About Me

My photo
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

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The K Gang and I, featured in 'The Ladies Finger' and 'The Wire'

Recently a long interview with me was published in the online magazine 'The Ladies Finger'. The same article was published in 'The Wire'. 

The main topic of the article was of course the latest discovery of our arachnology team, Eriovixia gryffindori, that caused a global media sensation thanks to the name! However, the writer, Divya Vijayakumar, also wanted to cover my other (and earlier) areas of work besides arachnology: the INDog Project and wildlife conservation. She did a wonderful job describing what the INDog Project is all about. And she asked to use a picture of Kiba, Kimaya and me on Nagaon beach; so the K Gang also got their share of glory 😀  

The photo was taken by Javed Ahmed, the brilliant lead researcher of our arachnology team, who is also part of the INDog Project.

I'm posting a few screen shots of the article, and the links to it in both magazines.

Arachnologist Rajashree Khalap on discovering the Sorting Hat Spider that excited even J K Rowling

Meet Rajashree Khalap, co-finder of the Sorting Hat Spider and other Fantastic Beasts

The K Gang!

From 'The Wire'

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Jackie in winter

Or rather, 'Jackie in the St. Petersberg winter'. Very different from winter in Goa, where he was born.

So how is this gorgeous INDog coping with the cold? His human Maria Shuvarikova sent in recent photos. 

The weather outside

At the Gulf of Finland

He has grown a substantial undercoat, though his stomach is still fur-free; and he still refuses to wear anything warm. 'Hates coats and gets rid of them all. He just tears them apart', writes Maria.

He still seems as comfortable in the snow as he was last month (have a look at his first post here). I hope that if and when he does start to feel cold, he'll allow Maria to put a coat on him.

I LOVE these pictures, especially the ones of him at the Gulf of Finland!

Photos: Maria V Shuvarikova
St Petersberg

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Jimi and his family

What lovely dogs I've met through my Facebook INDog Club page! The latest are this adorable INDog family: Jimi, Chhoti, Longface and Guddu. 

The full pack: L - R, Jimi, Longface, Guddu, Chhoti

'They were born at Gopalpur On Sea, behind my house late in 2010,' writes proud owner Kunal Biswas.

'I looked after Jimi and his six brothers and sisters as puppies. 

In time, only four were left around my place.

So I took all of them inside my house and completely domesticated them.

Jimi is the eldest of them and the most sensitive among the three; also the most adorable and intelligent, especially at understanding human feelings.
He loves chicken liver, loves his space, but dislikes loneliness. He goes wherever I go, and sleeps where I sleep. Eats what I eat. But he loves his space.'

I think that's a marvellous description of an INDog!

More cute pictures of Jimi below!

Photos and text: Kunal Biswas
Gopalpur On Sea, 

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Horace, Continued...

Now, the grown-up Horace, from his photo album! In case you missed his puppy photos, here they are!

This cute Mumbai-born INDog-mix lives with Scott Berry and his family in Olympia, WA, in the US.

Thanks for the photos, Scott!

Photos: Scott Berry
Olympia WA

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Friday, November 11, 2016

King Tommy at Scruffts!

BIG news from star Indy Tommy and Monique!! 

Beautiful Tommy has been a stellar ambassador for INDogs and INDog-mixes since he was first adopted: he is a certified, working Therapy Dog, champion in his training class, AKC Canine Good Citizen; and a show winner. Kudos to Monique for her dedicated campaign to earn respect for Indies, and to both of them for the years of hard work they have put in! 

Read about King Tommy in these earlier posts:

King Tommy: rosettes and training!

And Monique's exciting account of his latest win: Most Handsome Dog at Scruffts, UK!

Monique's story below:

From Goa to Crufts!

It has been a great summer for King Tommy the show dog. Besides the fact that he is seven years old this year, he has continued to take the English novelty shows by storm, and to top it all he became Best in Show in Cornwall!

But there was one rosette missing...

The Scruffts competition is the crossbreed show organized by the Kennel Club of the UK, to allow crossbreed dogs from all over the country to enter and get their minute of fame in the show ring. It's for non-professionals, families and people who love their dog. It's becoming very popular and getting a lot of attention.

