Pune: Freelance ‘puppy’ becomes a savior and helps search team find lost dog in Bhugaon | Pune News

Banjo after finding its owners

PUNE: When Banjo, an Indie dog adopted by Prakalpa Bastianpillai and her husband, strayed into Bhugaon on Tuesday evening, his frantic owners searched everywhere for him, but to no avail. The very next day, Banjo’s friend – another Indie named Coffee adopted by a local resident – was enlisted for the scout. This time, she led the search party directly to the missing dog.
“Our dog walker regularly takes Banjo to the top of the hill in our township to play, where they occasionally run into Coffee randomly on his walk with his family. Banjo generally responds well to recall commands, but the walker probably got distracted and lost sight of him around 7 p.m. Tuesday. My husband and I, together with the walker, searched for him with torches and shouting his name in the forest area until midnight, but we did not find him. We resumed the search at sunrise, but without success,” said Bastianpillai, a resident of Forest Hills Township, spread over 170 acres in Bhugaon.
After posting on social media and WhatsApp messages to friends and neighbours, many more people also joined the search for the lost animal on Wednesday.
“Coffee and I joined the search on Wednesday afternoon. She didn’t realize what we were doing at first, when I made her feel Banjo’s leash several times. She is still a puppy, less than two years old. When she heard people shouting Banjo’s name, she thought everyone was looking for him. She started tracing the places she had played with him the night before, then led us in the direction of his scent to where he was found,” said Amit Bhadbhade, who runs a startup learning English in the city.
The missing dog was found around 3 p.m. Wednesday, tied near a security booth by a caretaker from another housing company. Animal activist Surashree Deshpande said: “Contrary to popular opinion, Indie dogs are very intelligent and can be trained very quickly and well. Just like in this case, Coffee seemed to be very perceptive without formal training of any kind. Because of their abilities, Indie dogs are now also recruited by the police and other services that need dogs.”


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Brandon D. James