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.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Picolo in Denmark

From the streets of Bombay to me...

...Bombay to Arunachal, a kidnapping attempt by boys in Arunachal who wanted to eat him and left him with a fractured paw and a permanent limp...

...a plane back to Bombay and finally to Copenhagen - it has been a long way for Picolo to get here to Denmark.

It is thankfully "spring" here and he seems to love the weather and had his first swim in the sea recently.

We get enquiries about his breed every now and then, people often comment on what a beautiful dog he is, especially his even brown coat, which I call curry coloured. Two people have asked me how they could get an INDog like him from India!

His foraging instincts are still strong so I am glad there is not much rubbish on the streets of Copenhagen. Picolo loves Copenhagen especially because people here are very dog-friendly, many stores allow pets inside, keep treats for them, and many parks and beaches allow dogs off the leash.

For all practical purposes, Picolo has been re-homed, since he lived with my sister for six months before I brought him here. He was very insecure and therefore quite aggressive towards other dogs and growled at people who approached him. We have been socializing him with other dogs and people every day and now he is finally a happy, well-adjusted dog who loves to play with other dogs and sometimes goes up to random strangers and starts licking them (perhaps a bit too friendly!)

Here he is having brunch with us at our favourite cafe. I hope I can say that I am a much happier dog owner in Copenhagen without meaning to compare it with Bombay. Pets are accepted as members of society and have access to more public spaces and public transport here. All outdoor cafes, like the one we usually go to, allow dogs. Picolo is turning into quite a city dog and loves riding trains, metro and buses.

When I was in India to pick up Picolo, the reaction I often got was "WHAT? You want to take this STREET dog with you?" Some eager ones advised me to use the money I would spend on bringing Picolo to Copenhagen on buying a "good breed" instead. My grouse here is not at their scorn at INDogs but at their attitude towards pets in general. I believe that once we adopt a pet, any pet, it is our responsibility to give them love, food and shelter for the rest of their lives. Owning a pet is not a hobby that can be discarded when it doesn't fit our schedule.

desi dogs seem to be lowest in the pecking order of pets that can be discarded or simply not worth the effort.

Getting Picolo to Denmark was a bureaucratic nightmare but well worth it. If there are others out there with questions on how to get your pet to Denmark, please post your queries on this blog and I will be happy to respond.

I would love to hear from others with INDogs in the Copenhagen area.

Text and photos: June Basar

Earlier posts on Picolo:
here and here.


Rajashree Khalap said...

What outdated views some Indians still have about "street dogs." These people are stuck in a time-warp and mentally belong in the British Raj. Even a weak, diseased or deformed foreign dog is seen as a "good breed" by these colonial relics. Pathetic. Not to mention cruel and unethical to make long-haired breeds suffer our boiling hot summer. What can I say, Indians seem to give their brains a LOT of rest when it comes to dog-keeping.

June said...

Agree with your comment. I also think that we can be a dog friendly people only if we didnt have stray, un-vaccinated dogs.

Big thanks to Natasha and Bengt, it would not have been possible to bring Picolo to Denmark without their help. And thank you Rajshree for introducing me to them and for going out of your way to find ways/ contacts to make his import possible.

Rajashree Khalap said...

You're welcome June, so glad it worked out.

I agree, there should be no free-roaming dogs on city streets, they haven't evolved for this life. They evolved first as village dogs and that's where they belong. They've become city "strays" (I hate that word) only because of urbanization of former rural areas. It's a highly risky low-grade life with very high mortality and no dog should have to live this way.

doggylove said...

hi! i love picolo's looks! he knows he is handsome!!my friend had adopted a spitz, who was abandoned on road, apparently pregnanat, running in fright as it was diwali time! the dog stayed with her for 4 yrs, its very difficult to adopt dogs, who were pets earliar, as we the new owners dont know their likes, habits etc! after almost a yr, the dog finally settled in her house.another friend had 2spitz males adopted(one died aug 09),and also a german shepherd.the gsd, was owned by a guju family, they asked my friend if the dog could get a new owner,she asked what if he doesnt? and they said they would abandon him anywhere on streets! he was 5 months old pup then.my friend adopted him, his name is krish, after coming in her house, he continously went and sat in her bathroom?!! they used to pull him out, and he again used to go inside, my friend and her family couldnt understand this habit, so they called his earliar owners.then it was revealed that they always kept him confined in the bathroom, as the wife of the owner found it unhygenic to keep the dog in rooms,with them?!!my friend says they literally had to lure him (krish) to sit on the sofa and assure him that it was ok to do so. (he was very scared to do it, as the earliar owners must have beaten him for doing so).sometimes i feel, free roaming is anytime better than having a bad owner!!!!

Rajashree Khalap said...

What awful people! Why do they try to keep dogs when they aren't even fit to keep a cockroach? Ya, if anything is worse than life on a city street, it would be life with a third-rate owner.

Anonymous said...

This is Sandhya Acharya...I really loved reading this...lovely lovely heart-warming post...
DoggyLove, ur story about Krish was touching....but its true of most dogs...their owners treat them like objects and rarely bother to see what is comfortable for the dog...I too think dogs that are sterilized, vaccinated and free-roaming on streets are the happiest, rather than live tied up and restricted in some 'owner's' house...

Anonymous said...


I'm loving your blog Rajashree! Great work :) And June, Picolo is so handsome! :)
I have a dog myself, picked him off the street when he was a pup...he's called Socks and he's the apple of everyone's eye at home. Initially it was only my brother and I who wanted to keep him, but now my parents seem to have become more attached to him than us! We all love him to bits. Sometimes I think these INDogs are so much more loving and smarter than all other breeds. Will probably send along some pics of him sometime.
Thanks you Rajashree for this blog, it's just so awesome.


Rajashree Khalap said...

Thanks Sushma! Do send pics of Socks, looking forward to posting them.

Rajashree Khalap said...

Sandhya, you're right, being confined and restricted is pure hell for any dog of any breed. But I must tell you most of our street Indis once adopted quickly start enjoying a comfy life :-) Even if they become pets only as adults. I'm only talking about dogs in good homes of course. I'm always surprised how they rarely show any interest in going back to the street. My little old girl Puppy has become my pet only now at the age of 13, but she can't bear to leave her soft bed :-) And Lalee actually pulls the sofa cushions around, lays them flat and puts her head on them.