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

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Sophie at five

Five years ago beautiful Sophie was rescued from a street in Goa by a very kind man. 

An equally kind friend of his decided to adopt the puppy. And so Sophie became an Indy Princess. 
She has lived happily with the nice lady and her family ever since.

Every year her rescuer sends me an update about Sophie, with photos. I feel very privileged to be able to share her story here. This update actually came to me MONTHS ago, and I am inexcusably late in posting it - so sorry, Sophie!
If you're new to this blog, you might want to read her earlier posts first:

Sophie's choice
Sophie at three
Sophie at four

And now for her fifth birthday story:

For those of you who have been following Sophie's story...Yes, we take pictures of her all the time, but specially at her birthday time - 5 September every year.

Just to chronicle her progress and keep a record of what one of the cutest and most mischievous Indies is up to in Goa.

These pictures were taken in and around September last year, when she turned five.

Some highlights of the year...

She's as active and affectionate and mischievous as ever. Loves her walks and is extremely friendly too, with humans and other doggies also. A great watchdog, a fantastic companion for her human's (my friend's) dad, now 87 years (but totally fit - he takes her for a walk every morning and evening, probably one of the reasons he's fit). Sophie is also really great with kids, with both my friend's young nieces. She loves them to bits and they love her back too.

She's best friends with Annie the cat, her big 'sister' (in age, not size). Everyone thinks Annie is a Persian cat and won't believe she is not - she's a local rescue. Sophie is very protective of Annie. Even helping her in her meowing fights with neighbourhood cats. She rushes to her aid - as if Annie needed it. Annie is now ten years old and loves Sophie too, occasionally taking a playful swipe at her when she passes by. They always sleep together with their human in her bed at night.

As I mentioned Sophie is a great watchdog and barks when there's anything out of the normal, like when someone comes to the house. Her really loud alarm bark. The colony they live in say she's the self-appointed guard for them all. So much so that my friend's dad often sleeps soundly with all the doors left open, for fresh air. Sophie's there, he says. 

A few months ago she raised the alarm when a cobra entered their compound, and she kept it in one place until the neighbours could call a rescuer and have it safely caught and relocated. Fearless she is. Indies do indeed make great security dogs!

She loves her doggy friends in the neighbourhood, and there's a picture of her sitting with the brown doggy, and another of her playing with a special friend of hers, the grey-and-white doggy, who actually jumps over a corner of the compound wall and comes in to play with her early mornings, when he feels like it. They horse around the garden and on the lawn like crazy, and one morning I was shocked to find the entire lawn looking like a bomb had hit it. They'd found a pillow that my friend's mum had made out of tiny waste scraps of cloth, and playing with it had ripped it apart, got all the teeny-tiny bits of cloth out of it and strewn them over the whole garden and compound. It looked horrible...!! I really wish I'd taken a photo of it - but was too shocked for words, and it took me a whole 30 minutes to pick all the scraps up and stuff them into a bag for disposal before Sophie's human family noticed it. My friend's dad is 87 and a sight like that wouldn't be good for him in any circumstances. Hehehehe...Naughty Sophie!

And the best part is that while I was doing the cleaning up, she and her friend sat and watched me, heads on paws, as if to say: it was great fun while it lasted, but sorry - now you've got to clean up the mess. 

Other interesting things are her eating habits.  She eats twice a day. Small portions - but she actually does prefer just two or three chapatis (cut nicely into munchable squares with a knife - not torn by hand, that offends her), and a slice of cheese also cut into thin strips, for her dinner. No rice or meat or bones. How weird is that?!

Given a choice of some nice pasta with cheese or paneer (home-made cottage cheese) - not too fond of the red or white sauces, which aren't too good for her either - she prefers that too, to meat and bones. She loves nicely cooked veg stuff, radish, spinach, pumpkin, brinjal. Actually! Never seen a doggy like her. Chicken she eats, on her own fussy terms.

Loves soup of any kind - even cream of mushroom, and any meat-based soups, and completely refuses to eat any form of doggy food or kibble or even the costly canned dog food stuff. 

Pasta and pizza are her favourite foods and she'll eat a whole bowl full - more than I can! And we always do take care to make it totally doggy-friendly - with none of the stuff that's bad for her. She loves it. Those are indeed her favourite things.

She absolutely loves (yes, in small quantities only - she knows that and we do too) spicy stuff like our Goan pickles. And will beg for the famous Goan 'tendli' (gherkin) pickle. And even give high fives for it - something she'll only do if she really likes and wants something.

Another strange thing is that while for a neutered female doggy excess weight is usually the problem, Sophie has remained slim and fit and totally in shape. See her pictures. A vet friend of mine often points to her as an example of the correct shape a healthy, fit doggy should be. With a waist and ribs that can be felt, he says. Interesting. Maybe it's just her metabolism, or that's she's always so active, running around doing things. Or that she's a really picky, fussy eater. Gourmet doggy I often call her; as she wants her food just right, done well, served properly - no you can't mix it all up - sorry, she won't eat it. Plate it properly, all items separate, and she'll eat it all...tasting every bit. 

Fascinating really for an adopted Indy. But then, they really do have their personalities...Boy, they do!

Text and photos: David

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