Image by Barbara Jackson from Pixabay 

2020 August 6- heavy rain in Kerala resulted in a massive landslide in Pettimudi near Rajamala in Idukki District in Kerala. Plantations workers of the area living in layams were hit by the tragedy and got trapped beneath soil and debris. Though rescue teams came on to the spot, it was difficult to find people from the massive landslide. Almost every department was actively searching for humans in the tragic hit area. Dead bodies of people were found each day and it was such a devastating sight. It was then that a five-year-old local female dog named Kuvi grabbed the attention of the world. Like everyone she too was orphaned by the tragedy. Kuvi was seen sniffing around for eight days, often wandering through the plane or atop the debris without even having food. Later everyone got to know that Kuvi’s large family consisting of twenty-three members were beneath the soil. Dog Squad Trainer and Civil Police Officer Ajith Madhavan took interest in the dog and tried to feed the dog. Kuvi didn’t take food from him at first but later befriended him. Kuvi started accompanying him searching for her beloved ones in the soil. Rose and Tiger, two other local dogs, also helped the team to trace the bodies of people. These two are under the protection of forest watcher Murugan. Reports state that almost seventy people have lost their lives in the mishap.

Kuvi became the epitome of love by helping the rescue team to find the body of her 2-year-old toddler companion Dhanushka after eight days of the tragedy. Kuvi was seen wandering along the plane for eight days. On the eighth day of the tragedy, the rescue team was working on Kaniyar gravel bank approximately four kilometers from Pettimudi. Kuvi was seen looking into the water and making noise near the river bridge. Kuvi’s loud barking and noise sought attention from the officials. When the rescue team followed Kuvi, she led them to the body of Dhanushka beneath the bridge. Her body was found trapped inside the tree branches near the bridge. Dhanushka’s father’s body was found the day before. And her mother and sister were yet to be found. Everyone except the grandmother in the family was killed. Only the old lady of the family survived the tragedy.

This incident gained global attention and Kuvi was seen as the epitome of unconditional love. She was not just standing with the body of the girl but was showcasing her love towards the little girl. Kuvi can be rightly considered as Kerals’s own Hatchiko with her act of love and affection towards the girl.

The whimpering and sadness of the dog standing near the body of her mistress was a heart-breaking sight. The dog was extremely tired and exhausted from starvation. Ajith tried to feed the dog after the discovery of the body but Kuvi didn’t eat. Ajith was not ready to give up on the dog so decided to adopt her. Ajith seeks permission from MP, District Collector and Forest Conservation Committee to adopt Kuvi. As per the instruction, later the dog was inducted by Idukki District Dog Squad. DIG Prakash made it clear that the dog won’t be trained and instead would be taken care of as a pet dog. There also, Ajith was the one who took care of Kuvi. Basic training was also given to Kuvi on obedience, sniffing, tracking and heel walking.

After eight months, on April 16th Kuvi was taken back to Pettimudi upon the request of the only surviving member of Kuvi’s former family, Palaniyammal. She had requested the DGP to get the dog back from the squad. They took the dog to Munnar, where Palaniyammal and his only grandson lived. It was really difficult for Ajith to leave the dog but there was no other option. Ajith frequently called the family to know the welfare of Kuvi. By then both Kuvi and Ajith started having a strong bond.

Though the family adopted Kuvi after the tragedy, they found it difficult to take care of the dog and were given back to Dog Squad Trainer Ajith Madhavan on June 23rd. He already had six dogs including both foreign and domestic ones. Kuvi was pregnant by the time and had bite marks upon her body probably from stray dogs of her locality. Ajith decided to continue the training, after the delivery. Ajith has been into the training department for about ten years. He brought the dog to his home at Cherthala, in Alappuzha.

The dog later gave birth to three puppies after shifting to Cherthala, at Ajith’s home. Once after the delivery, Ajith started training the dog once again. Kuvi is really happy now. She is very friendly with other dogs of Ajith. She is also a pet of Ajith’s parents as well. Though Kuvi has covered her basic lessons, it is really difficult to train her-says Ajith. Since Kuvi was a free local dog she is prone to every single noise of nature which makes it difficult to train her as compared to others. Anyway, the bond between Kuvi and her saviour Ajith is really warm. It is destiny that brought Kuvi on to the hands of this wonderful Civil Police Officer. Ajith is even planning to write a book about the life of Kuvi. Her life was really a holocaust ride. Being the pet of a two year old toddler it might have been extremely painful for her to depart from the free wildlife. She was indeed with her little friend even at the time of her death. Her love and pain got exposed when she led the rescue team to find the body of her little friend. Life at the Dog Squad along with the love of Ajith might have helped her to overcome the depression that she suffered within that short time. She must have struggled by once again getting back on to the family where she used to play with her friend. Being saved by Ajith once again, Kuvi has finally started to live life, to restart anew. With a new family, memories, love and fun let her have a blast in her upcoming years.

.    .    .