About Me

My photo
Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier and birder. I'm also a wildlife conservationist working in the tiger reserves of central India with Satpuda Foundation. Founder of the INDog Project (www.indog.co.in) and the INDog Club. I worked with urban free-ranging dogs of Mumbai for 14 years.

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.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Portraits of my dogs!

Aren't my dogs looking absolutely gorgeous? These stunning portraits were taken by photographer Heather Fener when she visited India earlier this year. I think I can be excused for gushing a bit!



Above, below: Lalee, always alert, the perfect watchdog





Above, below: Kimaya with the airplane ears



Below: Bandra, puppy face



Photos: Heather Fener


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Please protest about the massacre of dogs in Meerut!

A strange contradiction is growing in this country. On the one hand, the community of INDog lovers is increasing, and compassion towards all animals becoming more widespread and visible - but the animal-hating community seems to be growing too, and growing more barbaric and lawless.

As in Mumbai and Bangalore a few years ago, filthy waste disposal systems in Meerut and a pile-up of animal carcasses led to dogs collecting at the site and a lethal attack on a child. In retaliation, the mindless mobs of Meerut have gone on a rampage, killing every dog they can find.

http://meerut-incident.synthasite.com/

It is just an accident of fate that placed Lalee in my home and not in the streets of Meerut, surrounded by a pack of murderous maniacs armed with sticks and guns. Yes, the killing of dogs is murder, whatever the dictionary says. The sentiment is the same, though the victim is different.

Our negligent civic bodies are directly responsible for such tragic deaths of children from dog attacks. These horrific incidents could easily and permanently be prevented, by just keeping our neighbourhood clean. But has anyone considered this simple solution? Of course not. This is India after all. Kill anything you want...but never, never, never touch the garbage. It's sacred.

Readers, please spend a few minutes emailing your protests to the people listed in the site. Those could have been our dogs, cowering and screaming in that gutter they call a city.

Anjali Sharma of Citizens For Animal Rights (Delhi) is organizing the protest and action against the Meerut authorities. For more information and updates, please email her on anjalisharma2@gmail.com And do support her by circulating this site to everyone you can.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Village dogs of the Satpudas

I took these pictures in villages inside the Bori-Satpuda Tiger Reserve in Central India last month. These villages are really remote, and almost eight hours drive from the town of Amravati. Since it is in the Satpuda mountain range, the road inside the forest is difficult in many places. The villagers are mostly aborigines of the Korku and Gond tribes. And yet the dog populations are not composed only of aboriginal dogs - about fifty per cent are mix-breeds!


Above: I saw this beautiful dog sitting behind a highway "dhaba" (restaurant) on the way back from Bori-Satpuda. INDogs often climb on to high places like walls, unlike most other breeds.


Above: Marking territory


Above: I disturbed his siesta


Above and below: Scenes like this gave me an impression of an idyllic life, specially in the case of the child and pup below.

A closer view of this boy's family completely shattered that illusion. The family are very poor, like most forest-dwellers. He and his little sister are mentally challenged, and have no doubt worsened over the years because they've had no medical attention at all. The smallest sister is a baby and very hard of hearing. They are totally neglected by their mother, who probably started having children at a very early age and pays them little attention except to yell at them once in a while. She had eight children but only four have survived. She told us that she had no time to take her children to a doctor, as she had to work in the fields all day.




Below: Sadly, the pup and the chicken seemed to be the only healthy members of this family (and I shouldn't really describe the poor chicken as a family member). This visit left me uncharacteristically depressed.



Below: Furry mix-breed - like the pup above.




Above and below: This INDog and his family live in a Korku village which has just been resettled outside the tiger reserve. They were in the process of shifting at the time of my visit.



Bori-Satpuda Tiger Reserve,
Madhya Pradesh


Raju and Deepa update











Delightful pictures of Raju, Deepa and lots of mud! Our new baby members are clearly enjoying life with doting owners Tina and Godfrey D'Souza. This is what happens every evening when the plants are watered.

Photos: Tina and Godfrey D'Souza
Aldona, Bardez,
Goa

Picolo revisited



Picolo's grown!! I don't know why this perfectly natural occurrence should take me by surprise, but it always does! Click here to see his baby pictures, taken just three months ago.

June sent this photo just yesterday, of this handsome pup in his Indian Pariah Dog Club tag. Lovely INDog ears!

Photo: June Basar
Mumbai

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Puppy and Poongili join the gang




Above: Proton, the first of the gang


Above: Poongili (Poongy)


Above: Puppy, Poongy's mum







Puppy was the alpha dog of our old neighbourhood. She was a semi-pet of a neighbour’s kid, but had not received any formal care or food. After Proton arrived, we started really noticing her for the first time, though she had been around for a year already. She had had her first litter and looked quite emaciated. What began as a casual mid-day meal scheme, changed into thrice daily feeding sessions, with Puppy moving bag and baggage into our yard. She had changed greatly for the better by then. Her coat was gleaming, she had filled out beautifully, became very playful and was almost painfully devoted to us.

Before we knew it, Litter Two arrived. This time six chubby guys were in our garden. Poongili was one of them. Through the internet, we were able to find homes for all of them. But Poongy was returned back to us by the people who took her, due to their own reasons. Till then, though these two girls got the same care as Proton, somehow the prospect of formally adopting them
(three dogs!!) was a little scary. This situation, though comfortable, could not be prolonged as we had to shift house and a decision had to be taken about these guys.


To the eternal credit of my parents (who were against even one dog two years ago), we formally adopted Puppy and Poongy in October last year.
Puppy enjoys her life as a house pet now, and has colonized the sofa. Maybe to make up for her difficult early life, she spends her time alternating between sleeping, eating and getting her head scratched. (Tough to believe she ever looked underweight, she looks like a sausage now).

