Gina writes:

Nothing much going on here lately, so here are some random tidbits from the past few weeks.


From previous entries, you'll know that Corey and I are "dog people". During the past 20 months in Koraput, we've slowly increased the number of dogs that we pet and have named. There's Sango, Floppy and Fugs at SOVA, who I don't see anymore. There's Pandu at SPREAD. There's Good Dog, Puppy Girl and Blacky at our house. We don't feed any of them very often, just leftovers (if they've gone bad) or bones sometimes.

A few weeks ago, Pandu was acting lethargic and despondent. While petting him, I found a HUGE gash on the back of his neck, almost hidden because of his fur covering it, but a straight clean cut of about 2 inches, all the way down to the muscle. It seemed to have come from a workman's shovel/hoe and not from another dog. Ordinarily, I successfully ignore the dogs' ailments, since scrapes and limping and skin diseases are just part of being a wild dog in India. This time, though, I felt the need and ability to do something, since I really believed that the alternative was death for Pandu and I didn't want to find his cold body outside the office one day. He was warm to the touch, so obviously had a fever from infection already.

The next day was a Sunday, but I went to the office on my day off to check on him. I brought a can of processed chicken meat that we were not interested in eating and a bottle of general antibiotics that I have for us (ciprofloxacin). I explained to the office boy that the antibiotics would fight the infection and that was the only way that Pandu would live. The office boy lives at the SPREAD office and is buddies with Pandu, so he was worried, too. Anyway, long story short, Pandu took antibiotics for 5 days (1/2 tab twice a day) and was all better. After his fever went away, his wound healed well. Now he acts like is indebted to me for saving his life! Or maybe he just wants some more processed chicken-in-a-can!

As an exception to Indian norm, Pandu is allowed to come inside the office and lay on a mat just inside the door if it's raining. He comes in and lays quietly while it's raining and then, immediately after it stops, he moves himself to the doorstoop to continue his nap! So cute!

The other dog story from the past few weeks is that the two main dogs from our neighborhood, Puppy Girl and Blacky, have gone beyond their territory a few times each to walk with me all the way to work! The first few times they did this, I was really nervous for them, since they had to run through packs of snarling dogs in foreign territories.

This picture was taken the first time Puppy Girl came with me to work.

She was so scared that she tried to come into the office with me, but then just laid on the office stoop and whined for a few hours until a co-workers shooed her away. After she left the office area, I didn't see her until 2 days later when she was beat up and limping! I think she didn't know her way home and got in trouble with the older, meaner dogs.

Now she's come with me partway or all the way to the office a few more times and she's bigger and smarter. I always find her back at home after my day at the office.

A funny thing, though, is that Puppy Girl and Blacky aren't the only ones "escorting" me to work. Two times now, I've had groups of dogs (4 the first time, 3 the second time) following me most of the way! It must be a hilarious site to see the tall foreigner with 3 or 4 dogs right at her heels!

word has gotten around in the doggy circles that we are "friendly folk". There are 4-6 dogs around our house that we've never touched or fed that get up when we leave our house and start wagging their tails!

Rainy Season

You might recall from last year's blog entry that rainy season hits Koraput pretty hard. We were dreading the months of non-stop rain this year. However, it's been a mild season and the rain is much less than last year. It does rain on most days, but even then it's often in the evening, so I've only had to walk to/from work in rain that was more than a drizzle a few times. Unfortunately, the lack of rainfall has not led to diminished mold and mildew problems in the house. We don't have water seepage problems like many buildings in Koraput, but some condition in our house is such that almost any clothing/material/cushion that's not hanging and allowed to move around a bit starts to smell like mildew and sometimes even get white fuzzy mold growing on it. To get rid of the mildew smell, what works best is to wait for a day that's relatively sunny and put everything outside to let the sun kill the smell.

As for the clothes, we don't have the space to hang everything or the inclination to rotate everything from shelves to hangers in some planned method. So we end up with random pieces that are either smelly or actually have white fuzz on them.

Like this hat!

We soak those clothes in boiling water with a dash of bleach. Seems to work!