Updated: Dec 9, 2019
'Which country are you from', I responded to a little boy who asked me what breed Beauty was. 'India', he replied in surprise. 'So is SHE', I gently smiled, while the little face blinked in slow understanding and broke into the widest smile of joy and camaraderie, as he went back to petting her. Kids get it .
Look at her. Beauty is one of the prettiest dogs I have seen. She is Indian, an Indie Dog. The most common dog in India is the hardy cross breed Indian dog. We look after 160 Park Dogs called the #Parkies at Bangalore's Cubbon Park , and they fill us and our group with so much joy. Meet Serena Parkin' Williams who is now part of the Bagla family, Aria Kejriwal or BatDog Somashekar. You've noticed them too, and it's time we stepped up to recognise a much loved fellow compatriot - The Indie Dog.
Call them anything you want, however politically incorrect - pariah, cur, streetie, Indian, desi, stray, mixed breed, community dogs, anything. These dogs have emerged from years of great genetics of survival on the street and hardy genes. Due to poor sterilisation framework & implementation, there are far too many on the streets perhaps, but many do just fine and it's fantastic how Indians have started stepping up to adopt their own as pets.
'Mixed breed dogs tend to be healthier, better behaved, they live longer and are just as able to perform the duties of pure bred dogs - such as bomb and drug sniffing, search and rescue and guiding the blind. There are lakhs of loving and healthy mixed breed dogs sitting in streets or shelter, who are desperately searching for a home'. However we are indoctrinated by our culture and the old caste system into wanting a pure breed pedigree, however alien they are to our weather and environment.
By establishing a National or Global Indie Day, we are merely directing attention of citizens and our dog lovers and citizens to one of our most loyal and true Indian canines; we attach the brand and cachet that reduces the snob value and casteist love for only the pedigrees. #IndiesAreTheNewCool! We do the right thing, we direct the gaze to where it should be , and we build up a brand and awareness for one of the most beloved local friends we could ever have. We always have. Now , lets just make it official !
So please pick that abandoned puppy off the streets, get a Streetie sterilised or vaccinated . Do visit your local shelter and find a new friend! If you can't adopt a mixed breed friend on the two National IndieDogDay, please donate at least a 100 Rs to your local animal shelter, as they all need financial assistance and every rupee counts! You can also volunteer to walk a dog, donate food and other supplies needed to your local animal rescue. PLEASE also help end the overpopulation of dogs by spaying and neutering your pets.
We all agree that every dog must have its day, the #IndieDog most of all. So what does it mean:
Two days a year, where we fuss and love our Indie Dogs just a little extra - be it our pets, community dogs or a shelter - we go all out!
Two days a year , where all stakeholders be it government, NGOs, citizens, politicians and animal lovers are reminded about the IndieDog, and our duty to them, the laws that protect them, and the ones that need a helping hand. We take stock of the IndieDogs within the purview of our constitution advocating compassion, our Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act , with fines, breeding and sales and review how strong and effective they are Be it Govt ABC (Animal Birth Control), ARV (AntiRabies Vaccination), shelters, medical care, food etc
We anticipate a flow of network news stories, TV show segments, online videos, shelter events, internet photos and doggy parties planned all over India. Even citizens who are not dog owners will be encouraged to donate even a Rs 100 to their local shelter or rescue on those two days .
Encouraged to feed, adopt, neuter, rescue the Indie Dog
Companies becoming more focused on helping Indie Dogs and showing them in advertisements and movies
A curated movie festival
Annual awards for the best social media campaign, movie, advertisement etc on the #IndieDog
So many other ideas to polarise and showcase this marvellous dog breed we all love, so they never languish again.
We remove the pejorative words for #IndieDogs like cur, pariah or stray from our vocabulary
Every Dog has its Day. Let's all ensure that our #IndieDog has theirs .
It's about time.
Here is The #IndieDogDay framework :
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