2. a.m. Outside the dogs are in fine form, barking up and down the street, raising hell.
Dogs will forever be imprinted on my memory as my first impression of India. My plane landed near midnight and by the time I got through the customs it was after 1 a.m. As the taxi drove through the wet, humid streets of Kolkata it looked like a city of dogs. Literally hundreds of them roamed the streets, scavenging through piles of garbage, running alone or in packs.
And so my first photography project of this new country was born. The Pariah Dogs.
Once I got to Shillong I found them there as well. In the mornings, there was usually one going through the garbage bin. I got to know the locals and carried biscuits with me to feed them.
Known as pariah dogs or desi dogs, they have links to the world’s oldest dogs. They’re smart and savvy. Survivalists. And I love them for their scrappy nature and because of their outcast status.
Others love them as well. I found a Facebook group called Stray Dogs of India. And there are blogs like Indian Pariah Dog. They have a rough life on the streets of some of the largest, most crowded cities in the world and many of them have mange or other illnesses, not to mention injuries.
Several people are also involved in international adoption placement for these dogs. A lot go to Vancouver. Others go to the U.S. or other places around the world. At least one will be going to Susanville. My impulsive nature got the better of me. In fact, I will likely be bringing back an entire litter and finding homes for the other ones. Adopt an Indian Desi Dog has placed dogs all over the world.
My kids think it’s a great idea. At least one of my friends thinks I’m insane. But I have the space and while my neurotic dog, Radar and my bitchy cat, Shasta, may have some initial resistance, they’ll adapt. Maybe I just want to get at least one dog off the streets.