december 30, 2010, continued

i took these photos at blue cross of india, an animal shelter in chennai where i have started volunteering. the shelter takes in homeless and injured dogs and cats, as well as injured and neglected livestock – pigs, cows, horses, geese – and even small animals like guinea pigs and rabbits.

blue cross conducts a trap-neuter-release program for adult dogs and cats, and holds the puppies and kittens it finds for adoption. in my two visits there, i could see that the place is stretched to capacity: as a no-kill shelter, it has to hold the animals even if they are sick and treat them as best as they can.  thus, while i was able to while away the hours socializing the puppies for adoption (a.k.a. playing with them), i had to avoid the mangy ones that simply weren’t thriving, and the staff didn’t seem able to fully segregate the sick ones from the healthy ones. i also found myself doing triage, identifying wounded puppies and bringing them to the veterinary staff for treatment. in one of the pictures below, for instance, you’ll see a puppy lying on its side and covered with flies: the insects were congregating around a few-days-old wound, and from time to time the puppy would cry out and convulse.  i finally brought him in where the staff cleaned his wounds (and cleaned out his ears after i pointed out that they were full of black spores) and gave him a shot. they then put him in a segregated cage.  the puppy was definitely more alert afterward, and i’m going to check on him when i go back on saturday.

there is a yard for motherless puppies, plus three overflow bins. i wanted to dive in, like a kid in front of the ball pit at chuck e. cheese.

more puppies.

one of the amputee dogs on the grounds.

one of the operating rooms.

street dogs recuperating post-sterilization.

owned dogs recuperating post-sterilization. this is better, but i’m not sure by how much.

one of the two puppies i took to the vet from the puppy yard.

the same guy after treatment.

one of the puppies that adopted me while i was visiting.
they treat cows too.
a puppy in need of treatment.

another puppy who exemplifies the challenge of the “no-kill” policy. he was a very good model, in part because he can’t walk – his two back legs are paralyzed. he was glad for the attention he got, but who is going to adopt this one? who is going to keep him clean?

abby has told me that i’m in trouble if i bring any puppies home with me, and i think one dog is enough for now, but you can see the challenge involved.

december 27, 2010

pondy bazaar
(i had to choose three photos because
one alone wouldn’t do it justice)

pondy bazaar is a street lined with sidewalk stalls and stores crammed from back to front with shoes, household goods, clothes, and – basically – tons of random cheap stuff. whatever you want, there are 15 guys selling it, one right next to the other.

december 25, 2010

boy selling christmas hats

for the past few days, kids of various ages have been selling christmas hats and santa masks near the st. teresa’s church, on our way to the u.s. consulate general. this boy – the first i’ve seen who didn’t want his picture taken – was still trying to sell his hats at 5 pm on christmas day.

also december 22, 2010

sidewalk shrine

yesterday, the only photos i took were of the consul general’s christmas party.  not the right material for the blog; instead, here is another photo from parry’s, a detail from a sidewalk shrine to ganesh.  chennai is filled with sidewalk shrines like this – you’ll find them in front of shops, by the railway station, in the middle of a block.

right now, parry’s is my favorite place to photograph. i’ll add more photos later.

december 22, 2010


it strikes me that this should be an actual (more or less) daily photoblog, and not just a series of “artistic” shots – that is what is for.  so …

i took this one in parry’s, an old market section of chennai.  the kids are local, probably living in the makeshift huts across the road.  one girl is wearing ear muffs because it was only in the mid 20’s (upper 70’s fahrenheit) today.