About Me

My photo
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. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too.

Friday, June 15, 2012

And some nicer pictures

Kiba, 8 months


Tug champion of the world

Where can Kiba be?




Teeth

An interesting study of INDog dentition. 

I was in two minds about posting this hideous pic...but decided to go ahead after all.

Mumbai

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dobby
























Dobby is a Kolkata Indy owned by Rohini Joseph and her family. He was found outside their house nearly 8 years ago, and though they had five cats and a dog at the time, this kind family took him in as well.

'He's an absolute gem of a dog and pretty much welcomes anyone who comes to the house,' says Rohini. 'Great with children, extremely gentle and mild-mannered. And whenever poeple who are petrified of dogs come visit us, he has been intrumental in breaking that fear.
'His only problem is he HATES other animals and literally goes barking mad when he sees other dogs and cats on the road. This, despite that fact that he's lived with other animals his whole life (his best friend is a cat). But any creature outside the house is fair game.'

That sounds quite a lot like my Kimaya actually! 

 Some lovely pictures of Dobby including a few with his best friend.








  























Photos: Rohini Joseph
Kolkata 
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sea kangaroos

Kimaya and Kiba jumping over the waves

video
video

INDog summer

LOTS of pictures from two trips to Nagaon last month. 

On the first trip (early May) Kiba made his debut on the beach. Another milestone was 'being off-leash in a public place for the first time'. 

Kiba doesn't like getting his paws wet and hates to even step on dewy grass. As a tiny pup he used to jump carefully from one stepping stone to another on our lawn. As for paw-washing after his walks... he still lets out deafening yells every single time, though he's been going through this 'torture' for six months now. My right ear drum is beginning to feel funny.

So we didn't really expect him to like the sea, and on the first day he didn't. But of course he loved the beach, as any normal dog would. 



Off-leash for the first time - but I kept the leash on him so we could grab him easily


One of those spectacular Nagaon sunsets





On the second trip a fortnight later he gave me a surprise. Bounded into the sea, splashed around, jumped over the waves with Kimaya, everything. Perhaps he enjoyed the water because of the hot weather? 

Baths and paw-washing continue to be a torture (for me and my right ear drum particularly), but the Arabian Sea is now one of his favourite places.
 
This would have been a nice pic if...



The garden's not bad either. The Gulmohar is in full bloom. Kiba poses prettily among the fallen petals.  


Asleep, finally. Kimaya's collar and harness had to be scrubbed with detergent because she'd rolled on some disgusting old thing (ancient rodent remains/rotting fish?) We had to scrub her too, with a strong neem soap.
 





Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rocky

Divyaanshi Chandra sent me these pictures of her aunt's cute little INDog-mix pup Rocky.

Divyaanshi's aunt Anupama Srivastava looks after street dogs in Kolkata. A few months ago she was informed by someone about a tiny puppy that had had its intestines badly injured in a car accident. 

The kind lady immediately brought the pup home and nursed him back to health. 

'Rocky is all fit and fine now and has recovered to the surprise of many who saw him in his initial state,' writes Divyaanshi. 'It was originally planned that he should be sent to a shelter after he gets fine. But now he has become the apple of our eye and has been absorbed into our family forever.'

Divyaanshi's mail made me particularly happy because she says she had some prejudices about pariah dogs...until she met Rocky. This pup would convert anyone into an Indy fan, wouldn't he?






























Photos: Divyaanshi Chandra, Anupama Srivastava
Kolkata

Grumpy

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
Bangalore/Pune

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Kama Dog of Guam

Handsome Kama Dog was a free-ranging dog in Guam before he was adopted by Stephanie Serson. 







































Guam, like many other islands, had no domestic dogs originally. They were introduced in relatively recent times by the Spanish. So unlike INDogs, Canaan Dogs and other Asian and African pariah dogs, the Guam street dogs are not aboriginal and indigenous, but must be descended from dogs of many breeds - presumably Eurobreeds since they were originally brought there by Europeans. 

The fascinating thing is that even dogs of such mixed ancestry start 'reverting' to a pariah kind of appearance after several generations of free living and breeding. Obviously the LTPM is the appearance most suited for dogs in the ecological niche of scavenging around humans.

Here's Kama Dog's touching rescue story, sent in by Stephanie along with these beautiful pictures.

'I was living in Guam when I found Kama, my mongrel dog. I was stopped at a red light when he and two other free-ranging dogs crossed the road. They headed to a vacant lot between a BBQ pit and gas station. I pulled in and was able to lure him into my car with a siopao. He was about 5 months at the time and quite timid.

'I took him to the local shelter where he sat for two weeks, never got adopted because he doesn't look like a "pure bred" (which is very popular on the island). They were going to euthanize him to make room for other dogs, but in the two weeks he had been in the shelter I had worked with him so much and he had come so far socially I couldn't let him die. So I took him home and it was the best decision ever.

'We have moved back to the States and Kama came with us. Flying over the Pacific and getting stuck in Houston, Tx because of a hurricane, and finally landing safely in Boston, Ma. Just last month he joined us on a cross-country journey to our new home in California.

'I fell in love with the feral mongrels of Guam and laugh when people guess what breed he is. I tease people and say he is a Chamorro Sporting Hound, Guamanian Water Dog, or a Zorie Retriever. When I am met with quizzical looks I let people know he is a mutt.'

Story and photos: Stephanie Serson
California
USA
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Cricket, Mexi-dog




Another pariah type dog from Mexico, like Talla who was featured in April. This striking and very unusual-looking dog is called Cricket, and like Talla she was adopted and taken to the US. Owner Amber Oertle is extremely (and understandably) proud of her!

These dogs are also called Mayan Dogs, and some believe they are primitive dogs descended from the pre-Columbian dogs of the region. If you are interested in pre-Columbian dogs of the Americas, do read this informative article by Stephanie Little Wolf. 

Like our INDogs, these pariah dogs are also highly intelligent and quick learners. Amber does agility with Cricket, a great outlet for energetic dogs.

'Cricket is about a year and a half old,' writes Amber. 'She started taking agility lessons about 6 months ago or so and absolutely loves it. She is super-precise and quick on the obstacles and she is very focused on the task at hand.

'We recently passed the Canine Good Citizen test about 3 months ago. Her official name on her CGC certificate is Little Miss Jiminy Cricket.

'Cricket very much resembles a coated Xoloitzcuintli/Pariah-type dog. While she is super-bonded to me and is easy to train (though stubborn at times) she is still primitive in both features and temperament.'

Here's a blog Amber has started on these lovely dogs - Mexi-Dog Blog.

 






































Photos: Amber Oertle
Virginia
USA 

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