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

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kiki needs a home - Pune

A message from Mariya Khan, Pune:

I'm desperately looking for a home for Kiki. I have a male beagle at home already and I live in an apartment. I've dewormed Kiki and she's getting her rabies shot today. She's quite intelligent and playful. The vet says she'll be a very good guard dog.

For adoption please contact 09545288385 or mariya6@hotmail.com

Mariya Khan

Dog left in Delhi by expatriate owner - please help find her a home

Message from Madhu Goyal:

Baby, a 7 month old beautiful little Indian dog, was left behind by her expat owner with cruel flat-mates, who are now planning to throw the little dog out on the street. Poor little blameless Baby urgently needs a forever home. Please give her another chance at love and security. To adopt her call Deepshikha on 9811188812 or email her at deep20ss@gmail.com

Please forward!

And this is my footnote.

I'm deeply depressed by the emails I've received in the last two days. All the recently featured dogs (Pinglu, Priya's dogs and Baby here) are in their current sad situation because of the intolerance of humans. It could have been so different if they had been lucky enough to live around decent, civilized people. What does it cost to be decent and civilized for heaven's sake?

The email about Baby is a sad coincidence, because recently in the Comments on the post "Roshni," we were discussing expatriates who adopt dogs and then leave them in India when they return to their own countries. Why do they "rescue" animals if they can't give them a permanent home? In the last few years many expatriates have written to me and ALL of them - ALL - have been wonderful responsible owners, taking a huge amount of trouble and spending a lot of money to take their dogs home with them. Check the many posts about "non-resident" Indian dogs in this blog. If one can't be like these owners, why "adopt" at all?

I beg any non-Indians who may be reading this -
please please don't pick up a pet here unless you are prepared to give it a permanent home. Our street dogs face many hardships as it is. Let's not add abandonment to the list.


Urgent!! Homes needed for 3 lovely dogs in Ahmedabad

Dog lover Priya Shastri is in a nightmare situation right now and has no option but to part with her beloved pet dogs. It's an unbearable plight for a dog owner and my heart goes out to her and her pets. Please help find homes for them by circulating this appeal. She is willing to bear all their maintenance costs.

Dear friends,

I have 3 great pets. Snuggly, Jhinku, and Bijli. They are 3 years old and are vaccinated and neutered/sterilized (they can't have babies).

They are the most special for me and my life since the past 3 years has revolved around them. They bring me happiness, joy, love, and are always there for me.

We were a happy family, 3 dogs, me, and my mom. However as some of you know, my father shifted to Ahmedabad a few months ago. Unlike me and my mom he hates dogs. There has been a fight since 3 months regarding the dogs. He tried many times to get them caught and thrown out. Each time he failed, except today. He has won and basically thrown my dogs and me out of the house. He has resorted to threats, violence, and blackmail to prove his point. I have many places to go but my dogs have none.

They are currently tied to a tree in Mina Mashi's garden. But this is not a permanent fix for them. They can only stay there for a couple of days. I have to find homes for them. Unfortunately I know I will have to separate the three and they will perhaps never meet each other again. They are siblings and have been together since they were born.

If anyone can take one, even all three I will be most grateful.

I cannot release them back on the street, they wont be able to survive. There are no permanent kennels in Ahmedabad where they can be kept either. If we can't find them a home they will eventually have to be put to sleep which is something I would never want to do willingly.

I am ready to take the financial responsibility of their health and food needs, including the cost of any fencing that will need to be done in your home/garden for them.

This is not a request but a cry for help. I am desperate and I just do not know what to do. I am attaching their pics with this e-mail.

Please help me!

Priya Shastri
For adoption call 09925827584

UPDATE: Two of the dogs have been adopted, and Priya is keeping one of them with her.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pinglu needs a new home - Kolkata

First we heard horror stories of dogs being abused in Ahmedabad. Now here's a similar sad story from Kolkata. Please help sweet Pinglu by circulating this appeal.

From Samir K Biswas:

Some three months back, somebody left a 25 day old female pup in front of our apartment complex. She was in a distressed condition, so being dog lovers, my wife Papia and I simply couldn't neglect her and came forward to save her life.

We have nourished her to the best of our capacity and tried to accommodate her in the 10,000 square ft garage space of the complex. She was growing up well there for one month. But a lot of politics started in our society because of this and the situation soon worsened. In my absence some people threw her into a drain and started torturing her with a big stick and in other cruel ways. One Sunday she was forced to stay out for a full day and I couldn't find her. I thought she had been left far away somewhere, or even killed.

Late at night when Papia and I came back home, we found the pup in a very stressed condition, shivering in front of my flat door. We took her in and started keeping her with us.

