvonne de Kock was taken outside the park.

Photos: Top, centre - Bob Laven; bottom - Maureen Sladen

Baloo portraits

Some lovely portraits of Baloo sent in by lucky owner Pradipta.

Photos: Pradipta Kumar Pal

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

INDogs of Bangladesh

These handsome pups were adopted recently by Adnan Ahmad, an INDog/pariah dog fan in Dhaka. The dark little male is called Frisky and the sturdy little brown and white female is Lallu. Hats off to Adnan for choosing INDogs over any other breed.

Adnan has started obedience training and keeps me updated on the pups' progress. Both have learned the "sit" command and Frisky is now being taught "down." Obedience training is always a good idea and of course it also helps to demonstrate that INDogs are as smart, obedient and trainable as any other breed. Check earlier posts about Dr Manik Godbole's Tommy and Blacky jumping hurdles and Yvonne de Kock's Leela, who does several yoga asanas on command!

Photos: Adnan Ahmad


I've been rather lazy about posting pictures of my own puppy Kimaya, though I adopted her over a month ago. Anyway, here she is at last. Yvonne de Kock (owner of Leela in NYC) spotted her with her mother and brother outside the international airport in Mumbai. She took the male pup (Rishi) back to NYC. I wanted a pup for our seaside house in Nagaon and Kimaya's temperament seemed perfect for my household. It's also a good idea to take away dogs from near the airport as the authorities shoot dogs who stray onto the runway.

Kimaya means "magic."

Kimaya's mother has a pure pariah-type appearance with erect ears, but there's no telling who her father was and her family tree seems to include some kind of Indian sighthound, most probably one of the smooth-haired saluki type dogs which are common in the Deccan Plateau and have become crossed with the INDog in some parts of Maharashtra (click here for my earlier post on Indian mix-breeds of the Deccan). Her long narrow face and flop ears are very different from the pariah type.

Lalee and Bandra were adults when I adopted them and were not interested in toys. Kimaya's enthusiasm about her toys and her habit of collecting them all in one place is something quite new to me, and very cute I think. Incidentally, her collection here includes some of the cat toys and one of my sandals. Luckily she is past the teething destructive-chewing phase and doesn't chomp anything for long.

Working to enter the "pack." Kimaya lives with the dog Lucy and two cats, MiniPini and Tabbyrani. Lalee and Bandra are frequent visitors. This is a very clever pup with advanced social skills, adept at flattery and submissive displays. She approaches all the other animals with ears pressed behind and tail down and tucked in. The slightest hint of annoyance on the part of a "senior" member and Kimaya drops flat on the ground, rolling over and exposing her stomach. Above and below: a fine display of her wheedling technique. Bandra decided to roll on the grass too.

Below: Trying to deflect aggression from a suspicious Lalee. Every now and then one of the big dogs snaps at her and when she immediately flips over, they hold her down with their teeth for a few seconds. This is something I've often seen in dog packs and I don't interfere as it seems to be their way of maintaining their hierarchy. Nobody gets injured and in a few seconds Kimaya approaches the dominant dog again. More harm than good is done by well-intentioned human interference and I prefer to leave my dogs to sort these issues out on their own. INDogs are highly gregarious and their natural ability to adapt to canine and human groups has not been tampered with in any way since aggressive traits have not been heightened as in the case of some breeds. One of the things that make them such easy dogs to live with and go out with. (Of course, if they are never allowed to mix with other dogs they can become aggressive towards them).

Below: The cat Tabbyrani is the undisputed queen of this house and my top requirement in a dog is that s/he should be respectful of cats. Two months ago we had a terrible tragedy when the neighbour's dogs teamed up with an ownerless dog, entered my garden and killed my tom cat. We fenced in the open side of our garden completely after that but Tabbyrani has naturally developed a fierce hatred of dogs and for the first week didn't allow Kimaya into the living room. However both cats are intelligent enough to understand that Lalee, Bandra and Lucy are harmless, and Tabbyrani has now realized that Kimaya is the most harmless of the lot and allows her to approach quite close, though she slaps her once in a way as a disciplinary measure. Again, Kimaya never gets discouraged by all the hissing, spitting and slapping and goes right back to Tabby within a few seconds with the correct slavish posture. Her reactions are superfast and she always manages to keep her long nose out of reach of those sharp claws.

