Ferel Dogs ( From February, 2013)

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They come in various colors, white, a ginger  brown, black, and  mixtures of the three. A few have long coats and all have pointed  snouts. And they are not pets, or so we thought. The dogs live in the street scrounging in the sweeping piles and  jumping with strong legs to scale a low fence for a morsel. They are “hunters and maybe gatherers,” just trying to survive. Their ribs show prominently through their skin and they are caked with mud. The Indians ignore the dogs except if there is a fight between the males for territorial rights. Then they yell and wave their hands.

The picture shows Ginger and Burnt Marshmallow with one of the puppies in front of our hostel. They live and control a pack of several females and various puppies in our lane. They rarely venture out into the busy street at the end of our road, but they”work” every morning trotting, one on each side, as our guards, as we walk to the end of their territory. They don’t run and jump up on us, or bark or demand any attention whatsoever. We are in parallel universes. As we head to the rickshaw stand, our dogs snarl and bark ferociously at the pack across Samved Hospital Road. (Yes, a city of 5-6 million has unnamed streets.) I sent these pictures to my friend Donna who taught at an International School in Egypt. To my surprise, she said the Indian dogs are cousins to the Egyptian ones and look the same.  Packs roam the village streets and into the desert in Egypt and they are killed by the Egyptians. This is probably the case because dogs are considered unclean in Islam.  Bowls of milk are left outside for feral cats. Student alert: Remember when we talked about the ancient Egyptians worshiping cats, especially the hairless cat? There is even a cat mummy in the Albany Institute of Art. It seems that five thousand years later, cats are still revered in Egypt.

On the a fore mentioned street known as Samved Hospital Road, we made an Indian friend. We were walking to a favorite restaurant when half a dozen dogs scooted in and out of traffic to reach a man standing on the sidewalk. This was Sunil, a social worker in Ahmedabad. He has adopted this pack of dogs, taking them to a veterinarian for neutering and vaccinations; plus, he regularly feeds them with scraps and bread crusts. Laughing, he commented, “The dogs know my license plate, so they come.” One Indian trying to do what he can by entering, if only momentarily, the canine universe of the city streets.

David and I have resisted touching our guard dogs or the ones at the University until last week. The first time was a quick pat on a dog’s head, followed by a big dog smile. Next, I started calling them by the names I had chosen for them, Burnt Marshmallow, and Ginger. They respond with a vigorous wag. Could they understand English? Oh, it must be my  tone. The students have been placing their left-overs on the trash piles for sometime. It seems we have dog friends in Ahmedabad.

The most touching feral dog story happened on our first trip to the old city market which was filled with teaming masses, wonderful sights, smells, and sounds. As we wandered in and out of ancient streets looking side to side, trying not to miss a thing, something caught my eye at the end of a street next to a display of flowing, vibrant scarves.100_2895

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There was a low table with a very old dog lying on the top. He was stretched out, eyes closed, and his legs straight out. He appeared to not be breathing. Next to him was an elderly Indian, standing quite still, looking down. Now, the dog could have been sleeping there, I guess, but this is not a usual sight. To my mind, the man had placed the old dog on the table for a more comfortable passing, and he was standing next to his friend in order to be with him to the end. Tears filled my eyes.  I understood as I, too, have loved and lost a very special dog friend.

Nameste!  T I I I…..  This Is Incredible India!

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Friends. . . .

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Waiting for a snack. . . . . .

Namaste. . . .  ..T I I I . . . . .  This Is Incredible India!

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in India, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Ferel Dogs ( From February, 2013)

  1. Morgan says:

    I love the picture of all the spices…just amazing. so sad, though that these dogs have to live this way. although, they do look well fed…far more so than the feral dogs of America…maybe we need to learn something here ? 🙂

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    • annetbell says:

      Though they seem to just roam, I would see housekeepers bringing out scraps in the early morning, and we bought home left overs from dinner. We first tried to give it to the beggars, but after taking the food, they still wanted money. Some of the wealthy have pets as we know the purebred dogs in the States. Most Indian people don’t have discretionary money for a pet.

