The book of Indian Dogs is the comprehensive book on Indian dog breads in over fifty years. It
features the twenty –five breeds that most breeders and dog fanciers agree constitute the country's
canine heritage. Divided into three grouping –working dogs, companion dogs and hounds –the book
provides detailed background notes to each breed, along with information on physical characterstics,
behaiour, uses, origins and history. In addition to popular breeds like caravan hounds (or karuvanis),
chippiparis, mudhol hounds, pashims, rajapalayams and rampur hounds, the book features lesser
known breeds such as the alaknoori and the jonangi. The fruit of several years of travel and research
into India's dog breeds, as well as s. Theodore bashkaran's hands –on experience of raising various
dogs, this celebration of our dogs is a book that no dog Lover can do without.
Avoiding the freindship of those who resemble elephants,
Seek the companionship of those who are like dogs;
For an elephant will kill his mahout whom it has known for a long time,
But a dog will wag its tail even as the spear thrown at it is still in its body.
In 1968 at small wayside railway staition in the extreme south of india. Near Tirunelveli in
TamilNadu. I noticed a man waiting for the train. With him here two exquistic white dogs. They lay
curled up on the floor of the platform, resting their muzzles on their forepaws and looking listessly
at passers –by. Improvised aloerope leashes were tied around their necks, the other ends held by the
owner who sat on his haunches, draggings at a bidi with great determination. They were
Rajapalayam dogs, he told me, and they were on their way to estates in the Anaimalais in the Western
Ghats for guard duty. He pointed to the many scars on the pale white coats of the dogs and said that
they had encountered quite a few boars in the hills near Rajapalayam. Sensing my scepticism, he said
'watch this and clicked his tonuge twice. The dogs were electrified into action. They were on their
feet in a flash and stood pulsating with anticipation for th next command. That is how the dogs are
put on alert when a boar is located. The man said. It was a magnificient display and I was fascinated.
Would it be possible for him to procure a pup for me? By the time the train arrived, it was agreed
that he would bring me one. I gave him my address and forget about it.
Five month later, early one morning, he arrived at my Tiruchi home and handed over a small bundle.
I removed the grimy towel covering it, and Madhu entered our lives. Almost immediately he began
to look upon our house as his new home and soon assumed the role of guardian with all
seriousness. My engagement with Indian dogs had begun in right earnest.
A lifelong dog lover, S.Theodore Bhaskaran has been including two Indian breeds. He has been
associated with the kennel club of India, chennai, and was a member of the show commitee. He was
instrumental in bringing out a set of four postage stamps on indigenous breads of dogs.
Baskaran is a well –known naturalist and conservationist. He served two terms as a trustee of WWF
Indian and has been an honorary wildlife warden in chennai. His book, The Dance of the sarus:
Essays of a wandering naturalist, was published in 1999. He edited a book on Indian wildlife, The
sprint of the Blackbuck. He writes frequently on conservation for the Hindu and Frontline. He has
also contributed to important anthologies such as an Anthology of Indian wildlife, Waterlines:
Rivers of India and voices in the wilderness. He writes on conservation in tamil in magazines like
vyirmai and Kalachuvadu and also has three books on conservation in Tamil to his credit. He
beleives that to make conservation a people's movement the discourse has to be in Local languages.
Baskaran's other scholarly interests include film studies and art history, areas in which he has
published books and articles. His book, the eye of the serpant, won the National Award for Best
writing on cinema, 1997. He was awarded the Iyal Virudhu for Lifetime Acheivement in Tamil
writing by the canada based Literary Garden. He is a graduate of the National defence college. He is
a graduate of the National defence college. He retired as cheif postmaster general of Tamil Nadu. He
lives with his wife in Banglore.
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