2016 Republic Day parade at Rajpath saw a unique regiment of 36 Indian Canine soldiers consisting of Labradors and German Shepherds marching past the dignitaries and spectators. They were cheered because they were smart, confident and loyal dogs… a man’s best companion in trying times.
Dressed in bold stripes of maroon and gold, the colours of the Army Regiment, these impressive dogs are trained for explosive and mine detection, tracking, assault, guard duty and infantry patrol.
The Officer in Command said, “Keeping in mind these requirements, we select the dog on the basis of their alertness, temper, aggressiveness and execution of command. Since, they take part in operations with us and have helped save the lives of so many soldiers; it was a policy decision to showcase canines.” Since these dogs are not used to the increased noise level that prevail in cities, a special training session was held. The handlers had been training with them thrice a day so that they get used to the environment and remain calm. The Army also maintains documents pertaining to all aspects of the dogs. The Remount Veterinary Corps (RVC), a regiment of the Indian Army has won gallantry awards and has made the country proud when they made the supreme sacrifice of valiantly fighting a group of heavily armed infiltrators in the high altitude area along the Line of Control.
Hats off to these brave soldiers and their even braver and ever loyal companions!
Demonstrating trustworthiness by purity, honesty, sincerity and integrity….
One day in the 1890s, a young cavalry officer watched a shepherd taking care of his flock out in a green meadow. The shepherd’s dogs managed the smaller sheep well, but they had great difficulty controlling the larger sheep. The Captain loved his dogs. He decided to breed a working dog tha tcould manage the bigger sheep as well as the small ones. The dog must also be trusted not to injure any of the flock. Patiently using his knowledge of science and genetics, he eventually developed the
German Shepherd. This special dog is intelligent, quick, protective of the sheep, dedicated to its master and very trustworthy.
Like most dogs, the intentions and emotions of German Shepherds are transparent. They do not try to deceive others. They show their joy, anger or peacefulness with their eyes, ears and tail. Observant children usually know whether a dog is happy or angry. Pure German shepherds are trustworthy and friendly family members. They are as gentle with children in the family as they are with sheep in the pasture. They are reliable and fierce guardians, protecting children from hostile strangers. They are often chosen as guard dogs and guide dogs for the blind because they can be trusted to fulfill such important responsibilities.
During World War-I, German Shepherds became popular on the battlefield as troops told of their courage and reliability. Dedicated and dependable, the dogs demonstrated their uncanny sense of personal responsibility by locating wounded soldiers, carrying messages, helping to lay telephone lines, standing guard and going on scouting patrols. Even today, police officers report that German Shepherds are very useful on patrol duty. They praise these dogs for their reliability.
Won’t it be wonderful if human beings could also set aside their differences and come together with such unique qualities to help each other and at the same time remain loyal to one’s community and country?
Here are some organizations that are doing invaluable service to spread the message that caring for animals is a human responsibility, OUR RESPONSIBILITY. But, many ask…why should animals have rights? When it comes to pain, love, joy, loneliness and fear, whether man or animal, both feel the same. Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment or abuse in any other way. PETA -People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is an American animal rights organization tha thas 3 million members and supporters and claims to be the largest animal rights group in the world. The organization first caught the public attention in the summer of 1981 about experiments conducted on 17 macaque monkeys in an animal laboratory. The case lasted 10 years and triggered an amendment in 1985 and established PETA as an internationally known organization. Today it focuses on 4 core issues – opposition to factory farming, fur farming, animal testing and animals in entertainment. It also campaigns against eating meat, fishing, killing of animals regarded as pests, keeping of chained backyard dogs, bull fighting, cock fighting, etc. They have worked with celebrities to bring into the public domain animal issues – everything from caged tigers, bullock drawn oil mills, rescuing animals abused in circuses, convincing fashion designers to shun fur and leather. Animal Rahat, a programme supported by PETA helps working animals by providing everything from much needed veterinary services, educating owners about basic care and offering a retirement plan that allows animals who are too old or sick to continue working, to live their last years in peace and comfort.