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, July 13, 2010

Golden fleece, puppy face

Nearly a month has passed since we lost our darling Bandra, but I haven't been able to bring myself to write about him. There's too much to say. I don't know where to begin and where to end.

So I'll tell you about him through these pictures taken over the four wonderful years we had together.

Bandra's portrait by photographer Heather Fener, January 2009

Bandra didn't have much INDog in him, as you can see from his photos. He was possibly a retriever-mix.

He was I think an abandoned dog, dumped at Bandra station where he then lost a foreleg in a train accident. A terrible maggot infestation followed, but he was rescued eventually and brought to the NGO I worked for at the time. In spite of the betrayal and trauma, he didn't lose his affection for people nor an ounce of his cheerfulness or goofy sense of fun.
He battled liver cancer (successfully) in 2006, and also severe hypothyroidism.

This is how he looked at the time of his rescue (2005) and adoption (2006)

Four fun years followed, for him and even more so for us. He was a king in our house. There was an ongoing competition for status with Lalee, but they were actually rather fond of each other, with quite a bit of friendly sniffing and tail-wagging when they thought we weren't looking!

The sight of him rolling on the bed always made us laugh. Here he had settled down for a nap after a vigorous belly-rub from my husband. Scratching and belly-rubs were Kiran's chief duties on reaching home every evening.

He made frequent trips with us to our bungalow near the sea, where he divided his time between the sofa, the garden and the beach. Click here, here and here for some earlier posts about him in this blog.

The five beach photos above were taken by photographer Rohan Mukerjee, 2008. Above: With Lalee and Lucy.

Being an amputee didn't bother him much. He could run pretty fast, and jump on the bed too. Long walks tired him though and he would often have to sit and rest his leg.

Because of his hopping gait, I gave him the nickname "Bunny" and that's what we usually called him. Also "Bam-bam." One of the lovely things about animals is that they don't mind being given silly names!

Below: Rolling on the grass with Kimaya

The end was sudden and shocking, a silent massive cardiac arrest. But possibly this was the best and least painful way to go. He was blessed. So were we.

It's always too sudden and always too soon to lose a beloved family member, as a friend told me after his death. This is so true. She also reminded me that dogs live in the moment and rarely let thoughts of the past or future bother them. This is a gift and something we should, but don't, learn from our animal friends. Belonging to a sadder species I can't shake off the mourning very easily. I want to believe we'll meet again, some day.

But Bandra was a sunny soul, always cheerful and smiling and always a puppy in his head, though he was probably ten years old at the time he left us. The best tribute I could pay him would be to enjoy each moment as he did.

So I don't want to feel sad when I think of him. He deserves better. I want to remember him as he is in these pictures.

Golden, shining, brave, innocent and happy forever.


Sarah said...

Wonderful tribute, Rajashree. :)

aparajita said...

So sorry for your loss, Rajashree. Bless you for giving him so many wonderful and loving years.

Deeps said...

so sorry to hear about your loss...I'm glad Bandra was blessed to be with a family like yours :)

June said...

This was such a touching tribute.
You can perhaps find some comfort in the fact that he had 4 loving and secure years with you.
There are far too many dogs on the streets that live tough lives and die sad deaths.

doggylove said...

hi rajashree! my pc had hard disc crash, so it was shut down for more than 15 days, today, i logged in for first time, and was shocked to read abt bandra!may his soul rest in peace! i agree, he must have had minimal pain during his last breath!thats what we all want in the end!memories of him we all will cherish! i pray to GOD to give u courage to accept his loss.manik,tommy,chinky.

Shreerang said...

Sorry to hear about your loss.

I connect more to this as Sheaba is also an amputee

Lisa said...

"Golden fleece, puppy face" :))
Beautiful sweet Bandra!

Anonymous said...

One of the most moving things I have read in a very long time. You received as you gave. Gifts multiplied.