magic… 7 years

magic, setting the tone

a certain constant companion for the last 2,500 days & nights

he is my shadow aka Magic

a shadow which looms with me even in the darkest of nights.

a shadow which crept into me & made us into one.

a shadow which redefined relationships, love & friendships.

a shadow which epitomized charisma.

a shadow which celebrated life.

a shadow who taught me what it means to be “together”

a shadow who eclipsed day & night out of my system.

a shadow who exemplified athleticism & grace.

a shadow who has grown into a legend, with chapters of folktales which is “shared & read” among all the canines in the area.

a shadow with whom i seem to exist.

a shadow without whom i may also cease to exist.

a shadow who is showing me now how fragile life is.

a shadow who is teaching me the ways to overcome the frailties.

i can go on & on about this adorable shadow….

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Unfortunately this shadow has been very unwell recently & will need all the good wishes on his birthday to get through a really rough phase in his life !!

magic

Peace & Love !!

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Lailabai….

Laila completes two years with us.

about her, when she happened to come to us can be read here

& how she was, when she completed a year with us can also be read here


laila, classic pose

After reading the above two posts, one would have felt the worst is over & she would be flowering into a glowing personality like the other two. However something is holding her back ……….. now, what that something is: I really don’t know ! I have christened her middle name as “Kuttichathan”, i.e my dear little ghost. Last name is Bambre. So her UID name is “Lailabai Kuttichathan Bambre” !!

Let us keep all this UID nonsense aside for a while.

We still have no clue about her life before she came to us. Where did she come from, did she actually run away, was she abandoned, did she lose her way ? We can only make assumptions about what she must have gone through her life before she came to us. However one thing is very, very clear about her, she didn’t have a comfortable nor a decent life before she came to us & Yes, there was a huge baggage of deeply distressing trauma which came with her.

Sometimes we had seriously thought of seeking professional help for her. There are a few very good people who we know, but unfortunately most of them are actually very good with individual dogs. Here we have a case of a pack of three & seeking professional help for one dog wasn’t going to be the answer. It needed someone with loads of experience, understanding of the Sight hound behaviour (because their modus operandi’s are very different as compared to other dogs).

So, the only option left to us was : be patient & hope that one day she will wake up different !!

Well, nothing of that sort has ever happened nor will happen.

Only thing that has happened in Laila in the last two years is that, now she knows very clearly that “wherever WE ARE is her home. Care, comfort, food, company, action, fun, TLC etc has come in the last 750 odd days by being with us.

So, the only change in her is : if she happens to go free…. one whistle is enough, she will be bounding back into our arms.

What i cannot understand is:  Why it took two years for her to realise this, why it took so long for her to have a smiling face, why it took her so long to start playing with us. It’s true her communications with us have improved a lot, but obviously it is nowhere like Magic & Mia, their communication is at a different level & they actually converse with us. At least now from Laila, her paw comes up in greeting & more importantly there is a cheerful & happy look in her face.

When one looks back & think of all the nonsense that we had put up with her ….. just now it is impossible to even believe what we had to go through in the last two years. To put it simply : it has been very, very tough ! Partner, son, nephew, friends, extended family, house helps, farm helps everyone had extended an extra hand to Laila.

Now if we keep all of us Homo sapiens aside, even Magic & Mia have been so patient with her, as compared to the everyday taunts from Laila. Especially Magic, he has shown such immense restraint, especially when his welcoming vibes everyday gets snubbed by growls from Laila. Even Mia, apart from a couple of wringing statements, she also has been so very tolerant.

So, now that the difficult period is seemingly over…..there is nothing more i (we)can do.

It is over to you “Lailabai Kuttichathan Bambre” !!

Peace,  love & Khuda hafiz !!

Don’t lose shape!

“Don’t ever lose shape, always try & keep your formation”  this is technical terminology from the legend who made football into a beautiful game. Johan Cruyff… my all time favourite footballer/coach.

