About Me

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Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier, birder and amateur arachnologist. 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.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Roshan Kumar











This beautiful dog belongs to Shalini Patnaik and her family.

Shalini lives in the US with her parents, but they spend holidays in Bhubaneshwar where her grandparents live. On one of their trips they adopted a street pup and named him Roshan Kumar.

He lived happily with Shalini's grandparents for a while, but then they started spending more and more time in the US, and the Patnaiks decided to fly Roshan there to join the family.


"We didn't like to leave him in the care of those who were unlikely to have treated Roshan with the same love and affection as we feel he and all dogs deserve," explains Shalini.

Well, Roshan went on a 30-hour long journey, his first time on a plane, and was reunited with his family, in California. "We love and adore our dear Roshan and are so excited to have him with us," says Shalini.

All those people who dump their pets when they get posted abroad - I hope you're reading this.

Photos: Shalini Patnaik
Orissa, California

Bush

I always love to hear from people who have made a deliberate decision to adopt an Indian dog (whether INDog or INDog-mix) over a foreign "purebreed." Most of our dogs are rescues, adopted on impulse because of compassion, and that is really heartwarming; but those people who simply want a dog in their lives and pick an Indian one - they make me feel we Indians are finally changing...

Here are some pictures and a story sent in by one such discerning dog owner, Rohitangshu Das:







On 10 of January 2008, I went to the Nagpur SPCA shelter to adopt a dog. The caretakers there presented Bush to me. I started having second thoughts, because he was quite big. They told me he was between 1.5 and 2 years and were very insistent that I should take him.

The caretakers told that any dog who wags his tail at friendly sounds is good and not ferocious! Bush wagged his tail after I made some sounds so I was satisfied with their explanation. So I proceeded towards my home with Bush.

When we brought him home, we started thinking about what to name him and came up with some common names. But my father said, he is special and so he must be named after some famous personality. At that time Bush was the US president and so our new dog was named after him!

From Nagpur he was taken by train to Delhi, and then to Kolkata, where he lives now.

Bush is a good, obedient, friendly, energetic dog and sometimes his energy outdoes mine. He is always ready for play - throw a ball at him and he will jump for it, even if he is in deep slumber when you start the game! When any of my family members comes home after a couple of hours absence, he greets them, jumps over them and drives them crazy until someone calms him down.

He has grown in to a nice personality and has also learnt new commands (sit, stay, lie down and shake hands) - but his energy remains the same as always!

Rohitangshu Das
Kolkata

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Eloise Leyden's magical dog tour

It's easy to appreciate the beauty of our Pariah dogs when they are spruced up and wearing nice collars and sitting on our sofas - that's easy enough. But when they are scrounging through a dump or lying in a gutter, it takes that extra vision to look past the squalid surroundings and realize just how extraordinary these creatures are. This may seem extreme but to me dogs are the only real signs of life and love and innocence on our mean streets. Amid hordes of robotic humans, they are our only remaining link to the natural world...

Photographer Eloise Leyden travelled around India for a year shooting pictures for her book Slum Dogs of India. Click here and look at our dogs through her magic lens. Astonishingly and heartbreakingly beautiful. Perhaps she sees them more clearly than most Indians do.

Thanks, Eloise, for this treat! I'm finding it hard to drag myself away.

Eloise is a trustee of the NGO TOLFA (Tree Of Life For Animals), that works for street dog welfare near Ajmer, Rajasthan. A portion of the sales of this book will go towards their programmes.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Street dogs prevent burglary in Ahmedabad!



Featuring hero dogs that protected a housing colony from robbers! The Dumb Blonde Dog Detective Agency investigates the scene of the attempted crime...

This one's going into my "Watchdog Database" - a collection of incidents that demonstrate the security-dog potential of INDogs and Pariah-mix dogs. Click here to read them.

If you have other real-life incidents to contribute, please email me.

Video: Lisa Warden
Ahmedabad

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chile's street dogs of many breeds!



This evocative picture was taken by Mary Lascelles on a recent trip to Chile. Mary, thanks for letting me post it here.

These so-called "stray" dogs seem to be much like the ones in Peru, they are all Eurobreeds or a mix of Eurobreeds, unlike our Indian city street dogs, which are nearly always mixed with Indian Pariah Dog/INDog.


