Uttarakhand police picked up a desi stray dog from the streets, trained it and made it part of its canine squad.
The swift-footed dog impressed the audiences with a show of his skills at the recently held ritual parade on police day here jumping through loops and over hurdles with perfection.
Named "Thenga", which means the thumb in Hindi, the dog is performing all the duties that its celebrated foreign counterparts in the squad like the German Shepherds and Labradors can.
"The initial three months of Thenga's training have produced highly encouraging results. It has shattered the myth that only German Shepherds, Labradors or Golden Retrievers can be made part of canine and sniffer squads," says Inspector General of Police Sanjay Gunjyal.
Recounting how the stray dog was included in the squad by the Uttarakhand Police, Gunjyal said the incharge of Uttarakhand police's Bomb Disposal Squad Kamlesh Pant picked up a shelterless dog from the streets three months ago and mooted the idea of training it along with foreign breeds.
The idea appealed to Gunjyal who gave the go-ahead for the experiment instantly asking officials to go about its training in right earnest.
"Even dog experts sat up and took notice when they saw Thenga performing at the police day function here recently," the IGP said.
Everyone was surprised to see its agility and the perfection with which it performed the tasks like jumping over hurdles and through loops besides tracking things by sniffing its way to them, he said.
Moreover, training Thenga is far more cost effective. Its immunity level in comparison to the foreign breeds is very high and it is not choosy like them about its food, he said.
Their success in the experiment has prompted Uttarakhand police to mull making more stray dogs like Thenga part of its sniffer squad after proper training.
"Thenga is now an integral part of Uttarakhand police's canine squad, a trust worthy soldier of the force," the official said.
The story behind naming of the dog is no less interesting.
"It was named Thenga which means the thumb in Hindi as it cocks a snook at the conventional mindset which believes only a selective breed of dogs can be made part of police's sniffer squad," the IGP said.
The reference is also to the thumb of the famous character from the Mahabharata, Eklavya, who was denied an opportunity to learn archery from Dronacharya despite being immensely talented because of his humble birth, the official said.
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