About Me

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Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier. Founder of the INDog Project (www.indog.co.in) and the INDog Club. Before that, I worked with urban free-ranging dogs of Mumbai from 1993-2007. Also a spider enthusiast and amateur arachnologist.

This blog is for aboriginal dog enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah Dog) and INDog-mixes (Indies) 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 landrace village dog of the Indian subcontinent. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too. Also see padsociety.org

Friday, May 23, 2014


We've had many moving adoption stories this month and here is another one. 

This sweet INDog-mix was born on the streets of Delhi and flown to the US by a rescue group. 

His first six months of life were full of changes and stress...till he finally found his very own home with Shelby Amador Nava and Aiden.

Arrow's story, by Shelby:

A few months ago, my son and I decided it was time to adopt a new family member. My son is 10 years old and an only child. After making the decision to adopt, we searched. We looked in kennels, rescue groups, Craiglist and had an innate belief that we would just know when we had found him or her. It wasn't about finding a particular breed, or selecting something cute. It was about finding the one. The one dog who could watch over us but still snuggle. The one who my son could call his best friend and I could call our trusted companion.

After a couple of months of searching we found him. A local rescue group had his picture on their website, and before we read his little summary, we knew he was the one. The rescue group had categorized him as a lab-mix, but I was sceptical about that. They said he had come from India, that he was good with other pets and children, but that was about it. 

I immediately filled out the adoption application. I knew he belonged with us and I made the commitment to do whatever I could to bring him home.

A photo sent to us the day before he arrived

After many long emails we finally had the chance to meet him. He came home and immediately snuggled up with my son and slept, and slept, and slept. 

He had a look of relief and appreciation, as if he knew we were his forever family.

When going through all the paperwork, I discovered he had been rescued at just a few days old, and left at a vet in New Delhi. A rescue group paid for his medical care and flew him to the US when he was three months old. He spent a couple of weeks in shelters; then went to a foster home where he was exposed to parvo virus. He was then quarantined for six weeks. He then went to two more fosters in a week's time before he finally came to us. By now he was already almost six months old. 

After much research, and a trip to the vet, it appears that he is a pariah dog. Though he may be mixed the pariah seems to be dominant. 

He had been born as a street pup, flown across the world, spent time from kennel to kennel and foster to foster. Now he is finally home. 

He has a best dog friend and a loving family.

He has blessed us and I truly believe his journey to us was destiny.

He is amazing. He is so smart, and so thankful for us. He loves his walks in town, on the beach, or at the river. He loves following my son and his friends everywhere and seems to take special pride in watching over the children in our lives.

He is happy. He is healthy. He is a blessing. He is home.

Photos and story: Shelby Amador Nava

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Suzy and Katie

We often say dogs choose the owner, not the other way around. 

Suzy and Katie's mother actually did choose an owner for her pups: her friend Sharanya Chatterjee.

These striking INDog sisters live with Sharanya's family in Hazaribagh, Jharkhand.

I love this story Sharanya wrote for us:

'It all started when I used to wait at the bus stop for my school bus and a brown pariah puppy used to be my companion, in return for a pack of biscuits daily.

'As I grew up and so did this dog (now named Disco because of her amazing happy dance whenever she saw me), we developed a great friendship.

'One fine day she jumped our boundary wall and came inside, very hungry. Somehow I managed to convince my mom to let me feed her. 

'She would roam around the neighbourhood and come to our home only for food.

'Everything was manageable, until she got pregnant. 

'Although she delivered and nursed her four babies by the roadside, strangely one day she picked up one of the pups, a black female, and left her inside our premises. It was very cold outside so we decided to give the pup shelter for one night. That was Katie...

'Surprisingly, the next morning we found another pup, brown Suzy, in the garden. 

'Both the females had been left with us.'

Disco's babies

Disco with one of the male pups

'Now Disco went on living with the two male pups by the roadside. Twice a day she would visit the two female pups in our house and feed them. 

'After two weeks I found the two male pups lying alone by the roadside. So I took them in and persuaded my parents to give them shelter till winter was over, and return them to the road once summer came.'

'Four winters have passed since then...and they became an inherent part of my family without anyone realizing it. 

'Sadly one of the male pups died early, and we lost the other male (Bhoda) a few months ago.'


Bhoda and Katie

'Suzy and Katie live happily with us. Their mother Disco is still here.

'So actually it was they who adopted us... 

'Believe me, the best gift God has given my family is their unconditional love and lots of fun-filled memories to cherish forever!'

Photos and story: Sharanya Chatterjee

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Assam is full of beautiful perfect INDogs, and Tuffy is no exception.

She lives with Mala Dutta and her family in Guwahati.

