I'd like to introduce you to Gypsy, our Dalmatian friend. He adopted Tarun, Tarun's family and anyone else who lived at 159 Santhome High Road, on independence day, 15th August 2004. Tarun was out, somewhere and his family called him in panic because they spotted this spotted guy sitting quite peacefully in their backyard.Tarun's house is near the light-house and Marina beach. Every 15th Aug there are vast hoards of people who flock there to watch the independence day parade so at first they all thought that this dog had just gotten separated from its owner in the mileu. He had on a black collar and looked perfectly groomed. But over the next few days Tarun started walking him all around the locality asking various watchmen and security guards if anyone had come looking for him and no one had.
Gypsy settled down happily and the vet guessed his age at the time as two by looking at his teeth. Dog and master were (and still are) completely devoted to each other. Gypsy wasn't quite as hefty as you see here in the sketches. He was a normal young frisky dalmation, sleek and fast.
Then one day, Tarun had to go away to Delhi for a couple of weeks. He gave a lot of thought to where he could leave Gypsy for that time, and finally chose a lady living in Harringtom road, affiliated with the PFA, who had a large property in Red Hills where she looked after dogs. She agreed to take care of Gypsy.
As soon as Tarun left, she started calling him and saying Gypsy was un-manageable and she would have to neuter him. Tarun insisted that she should tie him up for the two weeks instead. Finally to Tarun's despair she actually waited till the day before he got back from Delhi and instead of holding out one more day she got Gypsy neutered.
The PFA might be conceptually against pedigrees and pure-breeds and the reason is sound but some of their methods of trying to curb the trend is cruel to the animal when it's actually the master's outlook that needs changing.
Anyway, the poor fellow was bandaged and despondent when he was brought back to Santhome. He bloated up soon after and has stayed this way since. Now he must be around nine and his legs are a bit arthritic. He still hobbles determinedly behind Tarun if he so much as leaves the room. Even at his prime he was the most gentle friendly dog when it came to people. I have never heard him bark to this day.
These three sketches are Gypsy's 3 most favoured sleeping positions. He acquiesced to stay in each position perfectly still and asleep for exactly five minutes apiece - just enough for me to get his outline right, but then I had to make up his spots.