There was a qualifying heat in Plymouth, not far from where we are, and a dog trainer suggested we enter in 'Most Handsome Dog'. I found it silly because he is seven and a little bit overweight; he usually enters in 'Best Rescued Dog' - but the trainer insisted. And off we went! You have to win the qualifiers to get to the Semi Finals in London. And then you have to win the Semi Finals to get to the Finals at Crufts.

With a brand new collar, lead and bow tie, we entered the ring. Another 30 dogs were there to qualify as well and the judge looked sternly at all of us.

There is no breed description - they are all crossbreeds - and many are so-called designer dogs - so the judge has to choose a temperament, looks, whether the dog is well-behaved and obedient.

Would we have a chance to show the world what a great Indian dog King Tommy really is?

We turned on the Tommy charm, and he posed like a real pro.

We're called to step forward to the final six, come on Tommy! And then the judge chose 3rd place, 2nd place...still nothing. And the winner is...King Tommy!!!!

Instead of behaving like people in England do, smile and gently place my dog on the 1st place podium, I ran to the judge, an elderly man dressed in tweed, hugged him, kissed him and yelled out 'I love you!'

We're in! We're going to London to the Semi Finals!!!!

'Three months later we were on our way to London in tow with a journalist. A friend sponsored us with a nice hotel room. We had also been chosen to participate in a documentary about Scruffts for English TV, so it was a full agenda we had in front of us.

Being groomed for the big day!

On the way to London!

On D-Day the journalist and a couple of friends, including Rochelle Lucas who owns beautiful Indy Kala, all met up with us at the show grounds in London. The TV crew had filmed us on the way to the show. I clearly stated on camera that 'we are not the underdogs, we are the top dogs!'

Tommy had been professionally groomed and looked impeccable. Needless to say, another new collar, lead and bow tie were in place this time. 

The TV crew all admired his calm when they put a harness with a GoPro on him to film us going into the show from the dog's point of view.

We were ready. All my friends and Rochelle with a big camera all went to the ring to see us make it or break it.

Needless to say, I started to feel the pressure build up and started to cry before we went into the ring.

'You have to go in, NOW!'

And Tommy turned on his magic again, he trotted in, proud and tall, and I could notice the judge looking twice at him.

Marina Scott is a world champion handler and TV commentator on dog shows; she was our judge, young and different from other judges.

She went to each dog (there were 15 other qualifiers from all the UK) and kneeled down to greet them.

When it was our turn a microphone appeared and I was asked to tell about Tommy's life and his achievements. I start talking and then I looked down at Tommy to see him playing with the judge. Not sure it's a good thing or a bad thing.

The judge smiled and walked on.

My friends did the thumbs up, all seemed to go well.

But you never know. Because Tommy is so unusual looking the judges either love him or hate him. 
And then, in front of the large audience, Marina had to decide.

3rd place, not us. 2nd place, not us. 1st place...And the winner is...'KING TOMMY!!!'

And again I picked up my King and ran around kissing and hugging everyone I saw!

The judge gave Tommy a hug and again I had a microphone put in front of me. I had to say something, and I dedicated this win to all our Indian dogs.

Tommy, ever the calm dog, posed like a pro in front of the cameras, the TV crew, and everyone wanted to touch him and take a photo.

We are going to Crufts!

On March 2017 we will battle it out with the other five finalists (Prettiest Bitch, Best Rescue, Golden Oldie, Good Citizen Dog, Child's Best Friend). 

Meanwhile the TV crew will come and film us here in Devon and the journalist will have three articles about Tommy in Dogs Monthly.

This is an amazing moment and we feel so honoured to represent Indies and INDogs at Crufts. Meanwhile, we have to survive our first (and most likely last!) English winter...

Thank you to Rochelle Lucas, Anna Wells and Tony Vickers for the photos!

Story: Monique G Nerman
Photos: Rochelle Lucas, Tony Vickers, Anna Wells, Monique G Nerman

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