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  2. Oh they look like the strays we have here!

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  3. Hi Annet,
    Nice post, enjoyed reading it.
    Regards

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    • annetbell says:

      I wrote that in February, but am reblogging and or improving. When it was first posted, I had only a few followers. One of the bloggers asked me to do that, and it works when I feel lazy! 😎

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      • By the way we can never take a chance against a dog bite as the street dogs are not vaccinated. If there is a dog bite then we must go to a doctor for the vaccination.
        Regards

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      • annetbell says:

        We were afraid of rabies. The professor had his shots in 2010 and got a vaccination, but when I was going in 2013, for some reason, it was not available. Darn…and I am the dog lover..but so is he. That is why we didn’t touch them for several weeks, but we just couldn’t help it! Then the monkeys on the breakfast tables and all sorts of animal experiences. Thank God no one was bitten! If I am fortunate to go again, I will try again to get the vaccine. It is terribly expensive here …hundreds of dollars, but better than rabies! Thanks for sharing! 😎

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      • You are welcome.
        By the even the monkey bite means a visit to a doctor.
        Thanks you also for the sharing.
        Regards.

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      • annetbell says:

        Yep, knew that too. Thankfully, we tried to antagonize them or get too close. I loved the monkeys and we would have “monkey sightings” yelled out for all to see as we walked along! Thanks for the comment! Professor had vaccination for rabies but I didn’t so I was extra careful. I will try to get it if I go again. Rabies is a nasty business!

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      • must watch if you love India
        Top post on my blog or

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  4. Nice post Anne,love the spice display. Just to let you know I have posted the Liebster award on my site giving you due credit, namaste 🍀

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  5. foodbod says:

    The photo of the spices is so beautiful.
    I was amazed at the number of stray dogs when I went to India, it broke my heart

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    • annetbell says:

      Where did you visit in India? How long were you there?

      Like

      • foodbod says:

        I went to Mumbai on business for a week in March 2000. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly, it was an experience though…

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      • annetbell says:

        We only traveled through Mumbai, by train and changing stations. I loved the Victorian architecture and which we could have seen more of the city. The huge cities are unreal….Dehli and Mumbai…

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      • foodbod says:

        It was amazing..I met my Danish colleague there, a big broad 6’8″ guy, and the day after we arrived way Holi day. The guys we were working with there took us to a local market and bought us cheap track suits and told us to wear them, I had absolutely no idea why. I had never heard of this festival of colour. They took us to spend the day with their family and friends, and yes, covered us in coloured ash and water and we went back to our hotel looking like rainbows!!! The other visitors in the hotel looked at us like we were mad people, especially this huge Dane, but the locals who worked in the hotel loved it, lots of them wishing us happy Holi. It was an amazing experience.
        It was also my birthday whilst I was there and was taken out to dinner (to a Chinese restaurant which always made me chuckle!) and given presents, it was just a lovely time, they were such generous people.
        The city was full of such extremes though, we were put in a seven star hotel whilst people were outside begging in the streets 😕 so much so distressing and so uncomfortable.

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      • annetbell says:

        Have you read…Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo? Western woman who married an India, did research on the slums near the airport in Mumbai. It is an amazing story! The title is explained in the book.

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      • foodbod says:

        No, I’ve never heard of it, thank you x

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  6. AngieG9 says:

    Reblogged this on Angie's Place and commented:
    Love these posts from Anne. Think I’ll reblog some until I can type faster than this one fingered method.

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  7. AngieG9 says:

    Love this. Reblogged it so I could keep my site going while I learn to type with one finger.

    Like

  8. Pingback: day in city | Dog show leaves rare sights to cherish

  9. Pingback: Home with Ginger | TalesAlongTheWay

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