When we have three high energy dogs, the monsoon season i.e the three months from mid June to end of September is the most difficult for me to navigate. During these three months they cannot come to the farm with me, because reaching the farm with Magic, Mia & Laila is next to impossible in the heavy rains.

I am sure they miss their freedom, with no collars, with no leashes & very minimal interactions with me. While we are on the farm, they only remember me when they are hungry, or if they need some TLC & yes, they feel happy & secure when i am around in the night. Otherwise they are minding their own business & i am minding mine. More importantly for me, i don’t have to do this nonsense of “taking them for a walk“.

During the monsoon season we get cooped up in our apartment for three months, they are dependent on me/partner for their mental & physical exercise, for their toilet jobs & it does become cumbersome for them & for us.

Some dogs don’t mind getting wet, but Caravan hounds don’t like  rain, slush, muck nor slimy water. So here is a brief interface when we are out for a walk in this city called Pune:

Now lets imagine:

I am the Beanpole, i don’t require any space to walk, lets imagine Mia & Laila are cycles. the two cycles are usually on my left hand side & Magic is a motorcycle, he is on my right hand side. If we walk abreast we need at least 8 ft to 10 ft of space to walk. Sometimes the shape changes, the motorcycle will be in the front, the beanpole is behind him & the two cycles are behind, sometimes we are a triangle in various angles, sometimes a square, sometimes a rectangle, sometimes a straight line. Whatever shape we are in; it is important we keep the shape & keep the formation.

otherwise, we end up like this every other minute:

grey pole

It also depends on what is in front of us, what hurdles we have to cross, what sights we encounter & what smells we find interesting. If we lose shape, surely a car will hit us, some scooter or motorcyclist will hit us. Keeping the shape is most critical when we cross the road. It’s not just traffic which we have to take into account, because suddenly a cat will dart across or a not so friendly dog would suddenly appear, sometimes even a pig, or a cow or even a herd of goats.

Imagine losing shape in the middle of the road, gosh…. NO.

The two “cycles” & the “motorcycle” do not like too much of wetness on their feet, so they are always pulling the “Beanpole” to the middle of the road. The only reason why we tend to get out at 4.45 am in the morning is because, then we have the road to ourselves, there are no vehicles, so the road belongs to us & we can rule the street for more than an hour.  M, M, L will inspect every lamp post, every tree, they will read all the messages left by other canines & they also leave behind their messages.

However the toughest walk is in the evening.

To navigate the traffic, to cross the road, accepting the friendly or sometimes not so friendly greetings from the stray dogs in the area, there is a continuous stream of people to navigate, then if some cat pops up from nowhere…. “the two cycles & the  motor cycle will unite together to become a Jeep & the beanpole is the Jeep driver who has to try & apply the non existent brakes.”  There are some dogs which Magic just cannot stand, they may have barked at him sometime before, so he wants the settle the score. If we happen to come across them, then suddenly Magic will start becoming more tall, from his 3 ft height he will zoom himself up to a imaginary 6 ft. Its quite funny & even funnier to see his hair standing up, like how iron particles stand up when we hold a magnet above sand.

Then we have to put up with a few dog walkers who are constantly speaking on the phone or watching something very intently on their phone while they are walking with big dogs like Labrador’s, German Shepherd’s or Rottweiler’s. He/she is obviously oblivious to our oncoming presence. Sometimes we come across a child, yes a child walking a big German Shepherd who cannot stand the sight of Magic & vice versa.

Now anything can happen, isn’t it ?

Just imagine the scene:

“…… the German Shepherd pulls at the leash suddenly, the child falls down in the impact, hurts his nose, ‘has broken teeth & the rampaging German Shepherd in its fury to reach us gets hit by a biker, the bike slips, the biker has serious injury & the German Shepherd is also hit & has serious injury, there was car behind the biker & in trying to avoid the biker, it swerved to the left & hit us…..”

Listen, I am not not exaggerating. This is something which can happen anytime. We’ve had similar close shaves.

