About Me

My photo
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.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Leela and the dead penguin

If you've been following Leela, Rishi and Sipho's story, you may have read The Burial, posted a year ago. Yvonne recorded Leela's mysterious burial of dead creatures she finds on the beach: seals, penguins, other birds.

There is absolutely no indication that she thinks of these species as food. She never tries to hunt them when they are alive. In fact she has tried to play with live seals.

She never digs up the corpses she buries.

Here's a recent video of her "last rites" for a dead penguin.



Eyebrows are sometimes raised when the topic of animal consciousness is brought up. We may never really know why Leela does what she does. But is it really scientific to assume that humans and other animals are totally unlike each other?

"It's bad biology to argue against the existence of animal emotions," writes renowned scientist Mark Bekoff in his book The Emotional Lives of Animals. "Scientific research in evolutionary biology, cognitive ethology, and social neuroscience supports the view that numerous and diverse animals have rich and deep emotional lives...Charles Darwin's well-accepted ideas about evolutionary continuity, that differences among species are differences in degree rather than kind, argue strongly for the presence of animal emotions, empathy and moral behaviour."

Empathy...isn't it a short step from empathy to awareness of death in another animal? Unlike many of her breed, Leela does not have to live as a scavenger or a carrion eater (just as we no longer have to live as hunter-gatherers). Wouldn't this change her attitude to what she might earlier have viewed as "food?" Just as we have moved on from the hunter-gatherer mindset, could Leela have moved on from the scavenging/carrion-eating mindset?

I mean, at some point of time early in human civilization, we would have looked upon dogs as "food," as in fact some tribes and other cultures still do. Whereas others among us have evolved along a different path, to look at dogs in a different light...in other words, with empathy.

Video: Yvonne de Kock
Cape Town
South Africa

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

God's own - Angel and Daisy looking for love and warmth in Mumbai

An appeal from Payal Bhatia:

These two adorable sisters were found abandoned in a small garden on Bandstand Promenade on the night of December 19, 2010. With no siblings or mother around, these two girls have been struggling with the chilly winter nights at the seaside by snuggling up to each other. They are fond of human touch and very friendly. Currently they are being fed premium pet food (soaked in water).










Below: Daisy
Gender: Female
Colour: Black, brown & white with dark mascara eyes

Age: Approximately 6 weeks old
Vaccinated: Not yet (but our friend Sherry will sponsor our vaccinations, once we find a home)
Sterilized: Am I not too young??
Temperament: Very friendly, loving and playful, check me out!
Hobbies: Jump, Play, Sleep!
Looking for: A loving home to share my love and company




Above: Angel
Gender: Female
Colour: White with brown patches

Age: Approx. 6 weeks old
Vaccinated: Not yet (but our friend Sherry will sponsor our vaccinations, once we find a home)
Sterilized: Am I not too young??
Temperament: Very loving, friendly and playful. Humans say I'm "a darling."
Hobbies: To roll on my back, play with my sister, and get tummy rubs
Looking for: A loving home to share my love














We will vaccinate Daisy and Angel once they find loving homes, and sterilize them as soon as they are 6 months old. Please send an email to payal.bhatia@petsmartpetproducts.com if you would like to see them personally. You may also call on +91 93242 76106 if you would like to share your home with these loving adorable companions.

Everyone, please take a moment and circulate this plea: these puppies may have a chance to get a warm bed to sleep in. If everyone can do just one thing, take just one moment to share this information, then perhaps Angel and Daisy will be blessed with a loving home.

If you work with a rescue organization/an NGO that can help these babies, please contact them. If you want to save a life, please consider opening your own home to these homeless babies - give fostering a try. You can be these puppies very own Christmas miracle.

Payal Bhatia

payal.bhatia@petsmartpetproducts.com

91 93242 76106

Mumbai

Monday, December 20, 2010

Abandoned puppy urgently needs adoption or fostering - Noida/Delhi

And now a sad story, all too common in the world of Indian dogs.

Here's a message from Vidhi Shukla:

"Please give this little pup a home, she was abandoned on the road. Seems she's been kept in a house for some time and then again left on the street.

Cant bear to see her dying in the shelter with infections... fostering will also be a great help."







Contact: Vidhi Shukla
SPCA Noida
9818085256
vidhi.shukla@gmail.com


Please post/circulate this appeal wherever you can. Let's give this baby a chance at a good life.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nantu

Another happy-ever-after INDog story!