In fact street dogs in Peru and Chile often seem to be pets who are roaming around unsupervised. I noticed this in Arequipa and Cusco and smaller towns on a trip to Peru in 2008. This is much like our village dogs, who appear to be "stray" to a casual observer but are frequently simply pets who wander around part of the day and go home to eat and sleep.

That's partly why I find the word "stray" practically meaningless, and I wish people wouldn't use it loosely. It indicates neither breed nor race nor even ownership status actually...

But I'm digressing here. This topic calls for a separate post: "Is a stray really a stray?" Coming up soon.

Meanwhile, check here for earlier posts on street dogs of Santo Domingo and Peru. Or perhaps I should say, "Dogs that were on the street at the time of clicking, in Santo Domingo and Peru!!!"

Photo: Mary Lascelles,
Chile

Puppy needs home in Chennai or Bangalore





I am a little girl puppy around 6 weeks old. I used to live near Bagayam bus stand with my sister, but she was run over by a bus. I don’t have a mother and am too small to look after myself. I am friendly and sweet (as my pictures show). Will you take me home?

Contact: Shaheen / Susmita
No.s: 9994213689, 9790098130

Susmita Iyer
Chennai

Friday, February 12, 2010

Little Boy needs a home - Mumbai





Hi everyone, my name is "Little Boy" and me and my mom are living on the nice Food Lady's front plaza (me and mom call her Food lady 'cause she brings us food every day).

I was born with 9 other brothers and sisters in early December while the Food Lady was on holiday. I don't know what happened to my bro's and sis's but we are right on Juhu Tara Road and the streets are mean to puppies. The Food Lady found out from her security that most of them were hit by cars. So it's just me and mom now.

The Food Lady wants to send mom for sterilization, whatever the heck that is, but she's afraid to send mom off and leave me alone. She can't take me in as much as she'd like to since she has a bunch of cats and lives with roomies. So I need a loving home.

I'm playful and sweet, so sweet you just want to cuddle me. (The Food Lady does and it feels so special but I miss it when she goes). The Food Lady has told me wondrous tales of dogs that live with families all the time. I'd really like one of those...So why don't ya give me a chance. I'm a way cool dude...

From the Food Lady:
Please open your hearts and your home to this boy. He loves petting and being silly. I will gladly get his rabies and distemper vaccines done and sterilization when he is old enough.If you can't adopt him maybe you know someone who will. Thanks.

Kat
099 305 41 905
waggybags@gmail.com
Akshay
098 204 01 915

Kat Ferrara,
Mumbai

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Four beautiful pups for adoption, Mumbai



















These four pups are up for adoption at Hiranandani Gardens, Powai. There are two males and two females. They are about three months old.

Interested parties may please contact Mrs Nair (9323765739) or Jai Chatterjee (9820309094).

Please spread the word around.

Jai Chatterjee

Mumbai

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hindustan Times Cafe story on Indian dogs taken overseas



Journalist Lina Choudhury-Mahajan did this interesting story in HT Cafe about Indian street dogs that have been adopted by non-Indians and now live overseas. It appeared on Sunday (31 January). This blog is mentioned in the story so I thought I'd post it here. Click on the image to enlarge the page.

Lina uses the common term "mongrel" for these dogs, but she does mention that Indian mongrels are all descended from the aboriginal breed the Indian Pariah Dog (INDog). That's a first and I hope other writers will follow her example. This is exactly what makes Indian mongrels unique and different from a mongrel/mutt in the US, Canada or Europe. Our urban street dogs all have a large measure of Indian Pariah in their bloodline, and that's what gives them their different look and personality. Unlike the mutts/mongrels in the US, Canada or Europe, which are an indeterminate mix of Eurobreeds.

That's why I prefer to use "INDog-mix" and "Pariah-mix" for our mix-breeds. "Mongrel" leads to the misconception that our street dogs are simply a Eurobreed-hotchpotch like other mutts around the world. They are no such thing.
I've mentioned here that dogs in remote rural areas have still not been mongrelized and are usually pure aboriginal Pariah dogs. That is probably true of dogs in some smaller towns as well. Check this post about the researcher Dr Sunil K Pal. The dogs in his home town Katwa (West Bengal) are probably true INDogs unmixed with Eurobreeds. There are other towns I've visited - Angul in Orissa, Canning Town and Gosaba in West Bengal - where the dogs are probably not genetically contaminated either. There are few if any Eurobreeds in those towns and if there are, they are not left unsupervised to mix with free-ranging dogs.

Image/article: Courtesy Lina Choudhury-Mahajan
Mumbai