With a 70 kg plus Rottweiler this has happened three times as of now. Because the dog walker isn’t aware of our presence, since he is busy on the phone. Its natural that the  dog will charge at us & then there is a mad scramble by the dog walker to hold the dog, his phone would’ve fallen down, maybe a car has run over his phone ! If by any chance that dog got loose, it could be mayhem. One of my friends who stays in another part of town in Pune, was recently an eyewitness, when a Rottweiler managed to come out of a house & chased a passing biker, the biker lost balance & fell down, then he was bitten. People were running for their lives & it was pandemonium !

There is also a Lhasa Apso which we come across & of course the dog walker is so busy, so busy & so busy on the phone. Sometimes we wait for even 10 mts to catch her attention, with no luck. The Apso will be barking & barking, lunging at its leash, he would be in mid air, scratching the pavement continuously & claiming its spot etc. The dog walker hasn’t even bothered to see why the dog is behaving like this. Actually I find these small dogs really scarier than a Rottweiler, because when i see a dog doing all these things, any moment this Apso is going to come off the leash & god forbid if that happens, in a jiffy Laila would pick the Apso by the neck & thrown her 20 ft above. End of the story & that’s exactly why i am scared to be near any of these small dogs.

Absolutely nothing wrong with the dogs, they are all fine, barking at us or charging at us etc is all fine, it’s normal dog behaviour. What shocks me is the sight of the dog walker carelessly walking as if he/she is on a walk on a beach & not aware of  the surroundings & the possible dangerous situations involved. Now i understand when i hear stories of people run over by cars, even by trains when they were talking on their mobile phones !!

Then, of course there are a few people in our colony who insist that they will walk their dogs without the leash. I really don’t understand their logic. What are we supposed to do, if by chance their dogs comes charging at us ….  ?

Forget it.

Magic, Mia & Laila are no innocent, they are real rascals, they also do provoke other dogs. Laila, is like a “Kungfu panda” itching to settle a few arguments with a couple of dogs & Magic is itching for a full-on street fight with a couple of others. But one thing is for sure, i know how to hold them & there is that confidence that none of the three will do anything stupid. Having said that, walking the dogs in the evening is like driving. ‘Being a careful driver, doesn’t guarantee anyone’s safety. Anything can happen on the road, isn’t it?

A few months back; a speeding car lost control & hit the barrier at the pavement just 10 ft behind us & the impact took the car to the right side median & when it came to its halt, the front wheels of the car was on the other side of the median. The screeching sounds of the brakes, the sound of the impact on the barrier, the flying particles, the yelling passenger’s inside the car, the dust which it whipped up, the people running towards the car to see what had happened, it was mayhem for a few minutes.

When all this happened, we didn’t lose shape, ‘like a mother hen spreading its wings to protect its chicks, i could quickly sit down & get hold of all the three close to me. Then again, once early in the morning on the bridge a Truck tyre burst, the sound is like a bomb. Before M, M or L could bolt i managed pin them down & hold them close to me, till they became calm.

Of course. I have also had my bad days, especially while crossing the road. Due to mis-judgement on my part or someone pressing the horn too loud & once when i didn’t see a Pig which also wanted to cross the road towards us at the same time, or sometimes when i didn’t notice there was a dog was waiting to charge at us. Basically it was only good fortune that nothing untoward happened & none of us got run over.

I never use the phone while i am out with my shadows. I understand what is coming our way not just by been observant, but also by feeling the different pulls on the leash on my wrist. If they have spotted something, its a different pull, if they want to pee its a different pull, if they want to do their pooh its a different pull. We are always in constant communication through the ‘leash’ and we also exchange looks. Magic, is the most talkative of the three & he usually has a lot to say. He is always nibbling at my elbow, at my wrist, sometimes he arches his body in front of me, stops me on my stride & when i bend down to him & lend him my ears, he would nibble & whisper some very important information into my ear. He is also the only one who does ‘trancing’. There will be cars going up/down beside us, but Messrs Magic would have found his favorite bush where he dunks his head in & does his trancing, then he allows all the leaves to feel at his back & we three will be waiting patiently hoping he will come out of his trance with some deep meditative inclinations !

