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February 19th 2012
Published: February 19th 2012
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Kalind, Ilaben's son, feeds a dog family, a mother, Mr. Dog, and originally four pupplies. One of the pups didn't move fast enough. When I went over to look, the others ferociously barked me away--all guarding the lifeless pup. Another one has disappeared. A newspaper article says that there are hundreds of dog bites monthly, more in Ahmedabad than elsewhere. The suggestion to euthanize dogs was bitterly opposed by the Jain community; the idea of sterilizing the dogs was opposed by animal lovers. Frankly, a female dog does not have pups by choice, only by biology.

The Ah'd dogs and the dogs in Kathmandu are constantly scrounging for any food particles. They look at us with such sweet eyes, the way that dogs know how to look at a human to get a response. Sometimes, the human actually gives them food.

Other times, the dogs bark...not so much in Ah'd, but off and on ALL night in Kathmandu. First, one goes arf, arf, arf, arf, arf, generally five, possibly six barks, after which many others join in for a few minutes and then all is quiet until another round starts up. One night in Kathmandu, it seemed as if hundreds were barking from various parts of the city.

During the day, the Kathmandu dogs sleep...spread out, relaxed, and basking in the sun when it is shining. When it is not, they curl into tiny little balls to conserve their warmth.

What is new to me is that few people are chasing them off. I remember when the very sight of a dog would provoke a loud, angry and stick-bearing frenzy. However endearing their eyes, I still refrain from petting them. I am very afraid of rabies.


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