Jayasree's Bakalu was one of the first Indian Pariah Dog Club members to be featured in this blog. He's a real beauty, you can see his 2007 posts here, here and here.

A year ago their family was joined by an equally pretty new member: INpuppy Nantu.




"He is a charming playful puppy. Though no more a Puppy now," writes Jayasree. "Someone had thrown him in front of our gate last December, when he was less than a month old."





"Initially we were afraid Bakalu might hurt the puppy, but surprisingly he accepted the little one as his own brother and they are happy pals now!"



These pictures were taken when Nantu was about 8 months old. These two obviously adore each other! I believe it's healthy for dogs to have canine companions, either in their own home or else as friends that they meet regularly. INDogs seem particularly social dogs.

Looking forward to more pictures of this beautiful pair, Jayasree!

Photos: Jayasree Singh
Kolkata

Sita

This seems to be the month of the Non-Resident Indian Dog!

Here's Sita, our latest member, owned by Francie Ricks. Sita has very recently arrived in Wisconsin, her new home.

I'm starting with the "after" picture to show how beautiful and sweet she is. Here she is, dressed for a walk in the snow.



And now for the "before" picture:



"I found Sita on the street in Pune...mangy and sore and scratching," says Francie. "I started to feed her, and then got a vet to come and give her a shot for mange and some other medicines.

"I had him vaccinate her for rabies JUST IN CASE I wanted to bring her home, though at that time I did not intend to.

"But we quickly became attached."



Above: A week after vet treatment



"At the home of friends in Pune who kept her until we could fly back.
5 weeks later she flew home with me to Wisconsin in the U.S."



Above: Upon arrival in Minneapolis

"Though she's only been here a few days she fits right in and goes out in the snow (for a very short time) and everything."

Moral of the story: There's a beautiful happy healthy dog inside every mangy, scratching and emaciated street dog you see. Francie, thanks for recognizing the real Sita back in those early days!

Photos: Francie Ricks
Wisconsin
USA

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Krrish

Enter the Superdog...Peggy Mulloy's Krrish.

For those unfamiliar with Bollywood, Krrish was the superhero protagonist of a movie of the same name made a few years ago.

It starred Bollywood superhunk Hrithik Roshan, who is quite good-looking as humans go, but fades into ordinariness beside any of our Indian dogs (yes, okay, I'm a little bit biased perhaps, just a little.)


The canine Krrish started life as a very disadvantaged puppy.




But luckily for him, he met Peggy.

"When I found him in Pune, he was a tiny pup, starving and alone, with worms, fleas and a skin infection," writes Peggy. "I was working in Pune and started to feed him. Then named him. Then bathed him, took him to a vet and began to keep him in my hotel room.

"Thought an Indian friend would adopt him until I realized he was meant to be mine!"




"We've been together ever since and he is now three and a half years old, beautiful, healthy, funny and smart. He lives with me and my cats in Los Angeles."



"People constantly ask what breed he is," says Peggy. "I just say he's a hound."

Well, he is a hound really, because Pariah Dogs in India were used as hounds by tribes like the Santhals and Gonds and many more (read the articles in the INDog site). In fact though hunting is illegal in India, some tribes still use these aboriginal dogs for poaching, for instance in Orissa and Jharkhand.

But Krrish also has a bit of the look of the better-known sighthound breeds like the Karwani/Mudhol Hound of the Deccan. That's because he probably does have some of this breed in his bloodline. Saluki-type dogs were brought to Western India by Arab caravans several centuries ago, and their descendents are found all over the Solapur region as well as other parts of Maharashtra. They must have interbred with INDogs over the centuries, resulting in this light build and structure we see in many free-ranging dogs in Maharashtra.
My Kimaya has the same sort of look and she is also absolutely addicted to running, unlike most INDogs.

I will be pestering Peggy to send us more pictures of Krrish soon. Meanwhile, somebody warn Hrithik - he's got verrrrry serious competition across the Atlantic.

Photos: Peggy Mulloy
Los Angeles
California, USA

Puppy for adoption - Mumbai



Posting a message from Shishir K. Jha:

Desperately need help in getting real nice cute white puppy adopted [see picture].

We've rescued a very young [2 month] fairly healthy all white really cute female puppy.
She has been treated and vaccinated by a veterinarian.

We cannot keep her at our house as we do travel quite a bit [going out of town on 20th] and
therefore would really love to see the lovely puppy adopted as soon as possible.

Any help that you can render to us would be very, very welcome.