The other problem with all these walks is that one becomes too visible. In present day India it is always better to remain invisible, unknown, untraceable & anonymous.

Actually i can’t wait till October, when the season changes & the rains subside, so that we don’t have to bother about all this nonsense of keeping shape/formation/ walks etc & we can remain invisible.

Peace & love !!

our best friend’s birthday

Mia turns five !!

Here is what i had written last year

If i had assumed that she is a “kind-hearted” soul, i was in for a major reality check when Laila came into our lives. Well, about all the barrel full of nonsense we had to put up after Laila entered the scene deserves an elaborate separate post.

Having said that, Mia remains a sweetheart & fabulous company !

mia, deadly

In Marathi we call her “Dhulechi porgi”, meaning the “little girl from Dhule”, she came to us from Dhule district.

From our pack of three, she is indeed the most intelligent, she always remains in the background, she doesn’t attract too much attention, she looks after herself beautifully & yes, she communicates as is her norm with her eyes, with her ears, with her tail & ssshhh in the night she always sleeps cushioned between me & partner every night !!

Mia…. love you !!

magic…6 years

 

IMG_6806 (2)

on one hand …

he pretends to be a cool dude

on the other hand he has a presence

his “presence” has the uncanny ability to bring people together

in the last one year he has become very talkative

yes, he does converse a lot to us about where this world is heading to

i live my life with him

so enjoyable

so intertwined

if i may ask for another 6 years more

Mr Magic ?

Thank you !!

 

Laila completes a year….

IMG_6804

There has been many times in the last one year when i have thought, that i have made the usual mistake which i tend to do sometimes. i.e taking some rubbish decisions.

So, did i really make a mistake by inviting Laila into our home ?


If we rewind the question a wee bit…

Did i ever feel the same with Magic & Mia ?

No, not even once.

Then, why do such thoughts come about only vis-a vis Laila ?

Magic & Mia never had any serious behavioural issues, whereas Miss Laila came to us “armed & dangerous” !!

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It is like adopting a child after having two children, its like adopting a girl child, even after having a daughter, its like bringing in a malnourished, abused child into a group of happy children or it’s also like trying to bring in another woman into the life a “settled couple”.

If one pictures the above situations in one’s head one can imagine the chaos, the tempers which flay, the arguments which can easily flare from these situations, to put it simply it does bring in an upheaval. So, it has not been an easy ride for the last one year.

On the other hand, after one year one can confidently say that the worst is behind us. The mal-nourishment she suffered in her earlier years isn’t revocable, may be the malnutrition has led to poor eye sight, malnutrition has led to weak bone composition… and of course the malnutrition is also one of the reasons behind her aggression.

A good diet has helped her to find a good balance & she is our most un-fussiest eater, 9 out of 10 times she will lick her bowl clean. Since she came to us she has survived Tick fever, she has gone through two periods, she has survived all the attention from the stud like Magic, she has survived utter disdain from Mia, she has survived a neck wrenching bite from Mia, she has survived an operation, she has survived some dirty stares & some strict handling from me.

After all that, now there is a sense of belonging, now she feels this is her home, now some serious & hilarious communications (btw she can dance) & chit-chat has started between her & us.

However a certain aggressive streak hasn’t yet weaned off in her. It may be a reflection of the abuse she had to go through. If it was one & a half years of abuse, then she needs two & a half years of unconditional love to come out of it.

Q) So, do thoughts of giving away Laila come to me now ?

Ans) No.

However difficult she has been for us, still i believe she has come to the right place & more importantly i feel i (we) made a right choice in bringing her home to us.

In a way it is a burden to have two “5 star dogs” in Magic & Mia & how does one make sense to the extent of dog abuse happening around us ? Laila kinds of balances these conflicts & she doesn’t allow us to cover ourselves in any cocoon of false comfort & constantly reminds us of the reality of what happens out there in the streets.

