During the rainy season taking Magic & Mia to the farm becomes very difficult even though our farm is located in one of the finest dog walking country sides. There are endless little paths, soft on the paws & feet, free of blaring horns & traffic, free of people, free of noise, remote & peaceful. The clean air & our companions trotting ahead of us…..whereas in the city there are so many difficulties & disadvantages.
However they settle well into the routine of city life. Sometimes i wonder Why are they so devoted to us? Why should they delight in our company & welcome us home with such joy? Is their greatest pleasure being with us in our homes and wherever we are? Aren’t they just animals after all & should not their main pre-occupation be in seeking food & protection? Instead they dispense a flow of affection & loyalty that appears limitless.
After an hour’s early morning walk at 4.30am (which involves tight discipline) it’s time to go off leash & chill for sometime, chase birds, terrorise cats, roll in the grass or just be. We consider ourselves blessed to have a nice protected open space near our house. This is a privilege that is hard to come by in a crowded city like Pune. Then they like to come for a drive when i go to drop our son to college at 7am. Back home they have a light meal & then go to their respective corners & sleep. Unless there is disturbance of people coming & going, or of some dogs barking down the street, they enjoy a long snooze till 5pm. Then slowly one of them will be up, will go & check out the scene from the balcony to see if there is any movement of other dogs, a few barks to the outside world to announce their intent, then some stretches & looks to tell us that its time to go out & explore the evening. We have a good 45 minutes outside of play, then they want their dinner by 7pm & after our dinner we again go for a late night walk around 9.30pm.
Since they are in the city for these three months, we thought we could use the time to do some corrections. One: Magic has become quite a handful & very aggressive with other dogs. He also pulls on the leash quite a bit. Two: Mia has become quite timid & wasn’t coming out for her night walks. Through a good friend we were able to find Mahmoud Nissar, one of the most experienced dog trainers in Pune. Everyday now they also go out with him for an hour or so. Slight changes are already visible in both of them, especially in Mia who has become much more confident when she is outside.
They both have a charisma of their own, a scruffy appeal and there aren’t all that many of the breed around. I find myself staring with keen interest if ever we get to meet another Caravan Hound. I know sight-hound people are a bit snobbish & snooty. Unfortunately one night i bumped into one of the famous types, the minute he got off his car he was obsessed in stating how imperfect Magic & Mia are & how they both don’t fit into any of the so-called breed specification of Caravan hounds. This arrogance is amazing, especially coming from a person who has Caravan Hounds. For me these dogs with their amazing vision & unique world view are just simply incredible creatures. Very mischievous yet so loving and caring and if you can bond with a Caravan, just know that you have earned something so special. If a Caravan or a Saluki likes you then you just may be alright. So in looking after our Caravans we become more humble & less arrogant. Anyway who gives two hoots to these self-appointed guardians of Caravan Hounds, we walk on.
Everyday we find people who are curious about them. One morning a morning walker stopped by and asked me
him: I’ve been seeing you here for a while, i want to tell you these dogs are so beautiful, what breed are these dogs?
me: These are Caravan Hounds
him: Oh…. from which country ?
me: They are very much a local breed of Maharashtra
him: I am Maharashtrian & i’ve been living in various parts of Maharashtra for the last 70 years & i’ve never seen or heard about these dogs.
He paused for a minute & then said :
In that case…..i will draft you a letter addressed to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to declare Caravan Hounds as the Official state dog of Maharashtra. Recently the government has been busy announcing Official state Flower (Tamhini/Jarul), Official state Bird (Yellow footed Green Pigeon/ Hariyal), Official state Tree (Mango), Official state Butterfly (Blue Mormon) Official state animal (Indian giant Squirrel/ Shekru) etc, etc. So this is the right time to announce Caravan Hounds as the Official state dog of Maharashtra.
me: aww…thank you so much that’s a very good idea
Here are some pics of our gangsters in their various moods clicked by our son
Also in the meantime please do read this beautifully written article on walking
untill then peace, love & keep walking !!