If you would know of someone who is possibly interested, please forward this appeal or let me know ASAP.

best wishes,
Shishir K Jha

IIT Bombay, Powai
skjha@iitb.ac.in
#9930528059

Puppy

Another Puppy - not my Puppy but an equally beautiful one in Canada!

Owner Swati Chavda tells us his story:



Let me introduce you to Puppy, my 12-year old INDog/INDog mix, originally from Fatehgarh, U.P., now at Calgary, Canada.

My husband, Amitabh, and I, are both Neurosurgeons. Twelve years ago, he used to work in a mission hospital at Fatehgarh after completing his MBBS, before joining Neurosurgery training.

One night when he walked to his car, there was this tiny puppy huddled against the wheel of his car. He was only a few days old, barely able to walk due to malnutrition. He appeared to have strayed into that area from another territory, for the neighboring dogs had attacked him and he was bleeding. So Amitabh took him in, fed him and dressed his wounds.

Puppy had jaundice, and he was given Liv 52 and appropriate diet. With tender love and care, Puppy made a complete recovery.

He has been with Amitabh since then, and of course, with both of us since we got married.




We moved to Canada two years ago, and Puppy has accompanied us here.

He has adapted to the climate quite well, and loves playing in the snow. Before the winter began, we had been worried about Puppy's ability to cope, but he has adapted exceptionally well.





Recently, he underwent several major surgeries to treat perineal hernia, and the vets were amazed at his agility and fitness, especially considering his age.











Interestingly, in India, we encountered quite a bit of snobbery from other dog owners who were into "pure breeds." However, here everyone has expressed only admiration for Puppy. We often get comments about his alertness and agility.







He's an excellent guard dog too. His instincts for danger are exceptional - one night when we were in Delhi, we were woken by his frantic barks for which we could not find any cause - there was no noise, no signs of an intruder, no unusual lights - nothing. We tried calming him, but he went on barking. And within minutes, there was an earthquake. He had been able to sense it before it happened.
I've noticed that Puppy is quite sensitive to events in general, and if I'm not feeling well, he tends to cuddle up very close to me and doesn't move an inch away from me, no matter what the temptation.

Needless to say, he's extremely affectionate and intelligent, and manages to communicate his wishes (or demands) and feelings in many ways. We're fortunate to have him.

Story and photos: Swati Chavda

Calgary
Canada

Note: Amitabh is a third-generation Pariah Dog fan. His parents in Delhi and his grandfather in Lucknow are Indi-owners. Kudos to their whole family!

Tansy

Adele Carroll's touching story about beautiful INDog-mix Tansy, and how she made the journey from Goa to the UK:



I rescued Tansy in 2002 from Goa where I was on holiday. I instantly fell in love with her and started to feed her as she was obviously a street dog. She was heavily pregnant and I was concerned for her welfare as I knew that if she had the puppies in the grounds of the hotel she would probably be destroyed as the hotel was very strict about street dogs coming onto the complex, even though most of the (British) tourists loved and cared for them.

When she had had her eight puppies and had regained her strength, I managed to have her sent to England with the help and advice of a vet in Goa.



Tansy flew from Mumbai to London Heathrow in November 2002 and then had to spend six months in quarantine (photos above), which seemed like forever.

During this time, which was through the winter, her coat grew from the rough and short 'pariah' coat into a beautiful thick and long golden coat, like a princess!





She came home in May 2003 and she has been pampered and loved ever since.





She still keeps her distinctive pariah 'look' (although with a little bit more weight!) and gentle characteristics, she is also extremely clever.

Needless to say, she cost a fortune to bring over and I had to get a bank loan, but I loved her so much, I just did what I could to rescue her and make sure her puppies were vaccinated and housed.



Above: Tansy wondering what snow is!







Above: Some recent pictures of Tansy in the snow. She loves playing in it, but I think is totally baffled as to what it is!

Photos and story: Adele Carroll
Lymington, Hampshire
UK

Friday, December 17, 2010

Begum and Lola



Meet Begum and Lola.

Actually if you've been around a while, you will have seen their baby pictures in this blog. Cara was fostering them and had put them up for adoption. Since there were no good offers, she ended up keeping them herself.

Well, all I can say is lucky pups and lucky Cara.

Lola is the one with erect ears; Begum's are floppy.



Above: Dharma and Begum ganging up on Lola



The pups pose with Nyla the cat, who is basking in the cats' sunroom



Those ears!!



Lola and Dharma.

Earlier posts on Cara's beautiful furry family here.

Photos: Cara Tejpal
Delhi