Many times i have thought about bringing in a “Trainer” for Laila, We have had nasty experiences (with Magic & Mia) where-in we have welcomed the so-called ‘professional trainer’ into our lives & we have experienced the most unprofessional service. So, why commit the same mistake again.

For me … it wasn’t a walk in the park to integrate Laila & i never thought it will be & it will never be.

So…be it.

Peace & Love

Keep Walking….

The monsoon season is on in full throttle, it is dark & gray for most of the days, its is difficult to walk all three of them, everything is wet, it isn’t possible to spend enough time outdoors, i cannot take them to the farm also, because the rains are four times heavier over there.

Having animals is a choice one makes & it is a conscious decision. Mia is the most level-headed dog one can ever find. Whereas Magic tends to get bossy or over excited. Laila, because she hasn’t yet shredded off her past can be a bit unpredictable. Magic has grown quite big & strong. I have given up things for him, because no one can walk him and one has never been able to find a person with whom i could share the daily chores. The sight of Magic only discourages any dog walker to even try out walking him for a couple of days. For Mia & Laila one can always find people to do the walking, plus they both are very low maintenance dogs. Whereas Magic is a very, very high maintenance dog, When we go out he has a compelling presence & he cannot be taken for granted even for a second.

Having said that, no matter how big they get, no matter how much they eat, no matter if they smell sometimes, no matter the aggression with other dogs, no matter how loud their bark is, no matter their innumerable attempts to chase down cats, they haven’t ruined my life. They have given me a whole new view of the meaning of life, and more importantly these guys are the only true grounded thing I know in this world. They are honest and don’t lie & they don’t cheat or back stab. If one had the finances & if one was staying full-time on the farm, i wouldn’t be averse to have a few more of these ilk. But i guess i am done for my lifetime.

Last year i had written this about our walks. Few things have remained the same, whereas what has changed doesn’t look any nicer. Early morning one finds more homeless people sleeping on the streets, one also witnesses the way people dispose garbage which is is disgusting to say the least, around 4.30 am on the river some hoteliers come in mini vans & dispose their really toxic waste in front of my eyes everyday & we have to walk over the filthy remnants which they leave on the pavement. We encounter more & more stray dogs, some very aggressive packs which sometimes surround & attack us, there are more abandoned dogs which we come across, tolerance levels while we cross the roads is at an abysmal low with loud honking so that their vehicle can prevent us from crossing, i have seen driver’s deliberately speeding into slush so that muck falls on us, today because we were avoiding the slush and came a bit towards the road a driver even told me he wouldn’t hesitate to drive his car over us, once even if one of our dogs was only peeing i have had people shouting & abusing me. In a way i can’t wait for October to come, for the rains to subside & we can be in our farm, so then we don’t have to encounter all these issues.

Until next time

Peace & love

 

Introducing Laila

One morning a little more than 3 months back I get a call from friend Ranjan. He asks me if I know of any Social Media forums for Caravan Hounds and he tells me that some students have rescued an abandoned Caravan Hound, he also added that she looks just like Magic, However she is in a bad shape due to dog bites and she has hundreds of ticks on her body. I said; Please, send me some snaps asap, I would like to have a look. The snaps came to me soon enough, I had a quick look at them and forwarded them to partner who was in another country…. asking her What do you think ? Partner is a silent supporter of animal rescue causes. She said let’s take her in for now & then see how it goes. Will M & M give her an entry ticket ? How will the new one react to M & M ? Will we the human companions actually be able to give the time to all three of them. Financially can we manage all the added expenses ? There were so many questions.

laila-before

In the meantime I shared the snaps with a friend in our neighborhood, he is Nikhil and he is very knowledgeable about Caravan Hounds & Saluki’s. He said he had seen this dog a couple of times and once stopped his car and tried to catch her, however he couldn’t because packs of street dogs were chasing her. He also added that the dog looks “good” & needs to be rescued. Since that came from a known Hound expert, I took his word. He also said if managing three dogs is going to be difficult, he can definitely find a home for her. In the evening my friends called me back again to check out if I want to come and have a look at the dog. I said there is no need, just bring her to our home.

