Twilight. The Esplanade bus terminal — where the state and private buses for all of West Bengal depart — teeming with people.
There are porters, office-goers and ladies in sarees gathered in a typical Indian city.
Gypsy, a well-trained 2-year-old German Shepherd police dog remains calm with Mohan Mondal, her handler.
Mondal shows his hand before Gypsy’s nose, directing her to pick up a scent from a suspicious object.
He, then, commands her: Sungho dhundo, which translates to “smell and detect.”
Amidst the smells wafting in the air, including the stench from a pile of garbage and drains, she successfully detects the source.
We all know that dogs are used in the armed forces, Border security force, police and narcotics. For these purposes, dogs and their handlers need to undergo training for 15 days in one of the premier dog training academies in a sleepy town called Tekanpur, Madhya Pradesh. The academy is called National Training Centre for Dogs (NTCD). This academy is second to the Indian Armed Forces, which is the top dog training academy in the country.
The canine force do a wide array of tasks from multitude of detections like narcotics, poisons, mines, explosives to search and rescue.
All this, though, depends on the bond between the dogs and handlers–a process called ‘marrying up’.
Then, based on the dog’s strengths and weaknesses, they are segregated into search and rescue or infantry (if they have their smelling abilities.
Unfortunately, sometimes these dogs are dismissed for reasons such as diseases, aggressiveness or basic disobedience. But once they are in, there is a huge emphasis on the inseparable bond between dogs and their handlers.
P.S.: 26th August is celebrated as International Dogs Day. And I love dogs. So I thought writing something good about man’s best friend is absolutely necessary.