Since we are in a flat and my service requires visits in our units outside of West Bengal, I cannot travel outside Kolkata with my wife. We can't keep the dog alone inside our locked flat or in the open ground floor garage space. Because in both cases, the dog will die. Only to survive myself, I have to do service and cannot bypass my responsibilities. We don't ever want to see her distressed in future.

We are ready to hand over this dog to anyone who is prepared to keep her with love and care for her whole life.

Her name is Pinglu and she has been dewormed and has been given all her vaccines by a registered veterinarian.

As dog lovers, please help me put Pinglu into caring hands.


Samir K Biswas

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The IN crowd!

INDog, INcat and INpup share a moment.

Cara's lovely picture and caption, posted in my Facebook INDog Club. Again, I just had to post it here!

(For cat people, the "official" name of our cats is Domestic Indian Shorthair).

Photo and caption: Cara Tejpal

Beautiful INDog for adoption, Mumbai

A message from Charu Shah:

Disco and her brother were rescued by Sudheer and Bhavya last year, when they were just 15 days old. The male pup died sometime later but Disco got stronger and healthier. We tried to get her a home, but when that did not happen she was kept at a friend's house.

Now those people have to shift, and there won't be anyone to look after Disco, so she needs to get a permanent home.

Anyone who can help, please contact Sudheer or Bhavya - sudhirarora85@gmail.com or bhavya.arora@gmail.com or 9004038563.

Preferably, she should be adopted in Mumbai only, but a farmhouse will also do as long as she will get proper full time care.

Note: she will be spayed before the adoption.


Himalayan dogs and lamas...

I love these pictures posted by Ravi Visvesvaraya Sharada Prasad in my Facebook INDog Club recently, so I asked him if I could post them here too. These are not INDogs/Indian Pariah Dogs, but ancient Himalayan livestock guarding breeds the Bhutia dog and Gaddi kutta. Thanks Ravi!

The second and third photos show a Lama with his Bhutia/Gaddi dog at the parking lot of the famous Rumtek monastery near Gangtok, Sikkim. His dog bears a strong resemblance to my females Miu and Tashi, and even some resemblance to my Doberman-Rottweiler Isha. I asked the Lama if I could pet him, but he warned me that he was too ferocious.

Dogs hold a sacred place in the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism due to their virtues of loyalty, faithfulness and unconditional love. There are several references to dogs in the Jatakas. The Buddha himself had saved a pack of stray dogs from being poisoned by a king.

If a Lama has performed a minor transgression, or has not been able to live up to the high standards expected of him, then he is reborn as a dog in his next birth. And the dog, in its next birth, is reborn as a Lama.

On a practical level, since monasteries contained a lot of gold artifacts and were prone to looting by bandits, dogs provided protection during the days of the Silk Route.

The Buddhist priests believe that the tan pips over a dog's eyes give it the power to sense danger up to three days in advance. A dog with a white patch on its chest is believed to be valorous and fearless. Dogs with these features - tan pips over the eyes and white patches on the chest and neck - are highly prized by the Lamas.

Photos and text: Ravi Visvesvaraya Sharada Prasad


More on chaturaksh or "four-eyed" dogs here.

Please help Alex find a home - Bangalore

I wish this post were about a pup in a "forever home," but it's not. Please circulate and let's help Alex get a loving new owner.

Alex is 1 and a half year old Indian-mix boy, healthy and active.
He is in need of a new home soon
where he will be loved and cherished for life. His current owner cant keep him as she is finding it tough to take care of two dogs at a time. Alex needs a home for life !

If anyone can help, please get in touch with Priyanka 09686842660 or 080- 40961209 for further details & adoption.

Message from
Aparna Bhatt
Kulture for Animal Rehabilitation & Mass Awareness

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fawny and Cherry

Ever since I first saw Disha's pictures of her beautiful dogs, I've been nagging her to send me some for this blog.

Here they are - the many moods of Fawny and Cherry!

Photos: Disha Sharan

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Judy revisited

Putting the spotlight back on Judy, who made her debut in this blog in May (click here). I've really enjoyed reading about this dog in owner BB Singh's emails. I hope I'll get to meet her "in person" some day. I liked her personality so much I want to share bits of it here - with her dad's permission!

From B B Singh:

Judy will sit, shake hands, roll over and stay on command from any of us.

She will never eat anything if thrown on the floor. You have to give her food in her special bowl...She is so meek if you tell her not to eat she will stop and just look at you. You can leave anything on the dinner table or around the house. Judy has never touched anything she is not suppose to touch.

She will never go out alone or without a leash even if the door is open. We taught her all this without any punishment and only by spending a lot of time with her and giving a lot of love. Sometimes we wonder whether she understands everything we say...

