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.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Karma and Dharma

Animal lover Cara Tejpal has five lovely adopted dogs, four of them Indian. This post is about Karma and Dharma, bright-eyed and gleaming INDog-mix twins.

Their story is particularly touching. Cara volunteers at Friendicoes, a Delhi NGO and is a staunch desi dog fan. She saw these two pups in a cage at the shelter.

"Karma had paralyzed hind legs but the sweetest eyes," she writes. "I had been seeing him and his sister in the shelter for three weeks and knew that they would never get adopted, as there were cuter, healthier pups available. In fact I got him adopted once but the men who took him home called back three hours later and said he was crying too much and returned him. That very night I succumbed and took home Karma, his sister and a third puppy who didn't survive...I convinced my parents that they would be 'outside dogs' and brought them back. Of course now they sleep on the sofas and are doted on by everyone...

They came as sickly puppies but have grown up to be gorgeous, sleek dogs with bodies like hounds and sharp instincts. They are territorial and fantastic guard dogs - nothing escapes them. Karma is completely submissive to the family but regards everyone else with a cautious eye. Dharma is quietly affectionate and smarter than her brother. The two are good with the numerous pups, kittens and other animals I get home on a regular basis but will not stand for an older dog coming into their territory...

Hot summer days are spent sleeping in the cool hallway with their best friend, my cat Neo, all day and roaming in the compound of the house all night. They have insatiable appetites and consume almost anything that looks edible!"

Karma and Dharma are now one and a half years old.

Their names are as beautiful as the dogs and have multiple and complex meanings in Indian philosophy. Roughly translated, karma means "the religion of action" and dharma means "the religion of belief." I think Cara's act of kindness was worth a million prayers and a zillion rituals. I'm sure these canine souls would agree.

Photo: Cara Tejpal
New Delhi

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