Many readers would remember Koovi, the dog from Idukki’s Pettimudi that helped rescue workers find the body of a one-year-old girl, who was one of the 71 people who died in the disastrous landslide of August 6, 2020. The images and videos of Koovi, the pet dog of one of the landslide-struck families in Pettimudi, desperately running around looking for its owner in the landslide struck spot, had touched many. With no one to look after Koovi, the Kerala Police dog squad had adopted her. But now, two members of a family in Pettimudi who survived the tragedy, are on a lookout for their pet dog -- Koovi.
“Yethavath help panungamma,” Palaniamma sobs as she asks the reporter to find some way to help her get back her pet dog Koovi. The 57-year-old is one among the 12 people who survived the landslide. After getting grievously injured in the disaster, Palaniamma and her son Teepan had been hospitalised for months after the landslide.
“We have lost 13 of our relatives, including my husband, two sons, their wives, grandchildren, daughter-in-law. We thought we had also lost Koovi, but after coming from the hospital we came to know she was adopted by the police. Koovi was part of the family to us. Getting her back would mean getting back one of our family members. Please help us,” Palaniamma says, sitting at a house nearby Munnar town.
Incidentally one-year-old Dhanushka, whose body Koovi helped recover, is Palaniamma’s granddaughter.
Speaking to TNM, Teepan says Koovi was now two-years-old. “We brought her as a small puppy and raised her like a family member.”
“She loved us so much that she could not even stand one of us scolding her. She would go and sit in one corner and would not come to eat until we go and pacify her,” Palaniamma says, her eyes welling up. “If we get back Koovi, it would be the greatest help to us, more than a new house or money,” she adds.
"Since the dog has been officially taken over by the Kerala police, getting her back may not be easy. They might have to approach the government for it," an officer of the Kerala Police dog squad in Idukki told TNM.