Judy doesn't have any faith in us as far as the security of our home is concerned. If any guest comes over, Judy will be the first to receive the person, will scrutinize him and will continue sitting in the drawing room. As long he is chatting there are no problems, but if he touches anything like a magazine or book or anything else, he'll receive a deep-throated growl or loud bark!

Judy is an expert at opening self-closing spring-loaded doors. She can open any unbolted door from inside or outside.

We never need morning alarms. At 5 a.m. sharp, she will start scratching me or my sons or my wife to take her for a walk. I like these sessions.

Judy just can't be kept away while we have our lunch or dinner. She will dutifully sit at our side and keep a supervisory eye on the goings-on.

She is extremely playful, and will start pulling our trouser legs to make us go on to the terrace with her to play a "tug of war" game or "throw a ball and see how quickly I bring it" game. There is a big park in front of my house where children play cricket. Judy used to sit on the boundary and whenever there was a four or six, she used to run like a rocket and bring the ball into our house before any of the fielders could reach her. Nobody dared claim it back from her. She collected more than 10 rubber cricket balls. Now of course I no longer allow her to go on to the cricket ground.

Her fame is a point of envy for us sometimes! Whenever my wife and I take Judy for walks, many small children will stop her to shake hands with her. Our home address is better known as
Judy ka ghar ("Judy's home"). My wife is called Judy ki mummy in all the Air Force Colony.

On one of our walks a lady on the pavement told her small son to move away as there was a dog approaching. The child promptly reprimanded her, "Mummy, this isn't a dog, it's Judy! She never bites."

I actually avoid meeting small groups of children during our walks because they hold us up for a long time, asking Judy to sit, shake hands and fetch!

The reception Judy gives us when I return from long courses or duty, or when my sons return from college - with her shining eyes, wagging tail and licking of our ears - it's just PRICELESS.

B B Singh

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Another puppy member from Hyderabad. I'm really thrilled about how this adoption happened. Minna found Roshni's adoption appeal in the "Straysrhot" blog, which she found through this blog. See why I keep telling people to post and circulate appeals? It's just possible that a pup will get a loving home because we did that little bit of extra work.

Roshni's story, told by Minna:

I've fairly recently moved to Hyderabad from Finland and seen a multitude of street dogs around the neighbourhood. They sparked an interest in me as I've been without a dog for almost a year now. I had to let my last dog go to greener hunting grounds in October last year and I still miss him. Anyway, my husband and I have been keeping half an eye on the streets for a couple of months now for a puppy we could adopt, without luck. Once I found this blog, I of course went clickety-click on the adoption links there and stumbled on a post about puppies for adoption in Hyderabad. One girl was still there, and the next day we brought her home.

She is 3-5 months old and is very sweet and gentle, and quite vocal when she wants attention. She hasn't been handled very much, as she goes into a very submissive pose whenever she's touched - hopefully we can change that with time. She enjoys her belly rubs and scritches thoroughly though once she gets over the initial timidness. After much thought, we've decided to name her Roshni.

This picture was taken 15 minutes after we got home.

This one was a few hours afterwards, with her in her fort - (aka bed - she refused to set foot out of it for hours, probably because she wasn't allowed in the house in her first home).

This one is Roshni in her fort again on the second day, with some of the treasures the little thief had dragged there. She seems to like flipflops a lot, as we keep finding out. Actually, anything that isn't nailed down or on a table eventually ends up in her bed.

She's a bit timid at times and doesn't really look forward to being picked up, but she doesn't try to wriggle out of it either. During the evenings she gets hyperactive and wants to play and bark and run around like she's on speed. She gets away with it for a while, until I decide enough is enough and catch her for some cuddle therapy. Meaning she gets bundled up in my arms and we lie down on the bed, she gets kisses, scritches and belly rubs and we get some peace and quiet!

Text and photos: Minna Lintu


Here's the first of several cute new Club members - Buddha, commonly known as Buddy, owned by Nelson Gibbs and Connie Vassilev.

Nelson tells us about him:

My wife and I live in Hyderabad on top of a hill with few other buildings around, so the landscape is full of stray dogs.

Last December we heard something below us in the underbrush crying and crying. My wife went to investigate while I went to work.

When I got home she had rescued an orphaned pup.

We named him Buddy (and Buddha - hoping he'd be calmly serene), and started hand feeding him puppy formula. We think the mother may have moved the other pups and left him behind as we used to occasionally see his siblings and her nearby.

With the good food, regular feeding and veterinary care he grew rapidly.

I tried to find out what breed(s) he might be, and based on my experience with Basenjis (he has a very wrinkled forehead like a Basenji) I came across some information about the Pariah breed.

