If you look around, being Indian is suddenly cool. And that goes for pooches too.
On Sunday, the otherwise placid campus of the Government Veterinary Hospital on Queens Road saw a flurry of activity. Amidst a good deal of barking and tail-wagging, the place was overrun by native Indian dogs, with proud owners in tow.
Unlike other posh dog shows — where all that matters is pedigree and training — this one was organised to make a statement. Both the organisers and the participants sent out their message loud and clear: the native Indian dog is as important and deserving of love as their pedigreed counterparts.
Titled The Great Indian Dog Show, the event had many rescued as well as stray dogs participating. Adding the ‘exotic' element were native breeds rescued from places as far as Rajasthan, and even Iran. The Iranian dog was found on the street, scalded by hot cooking oil flung on him. His current owner picked him up and brought him to Bangalore.
This dog show was organised by the Sarvodaya Sevabhavi Samstha. A kiosk by Let's Live Together with the theme ‘Adopt a dog, don't buy one' was also put up.
Sneha Suhas, an event volunteer, said: “Our organisation tries to put dogs into foster homes after they have spent several days or weeks without being adopted. Shows like this help us to reach out to more people.”
The judges for the event were Chinni Krishna, Founder of Blue Cross for India; Anwar Kamran, a canine dermatologist; Sheila Rao, founder of CUPA; and Madhav Rao, organising head of the show. Kannada actor Navarasa Nayaka Jaggesh was the chief guest.
A dog lover himself, Jaggesh urged people to do their bit to rehabilitate street dogs.
The Great Indian Dog Project was also launched during the event. The project aimed at animal birth control, trauma centre placements and adoption of stay dogs.
Melissa Marag, who proudly flaunted her dogs, Shadow and Leica, said: “It's because of my dogs that I am a better person today. Rescuing them is probably the best thing I have done.”
Nitish K.S., who came to the show with his dog, Tuffy, said it was because of events such as these that “our dogs are noticed”. Such events would help motivate others to adopt native dogs and be more compassionate towards them. Dog owners brought their pets on to the stage and shared the story of how they found their dogs.
Laila won the prize for the ‘most beautiful eyes', Teddy was adjudged winner for the smoothest coat, and Veeran won ‘survivor of the year' prize.