What's howling all about?

This is the 5AM video of our "Hotel Canine". This is the last video of this year's street dog study. It is also the first video of this group, after the departure of Kajal. Compare it to the earlier videos. The hotel has emptied. All her suitors are gone! The night after I took Kajal, there was incessant howling. Was it just a coincidence or did the howling have something to do with Kajal's absence. If you do a bit of research into why dogs or wolves howl, you'll see that it has to do with long distance communication. Further more, one journal says "Vocalizations may be driven by emotions and the physiological state evoked by changes in the social-ecological environment". It seems commonly a

Tis the season for love?

I saw another love story today. These dogs are not regulars here. They must be a. group passing through this area. I wonder where they are off to. But, there sure is some drama here too. This one is a great one to observe calming signals that are so subtle and yet clearly very effective. Of course, their love and their social lives are incredibly fascinating for us dog people. However, the sad reality of Indian streeties is that they live in a harsh environment of resource crunch. Their numbers are not in check and they share the country with a billion other humans. There is not enough for everyone. In most of these videos, the dogs do not seemed stressed at all. And quite frankly, they are

The lovers are gone!

Kajal's story is getting more and more interesting. The last we spoke of her, we knew that she is now part of a love triangle between herself, Handa and Ken. This is a fabulous video of them arguing it out. Anyways, what's very evident from the video is that she's in heat or very close to it. So yesterday I decided to get her spayed. My friend Debbie graciously agreed to do it at her shelter Precious Paws Foundation. You must check this shelter out. It's a joyous little place run single handedly by Debbie, who is constantly striving towards making the lives of these dogs better, while they wait for their forever homes. She will soon have her own study results on things we can do in shelters

Border disputes

This morning I was lucky enough to witness a border dispute. It was 6 against 2. Caesar and PV are regulars on my study route. They stay with a lady who told me she works at a construction site. She has a little one room structure she lives in and these two live "with her". She does not really have a yard to confine them in. She does not tie them. (Actually, I should perhaps gift her two reflective collars for her dogs). The two dogs generally live with her and she proudly shows me how they follow her around. She also explains to me at great length what she feeds them and smiles when she says "Once a week I pay 70 rupees to buy them chicken. I even got them operated on (read neutered). I hav

Found Kajal, Ken and the piglets

I did not see Kajal last night. I was a bit apprehensive. This is the trouble with bonding with streeties. You do not want to think about what they have to endure sometimes. You do not want to love and lose so often. But then, we do fall in love and I have fallen in love with Kajal. Kajal, however, had something on her mind. She seemed so distracted that, at first, I thought she was upset about something. My mind started making up horror stories of what she might have been through. But I got it wrong. She was distracted all right. But she certainly was not upset. She was with Ken! And I think, Ken is her boyfriend. Just watch this video. Watch how her mind is clearly on this handsome young l

The hidden lives of dogs

I am slowly discovering where these dogs are hiding. Remember my favourite doggie - Kajal. Everytime I turn up near this house, she appears, seemingly out of nowhere. I finally discovered where she was hanging out. Actually I discovered that all the dogs in that "zone" had decided to check into "Hotel Canine". And of course, special treat for you all is my dear husband, struggling to keep up with my enthusiasm, but still being gracious enough to help me out through all of this. We repeated the study at midnight and at 4:00 AM. At 4:00 AM, we saw the famous "Dog Prowl". We've all seen this - large groups of dogs moving about at night, looking for trouble and more annoyingly, looking for troub

A little compassion

I had a great run at 5 PM today. I actually say 21 dogs in all!!! I am getting quite a hang of it where these dogs are hanging out. There is one dog on the way, I call him Pops. He's old and hangs out near one house almost all the time. The first time I saw him, the lady of the house and her daughter were outside the house. They asked me what I was doing and I told them that I was studying dogs. They started beaming. They seemed to love the idea that "their" dog was being in a study. The kid quickly went and started petting Pops. He seemed to like it. It seems like that house was extending him a tad bit of compassion and that had forged a good friendship between the kid and Pops. They have g

Kajal, the friendly

This post is a bit overdue. The rain is cooperating a little bit. So I am getting a few studies done. Last time I was complaining about the dogs starting to get familiar with me. Now I have decided to lean into that and just go ahead and capture as many friendly moments with these dogs as possible. I want to make a point. Far FAR too often I hear people say that they think street dogs are not friendly. My friends in India who are thinking of getting a dog fear getting a streetie, thinking they are aggressive. My friends outside the country often mistakenly interchange the terms "street dogs" and "feral dogs". Some, very ill informed "trainers" write very unintelligently about how dogs if str

Streeties are good teachers

So, I tried desperately not to get to know the doggies on the route. That's not happening. They are starting to come up to me and frankly, I don't have the heart to say no. So...I have embraced this thing and I happily pet them all. I just jot down what they were doing when I first see them and then go ahead and engage with them, the way dogs are meant to be engaged with - with love and joy. This video is really cute. These two mad hatters were happily on their way to doing something fun I suppose. I make a tiny smacking sound. The both comically stop, turn around and come running back. But I was standing next to a school bus, waiting for it to move and the space became too tight for them. S

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