A long challenging journey which could be exhausting went like a breeze for Naveen, when a stray dog whom he later named Malu joined the devotee on his walk from Mookambika temple in Kollur, Karnataka to Sabarimala in Kerala -the abode of lord Ayyappa.
The incident followed, reminds us why dogs are called a man’s best friend. 38-year old Naveen from Kozhikode district in Kerala was accompanied by an extraordinary dog who undertook a 600-kms journey, which is 17 days trip on foot to Sabarimala. At first Naveen tried to shoo the dog away but Malu was adamant on accompanying him to his destination and throughout she guarded his belongings like a helpful companion.
The journey earned her the name – Malu, which resembles “Malikappuram”, a term used to address female Sabarimala devotees. Naveen made her wore a black belt and Rudraksh necklace around her neck and allowed to follow him to Sabarimala. After reaching the temple, Naveen lost Malu, but soon he got informed from the fellow devotees that she had been waiting for him on the stairs leading to the shrine for one and a half days, sniffing every devotee passing by. The reunion was even more memorable, when Malu joyfully jumped at Naveen when he arrived. While returning, Naveen took special permission from KSRTC special officer to make arrangements to bring Malu back home with him.
Malu now has a large cardboard box that she calls her home in Naveen’s house in Beypore, Kozhikode. And also wears a brown-beaded necklace around her neck to remind herself and all those around her of her incredible journey.
Pets are the most adorable companions a person could have in life, and among these dogs are known to be the most loyal. The story of Malu and Naveen conveys the same. A stray dog who walked 600 Km to a shrine to keep the pilgrim company and finding a forever home, will make every one smile and reaffirm once faith in the loyalty of animals towards human beings. It’s indeed a whiff of fresh air, when the state is gripped with the fear of stray dog’s terror on the door.