A dog festival that showcases the charm of the desi puppy
Back for its third consecutive edition this weekend, The Great Indian Dog Show aims to highlight the worth of native dogs, bring animal-lovers together for a fun day out, as well as to help unwanted dogs and pups find a new, loving home. We speak to organiser Danielle DSilva to find out more.
What’s the Great Indian Dog Show story?
The impetus came from co-organisers Mansi Jaysal and Jaysal Jagdish when they visited the vet with their Indian native dog, and found that it was classified as ‘stray’ in the database. They decided they needed to help re-brand these Indian dogs.
Tell us more about this year.
This is the third time we’ll have the show, and there will be a range of prizes across categories, judged by a vet, animal behaviour specialist and someone from the animal welfare field. We also have an adoption camp with puppies and dogs from the Animal Aid Alliance. Like-minded individuals who’ve adopted Indian dogs can get together and share stories. Each year we support a different NGO, and this year it is The Voice of Stray Dogs.
More on categories and prizes.
It’s not like a conventional dog show in that it’s very informal. But the categories include The Indian Dog, Show Stopper (for a male and a female) and Survivor of the Year. We also have lighthearted ones like wackiest name, waggiest tail, best kisser, and even one for the dog that looks most like its owner!
What support have you had?
We’re all volunteers, doing this around our day jobs, and often money comes out of our own pockets. But most vets offer us a hefty discount when we take in abandoned dogs, and we’ve had some crowdfunding success. We also have some celebrities on board, who’ll be at the show, including Kannada film actresses Soundarya Jayamala and Shwetha Srivatsav.
What makes Indian dogs so special for you?
They have fewer genetic problems than pedigree breeds, are comfortable in our climate, low-maintenance, can eat almost anything, are easy to train, intelligent and adaptable. Plus friendly! I was afraid of dogs until we adopted an Indian pup, but since then, I’ve not looked back.
Entry Free. December 6, 3 pm – 7 pm. At Patel’s Inn, RT Nagar.
— Maegan Dobson Sippy