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
Thursday, March 27, 2008
The photo on top is of the late Trixie, a very beautiful INDog owned for many years by Lt Col Gautam Das (retd). Colonel Das is a great Indian dog enthusiast and a member of Primitive and Aboriginal Dogs Society (PADS). He was promoting the cause of Indian native dog recognition long before I got into the act. In fact, the name "INDog" was coined by him and has been used by a number of primitive dog experts for some time now.
Colonel Das is a great fan of Indian pure breeds too - we all hope INDogs will join that category some day! I love these childhood photos of him with his first dog Piki, an Apso from a high Himalayan village in the Spiti area of Himachal Pradesh. (Incidentally, the Apso is really an Indo-Tibetan breed, and not just Tibetan).
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
More beautiful pictures of Max, who is up for adoption and is being looked after by Charu Shah (his adoption appeal appeared here on February 25). Max looks like an INDog-lab mix, and as you can see he has grown up very handsome. Charu has a nice movie of him playing, too, which I was unable to upload here thanks to my technological incompetence. Please mail her on email@example.com and find out more about this lovely dog. He's one year old and really needs a good permanent home.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Meet Flopsy, Sri Lankan Pariah-mix and Bob, Sri Lankan Pariah. Obviously very very close cousins of our INDogs. (Another Sri Lankan, Hari, was featured here in a 24 January post.)
Flopsy and Bob belong to Kara and Kevin Cottle of the US, who have been living in Negombo, Sri Lanka for three years. They'll all be going to the US soon.
Here's what Kara has to say about the canine members of the family: "Flopsy was the alpha leader of a local pack whom we befriended. Bob just chose the right gate to crawl under when she was a puppy. Both of them had to be coaxed into the auto at first, but now riding around is their favourite thing in the world." We can see that from Flopsy's photo!
Negombo, Sri Lanka
I am looking for a home for my dog, who is male, mix-breed and 5 months old. I stay in Andheri (E), Mumbai. The dog's name is "Picnic." He has been vaccinated and is extremely intelligent and playful.
The reason I want to give away Picnic is that I already have two dogs. I want to find a nice family for Picnic because he is so sweet and lovable.
If you need any more information, please write to me.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Back to my Lalee, the inspiration for the Indian Pariah Dog Club.
Lalee turned seven on 15 March. I had written a whole lot of stuff about her for this post, but then I thought how embarrassed she would be if she could read all my sentimental mush. She just isn't that sort of dog. Bandra's the softie here. Lalee's tough. Lalee's independent. Lalee tosses her head and runs away if cuddled for too long. Though she's mushy enough in her own controlled way.
These photos were taken by Rohan Mukerjee in Lalee's favourite place, Nagaon beach. Please don't comment on that tummy, it is a sensitive topic (for me!) and we are working on it.
Photos by Rohan Mukerjee
Top: Lalee, Bandra, Lucy
Centre: Bandra, Lalee
Bottom: Lalee solo
Friday, March 14, 2008
This is Snoopy, a three month old female pup adopted from the street by Priya Singh. Snoopy and Priya live in Kolkata. She was slightly nervous of the camera when I took this picture - otherwise she is extremely friendly and playful and not nervous at all! I love the black spot on her head.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
This is one of the many pet INDogs I saw recently in the villages of the Sundarbans, West Bengal. Many households have pet dogs and cats, who all seem to be in great condition though they are fed only leftovers, and not large quantities either (people here are very poor). Almost all dogs conform to the "long-term pariah morphotype." There are a few unowned dogs hanging around the marketplaces, who are tolerated and treated well by villagers - they are all very friendly and not at all afraid of people. These "market" dogs often have itchy skin and some hair loss, though by no means as bad as our city dogs. It is probably caused by fleas.
I heard something very tragic from one of the villagers though. I asked him what the local people do when their dogs fall ill, hoping to hear of some interesting new herbal remedies. He said simply, "We kill them."
Naturally I was horrified by his answer, but it is not a great idea to be judgemental without knowing all sides of a story. So I asked what illness the dogs got. He described something for which he didn't have a name, but which was clearly rabies. Apparently this is the only disease the dogs get, and in such cases the dog's owner has to kill it (with a stick), or else allow other villagers to do it. Sometimes a doctor would come and kill it with an injection. Apparently a year or two ago there was an epidemic and many dogs were killed.
As I said, it's hard to make judgements here. Obviously a rabid animal cannot be allowed to roam around transmitting the disease, and since vets and facilities for humane euthanasia are in short supply, this is the fate of most rabid dogs in India - including those in city slums.
The only other disease they get is skin disease. Nobody bothers about this and unlike city people, villagers are not paranoid about skin disease spreading to humans. In Mumbai I've noticed a lot of people actually think skin disease is a symptom of rabies (I think they confuse rabies with scabies). These villagers are better informed.
What a shame rabies control is given so little importance in India. It is so easy to prevent this disease with annual vaccination. The government vets in this area could easily carry out anti-rabies vaccination drives once a year - there don't seem to be too many dogs per village and they are all friendly and easy to handle. Since these villages are right next to the tiger reserve area, rabies epidemics are surely a huge threat to wildlife - though of course villages are all on islands and separated from each other by rivers and canals...still, tigers do swim a lot there and frequently cross from one island to another, so one can imagine some calamity just waiting to take place.
In Mumbai NGOs have been vaccinating dogs on the street for many years, and in much larger numbers in recent years. It really wouldn't cost a lot to vaccinate the dogs in some of these villages at least. If I lived in that part of the country, I think I could have organized something. But almost all animal welfare NGOs are too small to extend activities beyond their own towns. If anyone reading this has the interest and capacity to organize a vaccination drive there, please do get in touch - NGOs here could provide guidelines on how to carry it out. Write to me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Incidentally, this photo was taken in a beautiful village called Pakhiraloy, full of flowers and birds. I found it hard to imagine the nightmarish place it must have become when all those dogs were beaten to death.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Please help with a home. Please. This is urgent. We have just 2 days before Fluffy gets deposited at the SPCA. Pass this message on to your friends.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Surprise, surprise! There is a part of India where INDogs actually do get the respect and status they deserve. And guess what...it's an extremely large chunk of India.
Rural India, tribal India.
INDogs have been valued as companions and watchdogs by aboriginal peoples and traditional rural society for centuries. Let's hope that never changes.
There is cause for worry, though. I am disturbed by growing requests for "good breed dogs" in the more touristy, prosperous villages (such as those in the Alibag region). Influenced by the city people who keep visiting, these villagers have started considering western pure breeds and mix-breeds superior to the pariah-type INDog. At every given opportunity I deliver a short lecture on why we should all be proud of INDogs, and I hope you will too.
These pictures of pet INDogs have been shot in parts of India that are still untouched by this trend.
From top to bottom:
The first and second pictures were taken by me in Kutch recently
Third: A handsome INDog in the village of Moharli, on the boundary of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (central India). A perfect example of the "long-term pariah morphotype," the generalized appearance of primitive dogs around the world.
Fourth: Another pet in Moharli. This female had a puppy who was kept safe in the owner's hut.
Fifth, sixth: Taken by Aditya Panda in the Satkosia Gorge Tiger Reserve, Orissa. This is Tibu, who lives in Satkosia with his owners. He is a well-cared-for pet (as you can see from the pictures), and he also does his bit as a watchdog, chasing jackals and hyenas away from his owner's house and livestock.
Seventh, eighth: More pet INDogs in Satkosia. Photos by Aditya.