Thursday, January 3, 2008


Animals are absolutely everywhere in India. For me, it is simealtaneously one the best things and one of the hardest things about being here. Today my roommate Jen and I went over to the Parvati Temple to check it out. On that one outing we saw cows, dogs & puppies, a cat, chipmunks, beautiful black falcons, wild pigs, goats & baby goats, many types of birds, butterflies, and donkeys. And more dogs. Imagine that. Of course I am taking pictures of all the animals like crazy.

Here are a few pictures that I uploaded yesterday of some of the animals I have had the pleasure of meeting so far: Look at these beautiful cows. Cows are one of my favorite animals in the world... and I think the cows in the India are the most beautiful cows of all. Those long elegant faces, the gentlest eyes... and the painting horns are a special touch. I was photographing these sweet cows when their owner came walking back to his cart. He kindly suggested that I take his picture with his cows - so of course, I did! This was taken right across the street from the Iyengar Yoga Institute.

Look at this cutie! Our apartment came with its own special friend, and a major guilt trip. The ladies who were renting it before us were feeding this young cat... and he (or she) has become totally dependent. He is constantly outside our door, crying and crying and crying. It's especially sad, because he is very sweet and trusting, but cats have a difficult life in India. Unlike the dogs, you don't see many cats, and people here almost never have cats for pets. We have made the tough decision not to feed the cat, but we do let it in and play with it and cuddle it. Luckily - for him and for us - he is a clean and healthy little guy so far... and an absolute purr monster. He especially loves playing in the mosquito net on my bed. ADORABLE!

Here is one of the countless dogs of India. I befriended this sweet pup at a temple yesterday. I was taking his picture when he jumped up to come in for some scritches and snuggles. I am so grateful to my friend Geraldine, and I think of her constantly. Last time Musty and I came to India, we came to visit Geraldine and her family. Geraldine is a fellow dog & animal lover, and she taught me that it was okay to pet the street animals. Last time it took some time for me to get used to the idea, but this time around I'm all about the loving snugs! You all know how much I love dogs... on the one hand it is a joy to see so many sweet faces and wagging tails. On the other hand, unfortunately, you also see many dogs in a various painful states - hairless with mange, broken legs, limping, starving, bony, bony & nursing... it can be quite difficult to see. It helps to think of our own little brigade of rescued furries at home, who have been spared from this suffering. And it also helps to give a nice little pat! And then, of course, I get out the hand sanitizer, or wash my hands. Don't worry!

This is the view outside my bedroom window. I guess you can't see well here, but there are chickens and goats in this picture. Across the wall from our apartment complex is a pretty well-off shanty town. There's a lot of nice activity going on over there, day and night. I made a list the other day of all the sounds I was hearing. I don't have it with me now, but it went something like this: chickens, goats bleating, dogs barking, children playing, people calling to each other, metal dishes clanking together, pigs squealing, crows squaking, mopeds and auto rickshaws... It's such an amazing orchestration. In India, the phenomena of *life* is inescapable. I love that.


Mamaslittles said...

Hi Amey,
The photographs are beautiful and I miss the humble animals. Too irresistible to not be petted and given a little love. You are so lucky :-) Enjoy!
Love, Geraldine

Sara said...

Hi Amey,
so fun to see some photos...and of course the furry friends are there with could not imagine otherwise.

It's so wonderful for me to have this extension of India being in my life still...thank you for the reminders of the details.