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Jor Bagh’s famous canine resident

india Updated: Mar 05, 2010 02:00 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
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The problem with Kaloo, a Jor Bagh resident whom everybody knows by name, is that he bites. “But he doesn’t bite everybody,” says the new mother* of this black mongrel. “Kaloo is selective,” she says. “He chooses his victims in a seemingly random fashion.”

Though living in an upscale neighbourhood, Kaloo knows no class divide. He has bitten his owner as well as the
grocer’s deliveryman.

Patting his head, the owner describes Kaloo (‘black’ in Hindi) as “part German Shepherd, part Jack Russell Terrier, part wolf.” Sitting on her white sofa, she calls out to Kaloo, saying, “Engage, engage with me.”

Kaloo has lived in Jor Bagh longer than his new owners. He roamed the streets, barked at the residents and slept under the cars parked outside the bungalows. Infamous for being a biter, many people were scared to walk in front of him. However, to the colony’s chowkidars, he has always been a darling.

“Kaloo was obviously mistreated,” says his owner. “That’s why he is so mistrusting of people.” Ironically, the best thing that Kaloo did in his life was to bite the man who would become his father.

“We decided that the safest thing for us to do would be to befriend Kaloo,” his owner says.

“We wanted to get near to him and get him his shots.”

The courting began in earnest. The woman won Kaloo over with two pieces of chicken. He started visiting her house. She then arranged for a vet to give him the shots. Next, his new father got Kaloo a dog license at the Moti Bagh NDMC Veterinary Clinic.

Last month the mongrel was made a fully-fledged member of the household. “I think Kaloo has lived in someone’s house before,” the owner says. “I did not have to teach him how to lie on his bed. He was happy to have a collar and a leash. He responds well to the affection.”

Despite being a good house dog, Kaloo hasn’t kicked the habit of snapping at strangers. So, while Kaloo is free to move around the house, he is taken out for walks only on a leash. “Some people run away from Kaloo, some run to him,” the owner says. “Most greet him by his name. He is so proud, grand and loving.”

* Owners’ names withheld on request