About Me

My Photo
Mumbai, India
I'm an aboriginal dog breed fancier, birder and wildlife conservationist. I work with the wildlife conservation NGO Satpuda Foundation in the tiger reserves of central India. Before that I worked for 14 years with the street dogs of Mumbai. I created and manage the INDog Project www.indog.co.in and the INDog Club.

Are you a Pariah Dog fan?

This blog is for aboriginal breed enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah) and INDog-mix mongrels 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 natural breed called the Indian Pariah Dog/INDog.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Diya

This is Diya, an elegant INDog-mix from Delhi, now living in Minnesota with Michelle Orcutt. 
Isn't she superb?
















                                                                                                                                              


















Michelle's description of her is very interesting, especially the results of her DNA test, which show some Eurobreed admixture (like all urban free-roamers).

'I recently adopted this INDog-mix from Gurgaon through the International Street Dog Foundation. She turns a year old on May 15 (or thereabouts). 

Her history is, she was found as a solitary, approximately six week old puppy, with a broken leg, dragging herself through a parking lot in Gurgaon. The attendants at the lot alerted a local animal rescuer to the pup's plight. The pup (then called Chutki) was taken to a skilled vet who set her tiny leg. She was allowed to sleep in the lot attendants' hut at night, and the rescuer Joyita visited her daily and took her for all her vaccinations on schedule. 


The parking lot where Chutki/Diya was found
























She was flown from New Delhi to Chicago in October 2015, and on November 2 I brought her to Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she now lives with me, my dog Wiley, and cats Cecil and Simone.

She has been doing really well since I adopted her. I now know, from a tissue sample sent for histopathological examination by the vet who did her spay, that Diya also must have had a partial spleen rupture and a good amount of internal bleeding when her leg was broken, making it even more remarkable that she survived and thrived. She was in really good physical shape when I got her and now has a glossy coat and lots of energy and spunk. Wiley and Diya are best friends, and her relationship with the cats continues to improve.

With Wiley, an Australian Cattle Dog






First neighbourhood stroll 
























































Wiley, Diya and the Mississippi
















































































It is so interesting how native/primitive/pariah dogs in many different countries resemble each other. My other dog Wiley is an Australian Cattle Dog, so has some Dingo way back there, and maybe those Dingo ancestors had INDog progenitors themselves. I did the Mars Wisdom Panel DNA test on Diya and her results came back with German Shepherd and Saluki each at 12.5%, some Asian group and Middle Eastern/African group ancestry, and a smaller set of wild canid markers. I think the Saluki in her DNA results is quite likely just Middle Eastern/North Indian common genetic material. Since Salukis are one of the only dogs from that region in the Mars Wisdom breed data base, this could be what the test picked up.

Some of her traits that seem different than European breed dogs include her characteristic use of her front legs, and the flexibility of her long neck. She cleans her face like a cat, covers her eyes when she is sleepy, and paws me (often in the face - ow!) when she wants something or is happy. She points her nose straight up to the sky when she gets a scent, and can look almost directly behind her by turning her head. She's hyper-vigilant, and has amazing physical/spatial intelligence. She loves to play with other dogs, especially larger dogs who don't hesitate to play rough and tumble. She's still wary of strangers, but less likely to bark at them now, and very cuddly with me and people she knows well.'

























































Text and photos: Michelle Orcutt
Minnesota,
USA

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Saturday, May 7, 2016

SniffWorld

'Our own weak olfactory sense has, no doubt, limited our curiosity about what the world smells like. A growing coalition of scientists is working to change that, and what they have found about olfactory animals, dogs included, is enough to make us envy those nose-creatures. As we see the world, the dog smells it. The dog's universe is a stratum of complex odors. The world of scents is at least as rich as the world of sight.' - Alexandra Horowitz,  Inside of a Dog.

Which is why the K Gang are allowed to spend as much time as they like sniffing, on every outing. With only very reasonable restrictions on what they sniff. Trash of any kind is a strict no-no. 

A word of caution: was your Indy ever a free-roaming dog? Because free-roamers almost always have the scavenging habit, and they don't give it up no matter how much gourmet food you may give them at home. 

