A Salute to the Bravest Goodboys of India
From being cuddly companions to fierce protectors, dogs do it all. This Independence Day, while we pay our respects and remember those who laid their lives for us, let’s take a moment to remember the unsung heroes of our generation – our dawgies. From the earliest of times, dogs have been saving us. From farms to disaster sites, they have proved to be man’s best friend, time and again. Here are stories of some great goodboys who have changed the course of our history with their unflinching bravery & courage.
The 1993 Mumbai bombings were a series of 12 explosions. One of the most destructive bomb explosions in Indian history, this incident resulted in the death of 257 people and caused serious injuries to 713 others. Amidst the blood frenzy and the near stampede situation, the Mumbai Police were quick to deploy their K9 task force. Among these bravehearts was Zanjeer, the Labrador Retriever. Zanjeer helped detect over 3,000 kgs of RDX explosives, 2,000 rounds of live ammunition, 600 detonators and 200 hand grenades. For his outstanding contribution to the country, he was laid to rest with full state honors in November 2000. To this day, the Mumbai Police commemorates his contribution every year!
The 3 Indies of 1996
The evening of May 23, 1996 was an unusual sight at Hartokibagan Lane in Kolkata. A baby girl was abandoned at the corner of this lane. Three street dawgies stood by her side throughout the night. When the news of this incident reached the police, the baby girl was rescued and adopted by the police at Burtolla Police Station. To their surprise, the three dogs kept track of her the whole time. They made it a point to walk inside the police station and stood vigil over the baby as the policemen put her on the Inspector’s table. It was only when the baby girl was put inside a car to be driven off to her new home that the dawgies inched away, slowly.
The 26/11 K9 Team – Max, Tiger, Ceasar, and Sultan
These four dawgies were inducted by the Mumbai Police when they were barely 2-3 months old. The sniffers were dispatched to different locations in Mumbai when the city was still grappling with the shocks of 26/11. Max, the Labrador also played a key role in tracing detonators during 7/11 and tracking down hand grenades and bombs during the Zaveri Bazaar Blasts. All four of them were given a state funeral and their bodies were laid to rest, wrapped in tri-color. Sadly, they all passed within 4 months of each other.
The November of 2016 could have been the end of life for a seven-day-old baby girl, abandoned by her biological parents on the cold streets of Purulia in West Bengal. Four stray dawgies guarding the baby girl caught the attention of a school teacher named Ulhas Chowdhury. On seeing him, the dawgies sensed a feeling of familiarity and allowed him near the baby. Ulhas immediately alerted the locals and the police. If it weren’t for the these Indie heroes, the baby girl wouldn’t have survived the night, as the area is known for attacks by wild animals including wolves and bears. The dawgies followed Ulhas to his house and didn’t leave sight till she was handed over to the police station.
In January 2016, India’s Pathankot Airbase was attacked by terrorists. In the midst of gunshots and fire everywhere a brave Belgian Malinois named Rocket proved to the be the hero. He tracked down a pouch containing sensitive material which later proved very useful in the investigation process. The fire burned his paws, but this braveheart stopped at nothing to get the pouch for his handler. Rocket was honored for his raw courage and dedication to duty. His unflinching loyalty has also encouraged India’s K9 units to induct more Belgian Malinois dogs, as they have shorter fur which helps avoid heat strokes.
Delhi Metro’s Powerpuff Girls
The Delhi Metro is known for being the lifeline of the city. Behind the exuberant architecture and the police force who have kept it safe for all the years till now, there are furry creatures who have helped Delhi metro be the safest in the country. Keeping up with the trend, the CISF inducted an All Female Dog Squad for the new Phase – III network. Named Nikki, Ruby, Stella, Maya, and Heena, these good girls were recently added to the already rich CISF K9 squad, which has 23 labradors, 17 german shepherds, 10 cocker spaniels and 2 golden retrievers. These hardworking dawgies report on duty at 7 AM and retire at 11 PM, working in 4-hour shifts. Each K9 squad is located in a way that at any given station, it wouldn’t take more than 15 minutes for the squad to reach. So the next time you spot this squad, remember how hard they’ve been working for your safety.
Time and again, dawgies have proved that it doesn’t take a lot to be a hero. Uniform or no uniform, simple acts of courage can be life-saving for someone else. A stray dog from Montenegro jumped up to a robber’s heels as he tried to snatch a woman’s purse. He didn’t think at that time whether what he was doing was brave, he just did what anybody should have done. Dawgies are proof that not all heroes wear capes. And that bravery isn’t a one-day change of heart, it comes with little acts of selfless love, every day.
Know an unsung hero with a tail? Share their story here!
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