As soon as they reached I went down to receive them with M & M. Mia had a look at her & looked away, whereas Magic was very eager to go closer to this dog and smell her. She was shivering in fear and as Magic came closer to her she snapped at him.  I without any hesitation took the new one and she followed the smells and walked straight up to our door, had some water and within 5 minutes has collapsed into a deep slumber. In the meantime we were thinking what to call her, after some suggestions from son, nephew & partner we settled for “Laila”. Credits for this name goes to another Caravan Hound companion and friend Keshav, who also has a Laila.

During our first few walks it was easy to realize that even though Laila was very weak, she was a fighter. Surviving on the streets of India isn’t for the faint hearted. She was afraid, she was malnourished, She had bucket loads of muck & grime on her body, must have been sleeping in gutters. Ticks kept reappearing on her body everywhere. The Vet had a look at her and said she is malnourished and underweight, let her recover first then we can give her all the required vaccines. I thought of giving her a bath myself, but she was so dirty & mucky, I thought I wouldn’t be able to clean her properly. Actually it was not only the cleaning job, but one needed to get the ticks & fleas out of her. So I took her to our neighbourhood dog & cat Spa. Shona and her enthusiastic co-workers spend more than an hour in getting Laila clean. First time I saw the use of a vacuum cleaner on a dog, not only just to dry her, but also to remove the fleas/ticks. With all the parasites out her body, as we walked back home, one could see a marked change in her, there was a small spring in her step.

It took a while to establish some trust. The first couple of days when I tried to put a tablet down her throat she would growl and try to snap at me, from the third day she started to let me put her tablets down her throat.  She was having three full meals a day, then again suddenly she became weak & was refusing food. A visit to the Vet and a blood test confirmed that she was having “Tick Fever”. As she was recovering from Tick Fever she started her periods and a Cytology swab test told us the exact dates when she would be receptive and more importantly the days when we have to keep Magic separate. Also when she went to her heat cycle she became moody and temperamental especially with Magic & Mia. Mia just couldn’t stand the sight of Laila & Magic was quite frustrated that we kept him away from Laila, to add to the pandemonium Laila was having a go at both of them. Somehow we pulled through that difficult period.

When Laila came to us in early Oct 2016, in my mind I had given 3 months to see how everything will go. Would Laila be happy with us ? Magic & Mia came to us as pups, so we grew together with them, whereas Laila is an adult dog, would she be able to understand our communications with her and vice versa. Now that 3 months have passed, one can take an emotionally detached observations about all that has happened.

About Laila the general impression is that she is about a year and a half old. A few clues can be taken from her body postures and general behavior with other people and other animals

  1. She was kept tied up for long periods in a small enclosed space
  2. In her enclosed space there may have been a wall of around 4ft, where she would stand on her hind legs and manage to catch a glimpse of the outside world. I am saying that because she can stand up on her hind legs like a “Meerkat”, actually it is not natural for a hound to be able to balance on their two hind legs like Laila
  3. She was beaten up quite a bit by humans and her body language shows that she is scared of people. In a likelihood of any conflict; dogs with confidence do make themselves look taller and bigger & the tail will never go between their legs (Magic is an expert in this tactic), Laila was actually making herself smaller and lowering herself
  4. She was not given proper food & nutrition, actually she was starved and malnourished, so her growth as a pup got messed up & retarded.
  5. The reasons for indifferent looking tail : When she wanted food or if she wanted to do her toilet jobs, or if she was waiting for some human to come & take her out of her loneliness she was made to wait for long periods of time and while waiting she would assume the straight sitting position for long periods of time. Actually hounds find it very uncomfortable to sit straight for a long time, so they actually don’t sit on their hind legs for not more than a couple of minutes. The fact Laila was made to sit for long periods in waiting for some morsel of food can be seen from the unnatural shape of her tail
  6. In her frustrated state she must have bitten people a couple of times and that must be when her so-called human companions must have decided to abuse her more, however she must have got a chance to escape & she decided to run away
  7. She has lived & survived for a while on the streets. You can see her gravitating to any dustbins when we walk, which showed that she used to scavenge a lot for food
  8. She cannot tolerate any other dog (other than Magic & Mia), she can bite really nasty, which means she has had absolutely no socialization & also has had quite bitter experiences while living on the streets
  9. She doesn’t know what PLAY is, that she can run with us, poke us, nibble us, allow us to chase her, to fetch things, chase each other, talk/communicate with us humans. During her first couple of months if anyone of us decided to lie down next to her, she would get up and go away, looking very puzzled