Based on my research, his morphology seems to indicate a significant amount of INDog genetic material - he has the curled fishhook tail, the short yellowish-rust coat, the long pointed snout, the wrinkled forehead, the square body measurements, and the inquisitive, feral personality (he is constantly stealing and eating things) typical of the Pariah breed. He likely has something else mixed in (the dropped ears aren't consistent with INDog), but I can't figure out what.

We plan to take him with us when we move back to the U.S.

Text and photos: Nelson Gibbs

Sunday, July 18, 2010

INpuppies for adoption in Delhi!

A message from Cara Tejpal:

These feisty INDog pups are looking for a home. They have been hand-reared since the age of two weeks and are well socialized with humans, dogs and cats. They are the only survivors of a litter of five orphans.

Interested? Call 91 9911799689.

Cara Tejpal

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The girls

Lalee and Puppy on a rare walk together. Puppy is 13 and rather slow, so she isn't walked with Lalee since their pace is different. Read about Puppy and how she joined our family here.

She has put on 2 kilos since we adopted her. Her walks are brief and dedicated almost solely to "answering Nature's call," as the newspapers put it here.

The scars on Puppy's left side are the remnant of bad burns she got while sleeping under a taxi many years ago. Probably from an overheated silencer.

Lalee's walks on the other hand are mostly sniffing expeditions and most of her time is spent in tracking the scents of her dog friends and acquaintances. Quite a bit of territorial marking is done near the home of her arch enemy, pet INDog Sheba who lives in another building in our society.

The person walking them is our driver Sanjay, who is also our daytime dogwalker and occasional petsitter, and one of Lalee's favourite humans. When I adopted Lalee I was working at an NGO kennel for six hours a day and I needed someone to walk her. Ever since he has been her favourite walking companion. I'm ashamed to admit she refuses to stay outside more than 20 minutes at a time with me, but with Sanjay she walks for an hour or more!

Golden fleece, puppy face

Nearly a month has passed since we lost our darling Bandra, but I haven't been able to bring myself to write about him. There's too much to say. I don't know where to begin and where to end.

So I'll tell you about him through these pictures taken over the four wonderful years we had together.

Bandra's portrait by photographer Heather Fener, January 2009

Bandra didn't have much INDog in him, as you can see from his photos. He was possibly a retriever-mix.

He was I think an abandoned dog, dumped at Bandra station where he then lost a foreleg in a train accident. A terrible maggot infestation followed, but he was rescued eventually and brought to the NGO I worked for at the time. In spite of the betrayal and trauma, he didn't lose his affection for people nor an ounce of his cheerfulness or goofy sense of fun.
He battled liver cancer (successfully) in 2006, and also severe hypothyroidism.

This is how he looked at the time of his rescue (2005) and adoption (2006)

Four fun years followed, for him and even more so for us. He was a king in our house. There was an ongoing competition for status with Lalee, but they were actually rather fond of each other, with quite a bit of friendly sniffing and tail-wagging when they thought we weren't looking!

The sight of him rolling on the bed always made us laugh. Here he had settled down for a nap after a vigorous belly-rub from my husband. Scratching and belly-rubs were Kiran's chief duties on reaching home every evening.

He made frequent trips with us to our bungalow near the sea, where he divided his time between the sofa, the garden and the beach. Click here, here and here for some earlier posts about him in this blog.

The five beach photos above were taken by photographer Rohan Mukerjee, 2008. Above: With Lalee and Lucy.

Being an amputee didn't bother him much. He could run pretty fast, and jump on the bed too. Long walks tired him though and he would often have to sit and rest his leg.

Because of his hopping gait, I gave him the nickname "Bunny" and that's what we usually called him. Also "Bam-bam." One of the lovely things about animals is that they don't mind being given silly names!

Below: Rolling on the grass with Kimaya

The end was sudden and shocking, a silent massive cardiac arrest. But possibly this was the best and least painful way to go. He was blessed. So were we.

It's always too sudden and always too soon to lose a beloved family member, as a friend told me after his death. This is so true. She also reminded me that dogs live in the moment and rarely let thoughts of the past or future bother them. This is a gift and something we should, but don't, learn from our animal friends. Belonging to a sadder species I can't shake off the mourning very easily. I want to believe we'll meet again, some day.

But Bandra was a sunny soul, always cheerful and smiling and always a puppy in his head, though he was probably ten years old at the time he left us. The best tribute I could pay him would be to enjoy each moment as he did.

So I don't want to feel sad when I think of him. He deserves better. I want to remember him as he is in these pictures.

Golden, shining, brave, innocent and happy forever.