Canine internet celebrities are generally famous for their cuteness, but Indian army dogs Vida and Sophie are not only cute but heroic to boot. They are both top dogs fighting terrorism and infiltration and were conferred with the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Commendations medals this I-Day. Clips of their ceremony went viral on social media after PM Narendra Modi made special mention of Vida and Sophie on his radio show, Mann Ki Baat while urging Indians to adopt a dog rather than shop for one.
Indian army dogs are national heroes
Vida is an adorable and obedient black Labrador working in the Northern Command. She sniffed out five mines and a buried grenade and in the process, she prevented many soldiers from injury and death. Sophie is a Cocker Spaniel belonging to the Bomb Disposal Squad. She found an accelerant during a search operation in Delhi, which could have killed many if Sophie wasn’t around to sniff it out. They are role models of citizen social responsibility (CSR).
Adopt desi breeds, urges PM
Citing the example of these two heroic pooches, Modi talked about how desi dog breeds are stronger. The Indian army has taken a number of Mudhol hounds (an indigenous breed) under its wing for the dog squad. Modi went on to say that choosing an indigenous pariahs over pedigree dogs is better since they are more competent and low-maintenance.
“Mudhol hound and Himachal Hound, Rajapalayam, Kanni, Chippiparai and Combai are good Indian breeds. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research is also conducting research on how Indian breeds could be better,” he said.
In service of the nation
The Indian defence forces have dog squads for various special tasks only they are born for, from detecting mines and bombs to search and rescue operations, tracking, guarding and patrolling. In the past 12 months alone, Indian army canines have been instrumental in the success of a number of important operations. They have sniffed out camouflaged terrorists in five different situations, recovered ammo hidden by them, found explosives before they went off and saved four people in snow-covered spots.
There are many canine soldiers who lost their lives in the service of the nation. CRPF’s special hero Cracker who died in 2017 in an operation. “Beed police bade a tearful adieu to their dog ‘Rocky’ who had helped solve more than 300 cases,” Modi added.
Adopted canine soldiers like Vida and Sophie are rendering service to the nation. In fact, Indian Army dogs are so superior in every regard, our foreign allies such as Sri Lanka, Cambodia and South Africa are asking for dogs trained by the Remount and Veterinary Corps in India. They are also sending their own army personnel for dog-handling courses conducted by the Indian Army.
When Atmanirbhar Bharat is bound to be the slogan for everything, why not apply it to your pets as well. Why breed or buy when there are so many homeless mutts looking for your love? So adopt, don’t shop!