Under the guise of just following scents, Kimaya sometimes tries to snatch up a piece of bone or rotten fish dropped by crows. So I check the ground as we walk, to see whether any such 'goodies' are lying around, and I watch her very closely at all times. Kiba never scavenges by the way. I adopted him when he was just four weeks old and had never eaten solid food. 

Some of our sniff-walking pictures:







And sometimes we just walk


Mumbai 
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and acknowledgement












































































Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Grumps and Honey in the hills

Indies love outdoors! Like most dogs, or perhaps even a little bit more!

Check out these pictures of Grumps and Honey and their humans Vidya and Samik, on a recent Sunday trek with other dogs and their owners. The place was Camp Temgarh, about 50 km away from Pune where they live.

(New to this blog? Read some earlier posts about these lovely INDog-mix girls:
 GrumpyGrumps and Honey and Honey.)















































'The girls had a blast!' writes Vidya. 'They had such good fun. Grumps went around "protecting" her mum and dad from other over-enthusiastic canines who wanted to get a bit too friendly for comfort.

Honey was a big surprise. This was her first big social event and she was so calm, poised and sweet. I didn't dare leave them off-leash, but after a while we did, and they kept following us around.















































Later we took a short trek to the nearby stream, where all the labradors jumped and swam, and got mucky and dirty, while the Indy girls sat at a distance and watched like VVIPs. The girls were fascinated by all the different smells in the woods - of the trees, the other dogs, other animals, cow pats, and of course dog urine.

Then when we were really tired, there was a campfire and we all sat around the fire with our respective packs while the organizer barbecued chicken and vegetables for everyone. The dogs really relished their meal after an exhausting but fun day.

We got home around 10.30 p.m. driving through dense jungle at night (scary). The dogs were so tired with all the activity, they weren't even interested in food!

Want to take your dog trekking? Here's an earlier post that includes some tips on trekking with dogs.

Text and photos: Vidya and Samik Biswas
Pune

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Foxy































Foxy Junior is our first Indy princess of 2016! 

Manav Pandey wrote in about this dainty, elegant INDog-mix:

'On a rainy evening in the suburbs of Mumbai, I met a pregnant Indy with the largest ears you could find for her size. I named her Foxy. 

In a matter of weeks Foxy had a litter of five beautiful, noisy puppies.

Now in Mumbai I have been volunteering with a non-profit organization that helps street animals. They biannually organize an 'Adoptathon'. So when the pups were about three months old, I took them for the Adoptathon. After an exciting and amazing day, I had four puppies adopted. Just one remained with me and I was worried about having to leave her back on the streets. But she was a fighter. Along with her mother, she survived till the next Adoptathon.

After an excruciating day, I was again about to take the pup back to the street, when an amazing lady, Mrs Bajaj, offered to take her to her farmhouse. She just needed me to get the pup spayed. But to my misfortune, the puppy went on heat for the first time in her life and couldn't be spayed immediately. I had to convince my parents that I'd have to foster her at our house, otherwise all my work would go waste.

Then began the process of fostering and attachment. 

Three and a half months later, Foxy was totally adopted by my whole family! They all adored her and cried at the idea of her going away!
































She is the sweetest naughty little girl. She's named after her mother: Foxy Jr. Pandey.

She has changed a lot since she became our pet. She was an introvert and a silent baby and now it's just the opposite. Our lady has a wonderful place on the balcony from where she watches over her kingdom, from our third-floor house. She's a watchful self-proclaimed guardian of her 'territory' on the street below. She is very noisy and will bark at every dog and human. 





























































She is the life of our family. She has quite a personality. She's closest to my mother and gets quite jealous if we go close to her. She is still very playful.

She's the best thing that has happened to us!'

























































Story and photos: Manav Pandey
Mumbai

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Monday, December 21, 2015

The K Gang at sea

Last sunday was our wedding anniversary - the 29th!! - and Kiran thought of this wonderful way to celebrate. (He has most of the wonderful ideas in our family). An evening boat ride in the harbour, to watch the sun set on the Arabian Sea. With Kiba and Kimaya of course!

Kiba was nervous to begin with, but he calmed down later and even took a nap. And Kimaya loved every minute and posed nicely for many photos. 

Enjoy the album!














Miss Jack Sparrow!



Mumbai from the sea
























































Photos: Rajashree Khalap
Mumbai

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