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.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I've 'known' Grumpy on Facebook for some time through her adoring parents Samik and Vidya. If you follow our FB page INDog Club you may have seen this beautiful girl there. 

Here she is finally, on the blog. Thanks Samik for this touching story.

Portrait by Kirti Chavan

Grumps was born around Diwali of 2010, one in a litter of eight, to a pretty lady in front of our gate. Luckily it was a dog-friendly street and all the folks in the locality fed and took care of the little ones, feeding them milk, biscuits and sometimes rice and fish. There was also a broken-down house nearby which served as a safe refuge for the little ones. But as is usual with pups on the street, they soon started disappearing one by one...from eight there were seven, then six, then four, and finally only two - Grumpy and her sister 'Puchku'. 

Meanwhile Grumpy was a moody little girl right from her birth. While other puppies would wag their tails and run after us for food, this one would sulk and make a face and walk off. The only thing she ever wanted was to play and tear and rip and destroy. She wouldn't be bothered with eating and drinking. Consequently her whole body was becoming increasingly emaciated and was covered in fleas and flea eggs. It looked like she was a black puppy, whereas in reality those were all flea eggs covering her. Her mother made a valiant effort sitting next to her sick child and biting off the fleas, but it was obvious she was overwhelmed.

The initial days after being picked off the street
Vidya and I, after trying our best to keep feeding her on the street, decided that we couldn't let her die in front of our eyes and we needed to take her in. We took her to a neighbourhood vet (who turned out to be a quack). Looking at her, he decided she was fine and only needed some water. He suggested that we feed her through a dropper! Not knowing any better we followed his advice and she didn't improve...

Struggling to stand...

The whole situation was becoming even more desperate because we needed to travel to Kolkata to attend a family function. So we called some folks who ran dog hostels and they said that Grumpy needed to be vaccinated before we could keep her there. We took her to the same vet and he happily vaccinated her. That night Grumpy collapsed. Though we didn't know it then, it turned out that she was too weak to have been vaccinated and it caused a massive adverse reaction inside her body.

Next day we took her to the dog boarding where the lady in charge took one look at Grumpy and flatly refused to take her in. She said our little one was very very sick and had massive inflammation and she needed to be hospitalized immediately. Luckily she knew a very good vet, the best in Bangalore. We took her to him and there was a team of vets there who took a good look at her and suggested immediate hospitalization. Grumpy was left in their care and went through intensive medication. We used to call twice every day and we were always told that she was doing fine. It was only much later that the vets told us they had almost given up hope and it was merely her immense survival spirit that helped pull her through. They all believed that it was a miracle that she even survived. 

When we came back we were told that she now needed nursing and not medication. We brought her home. Luckily Vidya was not working then and was at home full time to nurse this puppy back to health. She used to give her hot rubs every couple of hours, feed her, walk her in the pleasant winter sun on the terrace, and clean up potty. In those days the weak and sick little one would just sleep and sleep and get up to eat and get back to sleep again. However slowly she started getting healthier and more active. She started with sitting there waiting for food, to growling for it, to finally jumping for it...

The mischief starts...

It was tough love for me initially. She was my first little dog and I was totally clueless on how to raise one. Vidya had gone over to Pune by then and I was left alone with her, without any idea about what to do. Every day was a challenge and a learning experience. It was a guessing game as to what she could bite and tear. TV cables, chairs, shoes, newspapers, CDs, mattresses, garbage bins, her own potty, everything was open game...Added to that were my own feelings of guilt at leaving a puppy alone at home for so long.

Learning to beg in front of the kitchen

Hiding under the bed to avoid a bath

 Thankfully I was able to come to Pune soon after and things have settled down. She is not a pet, she is a family member to us and she has completed our family and brought us a huge amount of happiness. The best moment in my day is when I come home after a long day at work and she greets me with a huge shake of her bottom.

Above: Photo by Kirti Chavan

At that moment I know that whatever else I might be doing, there must be at least one thing I do right, to get this animal's absolute unquestioning love. 

Story and photos: Samik Biswas
Two photos by Kirti Chavan


wandereress said...

Superb and moving story

The Atom said...

I never knew the whole story!! Hats off to you guys!! Grumpy is getting what she deserves the best.. and you guys too!! Like i keep repeating.. Thanks for finding Ginger and taking care of her! I owe you guys.. :') god bless you.. :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome Job Samik & Vidya..

wish we could take a few more of the roads..

Ponky, Chocolate & AB