'Tuffy came into our lives one stormy night in April, six years ago,' says Mala. 'She was a little pup. She had squeezed herself under our gate and taken shelter from the rain under our car. 

'My grandpa heard her whimpering and brought her into the house. The rest is history...

'At that time we had our 12-year old beloved mix-breed dog Jonky who was the life of our house. When Tuffy "adopted" us, I remember telling my mother that perhaps Jonky would be leaving us soon and that this was God's way of making sure we wouldn't be without a dog after he was gone. 

'Sure enough...Jonky died in August that very year. Leaving the entire family heartbroken beyond words. Specially my mother.

'After burying Jonky in our garden I broke down, crying uncontrollably. 

'Tuffy, just a few months old then, refused to leave my side all day. She didn't even go to eat. She started licking my face, non-stop. Coming from a family of passionate dog lovers, I had adored Tuffy the moment I saw her. But it was at this time, when she licked my face lovingly and tried to comfort me, that I really fell in love with her.

'She is highly intelligent, energetic, affectionate, gentle, with an extraordinary ability to communicate!'

Tuffy a few years ago

Photos and story: Mala Dutta

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Two ladies of Thrissur

These are Tippu's lady friends (Tippu of Thrissur, not the pup Tippu of Kozhikode). 

They started living on Sajoy's property some time ago. 

'Two months ago they were chicken-killers,' says Sajoy. 'Now I'm giving them meals and they've stopped killing poultry!'

They eat from the same bowl without conflict.

Dogs with high prey drive often continue to kill whatever they can even if they are well-fed; but luckily these two seem to have been killing chickens only for survival.

By feeding them Sajoy has actually saved their lives. Villagers do not tolerate dogs that kill livestock and poultry. Such dogs are usually poisoned. 

These girls definitely love Sajoy for feeding them, even if they don't know he saved them from a horrible death. 

Sajoy will be trying to get them spayed by the nearest vet.

Meanwhile the duo have not just changed their eating habits; they have also become local celebrities!

'A few days ago a thief came to rob a neighbouring house, and he jumped into my compound, not realizing there were dogs here,' says Sajoy. 'Tippu and these two ran after him, and one of them caught and bit him. I heard their barking and the man's cry. Then the villagers came and grabbed the thief and handed him over to the police. 

'Since then the former chicken-killers and Tippu have become the heroes of the village!'

That really is a happy story!

Photos: Sajoy Peter

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014


I love this pup's photos and name (Harry Potter fans won't need an explanation).

Bright and handsome Hufflepuff lives in Kolkata with his rescuer and adopter, Vishwajeet Samuel Gain. 

'Someone from my church told me about a litter near her house that she was taking care of,' says Vishwajeet. 'I told her I wanted one.

'So I went off to her house, and there were five of them! I wish I could have taken them all in, but my parents would allow just one. 

'That's when I chose Huffy. He was the tiniest and quietest of them all, and I knew he was the one that needed the most care. So I brought him in, and that's how it all began.

'When we got him he had white paint on his head and nose. Don't know how that might have happened, but we managed to remove it finally.

First day...

'He was three months old at the time. Now he's around eight months.'

'Bath time! He loves it, but he's too cool to show it!'

Vishwajeet and Huffy

'My little sister used to be terrified of dogs, and now she sleeps with Hufflepuff!

'I found out about the other puppies too; they're all in good hands.

'He had a lot of worms when we brought him in, and the vet said he may not last long. Now he's as healthy as can be!'

Photos and text: Vishwajeet Samuel Gain

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Tippu of Kozhikode

This is a different Tippu from our handsome friend in Thrissur with the same name. This Tippu is also in Kerala, looks very similar and is as handsome! 

To avoid confusion I'm going to refer to this pup as Tippu of Kozhikode, and the older one as Tippu of Thrissur. 

Tippu of Kozhikode was adopted by Elvis Shaji on his college campus in Adoor, Pathanamthitta district. He was around four weeks old at the time.

'I found him on my college grounds, along with eight other pups, scared to death and shy,' says Elvis.
'They were probably left there by someone who couldn't manage all of them.

'If anyone went close to the pups, only one of them would respond with a growl and a bark. I took that puppy with me to my hostel, where I gave him a place to sleep and a feeding bowl. He was scared of my room-mates, but soon overcame his fear.

'When he was around two months old I took him to my home at Kozhikode (Calicut).

'He is about three and a half months old. I don't know his exact age. I took him to a vet for a complete check-up and vaccinations.

'Now he roams freely in the yard, chasing cats, digging holes and sleeping. He eats little compared to other dogs, but isn't too lean so there is no reason to suspect any problem. Chasing and being chased are his favourite games. And he yelps a lot!

'His playful nature makes it hard to take photos.'

Photos and text: Elvis Shaji

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