If we put together the above in “human vocabulary” then Laila is a victim of Child Abuse.

After 3 months we can see that her journey to recovery has really begun. Her health has improved, she has become quite a strong dog, she responds beautifully to all four of us (her human companions), between Magic & Laila a lot of play has started to happen, between Laila & Mia there is much more tolerance, her body language has also improved dramatically, she stands up much more upright, even though she has started to trust humans more, she guards her territory like her own fortress, she runs like a wind, if a squirrel or a cat comes in her way, then one can see the eruption of the lightning speed which is so synonymous of sight hounds.

If we were restricted to the confines of our apartment, it would have been impossible to integrate an adult (hound) dog within our lives because of Magic & Mia. These two have a very close bonding and a terrific communication with each other. They are a strong team. Within the space limitation of an apartment with Laila’s entry, egos would have clashed & clashed very badly indeed. Right from the beginning I had noticed Laila enjoys the car drives, standing near the window and soaking in the chaos outside. She is always ready to go out, has a sense of adventure, has a maverick streak in her.So, going back & forth between our farm and our apartment in the city was not going to be a problem. More importantly, staying on the farm for extended periods really helped to thaw a lot of those ego clashes. Now every time we come back from our stay in the farm, we can see about 10% improvement in their relationships

laila

Lets hope the trend continues

all-three

From dawn to dusk she is really active and keeps great vigil on every movement.

And if one assumes that she will be tired & collapse to sleep in the night, then she proves one wrong. There is no half measures from her, nor any sluggishness from her as she patrols her territory brilliantly. She has really taken the onus on herself as a working dog & is making her presence felt in a serious manner.

laila-at-night

More later….

Peace & Love

Our best friend’s Birthday

Mia turns Four.

mia-turns-4

She is a real sweetheart, she is a happy where ever we are & be with us, she is really  “low maintenance” and no fuss about anything. Easy to walk with & she has quite a “chilled out” diva like persona. The only thing which poops her out is Fire crackers or any loud noise.

In her younger days she was a real character, she has mellowed quite rapidly in the last couple of years. Just see her playing in the slush in her first year, or the days when used to walk into our pantry in the night and pick up a Sweet Potato and think of the Mia now, they are exactly the opposites.

Here are some pics of her over the years

mia-tasting-sessionsmia-happymia-from-gajendermia-posingmias-frolic

Yes, unfortunately she has put on some weight & she isn’t interested in running like before. However now with the advent of young Laila (will write about Laila in the next post) in our lives, Mia might hopefully get inspired to do her “Florence Griffith-Joyner” kinda runs.

She is an expert in communicating with her eyes. Every night she sleeps between partner & me, doesn’t move around or disturb us in her sleep. Some nights she even places her head on my arms and sleeps. When we whisper some sweet nothings to her she will listen intently and when we stop she will indicate that she wants to hear a little more.

mia-eyes

Thank you Mia for being part of our lives.

Peace & luv

5 years !