Poongy is very active, being quite young, and spends her time playing crazy games with Proton. Their favourite sport is to try to grab Puppy unawares, but she has a knack of suddenly flipping over when they do that ( as can be seen in the first snap). Poongy also has a tendency to expand horizontally like her mother, and is usually on a strict diet and walking schedule.


Proton has become much easier to handle now, as he has an outlet for his excess energy. Having three dogs at home is not easy, and my parents bear most of the brunt, but it has been very, very worthwhile overall. They smile most of the time, and life at home has become happier than ever.

Susmita Iyer,
Chennai

Rajashree's note: Inspired by Susmita, her neighbour adopted an INDog some time ago! Click here for her earlier story on Proton.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Portraits of Baloo and friends











Some nice pictures of the handsome INDog Baloo, sent in by owner Pradipta Kumar Pal. The fifth picture is not of Baloo but of his equally handsome neighbours - I really like the picture so I included it here.

Photos: Pradipta Kumar Pal
Kolkata

Sunday, April 12, 2009

An INDog in Berlin



Above: Elke with Indy (aged four months) at Red Fort, Agra, where she first met him


Above: First day at his new home


Above: Lake Grunewaldsee, Berlin
Below: Posing nicely!




This is Indy, another lucky little INDog whose life was changed by a very kind dog lover. He was born in Agra but has been living in Berlin for many years now, with his rescuer Elke Winkler.

Elke told me his story:


One day, in the year 1999, on my visit to India I met a little dog, very young, skinny and dirty. I was very concerned and contacted an animal welfare organization for help.


Finally, back in Germany, after I read a book about the situation of strays in India, I decided to take this dog home with me to Germany. This happened three months later.


The day I took him with me, we went by taxi to the airport and the driver asked me: "Where did you get this dog from, he looks so beautiful?" So I told him, "From the street. If you treat them well they will all look the same."


I never regret that I took him with me, he is great and adapted himself very well in this country.
In Germany when I walk with him, people ask me very often what pedigree he is and I am always very proud to say that he is an Indian dog. He is ten years old and a bit wiser now but still playful. He is just wonderful!

Elke Winkler
Berlin, Germany


Rajashree's note: Elke
remained in contact with the NGO who had helped Indy, People For Animals, Agra. She returns there regularly in her vacation time to volunteer at their shelter.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Milo needs a home









An appeal from Mumbai dog-lover Dharmesh Thakker:

I found this tiny pup on the streets in Matheran last week. He is about a month old and was very scared and undernourished when I saw him. I like to call him "Milo."

I brought Milo with me to Mumbai and took him to a vet and right now am taking care of him at my home. Milo is very playful and I love him, but unfortunately I will not be able to take care of him for a long time, as all of us at my place are working and I guess dogs need more attention than we will be able to give. My idea was to bring Milo with me to save him and give him a new life. It will be really great for him to find a caring new home soon. I am not keen on sending him to a dog shelter or leaving him on the streets again.

Please help me find a home for him. Interested people can contact me on dharmesh84@gmail.com or 09820686611.

Dharmesh Thakker
Mumbai


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Deepa and assorted friends

Some pictures of Deepa - not our new puppy member from Goa, this is the Deepa who earlier lived in Navi Mumbai with owner Nicole Poyyayil. She shifted to Switzerland at the end of last year and is living happily with Nicole's family on a farm in Doerflingen.

Deepa is extremely sociable and was very pleased to meet Lalee and Bandra when I took them to her home in Navi Mumbai last year. Her curiosity about other animals is easy to see in these photos.















Photos: Nicole Poyyayil
Doerflingen,
Switzerland

Five puppies for adoption, Mumbai



A message from Chitrita Majumdar:

These five pups were taken away from their mum by a cruel building secretary and dumped on main Turner Road, Bandra. Some girls from our office managed to rescue them but they are in dire need of homes. They are currently in a foster home and their upkeep is costing Rs 650 per day.

Do pass on this message to interested persons who will

1. Help the pups find a home
2. Be willing to sponsor a part of the pups' upkeep till they find a home (if a tax benefit is required that can be organized as well through an NGO).

We will truly appreciate your help in spreading this message as the situation is quite grim. You can contact me at chitrita@synchronicitycom.com

Chitrita Majumdar
Mumbai


Friday, April 3, 2009

Dogs and jackals in the Black Hills of Kutch

The Great Rann of Kutch is one of my favourite places in the world. Spectacular white salt marshes that resemble a lunar landscape, rare wild species, ruins of the Indus civilization...it's hard for me to describe this unique spot without sounding like a tourist brochure.

And now Yashesh Shethia has made it even more interesting, with this amazing jackal story and pictures.

On a recent road trip he and his wife came upon a temple in the Black Hills where there is an ancient tradition of feeding jackals. Every evening at sunset the priests give them "prasad" (food that has first been offered in worship).



Above: Jackals waiting to be fed. For those interested in wildlife, jackals are classified as Canis Aureus and live on carrion among other things, though they also hunt small animals and poultry. The species is related to the domestic dog but is not its ancestor. However, jackals and domestic dogs can interbreed.



Above: The tradition is explained on this board, along with the legend that when there was no food, the god Dattatreya offered the jackals a part of his body.

Below: The priests are very humane, and they are equally kind to the jackal's domesticated cousin, the dog. This one is kept as a pet in the temple and is very popular with all the visitors there.



Below: This long-suffering mother and her pups were in Anjar







Below: Another dog in Anjar



Yashesh, thanks for these pictures. I now have yet another reason for running off to the Rann!

Photos: Yashesh Shethia
Great Rann of Kutch
Gujarat