Hachiko was a dog in Japan who used to loyally wait for his owner to return from work at the nearby Shibuya station. He continued to do so for almost a decade after his owner’s death due to cerebral haemorrhage. The heartwrenching story of the little dog was made into a movie Hachi: A dog’s tale in 2009. Years later, the story of another dog in Kerala is going viral, for similar reasons. Malu, a dog, followed 38-year-old Naveen from Kozhikode on his pilgrimage to the Sabarimala shrine in Pathanamthitta.
According to a report by The News Minute, Naveen found a loyal friend in Malu on December 8, the second day of the 700 km religious journey he had embarked on by foot. Little did he know that Malu will be with him throughout, sometimes following him, other times leading him. That was then, and when he finally was returning on December 23, Malu was seated right beside him on the KSRTC bus he took home.
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Reportedly, Naveen noticed Malu and her extended olive branch of friendship only after 80 kilometres of walking. The Kerala State Electricity Board employee tried shooing her off, but she seemed adamant, he told The News Minute. Not only was she a loyal friend, Malu also stood guard of his belongings when he wasn’t around, and even moonwalked as his “alarm” once, when his phone’s display had stopped working and he had slept off.
He even recounted the time when he lost Malu in Pampa near the shrine. The devotees who had seen Malu walking with Naveen from Kozhikode, called him up on his phone to inform that she was waiting for him at the steps leading to the shrine. “For the next one-and-a-half days, Malu waited there for my return,” he reportedly said. She waited there sniffing every devotee and when finally found Naveen, jumped on him, he said.
Malu, now a resident in a cardboard box at Naveen’s house in Beypore, was brought back home after Naveen talked to a KSRTC special officer and got her a Rs 460 ticket.
In times when Kerala is gripped with the fear of stray dogs’ terror on roads, this story comes as a whiff of fresh air.