Magic is five years.

magic

I am sorry to say that this guy is a complete freak. I don’t like comparisons and i am not comparing him with any other dogs. However to my eye all other dogs seem normal whereas Magic seems like a freak dog. How many dogs does one notice doing “Trancing”. Yes, Magic is a “Trancer”, he has some favourite shrubs under which he can stand still for a good 5 to 10mts, feeling the leaves of the shrubs /small trees on his body or on top of his head. I know almost all the dogs in our neighbourhood and i can say Magic is the only Trancer. It’s as if he goes into a meditative state for those few minutes, other dogs sometimes come close to us thinking he is doing a pee or something and they like to check it it out, but then they they find him “Trancing” and they wait & wait to find out what he is doing and they end up looking completely puzzled.

He is high maintenance, also apart from me there there are only a couple of people who can walk with him. I don’t think anyone has kept a watch on me & my movements the way Magic does. Its almost like we breathe together or our heart beats are one. Physically he is in his prime, he is strong  like a horse and does not have an inch of fat on him. Almost every other day random people stop by and ask us about him & take pictures. Recently when we were out before dawn for our walk a police patrol jeep pulled up next to us and all the the cops had their heads out of the windows and their eyes popping out.

One of them asked  me…. What breed are these ?

I said these are Karawani’s  (aka: Caravan Hounds)

From which country are they from ?

I thought i would give them a lesson in history…….The famed Silk Route traversed the ancient civilisations of China, India, Persia, Arabia, Egypt, and onwards to Greece and Rome. Traders, who dealt in gold, silks, precious stones and spices, moved in caravans or in groups consisting of more than a hundred oxen carts, camels, horses, tents, and their own security contingents. They also had their own dogs accompanying them; these were usually hunting dogs or the Arabian and Afghan Hounds.

The inter-breeding of these produced ‘Karavani Hounds’, literally meaning “hounds accompanying traders’ caravans”, and later came to be known as ‘Caravan Hounds’.So, we see that the hound of the desert, now called Caravan Hound, had already made its way into the Indian sub-continent with these traders.

The fabled riches and magnificence of India soon attracted marauders from across the Hindu Kush. The Greeks, Persians, Turks and Moguls, at different times, invaded India. These invading armies were always accompanied by their hounds for reconnaissance and sighting of the enemy. They took as much pride in grooming their dogs as they did their horses. The Maratha Sardars, too, loved the hounds and trained them in mountain warfare.

In fact, these dogs were constant companions to Shivaji, and so, they were even buried next to his samadhi at Raighad Fort in Maharashtra. That is the reason these hounds came to be known as ‘Maratha Hounds’ as well.

With the advent of the British there was a decline in interest in these hounds,
because the British brought with them their own exotic breeds to India. It was Shrimant Rajesaheb Malojirao Ghorpade of Mudhol [1884-1937] who took up the challenge of reviving this breed. He noticed that local tribes around Mudhol, on the Deccan Plateau in North,
Karnataka, and surrounding areas nurtured these dogs and trained them for game hunting. He devised a programme of selective inbreeding and restored the hounds to their once royal glory.

In the early 1900s, the nobility in England loved hunting for sport and used Grey Hounds, a different breed, for the purpose. Raja Malojirao Ghorpade, on a visit to England, presented King George V a pair of hounds from his kennels in Mudhol. The king was delighted; he
christened them ‘Mudhol Hounds’.

So you see….i continued they belong very much here to our land, you may not find them in the city, however in the villages in Kolhapur, Satara, Sholapur, Latur there will be some of the best specimens of this breed

They looked as if they didn’t believe what i just said.

Magic is indeed a fabulous advert for Caravan Hounds. He has become an expert in communicating with us, the changing expressions and looks he gives us, the sounds he make to convey his needs, the nibbles he gives us in sharing his joy, the cuddles and a quick massage that he demands, he just adores partner and both our two boys like anything and his tail is like a whip when he showers us with his love and affection. The only disappointment i have for him is that he has not been able to satisfy his hormonal  urges, which he finds very frustrating.

Otherwise he is a gem, or shall i compare him to a diamond, because in having a diamond which is always brushing past beside me, means i do have to endure a lot cuts from the sharp edges… (read: there is no time for myself)

magic

Peace & Love