Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Patrol Dog

A dog accompanied us for a five days patrolling in the formidable jungles of the Southern foothills of Himalayas. Despite us trying to shoo him away at first, in the beginning of the march, he was adamant and followed us keeping a safe distance so that he would not be shooed away. After some time it was too far from the camp to drive him away, therefore, we let him come with us.

We avoid taking the dogs along during patrolling except for the dog named Jigtu who never misses even a single patrolling is now too old (the dog and their life span) and cannot accompany us. He is naturally skilled and knows how to move with stealth and never barks. It is believed that dog attracts wild animals moreover their bark which could easily give away the position of the patrol team.  

The adamant young dog that followed us had passed his test in the first time itself. He must be related to Jigtu and proved that he is a prodigy. He had not barked and stayed close to us. And while retracing some paths after search, it led us from the front like a scout constantly looking back as if wondering why we humans walk so slowly. Although he moved ahead, he kept the perfect distance with the main team to have an ideal visual contact and maintained the space according to the terrain (the dog and their instinct).

He is rechristened as Papa Delta - the Patrol Dog. When I tried to call him by that name he does not give a damn as of now, but I know he would take time to know that Papa Delta is his new name; being stray dog he does not have a proper name only “tsk tsk” draws his attention as of now and the funny thing is that you cannot produce loud “tsk tsk”.

He seems to be a smart dog who refuses to eat, even meat, when he is full and he has the instinctive knowledge of swimming which is the most important skill that he should possess when he is too short, otherwise, shallow streams as deep as knee high, would be enough to drown him and especially when he had to walk on all four limbs, it brings down his breathing apparatus close to the ground/water level.

Hence forth, like Jigtu, it is expected that he would accompany us in our next patrol if he is not already disgusted with the routes and potential jeopardy. For the patrol team it would be bonus to have powerful sniffing tool, but the only drawback being the communication between the dog and human. We would soon learn about the signs shown by Papa Delta trying to tell us and thereafter it would be an added asset for the patrol team.

We have already learned to decipher some sign, while returning we bump into a cow and he came back running towards us and looked back towards the cow with his ears straight up - keeping it almost parallel to each other, whole body stiffened in an attentive position and looked at us and looked towards the direction of the cow; he repeated the action until we acknowledged only then he relaxed and started to move.

Welcome to the team - Papa Delta and like Jigtu you are supposed to know the schedule yourself and no special orders will be passed to you. You are excused from all the fall-ins and other parades until next patrolling. To feed you and protect your life, would be our responsibility for the duration of  the patrolling period only.