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, April 2, 2011

Lalee's tenth birthday celebrations



Lalee was born in the first half of March, 2001, at the United Services Club golf course in South Mumbai, not far from where I live.

She wasn't supposed to be born at all really. The people who fed the club dogs had asked me to get all of them neutered, and I had promised to take Lalee's mother in for spaying. But I suddenly got a horrible back problem and had to spend two weeks in bed, and after that I was forbidden to lift heavy things, including heavy dogs. By the time I was active again Lalee's mother was in an advanced stage of pregnancy, so we abandoned the idea of neutering her. She delivered seven pups soon after.

Well, thanks to a chain of events that I will describe some day, ten months later Lalee was living with Kiran and me.

Although I don't remember the exact day she was born, we always celebrate her birthday on 15 March. I take her to Nagaon for her birthday every year. Because among the few places she's been to, Nagaon is her favourite.



That's Lalee in our garden (photo above). The lady you can see a bit of in the background is our cook Jayu. Her job principally is making healthy and nutritious cat food and dog food. On the side she churns out sinfully delicious and fattening food for us humans.

On this birthday it was just Lalee and Kimaya and Brownie as always. I did try a dog party a few years ago, when Bandra and Lucy were still with us. We brought over
Zanjeer from next door. But it did not go well (this is a huge understatement). The ancient Indian tradition of atithi devo bhava ("treat your guest like a god") is not very clearly understood by my dogs, and I must say our guest's behaviour was not very godlike, specially when he tried to chase the birthday girl out of her own garden. He was hastily returned to his home before any blood was shed.



In mid-March it was still quite cool early in the morning. Lalee and Kimaya sunbathed in the "sunbird" corner of the garden (the hamelia and other flowers here attract a lot of these jewel-like little birds).





It got rather hot after a while. So a nice cool mud-pit had to be dug.

Digging pits is an old habit from Lalee's puppy days. Back in the golf course her bed used to be in the corner of a large sand pit. She would turn and turn and make a hole and settle down in it. To this day she likes digging in sand and mud and making a little "bed" for herself.



Kimaya HAS to follow Lalee wherever she goes, though she doesn't particularly like sitting in mud. It's more fun sitting on a sofa (after putting lots of muddy paw-prints all over it).



Evening walk on the beach.

Notice the car tyre tracks on the sand? The beach is no longer a safe place to play, thanks to the low-end tourism boom in Nagaon and local authorities who have more important things to bother about than public safety. Even on a week day there were one or two cars racing up and down. On weekends, letting the dogs off-leash would be comparable to releasing them on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. I have to look out for cars constantly.




Above, below: Lalee, Kimaya, Brownie







Above: Who says only Kimaya can run? Lalee races ahead of Brownie across the beach...



...towards Brownie's friend, a white and brown female. She is nursing right now.



Kimaya is now a city dog and mostly walks on a leash...except on the fortnightly Nagaon trips of course.



A much-needed run with Brownie, and much splashing in the waves.





Above: Is that a dolphin? A whale? No, it's Kimaya leap-frogging over Brownie...



Finale: This wasn't taken on Lalee's birthday but a week or two earlier, by Kiran. Morning sunbath in Mumbai.

Nagaon

6 comments:

Smita said...

Belated birthday greetings,Lalee! May you celebrate many more happy birthdays!
Gorgeous photos as always,Rajashree.

wandereress said...

Belated Birthday wishes to Lalee. Wishing her many more of these!! Juhee

Rajashree Khalap said...

Thanks for the wishes, they have been passed on to the b'day baby in the form of cuddles and kisses!

doggylove said...

belated birthday wishes to lalee!, i was very busy for a fortnight,since, steffi, a stray dog who sits just outside my building underwent 2 surgeries, and i had to keep her in my home for foster care,till her sutures were healed.it was a testing time for me,4 dogs in my small house at a time, all keeping an eye on each other,growling and all!with steffi's earliar report saying she had sarcoma,i was little soft with her,but fortunately,confirmed report said its no sarcoma,only a necrotic tissue.i left her on street after her sutures were removed, and her blood report showed major improvement.no more foster care!!

georgia little pea said...

A VERY belated happy birthday, Lalee :)

Another lovely post. Glad I got to read it. Pity about the hoons on the beach. I'd forgotten what a lovely corner of the world you and your dogs live in!

Rajashree Khalap said...

Manik and Georgia's human, Lalee says thanks!

I'm so glad Steffi didn't have a sarcoma. Must have been so stressful for all of you!

The beach...sigh. It would be so easy to protect it if the authorities were only bothered. Nagaon was such a quiet place until a few years ago. Nobody had heard of it. Now it's full of speedboats, plastic trash, cars, people playing cricket and playing loud music, pony carts...almost like dirty Juhu Beach in Mumbai.