Below: Lalee and Kimaya on the beach with friends the Rustomjis. Peggy Rustomji lives in Kodaikanal with three rescued dogs, including Kuttiboy who was featured in this blog - click here. Kimaya is a big pup and didn't take readily to the leash, but walking her with Lalee solved that problem. Pups seem to learn everything better if they have an older dog as a role model.

Below: Chomping...


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pups in Khargar, Navi Mumbai

Nicole Poyyayil (Deepa's owner) sent in these photos of pups near the fishmarket in Sector 20, Kharghar. Given the risky life street pups lead, I wonder how many will make it to adulthood. I find it pathetic that so many people choose to buy Eurobreed pups - totally unsuited for our climate and often sickly and delicate - instead of rescuing a homeless INDog or INDog-mix. I'm also getting tired of the vapid babbling of journalists on the subject of celebrities who buy tees and frocks for their pampered little pooches. Mumbai seems full of overweight, underexercised and generally unhealthy pets owned by the desperately-seeking-status brigade. I've even seen huskies and St.Bernards here - that's plain cruel no matter how good your airconditioning is.

Well, if any genuine dog lover is looking for a puppy, do consider picking up one of these smart little creatures.
Most INDogs don't need vets too often - nor of course frocks or airconditioning - and that is an added advantage.

Navi Mumbai

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Native Alaskan Village Dogs

Above and below: The whole team!

Above: Whinny and Willow playing in winter

Above: Sisters playing in Alaska!

Above: Sisters

Above: Tukaani

Above: Tukaani and sled

Above: Totem, Stephanie's lead dog

Above: Emma with litter

The dogs in these photos are Alaskan Huskies, a breed with its genetic roots in Native Alaskan and Canadian Village Dogs. They all belong to Stephanie Little Wolf, who lives in Alaska and inherited her family's bloodline of sled dogs (the bloodline has been in her family for over 100 years!) Click here to read Stephanie's study of the Origins Of The Alaskan Husky, and here for her article on Precolumbian Tribal Dogs Of The Americas - fascinating information and a must-read for those interested in ancient canine races. Both articles follow up with a list of resources for further study.
Alaskan Village dogs are sometimes very pariah-looking. Stephanie's ten dogs are all a biological family except for her little rescued dog, a deaf husky named Olowan. Recently they have reverted to a more "village" look with breeding to a small female from the Porcupine area of northeastern Alaska. Take a look at the beautiful white sisters Willow and Whinny, latest in the bloodline. They strongly resemble the Russian laika-mix dog Nana (owned by Veera Antsalo of Helsinki) who was featured here on December 8, 2008.

"In America we have a hoax called the American Indian Dog and The Native American Indian dog," says Stephanie. "But they are simply wolf and coyote hybrids who have been bred with Siberian Huskies and several other breeds. Native folks simply call our dogs village dogs. They vary greatly and only Eskimo dogs are pure descendants of actual North American indigenous dogs here. Our Interior Alaskan Village dogs are genetic remnants whose DNA has not even been studied extensively to see if they are still related to original dogs. I look at my dogs and like to believe they are."

Photos: Stephanie Little Wolf
Alaska, USA

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A shelter for orphans and dogs

I visited this shelter outside Kolkata on 27 December 2008. It's called Nikhil Bongo Kalyan Samiti and it's very near Thakurpukur.

The concept of a home for abandoned dogs and abandoned children shows a universal humanitarianism which I think is very rare
. What better way to teach these betrayed little humans about trust and loyalty than to have them grow up with dogs? I'm sure the kids and dogs benefit a lot from each other's company.

The shelter also includes a pet cemetery: you can see some of the covered gravestones in the background in the photo above. My sister's dog is buried there and that was the reason for my visit. It's hard to remain unmoved by the messages on the gravestones. Particularly by the grave of a four-month old puppy called Zinca. He seems to have been killed while trying to protect his owner from someone - burglars perhaps.

The dog in the photos is an elderly female called Teli. This amiable creature apparently sleeps most of the time but always gets up to greet visitors and then again to see them off when they are leaving. The perfect hostess.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009