Along the Away

a traveler's tales

Indian street dogs, hmmm, not as much going for them as the cows apparently. Not holy, not sacred. But plenty homeless, living on the street so that you come across them everywhere you turn.

This New York Times article paints a horrid picture:

No country has as many stray dogs as India, and no country suffers as much from them. Free-roaming dogs number in the tens of millions and bite millions of people annually, including vast numbers of children. An estimated 20,000 people die every year from rabies infections — more than a third of the global rabies toll.

Eeeek! Well, to be honest this paints a picture that I didn’t really see in India – the dogs are everywhere, that’s for sure, but they seem quite chilled out. All they seem to do is sleep – which you would expect to mean they are active at night, but I didn’t see any trouble or hear them making much fuss then either.

Maybe I am desensitized due to my exposure to Samoa’s dogs in 2008 which really are a menace. They travel in packs and aggressively own the streets. Come dusk it is actually scary to go outside, you can hear them howling and fighting at night.

The article raises some interesting points about India’s inadequate waste disposal though – if the street dog problem is eradicated before the waste problem then the streets will just end up with a rat problem. I would infinitely prefer a dog problem over a rat problem! I think I would anyway.

In my Indian experience I saw so many ragamuffin dogs, dogs obviously taking care of themselves but going about it pretty pleasantly. Obviously, as the article reveals, there are areas where they are a problem, no doubt the result of low sterilization rates of pet dogs and an indifferent attitude to those on the street. But in general I found the dogs to be pretty relaxed and friendly.

Meet some of the dogs of India that warmed my heart:

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Sydney based, coastal dwelling. When I'm not at work I'm somewhere outdoors, or in the yoga studio, or at my local cafe, or pottering at home.

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